These passages from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson on religion and spiritual philosophy reveal a metaphysical thought that is quintessentially American and universally relevant to the spiritual needs of today's world. It is seldom that an American philosopher is found among the gurus, mystics, and masters present in the spiritual milieu. Emerson combined the spiritual intuition of the East with the philosophical acumen of the West.
A blow on the head sends a practical Yankee back in time to King Arthur's court in medieval England. There, his Yankee ingenuity and knowledge of scientific theories startle the Knights of the Round Table. In the course of describing his hero's adventures, Mark Twain, the great satirist, takes the opportunity to make objects of mirth out of the ways of the Old World, the chivalry of knights, and the pomposity of kings.