new age spirituality

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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Essays

First Series

  1. History
  2. Self-Reliance
  3. Compensation
  4. Spiritual Laws
  5. Love
  6. Friendship
  7. Prudence
  8. Heroism
  9. The Over-Soul
  10. Circles
  11. Intellect
  12. Art

Second Series

  1. The Poet
  2. Experience
  3. Character
  4. Manners
  5. Gifts
  6. Nature
  7. Politics
  8. Nonimalist and Realist
  9. New England Reformers

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. Seen as a champion of individualism, Emerson was a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society and his teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s.

New Thought is a spiritual movement which developed in the United States and emphasizes metaphysical beliefs. It consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning the effects of positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization and personal power. [James R.Lewis, Jesper Aagaard Peterson (2004). Controversial New Religions. p. 226.]

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Among transcendentalists' core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions.

Although more than a century old Emerson's essays contain timeless wisdom that is at least, if not more, relevant today than when they were written.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Ralph Waldo Emerson", "Transcendentalism", and "New Thought".