Monday, March 23, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, poet, and leader of the transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. As a result of this ground breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".[1]

Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic, however this was not always the case. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."[2]

Two more great things:

1) No more copyrights - all books, letters, poems, journals are free and online!

2) The man was a quote machine... Definitely a great linguist/orator, as mentioned in a few of the links above and shown in some cheap internet links below.

Here are just some of my favourites... And yeah, I know, cheesy high school shit with the quotes and all, but whateves.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

“What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us."

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."

"We must be our own before we can be another's.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."

"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it." to ballhockey! Tonight's gonna be a long night... need to finish a presentation before heading to Chicago tomorrow.. but I'm sure I'll procrastinate, read, and write here some...