Transcendentalism is a movement that started in the 1830s with the belief that the most important reality is what is sensed or what is intuitive, rather than what is thought such as scientific knowledge. Simply, transcendentalists view the world a blessing, and that all human beings are considered naturally good. By that said, transcendentalists believe that evil doesn’t have a place in the world, that evil is unrealistic. Transcendentalists also believe that everything has a purpose in life, and that you should trust yourself and your actions more than what science could ever teach you.
Transcendentalists view on god is a bit different than how people today view their god(s). Today, there are many religions that have their own way of viewing or respecting his/her god, but they all have one thing in common. Religions around the world all exist for the purpose of believing in a higher power, and that said power is to be respected. If not respected, there will be consequences to come your way, such as being condemned to hell. Transcendentalists specifically view god as an essence through metamorphosed nature that exists in the world, like a gentle breeze sublimed to pleasure the senses of all. They have faith that people are at their best when truly self reliant and independent. Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string, Self-Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 370). The quote from Emerson simply tells the reader to trust in yourself, for everyone else has the same opportunity to do so, but only the brave will proceed in doing so. Transcendentalists have many values, but their three main values consist of individualism, idealism, and the divinity of nature. According to a transcendentalist, these said values were viewed to be very important at that time, especially when it came to thinking about your American Dream. Individualism is pretty obvious at this point, considering how it’s the main idea of being a transcendentalist, but idealism and the belief in nature being a connection with said higher being is a bit more complex. In the woods, we return to reason and faith, Nature (Emerson, 373). This specific quote explains how Emerson believes that when you’re physically in nature, such as being in the woods, that all things begin to come together and begins to build your faith in all things level back up, for he believes that god is there with you and you shouldn’t fear a thing.
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The person that first brought up the idea of transcendentalism is named Ralph Waldo Emerson, mentioned above with a quote from his book Self-Reliant. He believed that people are inborn, which means the knowledge of the truth is intuitive, that work is view as something important and necessary, and worldly success as philosophically significant. He also believed that education is morally important in life and should not be looked over when it comes to intelligence, especially when it comes to a transcendentalist viewing their American Dream. Having knowledge about basic history, how transcendentalists view and describe their higher being, simple morals transcendentalists need to follow within their lifetime, and other simple things needing to be known was a very important part of being a true transcendentalist. All in all and straight to the point, majority of transcendentalist view the world optimistically. By that said, if you can’t live the specific ways that have been mentioned above, you can’t truly be a transcendentalist.
Becoming a transcendentalist would be super difficult for people today to transform into. Seeing how technology and other distractions from life has become a huge part in many American lives today, that would be the main reason to keep Americans from becoming a transcendentalist and living the way they do. By that said, many Americans would not agree with the morals and vales that transcendentalist follow. Majority of people today would rather stay indoors, being on their technology, and be antisocial with the world rather than to try and connect with the world. So, becoming a transcendentalist would not be really an option in today’s world.
In conclusion, transcendentalists are people who live by specific values and morals. By which said, those values and morals control a transcendentalist life. A transcendentalists view on the world is very different from how people today view the world, for they believe that all human beings are naturally good. Transcendentalists have a very optimistic view on the world as well, for they believe that evil is nonexistent in the world.
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