Emerson: The Ideal In America (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Hosted and produced by Jim Manley (www.jimmanley.com) Written and directed by David A. Beardsley www.RWE.org – Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute —- The first video biography of “America’s Founding Thinker,” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson’s belief in “the infinitude of the private man” still resonates with spiritual seekers today. Most people know Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance,” but there is much more to the fascinating life of the man and his circle, which included Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Margaret Fuller. You will never look at Emerson–or yourself–quite the same way again. Includes interviews with Robert D. Richardson Jr., author of “Emerson: The Mind on Fire;” Richard G. Geldard, author of “God in Concord;” Barbara Solowey, teacher and lecturer; Richard Grossman, author and psychotherapist; and Sarah Ann Wider, Professor of English, Colgate University.

21 thoughts on “Emerson: The Ideal In America (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  1. There are only 3 current possibilities of Government… The aristocrats, which are the rich and greedy who monopolize education to keep in control of things. Then there’s the people.. who are so uneducated they can’t govern themselves since its doomed to fail anyway, and finally there’s the philosopher king who rules in truth. This will eventually be everyone with an earned reputation for truth. Philos means Lover, Sophie means truth. “Lover of Truth” When will we stop lieing to ourselves?

  2. Its no wonder we all make mistakes. As Buckminster Fuller said, “We’re all born blind, naked, helpless, and ignorant.” Its all learning after that.
    The things we are taught by the world that are good, are simply betrayals for someone else to profit from. We never discover who we really are because we’re too busy trying to be accepted for what we should be instead of who we are. And in the end, we ARE all alike. The world is seeing it needs philosophy to be well. Its what we currently lack.

  3. @addyr100 You don’t really understand Transcendentalism, do you? Emerson was a champion of the mind, deeply interested in science and literature. Never did he say that only the unseen is real; he simply said that the seen is an expression of a reality that’s unseen, and that the unseen reality can only be accessed through our subjective experience. Finally, the Transcendentalists were influenced by Kant.

  4. Discovered in the 21stC: The Underlying Law of Nature.

    The underlying law of nature may be the world’s most useful, profitable and encouraging knowledge.

    The top 3 General Characteristics of The underlying law of nature are:

    #1. The Way of All Things

    #2. The Basis of All Laws and Principles

    #3. The Basis of All Health, Growth, Efficacy and Efficiency

    Google it–as a start.

    The empirical process for identifying the underlying law of nature was discovered in 2008.

    Soon, we may all do so.

  5. all of you transcendentals would have us all as savages living in the forest. you people believe the mind and the objective to be evil and that only that which is unseen is real and that we need to do our duty as kant put it. every single society that has been created or run on the subjective has destroyed itself and they will continue to destroy themselves. and those societies only survive by means of exploitation of societies of reason.

  6. “The complete writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson” apparently is a complete copy. Manleyjim is it a completely complete copy? I would like to buy it. It is 1435 pages.

    “The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson” however is not a complete copy, it only has Emersons poems.

  7. You might learn more about Emerson by reading his work then reading about him. It’s easy to read his first book, Nature, but you must look at the essay, Self Reliance. There’s a lot more, but you will know Emerson after that.
    Then read the best biography, “The Mind on Fire” by Robert Richardson (he’s featured in the documentary).

  8. He was a philosopher and poet, one of the true prophets of America, along with Thoreau and Whitman.

  9. Born to a line of ministers, Ralph Waldo Emerson with the Divinity School Address, defined himself with some distinction from the church. I would consider him much more the Philosopher.

  10. the works of Emerson speak a truth so self evident, that he does not need to convince you, but rather, he only shows you. When you read him, you see the truth and understand it in your own right, whereas other philosophies sometimes take a lot of work to convince you of their truth. Emerson’s is simplicity, reason, and vitality. I would read this sooner than the gospels for real truth.

  11. What Emerson was speaking about or I should say, revised is what the East since early ancient times have documented by their Sages. I am not one to erect a grander scheme of the ego, but discern what is set above the reach of ones spirit. Right within your empty soul is where it all begins.

  12. Hello All, I am currently conducting Academic Research into the highbrow and lowbrow of Online community groups- In one word, if you like (eg Highbrow or Lowbrow) how would you rank yourselves as users of this site? Are you discerning over the content and communities you take part in and consume online? Has this video above got higher cultural value than any other?
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
    (I love Emerson personally)

  13. Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the greatest books ever in my opinion!

  14. I have the complete works of Emerson & let me just say this guy had a fantastic mind & he was great at expressing his immense wisdom using the spoken & written word

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