We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
More quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is no prosperity, trade, art, city, or great material wealth of any kind, but if you trace it home, you will find it rooted in a thought of some individual man.
Let us not look east and west for materials of conversation, but rest in presence and unity. A just feeling will fast enough supply fuel for discourse, if speaking be more grateful than silence. When people come to see us, we foolishly prattle, lest we be inhospitable. But things said for conversation are chalk eggs. Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary. A lady of my acquaintance said, I don’t care so much for what they say as I do for what makes them say it.
More quotes about Wisdom
My dear friend, clear your mind of cant [excessive thought]. You may talk as other people do: you may say to a man, Sir, I am your most humble servant. You are not his most humble servant. You may say, These are bad times; it is a melancholy thing to be reserved to such times. You don’t mind the times … You may talk in this manner; it is a mode of talking in Society; but don’t think foolishly.
When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.
Let us eat and drink neither forgetting death unduly nor remembering it. The Lord hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, etc., and the less we think about it the better.
It is a strange desire, to seek power and lose liberty, or to seek power over others and to lose power over a man’s self. The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains, and it is sometimes base; and by indignities men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy thing.
Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me.
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they’re gone.