Presentation on theme: "Ralph Waldo Emerson “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much as from his chamber as from his society.” “A man is a god in ruins.” “The civilized."— Presentation transcript:
Ralph Waldo Emerson “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much as from his chamber as from his society.” “A man is a god in ruins.” “The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.”
1803-1882 an essayist a poet an orator a philosopher
He entered Harvard at age 14. Entered Harvard Divinity School and became a pastor. Resigned from the ministry after his first wife’s death to travel Europe.
During the 1830’s and 1840’s, Emerson and a small group of intellectuals gathered to discuss philosophy, religion and literature. This group was known as the TRANSCENDENTAL CLUB and they developed a system of philosophy that stressed intuition, individuality and self-reliance.
Transcendentalism an intellectual movement that directly or indirectly affected most of the writers of the New England Renaissance. Human senses can know only physical reality The fundamental truths of being and the universe lie outside the reach of of the senses and can be grasped only through intuition.
They focused their attention on the human spirit. They were interested in the natural world and its relationship to humanity. If they explored nature thoroughly, they would come to know themselves and universal truths better
They discovered the human spirit is reflected in nature. All forms of being- GOD, NATURE, and HUMANITY - are spiritually united through a shared universal soul, or Over-soul.
The Over-soul was “a universal and benign omnipresence....a God known to men only in moments of mystic enthusiasm, whose visitations leave them altered, self-reliant, and purified of petty aims.”
The transcendental movement produced a native blend that was romantic, intuitive, mystical and considerably easier to recognize than to define. It is difficult to pin down. The movement meant intense individualism and self- reliance.
“The Divinity School Address” Emerson called for the rejection of institutional religion in favor of a personal relation with God. Religious truth was an “intuition. It cannot be received at second hand” He called on the students before him to “cast behind…all conformity and acquaint men at first hand with the Deity.” Three decades passed before he was allowed to speak at Harvard again…
“A foolish consistency in the hobgoblin of little minds”- Ralph Waldo Emerson