I have selected my best 5 Ralph Waldo Emerson quotations from his vast collection of written and published works.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, essayist, and philosopher.
Emerson was one of the forefront of the American philosophic and literary movement called Transcendentalism in the mid-19th century.
He strongly believed the “divine sufficiency of the individual” and a critic of the countervailing pressures of society.
Emerson spread his thoughts through his published essays and public lectures.
In Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance” he instructs his listener to examine his relationship with Nature and God, and to trust his own judgment above all others.
His concepts was very influenced by the works of philosophers, that include Plotinus, Emanuel Swedenborg and Jakob Böhme.
Among Emerson’s well known works are: Essays, First and Second Series (1841, 1844).
Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27, 1882 at the age of seventy-eight.
Best 5 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations
Here are the best five Ralph Waldo Emerson quotations that are linked to credible sources.
“No secret can be kept in the civilized world. Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Emerson: A Modern Anthology, Volume 2517 By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edited By Alfred Kazin and Daniel Aaron, Houghton Mifflin, 1959; p.68)
(This quote is also found in: The Complete Works Of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Comprising His Essays, Lectures, Poems, and Orations, Volume 2 By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bell & Daldy, 1866, The Conduct Of Life, VI. Worship; p.403)
(Another source: The Collected Works Of Ralph Waldo Emerson Vol. VI, By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harvard University Press, 2003, The Conduct of Life, VI. Worship; p.119)
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Journals And Miscellaneous Notebooks Volume VIII: 1841-1843 By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edited By William H. Gilman And J. E. Parsons, The Belknap Press Of Harvard University Press, 1970, Part I, The Journals, Journal N: 1842, 21, P. 255) source
(This quote is also found in: Journals Of Ralph Waldo Emerson: With Annotations, Volume 6, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1911, Journal XXXII, Age 39, November, 1842, P. 302) source
“Character is higher than intellect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The American Scholar Self Reliance Compensation By Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Book Company, 1911, The American Scholar; p.33)
(This quote is also found in: The Journals And Miscellaneous Notebooks Of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol. V 1835 – 1838, Edited By Merton M. Sealts, Jr., The Belknap Press Of Harvard University Press, 1965, Journal C, 58, May 1, 1837; p.318)
“Every man I meet is my master in some point; and in that I learn of him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Letters And Social Aims By Ralph Waldo Emerson, James R. Osgood And Company, 1876, Greatness; p.280)
(This quote is also found in: Works Of Ralph Waldo Emerson In Five Volumes, Vol. IV, Letters And Social Aims, Poems By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Houghton, Osgood And Company, 1880, Letters And Social Aims, Greatness; p.254)
“We are always getting ready to live, but never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The Heart of Emerson’s Journals By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edited By Bliss Perry, Dover Corporation Inc., 2014, Age 30, Newton, April 13, 1834, P. 84) source
(The quote is also found in: The Journals And Miscellaneous Notebooks Of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol IV, 1832-1834, Edited By Alfred R. Ferguson, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press Of Harvard University Press, 1964, Part I, The Texts Of The Journals, XXV, April 13, 1834, P. 276) source
Check out my bigger list of authentic Ralph Waldo Emerson quotations that link to credible sources.