The Esoteric Emerson

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The Esoteric Emerson: The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one who has felt the life-changing pull of Emerson’s enormous planetary mind has ever doubted his power or his greatness, though we are often puzzled to know whether he is primarily a poet, an essayist or a philosopher.

Richard Geldard is not puzzled at all by this; he has written a book that plainly shows Emerson to be essentially a teacher, the Socrates of Concord, a man with a message that we need to hear today. Previous generations “beheld God and nature face to face,” Emerson says, and adds provocatively that we moderns seem able only to see those things through the eyes of the earlier generations. “Why,” he asks-and the question is intended to shatter our complacency-“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?”

Emerson’s life was devoted to showing how one may still attain an original, that is to say, an authentic, relation to the universe, and Geldard’s book aims to focus and distill the famously dispersed Emerson and put his central teachings into the modern reader’s hand.

Newer Printing: The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

About the Author

Richard Geldard is a graduate of Bowdoin College, The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and Stanford University, where he earned his doctorate in Dramatic Literature and Classics. He has also studied at St. John’s College, Oxford. Before turning to writing, he was an educator, teaching English and philosophy at secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. He also taught Greek Philosophy and The Science of Mind at Yeshiva College in New York, where he also supervised the General Studies program at the university’s boys’ and girls’ high schools. His most recent appointment was at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpenteria, California, where he taught the Greek Mystery Religions. Dr. Geldard is also on the Board of Directors of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute and is the Academic Advisor to the Institute’s web site,, the Internet’s leading site devoted to the life and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is a frequent lecturer and the author of seven books, including studies of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Greek philosophy and culture. Mr. Geldard is presently a full-time writer and lecturer living in New York City and the Hudson Valley. He is married to the artist and writer Astrid Fitzgerald.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.5 × 9 in




January 1993






Lindisfarne Books

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  1. Mark Alperin (verified owner)

    It seems brand new, plus they gave me a discount, so really great price for a really interesting and valuable book. Glad it was so easy to get. Staff wrote nice note to me on the invoice. Nice touch. Thanks…Mark

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