American Transcendentalism Essay

September 1, 2017 Religion

Emerson’s definition of Transcendentalism harmonizing to Meg Brulatour is that of an single chase guided by intuition and autonomy. Emerson believed that Transcendentalists found truth in nature’s thoughts and that truth could be seen by a individual who was paying attending and was in synch with nature. Direct engagement with nature allows adult male to utilize his intuition to see the natural wonders before him. The thought of the “Oversoul” which Emerson and other Transcendentalists believed in connects adult male with all facets of nature.

This thought. explored through intuition and self-exploration. non ground or practicality brings the Transcendentalists a godly spiritualty. By listening to our “inner voice” or utilizing our intuition. we can travel closer to deity. The Transcendentalists believed that traditional faiths being stiff and organized were unneeded since each adult male has the possibility to “transcend” beyond the recognized thought of faith to internalise deity from nature and spiritualty. This thought reinforces the individualism which defines one of the rules of Transcendentalism.

Emerson believed strongly in individualism. non conformity or conformance. He cautioned his followings non to shadow his actions but to take their ain way to self-discovery and spiritualty. He felt that each individual must listen to their ain “inner-voice” to finish their journey. Emerson writes that one should “trust thyself” and follow 1s inherent aptitudes and believe that they are right and true. Emerson felt that if he was imitated. he must hold some defect in his theories of Transcendentalism or “impurity of insight” .

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Transcendentalists besides felt that the experience of nature was non needfully a physical one. instead an rational acquaintance which intuition or autonomy made possible. When this is achieved the individual is closer to deity and spiritualty and closer to “transcending” society’s edicts and influences. To Exceed The dictionary definition of the term “transcend” is to “rise above” or travel “beyond the bounds of” . both definitions suggest attempt and autonomy. From the position of the Transcendentalist motion this surely was the enterprise to be achieved.

The Transcendentalists strove to lift above what they deemed trite. mundane or socially driven to a higher degree of consciousness or idealism. To obtain that end. the Transcendentalists sought to interact with their milieus and all within nature from a self-realized. intuitive facet ; leting them to exceed accepted spiritual establishments and obtain their ain relationship with the Godhead. It is non clear whether “transcending” really means speaking to God or the act of self-awareness where the restraints of stiff society are lost and one can truly understand and be portion of nature. the Earth. the existence and the Godhead.

I tend to believe that these writers were endeavoring for self-awareness and truth instead than existent spiritual experiences. This quest would non be an easy one. it is easy to travel to church every hebdomad and pray aboard your fellow adult male but it is much more hard to seek spiritualty and the ideal on your ain. and listen to your intuition entirely. without the counsel of a “learned teacher” . Having a structured and ordered way in the realistic universe would do the undertaking of “transcending” as the Transcendentalists view the term impossible.

This must be achieved by single apprehension of the term for each adult male. No two experiences with “God” or the Godhead would be indistinguishable as structured faith would hold us believe if Transcendentalism is to be thought of as “religious” . The Transcendentalist would instead necessitate to research and swear his “inner-voice” or intuition and take on religion what he perceives from nature and his milieus. Whereas. the multitudes who subscribe to traditional faiths can follow blindly the instructions of whatever priest-doctor is taking their flock.

Distressed Environment The phrase “a distressed environment is symbolic of a hard-pressed spirit” ( American Transcendentalism Web. Meg Brulatour. Virginia Commonwealth University. Web. 5/13/2012 ) suggests that the religious well-being of the thickly settled influences their environment. Brulatour cites Emerson’s “Oversoul” theory or the theory that all in nature is connected and that for world to exceed or be enlightened. adult male must besides link with nature in some meaningful. individualistic manner.

She uses the term “religion” synonymously with “way of life” and “philosophy” which is misdirecting. although it is cited at the beginning of her narrative. A better usage of the word would be a contrast to those footings as opposed to a simile. The Transcendentalist motion was non considered a “religion” but instead a “way of life” apart from organized. recognized and accepted faith of the epoch. The usage of Emerson’s term “Oversoul” . intending the connexion of nature and adult male is a more accurate portraiture of the Transcendental movement’s instructions that can non be achieved through faith as it is traditionally presented.

The Oversoul. as Emerson calls it. takes into history interaction between all existences and their milieus and duty for the actions created by the person which have enduring deductions to all that the person is connected to. The motive for this connexion is personal enlightenment or transcending. This construct is mirrored by other writers of the motion “Walt Whitman calls it the float ; Sally McFague says it is a comforter. ” ( American Transcendentalism Web. Meg Brulatour. Virginia Commonwealth University. Web. 5/13/2012 ) .

The effects of this phenomenon are evident throughout the Transcendentalist thought and suggest a chief subject to advance the embracing of nature as a agency to “transcend” . The traditional faith of the Romanticism/Transcendentalism epoch was conducted by a leader such as a Priest. Reverend. Minister. etc. that instructed the parishioners on what to believe and how to act. The Transcendentalist position of the single position is the complete contrary of this behaviour. hence rendering Transcendentalism about an “anti-religion” .


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