Perhaps the father of the self-improvement movement is Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was a lecturer, essayist and poet but is perhaps best known for trumpeting the ideals of Transcendentalism, which in simple terms means we find our spiritual state, transcending the spiritual and empirical through an individual's intuition. Having read that last line somewhere around 60 times I finally believe I understand the concept. Unfortunately my method is contrary to the very idea of the intent of transcendentalism which was meant as a protest against the intellectualism or deep thought of the time. So in short, the idea is, don't think, don't try, just do. I believe I have heard that somewhere else before.
So now that I know Emerson was a fan of ancient Jedi training my view of him takes a dramatic turn for the better. I mean, everyone knows Yoda was one of the great thinkers of the universe and could really work a light saber too!
The teachings of Emerson include such gems as, "We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE"
Great thinkers have been trying for years to fully comprehend this statement but luckily the true meaning was recorded for history here.
Emerson began his Jedi training as most Padawans do, his aunt Mary Moody volunteered to be his Master and moved in with the family to further his instruction in the ways of the force. Emerson emerged from his rigorous training enlightened in the ways of the universe. He later wrote, "A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us." This was clearly written after his first encounter with the dark side.
He also said, "A good indignation brings out all one's powers." This is very helpful to Jedi's learning the old Jedi mind trick.
Later he spoke these haunting words, "All diseases run into one, old age." Clearly this was a lament for the passing of the great Jedi Master.
Ralphie also said this, "As soon as there is life there is danger." I would imagine he was talking about this guy,
or maybe perhaps this ... whatever.
I know it's just a singer but it gives me the creeps.
So Ralph Waldo learns the ways of the force, fights the dark side most of his life and then follows the path of his hero Yoda and retires to a nice swamp around some pond where he lives out much of the remainder of his life. When he finally fades away like all good Jedi's we are left contemplating the eternal question. Just where is Waldo?