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Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson Transcendentalism in philosophy and nature is the belief in a higher reality than found in sense experience or in a higher knowledge than achieved by human reason Transcendentalism upholds the goodness of humanity the glories of nature and the importance of free individual expression In addition it is maintained that an awareness of reality or a sense of truth is reached through reasoning by intuition Transcendentalism also holds that material objects do not have any real existence of their own Rather these objects are diffused aspects of God the Over-Soul In its most usage transcendentalism refers to a literary and philosophical movement that developed in the United States in the first half of the 19th century Ralph Waldo Emerson an American intellectual and author helped lead the transcendentalist movement a movement that looked to individual intuition rather than the scientific rationalism as the highest source of knowledge In Self-Reliance Emerson expresses his optimistic faith in the power of the individual achievement and originality In Nature Emerson considers the over arching need to discover and develop a relationship with nature and God Emerson also explains that the human sense of beauty depends on seeing things in relation to the perfect whole in his poem Each and All Ralph Waldo Emersons transcendentalist beliefs are most evident in his essays poems and speeches In Self-Reliance Nature and Each and All Emerson strived to stress his beliefs in individuality and his strong connection with nature beauty and God Self-Reliance is Emersons strongest statement of his philosophy of individualism What he is preaching however was not selfishness but the presence of divine spirit in every individual Emerson stressed the importance of being and believing in ones self and discouraged the copying of anothers image Insist on yourself never imitate Emerson also reveals the insignificance of consistency which clutters and clouds the mind A foolish consistency is the hobglobin of little minds adored by little
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