Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Transcendentalism and Tradition





Emerson bases his perspective upon the recognition of the transcendent nature of the intellect (he refers to it as intuition and somewhat inadequately associates it with instinct) and the metaphysical transparency of virgin nature. He is however, more poet than gnostic, as these insights tend toward the rejection of tradition. This is articulated most clearly in his essay on Self-Reliance, which in addition to the ordinary meaning of independence, also refers literally to reliance upon the Self, of an intuition unmediated and uninfluenced by religion. One might very easily mistake his position for gnosis if it was not tinged by a prometheanism that places subjective and objective revelation in opposition to one another.

Emerson is certainly enjoyable as an essayist and poet but I would not look to him as a source of orthodox teachings or traditional perspectives. Curiously, Mark Perry makes judicious use of his teachings in the book "On Awakening and Remembering" which may be of interest to you.

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