Lessons from an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life

Lessons from an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life

by Mark Matousek
Lessons from an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life

Lessons from an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life

by Mark Matousek


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"This is a beautiful book, full of ideas that could help restore America’s genius for freedom and promise.” 

— Thomas Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Care of the Soul 

A lifelong Emerson lover, teacher, and spiritual seeker reveals how American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson’s twelve essential teachings hold the answer to living an authentic and fulfilling life, one that is in harmony with our souls.

In this wise, illuminating book, award-winning author Mark Matousek reveals how Emerson’s timeless wisdom can help us with the problems we’re facing today. America’s ‘original Stoic’ confronted many of the issues before us, from polarization to fake news, from crooked politicians and rampant materialism, to the scourge of racism.

Matousek explains that Emerson’s path of self-reliance can radically improve your quality of life. The mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, Emerson (aka the Oracle of Concord) was America’s first self-help author, and his nation’s conscience for half a century. Like the Stoics before him, he emphasized self-knowledge and mindfulness as paths to happiness; also, self-reliance, cooperation, non-conformity, originality, adaptability, and receptiveness.

As Americans are once again discovering the power of Stoicism, Matousek shows why Emerson’s vision is precisely the medicine we need today. The principles of Waldo’s philosophy are universal and require no spiritual faith to put into practice.

  • Each person creates her own reality
  • Obstacles are teachers in disguise
  • Your character is your destiny
  • Wonder and awe are the keys to the kingdom
  • Nonconformity is the greatest virtue
  • Nature is the doorway to God
  • Life without self-knowledge is not worth living

Emerson encourages us to throw-off conventions and platitudes, explore ourselves in depth, tell the truth about what we find there, and awaken to our greatest potential. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063059696
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/13/2023
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 40,657
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mark Matousek is a bestselling author, teacher, and speaker whose work focuses on personal awakening and creative excellence through transformational writing and self-inquiry. His books include Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, The Boy He Left Behind, When You’re Falling, Dive, Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life, Ethical Wisdom for Friends, Mother of the Unseen World, and Writing to Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation, and Self-Discovery. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine, Details, Tricycle, Good Housekeeping, and Harper’s Bazaar. He has blogged for Psychology Today and offers courses in creativity and spiritual growth around the world. In 2013, Mark founded The Seekers Forum, a global online community for non-sectarian spiritual dialogue. He is on the faculty of The New York Open Center, The Omega Institute, 1440, Esalen, The Rowe Center, Hollyhock, and Omega Blue Spirit, Costa Rica. He lives with his partner in Springs, New York.

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