Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson aka this American Plato


America 1803 – 1882


Comments: Transcendentalist; Transcendentalism; war resister; Freemason; buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts; pro -Native American; anti-slavery; Neoplatonism;


Teachers: Daniel Webster; John Stuart Mill; inspired by Voltaire; William Wordsworth; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Thomas Carlyle; Margaret Fuller; influenced by Hindu influenced by the Vedas; Immanuel Kant; William Ellery Channing of Universalism; Homer; Aeschylus; Sophocles; Euripides; Aristophanes; Plato; Proclus; Plotinus; Iamblichus; Porphyry; Aristotle; Thomas Taylor; Socrates; Mesmer; ; Jakob Bohme; Emanuel Swedenborg;


Students: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr; Walt Whitman; William James, Emerson's godson; Moncure Conway, the Southern Transcendentalist; Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Nathaniel Hawthorne, gothic and horror writer, who satirized his optimism ; Sophia Peabody Hawthorne; Elizabeth Palmer Peabody; Mary Tyler Peabody Mann; Horace Mann; Emily Dickinson; Ronald Dworkin, lawyer; Br. Keith B*****; Matthew deVoll;


Friends: Henry David Thoreau; Amos Bronson Alcott; Louisa May Alcott; Lydia Jackson, wife; Nathaniel Hawthorne; John Quincy Adams; Davy Crockett, who also opposed the Indian Removal Act; Thomas Moore Johnson;

Enemies: disagreed with David Hume and John Locke; Herman Melville; President Andrew Jackson, 1838;

Organizations: Harvard Divinity School; Boston's Second Church; Transcendental Club; Freemasonry;

Author: essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience ; English Traits, 1857 ; The Conduct of Life;

Quotes: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail; The only way to have a friend is to be one; What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you; "Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? ...Let us demand our own works and laws and worship; Man's action are the picture book of his creeds (not his words); " I am present at the sowing of the seed of the world. With a geometry of sunbeams the soul lays the foundations of nature.” “I read Proclus for my opium” ;


Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson; http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/emerson/ ; Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement lecture series, Professor Ashton Nichols ; http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/deeper-than-god-ronald-dworkins-religious-atheism/?hp ; listen here - http://librivox.org/author/1159 ; read him here -http://www.sacred-texts.com/phi/emerson/trans.txt and http://www.sacred-texts.com/phi/emerson/essay1.txt and here - http://www.sacred-texts.com/phi/emerson/essay2.txt ; http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/andrew_jackson_should_be_kicked_off_the_20_bill_he_ordered_a_genocide.html ; http://newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/the-eclectic-life-of-alexander-wilder-alchemical-generals-isis-unveiled-and-early-american-holistic-medicine/ ; The Occult in Nineteenth-Century America, ed. Cathy Gutierrez, 2005 ;