This concise volume collects the core writings that have made Ralph Waldo Emerson into a key source of insight for spiritual seekers of every faith—with an introduction by the bestselling philosopher Jacob Needleman.
Here is the essential collection of Emerson’s spiritual thought for those readers who understand the transformative quality of ideas. It is concise and suited to years of rereading and contemplation, offering the essays that trace the arc of the inner message brought by America’s “Yankee Mystic.”
The Spiritual Emerson features many of Emerson’s landmark works. Yet also included are overlooked classics, such as the essays “Fate” and “Success,” which served as major sources of inspiration to some of the leading American metaphysical thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The introduction by religious scholar and philosopher Jacob Needleman frames—historically and philosophically—the development of Emerson’s thought and explores why it has such a powerful hold on us today.
About the Author
Herman Melville said that Ralph Waldo Emerson possessed a "self-conceit so intensely intellectual that at first one hesitates to call it by its right name," though he later admitted Emerson was "a great man." Both were probably true. The Sage of Concord gave more than 1500 speeches in his lifetime, and Self-Reliance is probably his most important work.
Jacob Needleman is a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University and the author of many books, including "The Essential Marcus Aurelius", "Why Can't We Be Good?", "The American Soul", "The Wisdom of Love", "Time and the Soul", "The Heart of Philosophy", "Lost Christianity", and "Money and the Meaning of Life."