Studies on the Nature and Growth of the Mind


Books by Richard G. Geldard


on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Early Greek Thought



Scroll down for Titles, Author Info, Links, Comcasts, and The Emerson Digital Journals




In Search of the Ground of Being

Richard G. Geldard

When Socrates famously said that the unexamined life was not worth having, his declaration begged the question what, then, was an examined life? And when his student Plato described the prisoners in the cave living an unexamined life, philosophy began to speak of a life lived consciously and reflectively rather than mechanically and habitually.

This book is part personal description of an examined life and part challenge to the reader to develop the means to awaken to a life lived consciously and reflectively. It was Henry Thoreau who set a high standard for the examined life when he wrote, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

That is the challenge, and the gifts to come are the rewards from the effort.

"Richard Geldard’s personal quest for a meaningful life has taken him all the way from the PreSocratics to Gurdjieff and back again, but the life-line tying it all together has for many years been the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Geldard is a serious philosophical reader of Emerson, and he is a gifted teacher and writer and thinker able to reach any good modern reader willing to give it a shot. Geldard’s deeply moving and unflinchingly personal account puts him in that small circle of important philosophical Emersonians that includes Stanley Cavell and George Kateb. This is a lovely book." -- Robert D. Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire


A History of Human Being

Richard G. Geldard

The challenge for a task of a subtle nature like the nature of the soul is that in our recent culture, aside from a variety of religious doctrines holding fast to traditional definitions, we encounter the absence of soul from serious consideration, replaced by our intense interest in the nature of consciousness. This shift effectively removes an expansive vision of human existence beyond our present lives into the vagaries of a consciousness centered in the mind. In the wisdom traditions, however, consciousness studies include a concern for the soul in order to reaffirm the traditional presence of such an entity in human life and nature. If consciousness and soul are taken together, human nature then possesses a fullness of articulation that recognizes the rich experiences of many lives. The soul exists in the records of cultures of nearly every period, language, belief and experience.

New from Larson Publications


Richard G. Geldard

Larson Publications 2013

"A brilliant, forceful, cogent, eloquent and personal brief for the essential validity of the great Neoplatonic doctrine of ideas, and a wholly believable effort to place Emerson firmly in that tradition."          -- Robert D. Richardson, Author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire

Emerson and Universal Mind is a commentary based on what Emerson called the central goal of his writing life: articulating clearly the nature and purpose of the human mind. Late in life, in 1871 at age sixty-eight, he was invited by Harvard University to give a series of lectures to a select group of graduate students. He called these lectures the "Natural History of Intellect" and much of the content was published after his death under that title.

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New York Journal

of Books Review



Finding Our Way to a New and Exceptional Age


Richard G. Geldard


Larson Publications 2010

America is a country in transition, with vital issues confronting us. In such times as these, we need voices that rise above ideology and give us wisdom grounded in experience. Emerson's is such a voice. He is one of our founding thinkers and he had a vision for America that can still inspire us.

"Spend an hour with Richard Geldard and he will lead you to the inner sanctum and hand you over to the Master. Emersonianism is the American religion. It is not a church or a cult; it is a spiritual discipline, a Way. It teaches the infinitude of the private person, of each private person, of you yourself with your laptop and cellphone. Emerson was a great teacher in his day, but Richard Geldard can get him to you now." – Robert Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire

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Anaxagoras and Universal Mind:


The Birth of Philosophy in Classical Greece


Richard Geldard


Ralph Waldo Emerson Books, 2008


Geldard's volume on Anaxagoras is the third and final volume in his immensely successful account of Pre-Socratic thought. His first two volumes brought Heraclitus and Parmenides vividly alive for a twenty-first century audience. This is an important book, superbly written in accessible language. It makes philosophy as lively and timely as today's newspaper, and, unlike the newspaper, it will be relevant tomorrow. – Robert Richardson


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Parmenides and The Way of Truth

Translation and Commentary by

Richard Geldard

 Monkfish Book Publishing Company - 2007 

What this world needed was a nice, balanced, introductory text to Parmenides. It needed to be scholarly without being academic, wise without being new-agey. And lo and behold, a book like that is just what Richard Geldard has given us. – Amazon Reader Review 

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The Essential Transcendentalists


Edited and Introduced by Richard G. Geldard


Jeremy P. Tarcher / Penguin 2005


This anthology of Core Writings by the New England Transcendentalists provides a unique overview of these landmark figures as spiritual thinkers. As Richard G. Geldard -- one of today's leading scholars of Emerson -- illustrates in The Essential Transcendentalists, transcendentalism amounts to a school of practical spiritual thought that aims to guide the individual toward inner development.


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The Spiritual Teachings of

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


Richard G. Geldard

Introduction by Robert Richardson


Lindisfarne Books - 2001


"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 G. 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 Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art.

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Remembering Heraclitus


Lindisfarne Books - 2000

This book has British and Greek Editions

This bright, deep, meditative jewel-like study brings Heraclitus to life in a new way, and shows him to be one of the principal sources of Western mystical thinking. From Geldard's point of view, the study of Heraclitus is not just an academic matter but, on the contrary, presents us with very real existential and phenomenological challenges. The book includes new translations of all the essential fragments.

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God in Concord

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Awakening to the Infinite


Larson Publications -1998

God in Concord traces Emerson's private journey to the intersection of the seeking mind with the realm of the Infinite. Emerson undertook this journey without the benefit of tradition. That is, rather than depend on sacred texts, the great books, or the received traditions of his day, he struck out on his own. Each day was an opportunity. Each encounter was a revelation. And insofar as the day was filled with perceptions, it was fruitful.

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The Travelers Key to Ancient Greece


 A Guide to Sacred Places 



This book has British, Italian and Czech Editions

This book is an excellent starting point for anyone remotely interested in the ancient Greeks - not merely the most famous ones of the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. Here interweave myth, mystery, knowledge, mysticism (Pythagorean and Orphic introductions), plus excellent explanations of attributes and psychological aspects related to the gods. – Amazon Reader Review

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The Vision of Emerson


Introduced and edited by Richard Geldard



Published by Vega, London


This book has Japanese and Russian Editions


Ralph Waldo Emerson's vision of the infinitude of the private individual has served as the bedrock of America's deepest cultural values for more than 150 years.  Nothing, Emerson taught, is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. This inspiring volume takes the reader directly to the depths of Emerson's uniquely American approach to the perennial issues of human nature, revealing him him as both a literary giant and philosopher par excellence.

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These are the Digital Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, an archive I have scanned and edited for the use and convenience of interested students of the life and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The source of these digital Journals is the ten-volume Edward Emerson edition, originally published in Boston by Houghton Mifflin from 1904 through 1914, and comprising over 5,000 pages of material. This edition comprises approximately 90% of the originals, which are housed  at the Houghton Library at Harvard University. The digital journals are completely searchable in this PDF format, which requires Acrobat Reader 7.0 or higher to access. The journals cover the period between 1820 when Emerson was a Junior at Harvard to 1876, when Emerson stopped writing in his journals.    

Click here to download the R.W. Emerson Journal E-Books




Reawakening the American Soul 


A Forum in Celebration of the 2003 Ralph Waldo Emerson Bicentennial

Featuring Robert Thurman, Jacob Needleman and Richard Geldard


September 20, 2003 at Faneuil Hall, Boston

Click here for Reawakening the American Soul

Emerson and the Examined Life

Video: Reading by Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, with Richard Geldard and David Robinson

June 28, 2003 at Faneuil Hall, Boston


Click here for Emerson and the Examined Life

About the Author       

Links  to Booksellers, Publishers, and Associates

Contact the Author -  richgeldard [at]

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