Transcendental exam notes

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Notes we took for the exam on 11/7/12

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Transcendental exam notes

  1. 1. Ralph Waldo Emerson• Wife died at a young age, father died• Poor – no job, no prospects• Harvard – shunned at Harvard because of his speech – beliefs were not popular• Transcendentalism – goes against the Puritan religion, ideas about individualism and that we are one with God
  2. 2. Nature - Emerson• Nature – our connection to God is in nature• God is nature we are part of God – we are “part and parcel” of God• Nothing can befall me – can’t tarnish his spirit, nothing harm him in nature• Harvard speech, wife died – shunned but he is protected and happy in Nature
  3. 3. Nature continued• Transparent Eyeball – You actually become a part of it – transparent – we are one with nature• Nature reflects your feelings – colors of the spirit
  4. 4. Self Reliance – Emerson• Be independent• Imitation is suicide – if you try to be someone else you kill yourself• Joint – Stock – Company – people work together to create order and abide laws• But the cost is you give up your freedom, free thoughts, individuality• Power that resides – trust yourself – gifts you give are yours only – “new” no else can give those gifts, if you don’t offer your gifts the world is missing out on you
  5. 5. Self Reliance• Trust yourself – It is fine to against society – Jesus and other great leaders did – great to be misunderstood• Foolish consistency – foolishly wasting time and your life – small minded, simply doing things to “go along” with society• Fugitive Slave Law – speak hard words, speak up against injustice
  6. 6. Henry David Thoreau• Emerson’s protégé• Highly educated at Harvard• Teacher, objected to corporal punishment, left the school• Opened a school with his brother• Brother died• Moved in with Emerson• Wrote for the rest of his life, died of tuberculosis at forty-four
  7. 7. Walden – Thoreau• Goes into the wood for 2 years• The marrow – the good stuff – what nature can offer – live life simply – spiritual development• Farm and Jail – no difference because need commitment - routine• We pay too much attention to little things not the “big” things• No time for what is important – relationships, spiritual development, nature “the marrow” of life• Better to be poor – no worries, live simply
  8. 8. Walden continued..• Leaves the woods because it became routine• Had other lives to live – continue seeking, growing• Anything you do over and over again can become a commitment – need to try and do different things – explore life• Beautiful Bug – gets out of the table – like people who are trapped, we need to be like the bug – chew out of society – we go through trials and difficult times but we can break away - then we are even more beautiful than any other bug
  9. 9. Mexican American War• Texans have a war of independence• Eventually can’t survive and become annexed to US• Polk sends an ambassador to negotiate for California and New Mexico• When the Mexican Government refuses to sell Polk sends in troops• Congress declares war
  10. 10. Civil Disobedience• Best gov’t doesn’t govern at all• The people should be able to govern themselves – if they are ready• Army is just a part of gov’t – should not be blamed for war• Some are controlling the gov’t for their own personal gain or power• Not representing the people
  11. 11. Civil Disobedience• gov’t not fulfilling its responsibility and so people have to do that for themselves• Gov’t is not acting as a resource (expedient) , it gets in the people’s way• Gov’t should empower people to govern themselves• Gov’t is a wooden gun – flexible, can be used and adapted by many (created by the people) but if we turn it against each other it will be destroyed
  12. 12. Civil Disobedience• We aren’t ready to function without a gov’t• We need a gov’t that works• That expresses the will of the people• He is “calling the people” to speak out for a better gov’t• People to let the gov’t know the kind of gov’t we respect and demand it

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