Thesis: Emerson and Nature

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The Nature of the Spiritual
Thesis:In “Nature” by Ralph Woldo Emerson, he takes a point of view on religion and spirituality that was not common for his time. He argues that seeking God in the traditional sense, through organized religion, is not as effective as seeking a Power personal to one’s self through nature. When seeking faith through nature a much more influential connection can be created, a relationship that can aid in times of turmoil and stress. True enlightenment comes when one unites their own humanity with the natural world around them. Support 1:Emerson presents us with some thought provoking questions. “Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generations into masquerades out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also.” (Emerson 214) Analysis: One’s life is a combination of experiences and invents. Belief in something bigger than one’s self is a trait found in all cultures around the world. The natural world is full of forces and powers greater than ourselves, which we do not fully understand. To box all that is and all that ever will be in a single set of ideas is impractical. Emerson argues that faith in a power greater than one’s self should not come from antiquated experiences of others, which has no personal affinity to the individual; rather that belief should come from individual experience of one’s own life and the natural world around. Support 2:The beauty of nature can revive the soul. It revitalizes in times of trouble and gloom, and brings spirit and joy to the future. “But if a man would be alone, let him look at stars....
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