The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Richard Geldard

Available to buy

Quick Look

Focuses and distills the diverse Emerson and puts his central teachings within the scope of the modern reader.

230 x 150 mm
Lindisfarne Books
Philosophy of Human Life
224 pages
Publication date:
01 Sep 2001
2nd edition


No one who has ever felt the life-changing pull of Emerson’s enormous 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 which plainly shows the essential Emerson to be a teacher, the Socrates of Massachusetts, a man with a message that we need to hear today. It is argued that previous generations 'beheld God and nature face to face' in contrast to modern life, where he suggests people seem able only to see those things through the eyes of earlier generations. Thus the question is raised: '... 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 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. Geldard’s book aims to focus and distill the famously diverse Emerson and put his central teachings within the scope of the modern reader.

The previous edition of this books was titled The Esoteric Emerson: the Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.


'Richard Geldard has written a magnificent book through which Emerson’s teaching becomes again an instigator. Is Geldard the last of Emerson’s great disciples—or the first of a new generation? This book deserves to be widely read; it contains our own best thoughts.'
-- Roger Lipsey, editor and biographer of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, author of An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art

'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


Richard Geldard holds a Doctorate in Dramatic Literature and Classics from Stanford University, USA, and was previously Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva University. Some of his most recent titles are Remembering Heraclitus and Traveller’s Key to Ancient Greece.


Please note: Esoteric Emerson by Richard Geldard, the title of the first edition of this book, is now Out of Print.

Other Floris Books you might enjoy:

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors