Transcendetalism The New Religion Essay Research Paper — страница 2

  • Просмотров 311
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 23

refute that Transcendentalism had developed into a suffocating religious order of ritualized traditions, Transcendentalism, by meaning had indeed become a religious persuasion ? a radical religious assemblage of disciples who were interested in conveying a moral message and transforming the world and human lives. This radical theology would connect human beings to a philosophy that would spiritually empower human beings by making them the instruments and leaders of the church. They would be governed by the hierarchy of God, and their spirituality would be defined my intuition and molded by the beauty of nature. Their church would be the wilderness; God would be their preacher; their dogma would be truth and righteousness; their followers would be the spirit and conscience of

every virtuous man, and their goal would be conformity to moral law, disregard for materialism and deluding progress, aversion for power and expediency, to seek individualism and freedom from conventionality, and fuse with nature and God. The first compelling contention that promotes Transcendentalism as a religion is the Transcendental ?belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator or governor of the universe? (TAHD, 696). In every essay or composition by Emerson or Thoreau, there is an acknowledgement of a Supreme Being, a Creator or divine authority. However, the divine authority that Transcendentalists refer to is not separate from man. The divine presence manifests itself in nature, in the soul of man, in the mentality of man, and

consequently in the actions of man. According to Transcendental belief, every human being has the capacity to possess the heavenly manifestation of God, therefore all of God?s goodness, wisdom, truth and power. In ?The Divinity School Address?, Emerson acknowledges a Supreme Being, God, and attempts to persuade future ministers of Christianity that man is not inherently disengaged from God ? man is God. Emerson writes: One man was true to what is in you and me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of his world. He said in this jubilee of sublime emotion ?I am divine. Through me, God acts; through me, speaks. Would you see God, see me; or, see thee, when thou also thinkest as I now think? (?The Divinity School Address, 1117).

Emerson also acknowledges a Supreme Being that unites with man in ?Nature?. He discusses the impact of the God?s unity with man. He says, again, that the unity produces goodness, truth, and most importantly a direct relationship with the Creator, God. As a plant upon the earth, so a man rests upon the bosom of God; he is nourished by unfailing fountains, and draws as his need, inexhaustible power. Who can set bounds to the possibilities of man? Once inspire the infinite, by being admitted to behold the absolute natures of justice and truth, and we learn that man has access to the entire mind of the Creator in the finite. This view, which admonishes me where the sources of wisdom and power lie, and points to virtue as to ?The Golden Key, When opes the palace of eternity,? carries

upon its face the highest certificate of truth, because it animates me to create my own world through the purification of the soul (?Nature?, 1096) Emerson distinguishes his direct union with the Creator, and professes to have His powers, His wisdom, and the ?key to eternity?. This may sound blasphemous and absurd to many established and traditional religions; however, the religion of Transcendentalism establishes a radical precedence by acknowledging a God that is internal and not external. Transcendentalists believed that man did not need to become enlightened and empowered by the truths of God by an external influence ? a preacher, a pulpit or a place with a religious appellation. Transcendentalists believed that man could search within his own mind, his own heart, and his own

soul to discover the powers of the Creator. This was the strength and the scandal of the Transcendental religion. Emerson writes: Thus; in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. He who does a good deed, is instantly ennobled himself. He who does a mean deed, is by the action itself contracted. He who puts off impurity, thereby puts on impurity. If a man is at heart just, then in so far, is he God; the safety of God, the immortality of God, the majesty of God, do enter into the man with justice. (?The Divinity School Address?, 1115) In 1838, James Freeman Clark wrote an essay in the Western Messenger questioning the new religion?s radical beliefs as they were presented by Emerson in the prior statement to the Cambridge Theological School