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Emerson as Spiritual Guide

Emerson as Spiritual Guide

A Companion to Emerson's Essays for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion

Now available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store and in the Google eBookstore.

Author: Barry M. Andrews

Price: $16.00

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Guide to Emerson's spritual writings. Includes an overview of his life and thought, along with resources for further study.

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Introduction

East Yourself and Find the Sun: The Summons to the Spiritual Life

A Certain Wandering Light: The Spiritual Vision of Ralph Waldo Emerson

A God in Ruins: The Paradox of the Spiritual Life

The Divinity School Address

Self-Reliance

Compensation

Spiritual Laws

The Over-Soul

Circles

The Transcendentalist

Experience

Fate

Worship

Illusions

Chronology

Emerson Resources

All of us have had experiences similar to what Emerson described, moments saturated with meaning, times when we have felt especially alive and aware and at one with the universe. Such experiences may come at any time and in any place-in the chamber or in the street, as Emerson says, or even in a cemetery. They may come unexpectedly or at the end of a long period of preparation. They may come as flashing insights into the nature of Reality or subtle inklings and intuitions of something beyond, something larger than ourselves.

A few days after his experience at Mount Auburn, Emerson noted in his journal that people desire to be awake. "Get the soul out of bed, out of her deep habitual sleep," he wrote, "out into God's universe, to a perception of its beauty, and hearing of its call," and one becomes "a god, and is conscious of force to shake the world." When we have such experiences, we feel alive and strangely powerful. But given the fact that these experiences fade, what are we to do? In virtually everything he said and wrote, Emerson was wrestling with the two most important issues concerning the spiritual life: How do we recapture or continue to benefit from these moments? How do we live during the times between them? These moments represent the high points of our lives, times when we live with greater intensity and passion, when we feel deeply connected with others and with the forces of the universe. They are intuitions of the nature of things, glimpses of unlimited possibilities, and visions of a life transformed.

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