The influences of transcendentalism and beyond essay

Three main currents contributed to this uniquely American school of thought: From neo-Platonism — as nineteenth-century educated Americans understood it — came the belief in the primacy of intellectual thinking over material reality, an idea originated by the Greek philosopher Plato. Through a series of dramatic dialogues, Plato argues that there are ideal forms existing in an absolute reality; in the material world in which we live, all objects and phenomena are imperfect representations of these ideals. Our entire lives are spent trying to perfect ourselves and our environment in hopes of attaining an ideal existence.

The influences of transcendentalism and beyond essay

This picture of Whitman with a butterfly appeared in the edition. Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea.

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People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.

This knowledge comes through intuition and imagination not through logic or the senses. People can trust themselves to be their own authority on what is right.

A transcendentalist is a person who accepts these ideas not as religious beliefs but as a way of understanding life relationships. The individuals most closely associated with this new way of thinking were connected loosely through a group known as The Transcendental Club, which met in the Boston home of George Ripley.

Their chief publication was a periodical called "The Dial," edited by Margaret Fuller, a political radical and feminist whose book "Women of the Nineteenth Century" was among the most famous of its time.

The club had many extraordinary thinkers, but accorded the leadership position to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The influences of transcendentalism and beyond essay

She helped plan the community at Brook Farm, as well as editing The Dial, and writing the feminist treatise, Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Emerson was a Harvard-educated essayist and lecturer and is recognized as our first truly "American" thinker.

In his most famous essay, "The American Scholar," he urged Americans to stop looking to Europe for inspiration and imitation and be themselves. His intellectual contributions to the philosophy of transcendentalism inspired a uniquely American idealism and spirit of reform.

Understanding Transcendentalism

The theory of books is noble. The scholar of the first age received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again.

It came into him, life; it went out from him, truth. It came to him, short-lived actions; it went out from him, immortal thoughts. It came to him, business; it went from him, poetry. It was dead fact; now, it is quick thought.

It can stand, and it can go. It now endures, it now flies, it now inspires Precisely in proportion to the depth of mind from which it issued, so high does it soar, so long does it sing.

But the most interesting character by far was Henry David Thoreau, who tried to put transcendentalism into practice.

A great admirer of Emerson, Thoreau nevertheless was his own man — described variously as strange, gentle, fanatic, selfish, a dreamer, a stubborn individualist. For two years Thoreau carried out the most famous experiment in self-reliance when he went to Walden Pond, built a hut, and tried to live self-sufficiently without the trappings or interference of society.

Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs.

Nature can show that "all good things are wild and free. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever.

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest.

I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.

They criticized government, organized religion, laws, social institutions, and creeping industrialization.

The influences of transcendentalism and beyond essay

They created an American "state of mind" in which imagination was better than reason, creativity was better than theory, and action was better than contemplation.

And they had faith that all would be well because humans could transcend limits and reach astonishing heights.Transcendentalism in modern music Transcendentalism influenced the 19th century and emphasized on the value of the individual and intuition.

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It was an idea that people were at their best when they we self reliant and independent. Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late s and s in the eastern United States. It arose the term "Transcendentalists" was used as a pejorative term by critics, who were suggesting their position was beyond sanity and reason.

In Poe's essay "The Philosophy of Composition".

EMERSON - ESSAYS - THE TRANSCENDENTALIST

The Influences of Transcendentalism and Beyond The Transcendentalist movement occurred over years ago but the philosophies that its’ leaders preached affect our world to this day. Transcendentalists such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson have had a profound effect on such historical figures as Martin Luther King .

Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. and that “transcendental” does not mean “transcendent” or beyond human experience altogether, but something through which experience is made possible.

He closes the essay. Sources and Influences Transcendentalism is in many respects an intellectual potpourri, a New England chowder blended from a variety of philosophical and religious ingredients, both foreign and domestic.

Transcendentalists learned to look beyond the present--with its ephemeral parade of day-to-day phenomena--to a higher, In his essay on. Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea. People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.

Understanding Transcendentalism