Present Day Transcendentalism Research Paper

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Present Day Transcendentalism Charles Mayo Ellis summarizes the Transcendentalist philosophy consummately: “Transcendentalism maintains that man has ideas, that come not through the five senses, or the powers of reasoning; but are... the result of direct revelation from God…”("Quotes About Transcendentalism”). In other words, Transcendentalism is a philosophy that encourages rebellion against customary traditions in order to realize ideals that transcend custom or tradition. Many people are transcendentalists, but two of the most recognized transcendentalists are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. One may question whether transcendentalism’s core values are still applicable to modern-day society since the transcendental philosophy…show more content…
In the Transcendental value, Thoreau calls for everyone to “Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine” (Thoreau 600). Thoreau metaphorically refers to injustice as a machine and calls each person to live a life stopping the injustice. In order to live a life that counteracts the injustice done in the world, one must perform the act of civil disobedience. In pursuance of being civilly disobedient, one must perform nonviolent acts of opposition. In modern day society, civil disobedience is still an adept way to protest. For example, there was recently an event in which a teenage black male, Michael Brown, was shot by a white officer. Many people believe that the shooting was a result of racial tensions. Many people protested the injustice with acts of civil disobedience. Recently, Saeed Ahmed and Joe Sutton wrote an article in CNN describing an act of civil disobedience that involved a flash mob at a symphony in St. Louis. A group of citizens interrupted the symphony and broke out into song, singing, “Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all. Which side are you on friend? Which side are you on” (Ahmed). The Transcendental tenet of peaceful retaliation, also known as civil disobedience, is still used effectively in America to protest…show more content…
He warns that “...under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are” (Emerson 321). In this dogma of Transcendentalism, Emerson urges everyone to value individualism because conforming to various groups means losing his/her identity. Emerson suggests that man becomes self reliant and does not conform to the teachings of society or to a particular group. A group that has always been about conformity recently had its leader perform an act of nonconformity. The conformist, traditional view of the Roman Catholic Church is that homosexuality and same sex marriage are sins. The Church has always denied to validate same sex marriage or even accept homosexuals. Then, came along Pope Francis. In Elisabetta Povoledo’s New York Times article, she explains that even in the earliest years of his papacy, Pope Francis broke away from the traditional Church’s tactics of condemnation and, ever since, leads the Church towards openness. In fact, Pope Francis’ act of civil disobedience is calling for the Church to accept homosexuals. The fact that a leader of a conformist group breaks off and preaches acceptance renders itself to the idea that the tenet of nonconformity is still relevant to modern day

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