The Spiritual Teachings of

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


Richard G. Geldard


Introduction by Robert Richardson


Lindisfarne Books - 2001


 This Book has a Japanese Edition

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American transcendentalist, poet, essayist and reformer has been presented in many ways, but never simply and radically as a spiritual teacher-- a guide to the intimate processes in inner development and self-transformation. But Emerson was just that. In countless ways, including the example of his life, he showed that "the holy and mysterious sources of life" were available to anyone, at any hour of the day, who can "listen for the right word."

"We scarcely know what we have in Emerson-- an American teacher who made the world's wisdom his own and converted it into a code for experiencing life fully yet decently. Richard Geldard has written a magnificent book through which Emerson's teaching becomes again an instigator." - ROGER LIPSEY, author of An Art of Our Own: The Spritual in Twentieth Century Art.                                                      

The Emersonian work we must do is spiritual work. And for that spiritual work, Geldard's is the most practical and useful handbook we have apart from Emerson's own writings. Geldard leads the reader to a solid grasp of such concepts as "lowly listening," "opening the heart," to how "The best we can say of God is the mind as it is known to us," and finally to an understanding that courage, meaning "equality to the problem before us," is possible for us, too. Geldard restores Emerson to the position he held among his contemporaries, that of a "seer of a revolution in human self-recovery." - ROBERT RICHARDSON, JR., author of Emerson: the Mind on Fire.                                            

"Through Geldard's book, Emerson shows a new generation of Americans that it is possible and necessary to bring to the spiritual search an open heart joined to a critical mind." - JACOB NEEDLEMAN, author of The Heart of Philosophy. 


Reader's review on

"Emerson Would Be Delighted -- Emerson had a persona of being withdrawn, and rarely showed emotion. However, if he were here today, I believe that he would be very pleased with Geldard's interpretation of his work. Most of us have read Emerson's essays. They are thick and difficult, but the spirit of the work rings through and speaks very loudly to the authentic heart. Geldard has done the work of specific interpretation for us. If you feel a need for being yourself, which most of us do (healthy people do), then this book is a must read. Emerson turned away from the path that seemed to have been chosen for him, took a chance, and listened to his authentic self. The author points out that Emerson had some difficult years, and that rings true today for those of us that know, and chose to march to the beat of our own drum (Thoreau??). Emerson was inspired and was a great gift to us.

Geldard makes his work understandable and relates it to our lives, today. Emerson was highly intellectual, and after reading Geldard's book, I'm preparing to read Emerson's essays once again, with the light that Geldard has placed upon it. It's pure, and it's spirit, and it is authentic. Of the five best books I've ever read, like my five friends out of the many, I can count this one on the top five. Read it, read it slowly, devour it, contemplate it. Let it permeate your being and at the very least have a place in your thought patterns during your day. This work is meant to teach and inspire and it has succeeded!" -- KATHY ADAMS 

"An American Spiritual Treasure - Yes, go ahead, hit your one-click order button now. for anyone interested in the life, thought, ideals and teachings of a GREAT American original, this is a book you want and need. Brilliant, beautiful, eternal, this book will not go out of date. Universal wisdom is timeless and Emerson was a master. He was an avid admirer of the wondrous Bhagavad Gita and his writings reflect that. He had an understanding of the need for each self to connect with the eternal Self or spirit, to use his Americanized way of saying it. His teaching keeps pointing the reader right back to the very heart of himself or herself: the place divinity lives, the place where God is found. Shortly after resigning as a minister of the Unitarian church, he wrote, "I will not live out of me. I will not see with other's eyes. My good is good, my evil ill. I would be free---I cannot be, while I take things as others please to rate them. I dare attempt to lay out my own road, that which myself delights in shall be good. That which I do not want--indifferent. that which I hate is bad, that's flat. Henceforth, please God, forever I forgo the yoke of men's opinions. I will be lighthearted as a bird and live with God". OK? Hit that button a couple of times, because this book makes a wonderful gift and you ain't gonna wanna give up your copy!!!" - mr orva t schrock, reviewed on - August 2002


Praise for  The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson is a remarkable book. Emerson's writings are dusted off and explained for a generation looking for concrete answers about life rather than abstract speculations or pedantic musings. Emerson becomes a Krishnamurti, a Ghandi or an Alan Watts, and the reader becomes the attentive student. Yet Emerson is not canonized, nor is he degraded by being put in the context of a how-to work. Instead, he is superbly uncovered, and so are we." - Mark Richard Barna, Gnosis, Fall, 1994

"I liked The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson very much. It offers a loving, thoughtful appreciation of Emerson the soulful humanist, ever anxious to understand who we are and what our moral destiny is: a lively and touching effort!" - Robert Coles, author of The Spiritual Life of Children

"Combining an exploration of the inner self with philosophical discourse, Richard Geldard has written a masterfully lucid study called The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson....Geldard, in an inspiring presentation, shows how the practice of listening to inner intuitive whisperings can lead to freedom, authenticity and the true self. This treasure of metaphysical wisdom makes compelling and soul-satisfying reading, both for those who are new to Emerson's ideas and those who have already delved into his teachings." - Kathy Juline, Science of Mind