Ralph Waldo Emerson's (1803-1882) quest for truth, meaning, and the authentic life was at the heart of his writing and teaching. From his New England home, he brooded on the world and saw signs of Spirit everywhere. In this succinct and salutary study, Richard Geldard (God in Concord, Remembering Heraclitus) reveals this poet, essayist, and philosopher to be "a seer of a revolution in human self-recovery."
The author delineates the esoteric strands of Emerson's thought and the mystic company he kept with Plato, Plotinus, Coleridge, and Swedenborg. Matthew Arnold once called him "a friend and aider of those who would live in the Spirit." Geldard focuses on Emerson's exploration of soul ("the background of our being"), solitude, lowly listening, and passion ("the torch that guides us on the royal road to higher knowledge.")
The Concord philosopher once wrote: "Life is a series of surprises. We do not guess today the mood, the pleasures, the power of tomorrow, when we are building up our being." The last phrase vividly captures the essence of Emerson's esoteric quest and his abiding interest in beauty, harmony, self-remembering, and enthusiasm.