The following is a selection of short tidbits from volume five of Emerson’s journals. They are too short to make individual posts on this blog, but many of them have been posted to the Ralph_W_Emerson Twitter account. Follow Waldo on Twitter for more of the same.
Is it not plain that prayer is a true study of truth? No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.
There is one drop in the number of its drops which makes the ocean greater than any sea.
A man cannot bury his meanings so deep in his book but time & likeminded men will find.
Beauty & pleasure no doubt are the pilots of the mind, but it must first be healthy.
The grey past, the white future.
Fathers wish to be fathers of the mind as well as of the body of their children.
The best Service which history renders us is to lead us to prize the present.
There is a difference between the waiting of the prophet & the standing still of the fool.
To unify is the perpetual effort of the mind.
I said in the beginning of the afternoon [...] ’twas pity that in this Titanic Continent where Nature is so grand, Genius should be so tame.
A preacher should be a live coal to kindle all the church.
Every law will some time or other become a fact.
A moment is a concentrated Eternity. All that ever was, is now.
When I see a man of genius he always inspires me with a feeling of boundless confidence in my own powers.
Man aims ever to reduce compound appearances to one law.
I am glad of a day when I know what I am to do in it.
The only economy of time is in every moment to stick by yourself.
The diamond & lamp black it seems are the same substance differently arranged. Let it teach the importance of Composition.
Every day a child presents a new aspect, Lidian says, as the face of the sky is different every hour, so that we never get tired.
An acorn is not an oak but an Oak-manufactory.