Transcendentalism Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to middle 19th Century. Transcendentalism began as a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among transcendentalist core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that “transcends” the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions. The publication of Emerson's 1836 essay “Nature” is usually taken to be the watershed moment at which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement. Emerson wrote in his essay "The American Scholar": "We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds ... A nation of men will for the first time exist….” Transcendentalism became a coherent movement with the founding of the Transcendental Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 8, 1836, by prominent New England intellectuals including George Putnam, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Frederick Henry Hedge. From 1840, the group published frequently in their journal The Dial, along with other venues. The practical aims of the transcendentalists were varied; some among the group linked it with utopian social change and explicitly with early socialism, while others found it an exclusively individual and idealist project (Also, later in Marxism). (Karl Marx: 1818-1883; Communist Manifesto – 1848). Emerson believed in the individual and idealistic viewpoint. In his 1842 lecture "The Transcendentalist," Emerson suggested that the goal of a purely transcendental outlook on life was impossible to attain in practice (Neo-Platonism). Transcendentalists were strong believers in the power of the individual and divine messages. Their beliefs are closely linked with those of the Romantics. The movement directly influenced the growing movement of Mental Sciences of the mid 1800s which would later become known as the New Thought movement. Transcendentalism was rooted in the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant, which the New England intellectuals of the early 19th century embraced as an alternative to Lockean "sensualism" practiced by the Unitarian church, finding this alternative in Vedic thought Hinduism), German idealism, and English Romanticism. The transcendentalists desired to ground their religion and philosophy in transcendental principles: principles not based on, or falsifiable by, sensuous experience, but deriving from the inner, spiritual or mental essence of the human. They were intimately familiar with the English Romantics, and the transcendental movement may be partially described as a slightly later, American outgrowth of Romanticism. Thoreau in Walden spoke of the debt to the Vedic thought directly, as did other members of the movement. Respect for Confucianism and Hinduism. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe had a deep dislike for transcendentalism, calling its followers "Frogpondians." He ridiculed their writings in particular by calling them "metaphor-run," lapsing into "obscurity for obscurity's sake" or "mysticism for mysticism's sake." Three Modes of Rhetorical Persuasion: Logos: topics of rational argument or the arguments themselves. How humans use wisdom to negotiate with each other, and with nature. Pathos: pity or compassion. The ability to feel a range of emotion, and to use emotion to communicate and persuade. Ethos: value characteristics of a person or people. To know right and wrong. Credibility. Rhetorical Representations: Eros: The sum of all instincts for self-preservation (love felt in one’s self): agape is the nonsexual representation of love. Positive emotional responses to life, companionship, and nature. Thanatos: Death instinct – by understanding the value and necessity of death, humans can not only value life, but also define and increase the quality of life. Mysticism: the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. Mysticism is found in the following faiths or religions: Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, NeoPlatonism, Christianity, Islam. The term '"mysticism'" is used to refer to beliefs and practices which go beyond the liturgical and devotional forms of worship of mainstream faith, often by seeking out inner or esoteric meanings of conventional religious doctrine. Mystics hold that there is a deeper or more fundamental state of existence beneath the observable, day-to day world of phenomena, and that in fact the ordinary world is superficial or epiphenomenal. Mysticism may make use of canonical and non-canonical religious texts, and will generally interpret them hermeneutically. Mystics are more concerned with social or individual development. Platonist Salvation Neo-Platonists believed human perfection and happiness were attainable in this world, without awaiting an afterlife. Perfection and happiness— seen as synonymous— could be achieved through philosophical contemplation. They did not believe in an independent existence of evil. They compared it to darkness, which does not exist in itself but only as the absence of light. So too, evil is simply the absence of good. Things are good insofar as they exist; they are evil only insofar as they are imperfect, lacking some good that they should have. The Neo-Platonists believed in the pre-existence, and immortality of the soul. Philosophical relations between Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism Gnostics believe the divine world emerges from a sole high deity by emanation, radiation, unfolding and mental self-reflection. Likewise, the technique of self-performable contemplative mystical ascent towards and beyond a realm of pure. The trinity of the "triple-powered one" (with the powers consisting of the modalities of life, existence, and mind) Nonetheless, there were some important philosophical differences. Gnostics emphasized magic and ritual.