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Is transcendentalism just a glossing over of reality when writers like Emerson and Thoreau talk about the so-called good life, or are they just positive in nature?
-- Anonymous, January 28, 2000
I think of transcendentalism as more of an attempt to create a new reality. Emerson and Thoreau were obviously not satisfied with ,in general, the worlds outlooks upon life and itself. If Emerson and Thoreau would not have written on their viewpoints, then I don't I think that there would have been much of a desire to change the worlds viewpoints. I believe that they were both very positive, especially with their talk of seeing everything in the universe as one, how everything affects something, self-reliance, and etc. But I think how this positive nature formed amongst them was from their malcontent of the world. They were very unhappy with the bad things of it, therefore decided to glimpse over it and see all the good and not put themselves in those "bad" situations. In the process of writing, I think it was an attempt to rope in followers to a new reality- which was of their own.
-- Anonymous, January 29, 2000
Transcendentalism, I believe, is moving the mind to a plane beyond the physical. Instead of believing that we are tangible creatures on a tangible plane, this mode of thinking encourages us to access the part of our mind that doesn't need posessions. It's like taking a walk among the trees to feel the balance of nature, or feeling the energy of a stream cascading over smooth rocks and just letting your mind flow along with the water. Practice would achieve a oneness with nature and the soul should be at ease with the world. It's the understanding that we can contact our "higher self" through spiritual awareness, and once achieved would make the material world unnecessary for anything other than basic necessities.
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2000