by Φ


Ralph Waldo Emerson


Every action admits of being outdone.

Under every deep a lower deep opens.

There are no fixtures in nature.
The universe is fluid & volatile.

Permanence is but a word of degrees.

The genius that created ‘it’ creates now somewhat else.

The creation of new thought opens for all that is old.

New arts destroy the old.

Permanence is but a word of degrees.

Every thing is medial.
Moons are no more bounds to spiritual power than baseballs.


The key to every man is his thought.

He has a helm which he obeys, which is
The idea afterwhich all his facts are classified.
He can only be reformed by showing him
A new idea which commands his own.

The life of man is a self-evolving circle,
Which, from a ring imperceptibly small,
Rushes on all sides outward to new &
Larger circles, & that without end.

This generation of circles,
Depends on the force or truth.
For it is the inert effort of each thought,
Itself a circular wave of circumstance,
If the soul is quick & strong it bursts
On all sides & expands another orbit
On which also runs up into a high wave,
Attempt again to stop & bind. The heart refuses.


Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series.

Every general law only a particular fact of some
More general law presently to disclose itself.

There is no outside,
No inclosing wall,
No circumference to us.
How it puts a new face on all things!


Draw a circle outside of an antagonist.

Lo! on the other side rises also a man and draws a circle around the circle we had just pronounced the outline of a sphere. Then already our first speaker is not man, but only a first speaker. Forthwith, draw a circle outside of an antagonist. And so man do by themselves.

The result of today, which haunts the mind and cannot be escaped, will presently be abridged into a word, and the principle that seems to explain nature will itself be included as one example of a bolder generalization.

Every man is not so much a workman in the world as he is a suggestion of that her should be.


Men walk as prophecies of the next age.

The steps are actions, the new prospect is power.

Every several results are threatened and judged by that which follows.
Every one seems to be contradicted by the new; it is only limited by the new.

The new statement is always hated by the old, and, to those dwelling in the old, comes like an abyss of skepticism.


Fear not the new generalization!

Resist is not; it goes to refine and raise thy theory!

There are no fixtures to men, if we appeal to consciousness.

Everyman supposes himself not to be fully understood; I see not how it could be otherwise.

That is, everyman believes that he as a greater possibility.


Our moods do not believe in each other.

The love of me accuses the other party.


A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
For every friend whom he loses for truth, he gains a better.

How often must we learn this lesson?
Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations.
As soon as you once come up with a man’s limitations, it is all over with him.
Has he talents? has he enterprise? has he knowledge. It boots not.
Infinitely alluring was he to you yesterday, a great hope, a sea to swim in; now, you have found his shores, found it a pond, and you care not if you never see it again.

Each new step we take in thought reconciles twenty seemingly discordant facts, as expressions of one law.


By going one step back in thought
Discordant opinions are reconciled
By being seen to be two extremes of one principle.


Beware when there lets loose a great thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. There is not a piece of science but its flank may be turned tomorrow; literary reputation, the so-called eternal names of fame, may they be revised & condemned.

Mankind are all at the mercy of a new generalization.

Generalization is always a new influx of the divinity of the mind.

Hence the thrill that attends it.


Valor consists in the power of self recovery.

So that a man cannot have his flank turned.
Cannot be out generalized, but
Put him where you will, he stands.

This can only be by preferring his truth to his past apprehension of truth.
Alert acceptance of it from whatever quarter.
The intrepid conviction of his law, his world, may be at any time superseded & decease.

There are degrees in idealism.

It now shows itself ethical & practical .


The history and the state of the world at any one time is directly dependent on the intellectual classification then existing in the minds of men.


Conversation is a game of circles.

The length of the discourse indicates the distance of thought betwixt the peaker & the hearer.

If they were at a perfect understanding in any part, no words would be necessary thereon. If at one in all parts, no words would be suffered.


Therefor we value the poet.

Smites & arouses me with his shrill tones, breaks up my whole chain of habits, & I open my eye on my own possibilities.

I am capable once more of choosing a straight path in theory and practice.


Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.

Every precaution you take against such an evil you put yourself intuit he power of evil.

The virtues of society are the vices of the saint.


I am not careful to justify myself.

I am only an experimenter.

I unsettle all things.

An endless seeker with not Past at my back.


Why should we import rafs and relics into the new hour?

This old age ought not creep on a human mind.

In nature every moment is new; the past always swallowed and forgotten.

The coming only is sacred.

No truth so sublime it may be trivial tomorrow.

People wish to be settled;
Only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

Life is a series of surprises.

I cast away in this new moment all my once hoarded knowledge, as vacant & vain.

The difference between talents & character is adroitness to keep the old and trodden round, and power & courage to make a new road to new and better goals.

Character makes an overpowering present.

Character dulls the impression of particular events.


The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves.

To lose our memory & to do something without knowing how or why.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

“A man never rises so high as when he knows not where he is going.”

Dreams an drunkenness. Flames & generosities of the heart.


Permanence is but a word of degrees.