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Monday, September 28, 2009

Emersonian Afterbirth and Depression

The enlightenment wanted us to believe that the lack of reason was pure madness, intellectual overload, and empty religious dogma. Romanticism wanted us to believe that madness was the posterior of reason. Both ideologies seemed to exalt reason and the need to place every experience into a box, even if that box was found to contain nothing more than raw emotion. So long as we could define a response to an experience, it seemed as though all was in order, even if our faith in the individual and moral enthusiasm rendered us a bit like Pollyanna. There, nevertheless, seemed to be an urgent need to predict and control man’s neurosis. I might even go further and say that all science holds to this rather mundane purpose. If there is no God, per se, then the universe will experientially prove to be hostile to man. If nature and the trees are the sole source of goodness, then why do tragedies and injustices exist? I propose, for the sake of argument, that theories and conjecture about the nature of reality began to supplant God, Scripture, the centrality of God’s benevolent sovereignty, and the simplicity of Man’s relationship, in order, to his creator. Is there any wonder why there is an epidemic of depression and other mental illness since the Transcendentalist movement? "We have met the enemy and they are us" (Churchill or Pogo?). When we place all of our bets on Man, there is no hope. Sorry Emerson and Thoreau. No God, no peace. There’s no bread, let them eat cake is a moving argument for revolutionaries. However, a reprobate mind is the cunning reward for opening the Pandora’s box of human self sufficiency. Next week's collage opens with the statement that poets Whitman and Dickinson marked the close of the Transcendental Movement. I had not previously considered them in the same boat with Emerson and Thoreau, so I am anxious to examine the continuity of thought amongst the authors and how, collectively, the ideology relates to the Christian world view.

1 comment:

  1. It is quite personal but I wonder if you are Christian or not? I m just trying to catch your viewpoint.

    Also, nice blog. hope you keep writing.