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The Major Concepts Of Ralph Waldo Emerson And Transcendentalism

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Transcendentalism is a major concept that originated in New England from 1836 to 1855. It is the idea that people have knowledge about themselves that rises above or goes beyond the five senses. The man credited with leading this revolutionary movement was Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was born in Boston, and used his experience at Harvard and as a Unitarian Reverend to help start this revolution. He eventually would come to the conclusion that the individual is more morally just than religion. He started this shift with his book Nature, which he published in 1836. Nature was a collection of papers, an essay that read like a disjointed nightmare would. This revolution has translated into modern society; however, there are still many aspects of…show more content…
It instead promotes the use of more unnatural things to try and simplify life. New England is a significantly more industrial community today than it was during his lifetime. He would say that this distracts people from all that is around them, and makes them less ambitious; it is harder to have the drive to do something when you know that there is a machine that could do it faster. People today are very dependent on technology. They no longer take the time to go outside and see the true beauty of nature. Emerson claims in his work that: “to speak truly, few adult persons can see nature...The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child” (Emerson 7). Many students today fail to connect with the true beauty of nature outside. They spend their time focusing on looking into the false light instead of the true beauty of nature and the brightness of the real sun. Emerson would say the simplicity of children is what makes them spiritually more peaceful. He was a strong believer in self-reliance. It would anger him to see how dependent the students of La Salle are on their electronic devices, phones, and social networking. These devices have become almost another appendage to modern people. They care more about what is going on with other people, and fitting in then the beauty around…show more content…
At that point he claims he had more faith in individuals than God. In Nature he says: “Standing on the bare ground- my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal being circulate through me” (Emerson). Emerson is saying that he is God, and God is nature. This is the concept of the “over soul” which states that all together nature, God, and mankind create happiness. People at La Salle today are greatly influenced by religion. It is what La Salle was founded on and we continue to pray before every class. He compares religion to education in Nature: “Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable. We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy”(Emerson). Emerson wanted the people to understand that they could find a materialistic answer to every question they ask from God (the Bible). A lot of students do not realize however, that religion extends outside of the school and church. God can be found everywhere in nature. Students today are not awed by the nature around them. They do not have the same respect for the ability just to be out in the wild. If Emerson were transported forward in time to