I found “The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson” stuffed in a box in my office. Printed 1912 first published 1841, with a hand written message dated 1914.
I read here and there, but the section titled” Self Reliance”, “Politics” and “Intelligence” are really good. To be frank, the whole book is good. Here is the start to self reliance......I have added the link for the full PDF from “The essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson" 1841 first series, 1844 second series
“Ne te quaesiveris extra.”
“Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher’s
Honest Man’s Fortune.
Cast the bantling on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf’s teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox.
Power and speed be hands and feet.
I read the other day some verses written by an eminent
painter which were original and not conventional.
The soul always hears an admonition in such
lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they
instil is of more value than any thought they may contain.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what
is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,—
that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall
be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes
the outmost, and our first thought is rendered
back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar
as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit
we ascribe to Moses, Plato and Milton is that they set at
naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men,
but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and
watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind
from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of
bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his
thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to
us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art
have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach
us to abide by our spontaneous impression with goodhumored
inflexibility then most when the whole cry of
voices is on the other side. Else to-morrow a stranger will
say with masterly good sense precisely what we have
thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to
take with shame our own opinion from another.