Transcendentalism in Context of Global Spirituality.pptx
Paper N/o., Subject Code, Name : 108 : 22401 : The American Literature
Topic : Transcendentalism in Context of Global Spirituality
Prepared By : Nirav Amreliya
Batch : 2021-2023 (M.A. Sem. 2)
Enrollment Number : 4069206420210002
Ro. N/o. : 18
Submitted To : Smt. S. B. Gardi Department of English,
Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University,
Vidhyanagar, Bhavnagar – 364001
(Dated On : 13th April, 2022)
o A Glossary of Literary Terms : ‘A philosophical and literary movement,
centered in Concord and Boston, which was prominent in the intellectual and
cultural life of New England from 1836 until just before the Civil War. It was
inaugurated in 1836 by a Unitarian discussion group that came to be called the
Transcendental Club. In the seven years or so that the group met at various
houses, it included at one time or another Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson
Alcott, Frederick Henry Hedge, W. E. Channing and W. H. Channing, Theodore
Parker, Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Peabody, George Ripley, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, Henry Thoreau, and Jones Very. A quarterly periodical The Dial
(1840–44) printed many of the early essays, poems, and reviews by the
o Merriem-Webster Dictionary : ‘a philosophy that
emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and
experience or the unknowable character of ultimate
reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the
o Cambridge Dictionary : ‘to go further, rise
above, or be more important or better than
something, especially a limit’ Middle English: from Old French transcendre or
Latin transcendere, from trans- ‘across’ + scandere ‘climb’.
Relation Between Transcendentalism &
o Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Spirituality’ as
‘the quality of being concerned with the
human spirit or soul as opposed to
material or physical things.’
o A soul, Aristotle says in his ‘De Anima’, is “the actuality of a body that has
life,” where life means the capacity for self-sustenance, growth, and
reproduction. If one regards a living substance as a composite of matter and
form, then the soul is the form of a natural—or, as Aristotle sometimes says,
- Concerned with Nature
- Focus on Self/Inner Self/Spirit/Innermost Nature
- Have trinity of God, Nature, & Man
- Rejection Sensory Perception/Empirical evidences
- Freedom from Corruption of Society
o Ralph Waldo Emerson : “Man is conscious of a universal soul within or behind his individual life,
wherein, as in a firmament, the natures of Justice, Truth, Love, Freedom, arise and shine. This
universal soul he calls Reason: it is not mine, or thine, or his, but we are its; we are its property and
Indian Spirituality :
o मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्ताचन नाहम् न ि श्रोत्र चिह्वे न ि घ्राण नेत्रे
न ि व्योम भूचमर् न तेिॊ न वायु: चिदानन्द रूप: चिवोऽहम् चिवॊऽहम् ॥
>> (I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner
self. I am not the five senses. I am beyond that. I am not the ether,
nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind (i.e. the five elements). I
am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure
consciousness.) (From ‘Nirvanashatakam’ by Adi Shankaracharya)
o न िायते चियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भचवता वा न भूय: |
अिो चनत्य: िाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने िरीरे || 20||
>> (Atma is not born, nor does it ever die; after having been it does not
cease to be, unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, it is not killed
when the body is destroyed.) (From ‘Bhagavad Geeta’ of
o The human mind is a spark of the almighty
consciousness of God. I could show you that
whatever your powerful mind believes very
intensely would instantly come to pass. (From
‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramhansa Yogananda
o Shinto is the oldest surviving and widely practised Japanese religion, but unlike a lot
of religions, Shinto doesn’t have a clear origin story. It appears to have evolved out of
different cultural practices from ancient Japan, with limited historical records. Early
adoptions of Shinto beliefs are believed to have emerged in the period of the Yayoi
culture (c. 300 BCE - 300 CE), and the earliest written record that describes Shinto is
the “Kojiki” (“Record of Ancient Matters”), dating 712 CE.
o Like many prehistoric societies, Ancient Japanese people held animistic beliefs (that
objects, places, and creatures possess a spirit), and this has withstood with the belief
o The main belief in Shinto is the worship of kami, which are spirits that inhabit the natural world. From landscapes and forces of
nature, to people and animals (both living and dead), all objects are believed to have kami.
o Kami, unlike the western concept of gods, are not omnipotent nor perfect. They, like humans, sometimes make mistakes and
misbehave. The goal is for humanity to strive towards exemplifying qualities of good kami.
o Shintoism is a belief system which originated in Japan, and is followed by 104 million people worldwide. Whilst Shinto is a
distinct religion, Japanese people don’t tend to classify it as so; it is more a way of life than it is about explaining the world. Its
followers often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. The word Shinto comes from the written
Chinese kanji of "Shen", meaning "divine spirit", and "Tao", meaning "way”, to form the meaning of “Way of the Spirits”.
Shintoism – Japanese Spirituality
oTaoism (also spelled Daoism) is a religion and
a philosophy from ancient China that has
influenced folk and national belief. Taoism has
been connected to the philosopher Lao Tzu,
who around 500 B.C.E. wrote the main book of
Taoism, the Tao Te Ching. Taoism holds that
humans and animals should live in balance
with the Tao, or the universe. Taoists believe in
spiritual immortality, where the spirit of the
body joins the universe after death.
oThe Tao Te Ching, or “The Way and Its Power,”
is a collection of poetry and sayings from
around the third and fourth centuries B.C.E.
that guides Taoist thought and actions. While
the author is traditionally believed to be the
philosopher Lao Tzu, there is little evidence
that Lao Tzu existed at all.
o “How do I know the way of all things
at the Beginning? By what is within
― Lao Tzu.
Taoism – Chinese Spirituality
Sufism – Islamic Spirituality
o Sufism, mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love
and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical
paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of humanity and of God and to facilitate the
experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom in the world.
o The first stage of Sufism appeared in pious circles as a reaction against the worldliness of the
early Umayyad period (661–749). From their practice of constantly meditating on the words in
the Qurʾān (the Islamic holy book) about Doomsday, the ascetics became known as “those who
always weep” and those who considered this world “a hut of sorrows.” They were distinguished
by their scrupulous fulfillment of the injunctions of the Qurʾān and tradition, by many acts of piety,
and especially by a predilection for night prayers.
o “Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.”
o “When no one is looking,
I swallow deserts and clouds and chew on mountains
knowing they are sweet bones!
When no one is looking
and I want to kiss God,
I just lift my own hand to my mouth.”
- Khwaja Shamsuddin Mohammad.
o Concluding the discussion, we come to know the fact that in every
culture of today and of past, there have been some kind of ways
founded by spiritualists to attain to the supreme nature of one’s own
being; later on as time passed, it took the distortion and merely
remained as in form of belief systems, religious practices which has
brought havoc on the planet. So, Transcendentalism can be stated as
a kind of revival of Spirituality which mingles together the ideas and
concepts of all the decayed spiritual truths. Transcending one’s
limitations, one can find more scope to grow and thrive in the life. It
reminds of Aristotle’s idea of ‘Essence’ as he gives example of a fruit
that sprouts into tree as its full-fledged form, so we all are supposed to
be. Transcendentalism voices against the societal corruption which
does not allow humans to function as according to their will by putting
so much social, moral, religious barriers and barraging with mannerism
and unnecessary sophistication.
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