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. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a spiritual revolutionary whose profound vision of human potential came to define the American character. Known as America’s original Stoic, he offered a radical message of optimism, authenticity, and self-realization that is more necessary today than ever. In this timely, remarkable book, noted memoirist and teacher Mark Matousek reveals the depths of Emerson’s extraordinary wisdom, demonstrating how his timeless philosophy can help us navigate the challenges of contemporary life. Using personal stories, psychological research, and life lessons from Emerson and his contemporaries—including Thoreau and Whitman— he offers practical lessons in the art of living. In the following pages, you will discover: Why Emerson should be considered America’s original stoic How to dispel the illusion of our own powerlessness and turn toward boundless human potential Practical tools for cultivating happiness in a fragile, unpredictable, dangerous world The gifts of self-reliance and spiritual renewal necessary for thriving A roadmap to discovering essential wisdom on living an authentic and meaningful life Emerson’s far-reaching vision of excellence and spiritual flourishing is the medicine we need to heal ourselves. “Trust yourself,” he teaches. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” This philosophy of hope, known as transcendentalism, is the vein of gold in the American psyche. Lessons from an American Stoic helps us to reclaim our national treasure.