A Dream Too Wild: Emerson Meditations for Every Day of the Year

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Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2004年1月28日 - 392 頁
"Emerson was very much a person of his era, but his thought is timeless because it partakes of the perennial wisdom that has permeated philosophy and religion in every age and culture. Emerson continues to be relevant because, as he said of himself, 'I am an endless seeker with no past at my back.' Spiritual seekers of this and coming ages will continue to find in Emerson a kindred soul." - from the Introduction

Master of the aphorism, Emerson is the most quoted of all American writers. Yet there have been few anthologies of Emerson's sayings and none quite like this one. Drawing from all of Emerson - his early sermons and lectures, his journals, his many books and essays, and his poetry -this unique book of thoughtfully selected passages captures the many textures and nuances of this exceptional mind. We find a spiritual message at the heart of his philosophy.

Emerson's spiritual vision is reflected in these selections, the most relevant writings for today's spiritual seekers. This meditation collection will provide an opportunity to celebrate and re-evaluate Emerson's contribution to America's spiritual history. The depth and breadth of Emerson's words will show a new generation of Americans how to bring an open heart and a critical mind to the spiritual search.

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Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance. He returned to the United States in 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance. Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Barry M. Andrews is author of Emerson as Spiritual Guide and Thoreau as Spiritual Guide, both published by Skinner House Books. Andrews is the minister of religious education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, New York.

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