Quotables: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th century essayist and lecturer that was a champion of the American Transcendental movement.  Emerson’s works emphasized his belief in how the spiritual transcends the physical, and that knowledge can be gained from outside of the five senses.  Emerson and other members of his movement were inspired by Vedic literature and the Bhagavad Gita especially, as well as the writings of the English Romantic movement.  Emerson quotes abound, and after reading just a few, the truth and clarity of his words ring true to this day.

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

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“Nothing can work damage to me except myself; the harm that I sustain I carry about with me and never am a real sufferer except by my own fault.”

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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

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“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

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“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

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“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

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White Lotus Flower image provided free of charge thru Flicker by photographer matze_ott.

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