The 56 Most Empowering Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Born on May 25, 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson provided a positive impact on millions with his philosophical works. Which we aim to bring to light in our below Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes.

Why Mr. Emerson you ask? Because he is a true inspiration and didn’t let anything keep him from his desires in life. They will help to motivate you to look toward the future with a clearer perspective. See for yourself in the following book and essay quote collection provided for you!

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Best Quotes

1. “We ask for long life, but ‘tis deep life, or grand moments, that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Society and Solitude

2. “I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. “But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

4. “The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Conduct of Life

5. “God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm and made it enviable and gracious and its claims not to be put by, if it will stand by itself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

7. “Every man has a history worth knowing, if he could tell it, or if we could draw it from him.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Society and Solitude

8. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,—that is genius.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. “Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven, and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobbler’s trade; a hundred acres of plowed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

10. “True courage is not ostentatious; men who wish to inspire terror seem thereby to confess themselves, cowards. Why do they rely on it, but because they know how potent it is with themselves?” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Society and Solitude

11. “He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness but must explore if it is goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

12. “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

13. “One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it upon your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Society and Solitude

14. “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought because it is his. In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

15. “To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

16. “We do not believe our own thought; we must serve somebody; we must quote somebody; we dote on the old and the distant; we are tickled by great names; we import the religion of other nations; we quote their opinions; we cite their laws.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Society and Solitude

17. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

18. “Words are finite organs of the infinite mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

19. “Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Self-Reliance and Other Essays

20. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

21. “The world is emblematic. Parts of speech are metaphors because the whole of nature is a metaphor of the human mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

22. “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — The American Scholar

23. “It seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

24. “Throw a stone into the stream and the ripples that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

25. “The production of a work of art throws a light upon the mystery of humanity.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

26. “Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

27. “Build therefore your own world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

28. “Nothing is quite beautiful alone: nothing but is beautiful in the whole. A single object is only so far beautiful as it suggests this universal grace.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

29. “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

30. “The sun shines today also.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

31. “Nothing divine dies. All good is eternally reproductive. The beauty of nature reforms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

32. “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

33. “But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

34. “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it. Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. The sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

35. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

36. “Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

37. “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought because it is his. In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

38. “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

39. “Every natural action is graceful.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

40. “But is there no intent of an analogy between man’s life and the seasons? And do the seasons gain no grandeur or pathos from that analogy?” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

41. “Society everywhere is in a conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most requests is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows. Nature says, — he is my creature, and maugre all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

43. “In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,—no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

44. “In this pleasing, contrite wood-life which God allows me, let me record day by day my honest thought without prospect or retrospect, and, I cannot doubt, it will be found symmetrical, though I mean it not, and see it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

45. “Have mountains, and waves, and skies, no significance but what we consciously give them, when we employ them as emblems of our thoughts?” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

46. “The tradesman, the attorney comes out of the din and craft of the street, and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

47.  “Virtues are, in the popular estimate, rather the exception than the rule.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

48. “Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

49. “I see the spectacle of morning from the hill-top over against my house, from day-break to sun-rise, with emotions which an angel might share.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

50. “Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

51. “The accepted and betrothed lover has lost the wildest charm of his maiden in her acceptance of him. She was heaven whilst he pursued her as a star: she cannot be heaven if she stoops to such a one as he.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

52. “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

53. “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

54. “The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of both.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: Nature

55. “My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

56. “We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation -rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Book: The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Video: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson taught us about the presence of nature and something a little divine inside all of us.

Learn more about his approach to life in this short educational video

Summary of Emerson’s Best Quotes

I find Emerson’s individualism and self-realization to be quite admirable. It is easy to see why so many attended his public lectures.

May those listed Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes ignite your inner-self and shine the way to a brighter future!

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