Transcendentalism• It is any system of philosophy, that emphasizes intuition as a means to knowledge or the importance of the search for the divine• 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. It is sometimes called American transcendentalism to distinguish it from other uses of the word transcendental.• 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 transcendentalists core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that transcends the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individuals intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions
Influence on other movements• 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. New Thought draws directly from the transcendentalists, particularly Emerson. New Thought considers Emerson its intellectual father.
DaysDaughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,And marching single in an endless file,Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.To each they offer gifts after his will,Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,Forgot my morning wishes, hastilyTook a few herbs and apples, and the DayTurned and departed silent. I, too late,Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.
• Analysis attract attention, This tiny Emerson poem continues to because of the ambiguity of the word "hypocritic." Readers choose sides in the debate according to the meaning of "hypocritic days." One side claims that the days are "actors"; while the other argues that they are "deceivers."• Actually, the two terms are not mutually exclusive. In a sense actors are deceiving, because they are pretending to be other than they are, but some people suggest the real significance of the term, as well as the total meaning of the poem, depends upon the human perception of things in the poem. It is the human mind that conceives the notion of days as "daughters of time." The speaker has learned something by the end of the poem-something that perhaps has taken him a lifetime. He has learned that he has taken from life according to his own will-"To each they offer gifts after his own will."
• After this realization, the speaker looks back, and in order to give others a clear image of what he has learned, he personifies the passage of time as "daughters of time." In qualifying the definition of days, the speaker calls them "hypocritic." The "days" are surely actors since the speaker has personified them and portrayed them in a specific role: they act like "barefoot dervishes"; they march "in an endless file"; they "bring diadems and fagots in their hands"; and by the end of the poem, the speaker has even attributed to one of the daughters an attitude, because he sees scorn on her brow-"I, too late, Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn."
• As actors, the days are merely playing a role. They apparently are neutral and thus play no part in hypocrisy, but to the human mind that wants and expects some nudge in the right direction, such a neutral actor might be considered hypocritical; one might reason: "if I could have the diadems as easily as the fagots and all I had to do was will it-then why didnt someone tell me?" And this attitude, suggested to be the heart of the poem. Learning to use our will is not so easy, and that is why we settle for lesser "gifts." But when we learn the truth that the speaker learns, we indeed feel tricked. We feel that these acting "daughters of time" have been hypocritical in not urging us to demand more than a "few herbs and apples."
• It is suggested that the synthesis of the two meanings places primary emphasis on the human being, not on the days. After all, it is the human mind that creates the concept of a day. The human mind conceives the ideas of acting and deceiving; the days, as daughters of time, take on the human projections of action and deception, but the speaker in the poem is the one who determines their identity, and the speaker is the one who changes. The days cannot be any more than "muffled and dumb," but the speaker who is human contains both concepts of action and deception, as well as the ability to talk about his experience in human terms.