Ralph Waldo Emerson? Tryon Edwards? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: During one’s lifetime one may discover a truth that appears deep and beautiful. Yet, one must be willing to continuously grow and change. That supposed truth may later seem trivial or misleading. Personal development demands regular reevaluations.
The transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson made a similar point about a sublime truth metamorphosing into a trivial platitude in the light of new knowledge. Would you please help me to find a citation?
Quote Investigator: In 1841 Ralph Waldo Emerson published a collection of essays which included a piece about “Circles”. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1
In nature every moment is new; the past is always swallowed and forgotten; the coming only is sacred. Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energising spirit. No love can be bound by oath or covenant, to secure it against a higher love. No truth so sublime but it may be trivial to-morrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled, is there any hope for them.
Life is a series of surprises. We do not guess to-day the mood, the pleasure, the power of to-morrow, when we are building up our being.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.