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Transcendentalism vs. Anti-Transcendentalism

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susan ramirez

on 15 April 2015

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Transcript of Transcendentalism vs. Anti-Transcendentalism

Opposite Appoaches to Romanticism
by Susan Ramirez
scripture verses that refute transcendentalism
A movement that focuses mainly on the dark side of human society. It describes the true nature of society

Felt humans were depraved and had to struggle for goodness

Rejected optimistic outlook on humanity and life

Believed that God was the highest authority

Declared optimism naive and unrealistic
scripture verses that refute Anti- Transcendentalism
Isaiah 53:6
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
John 17:17
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
Jeremiah 17:9
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"
Proverbs 3:5
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."


The inherent goodness and endless possibility of man

Simplication of lifestyle and lack of necessity of material goods

God nature and humanity spiritually united through a shared universal soul

Living in harmony with nature

Self-reliant individuals
lead to true change
and community
The view that the basic truths of the universe lie beyond the knowledge we obtain from our senses
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Ecclesiastes 11:10
"Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh."
Romans 10:10
"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Transcendentalism directly conflicts with the biblical command to "lean not on your own understanding".
Those who rely on their own intuition and “good sense” to lead people to spiritual truth will find themselves being led astray.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
philosopher, poet, journalist (1803-1882)
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American Transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist during the 19th century. One of his best-known essays is "Self-Reliance.”

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well"
Henry David Thoreau
Philosopher, Poet, Journalist (1817–1862)
American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher, Henry David Thoreau was a New England Transcendentalist and author of the book Walden.
"I learned
this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Christopher McCandless
modern-day transcendentalist
"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing ore damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure."
Transcendentalism is not limited to the literature or the time, but instead penetrates the American psyche up until today, and is reflected in current writers, poets, and films.

The transcendentalist writers were rebels who expressed new ideas and new ways of writing on a whole spectrum of principles

Transcendentalist Songs
"Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Deals with the idea that you should be an individual and have your own way instead of conforming to society.
"The Show" by Lenka
encourages people to let go of the small things in life that bother them or even the big things they cannot control and just enjoy life itself.
"The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World
The first line says, "Just try your best, try everything you can. And don't worry what they tell themselves when you're away", meaning that one should not care what other people say as long as they do what they believe is right and best for themselves.
Romans 10:10
"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Romans 12:2
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Anti- Transcendentalism conflicts with scripture because God's desire is for all to be saved, most choose to reject God's love and to live solely for themselves. However, God brings His offer of salvation to all people and calls us, His followers, to proclaim this offer to all, so that they may experience God's love and peace for themselves.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Author (1804–1864)
Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions. Nathaniel later added a "w" to make his name "Hawthorne" in order to hide this relation.
"As the moral gloom of the world overpowers all systematic gaiety, even so was their home of wild mirth made desloate amid the sad forest"
Edgar Allan Poe
Writer (1809-1849)
American writer, critic and editor Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his tales and poems of horror and mystery, including The Raven.
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; but the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, and the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?'' this I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"- Merely this, and nothing more."
Stephen King
Modern-day Author
Stephen King has wrote many books that have Anti-Transcendentalist aspects. They also include horror, many of his books have been best-sellers. Many of these have been made into movies, but they still display the factors of Anti-Transcendentalism. Much of his work has been adapted into films.
“We’re all dying. The world’s just a hospice with fresh air.”
Anti-Transcendentalism is reflected in current writers, poets, and films.
Anti-Transcendentalism showed how corrupt the society really was. It emphasized war, diseases, natural disasters, murders, etc. These authors wrote about worlds with conditions such as these.
Anti-Transcendentalist Songs
"Blind Eyes" by Swoope
This song explains on the horrible things that happen to people which modern society ignores. "People preach about love but limit themselves when it comes to help, they just sit back and watch the destruction."

"Angry Inch" by Type O Negative
This song is about a man who escapes East Berlin then gets to the states only to have his lover leave him for someone else. This songs goes completely against transcendental beliefs. It rejects the optimistic outlook on humanity and reflects a more pessimistic attitude.
"Be Prepared" by Lion King
What most people don't realize is that the film's animators for this song is based much of the scene on a 1935 Nazi propaganda film titled, "Triumph of the Will" that documents 1934 Nazi Germany. For example, a scene in "Be Prepared" the hyenas, that Scar wants to use in his plan to kill Mufasa are grouped in a similar formation, goose-stepping almost the same exact way as the Nazi soldiers.
Transcendentalism and anti-Transcendentalism, have a various amount of conflicting ideas and beliefs. Transcendentalism has a belief of man being born essentially good. Nevertheless anti-Transcendentalist has a belief of man being born with the original sin of Adam and Eve. But as christians we should rely solely on God and His word. "For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does" Psalms 33:4
Work Cited
"Stephen King." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.
"Christopher McCandless Quotes." Christopher McCandless Quotes (Author of Back To The Wild). N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

"Ralph Waldo Emerson." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

"BibleGateway." .com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 100 Versions and 50 Languages. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

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