Transcendentalism by Will Austin

Post 1: Transcendentalism is the belief that reality is intuitive rather than based on or thought upon common scientific knowledge. Henry Thoreau said in Civil Disobedience "That government is best which governs the least" and it supports the idea that the less Government is involved in common affairs the more common people can rely on their intuition during a situation. Emerson said in Nature "nature never wears a mean appearance" and this explains how without society rules and influences one can focus on ones self and further expand on what is instinctively correct to someones belief in a situation.

Government Influence

Post 2: Emerson said "Nature never wears a mean appearance" and this can also be seen as Individualism because it shows how in nature the only influence on you is your thoughts and actions allowing for your intuition to take all priority in a given situation. Emerson also said in Self Reliance "They (art) teach us to abide by our most spontaneous impressions with good humored inflexibility the most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side" this is an example of Optimism because it shows how when on one side is doubt and suffering we look to the brighter an lighter side of a situation. Emerson said "The power which resided in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. This quote is an example of self-reliance because it explains how once in nature you have yourself to rely on and and that until you try something you will never know if you may succeed, in this case Emerson chose education. Emerson said "To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much of his chamber as from society" this is an example of Intuition because it shows that if one wants to abide by ones rules he first needs to forget the rules and judgement of society to truly achieve self-ridiculousness.

Self Reliance and Individualism in Nature

Post 3: Thoreau said in Walden "I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, an see if I could not learn what it and to teach, and not, when I came to die, discovered that I had not lived." This is an example of Thoreau following in Emerson footsteps by saying he wanted to live more deliberately and learn what life held outside of society's influence. Thoreau also said in Walden "never dreaming the while that he lives in the dark unfathomed mammoth cave of this world, and has but the rudiment of an eye himself." Thoreau by saying this showed he followed Emerson and that he believed that most people live in society's dark unfathomed mammoth cave and hold true values and ideas but lack the ability to display their inner most beliefs.


Post 4: The Human Rights Movement is an example of Civil Disobedience because it shows how people are able to do what is right instead of following governing laws and regulations. This movement can be seen in the 19th century Abraham Lincoln gave slaves their rights because of his inner intuition even though all odds were against him. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which began freeing american slaves and allowing African Americans them to fight for the Union. Martin Luther King Jr also showed how one man can defy government rules and regulations for a just cause and create change

Civil Disobedience

Post 5: Transcendentalism in contemporary society. In Star Wars there is a clear depiction between the Good and Evil. The Sith and the Jedi, The Empire and the Rebellion. The Creator of Star Wars George Lucas always wanted to do something extraordinary with his life and had a deep interest for fantasy and science. He developed Romanticism in the form of the inherit light in human nature vs the inherit dark and Transcendentalism focusing on the journey of the mind. The movie is very focused on the Force as an all seeing force or spirit where Luke for example struggles to understand and use it and where Yoda, a true Transcendentalist who helps him find his way to his end goal. The Jedi were also very focused on trusting their intuition or gut feeling (the force) and Yoda embodies it perfectly. One of his famous quotes is "You must unlearn what you have learned" from This shows how Yoda trusts his inner gut feeling or the force to determine his actions and beliefs and how he tries to teach Luke to forget what society has tough him and trust himself. Emerson said "I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all: the currents of universal being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God" and it this is very similar to Yoda's quote explaining how Luke needs to forget what Society has taught him. This can also be said for when Luke hears an inner voice tell him that Darth Vader is his father and Princess Leia is his sister. Star Wars relates to Transcendentalism because Yoda shows Self-Reliance through living in solitude and providing for himself, Darth Vader shows Intuition when he was instructed to kill Luke but instead kills The Emperor saving Luke, Yoda shows Individualism because he lives on a swamp planet (Dagobah) and is stronger with the force in solitude, Luke shows Optimism when he is the last of his squadron to attempt to blow up the Death Star and against all odds was hope. These are the four major ideas behind Transcendentalism.

Luke Skywalker in Star Wars

Works Cited:

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.

"Wookieepedia." Wookieepedia | Fandom Powered by Wikia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.

Walden: Thoreau, Henry D.

Civil Disobedience: Thoreau, Henry D.

Self-Reliance: Emerson, Ralph W.

Nature: Emerson, Ralph W.


Created with images by skeeze - "milky way andromeda stars" • Glyn Lowe Photoworks. - "The White House, Northside, Washington DC" • ChrisA1995 - "Nature" • USA-Reiseblogger - "grand central terminal grand central station historically" • adampaulclay - "martin luther king washington i have a" • JD Hancock - "Luke Alike"

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