Friday, May 25, 2018

Transcendentalism on Walden POOL (video)

Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly, Wiki edits

Gustav Holst (13Orcun) Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Op. 26, Two Eastern Pictures (1911)

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalism is an American movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States.

It arose as a reaction to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time.

The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of great interest.

Sarah Margaret Fuller
Transcendentalism emerged from "English and German Romanticism, the biblical criticism...the skepticism of David Hume," and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism.
  • Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg is regarded as a pervasive influence on transcendentalism by Miller and Versluis.
  • Hindu texts on philosophy of the mind and spirituality, particularly the Upanishads, also strongly influenced it.
Author on KPFA, Berkeley
A core belief of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of people and nature.

Adherents believe that society and its government institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual. They have faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.
Transcendentalism emphasizes subjective knowledge (inner knowing, direct intuition of the heart) over objective empiricism (experts dictating from their experiments and heads).

Transcendatalists agree that individuals are capable of generating completely original insights with little reliance or deference to past "masters." More

The Graduate's Ben Braddock is just drifting along on his parents' California pool all summer.

Civil Disobedience
Thoreau's writing restored Walden Pond.
Civil Disobedience is an 1849 essay by American Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. It argues that individuals should resist permitting governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences.

We have a duty to resist and avoid allowing such acquiescence that enables the government to make us the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated, in part, by his disgust with American slavery and the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Who was Thoreau?
Henry David Thoreau, August 1861
Henry David Thoreau, while living in Walden Woods for two years beginning in 1845, was an American Transcendentalist contemplating Walden Pond's features.

In "The Ponds" section of Walden, published in 1854, Thoreau extols the water's physical properties.

He details its unparalleled water quality, clarity, color, temperature, unique animal life (aquatic, avian, mammalian), rock formations and bed and, especially, its mirror-like surface properties.
We can live in forests our own with Nature.
Thoreau contemplates the source of the pristine water body in the woods. He observes that it had no visible inlet or outlet, and considers the possibility of an unidentified spring at the bottom.

Noting the kettle landform's ramparts and resilient shore, he concludes that a unique, natural geologic event (glacial retreat) formed the site, while recognizing local myths:
Some have been puzzled to tell how the shore became so regularly paved. My townsmen have all heard the tradition -- the oldest people tell me that they heard it in their youth -- that anciently the Indians were holding a pow-wow upon a hill here, which rose as high into the heavens as the pond now sinks deep into the earth, and they used much profanity, as the story goes, though this vice is one of which the Indians were never guilty, and while they were thus engaged the hill shook and suddenly sank, and only one old squaw, named Walden, escaped, and from her the pond was named. It has been conjectured that when the hill shook these stones rolled down its side and became the present shore. It is very certain, at any rate, that once there was no pond here, and now there is one; and this Indian fable does not in any respect conflict with the account of that ancient settler whom I have mentioned, who remembers so well when he first came here with his divining-rod, saw a thin vapor rising from the sward, and the hazel pointed steadily downward, and he concluded to dig a well here. As for the stones, many still think that they are hardly to be accounted might suppose that it was called originally Walled-in Pond.
In "The Ponds" Thoreau describes incorporeal experiences around the water.

These experiences were relayed to him by others and his own. Thoreau -- who was a well read Transcendentalist and, therefore, presumably intimately familiar with Romanticism -- relates the stories in a way that could be argued to interpret or reveal the pond as the locale of the Grail Legend in the Americas.
An old man who used to frequent this pond nearly sixty years ago, when it was dark with surrounding forests, tells me that in those days he sometimes saw it all alive with ducks and other water-fowl, and that there were many eagles about it....
When I first paddled a boat on Walden, it was completely surrounded by thick and lofty pine and oak woods, and in some of its coves grapevines had run over the trees next the water and formed bowers under which a boat could pass. The hills which form its shores are so steep, and the woods on them were then so high, that, as you looked down from the west end, it had the appearance of an amphitheater for some kind of sylvan spectacle. I have spent many an hour, when I was younger, floating over its surface as the zephyr willed, having paddled my boat to the middle, and lying on my back across the seats, in a summer forenoon, dreaming awake, until I was aroused by the boat touching the sand, and I arose to see what shore my fates had impelled me to; days when idleness was the most attractive... More
The Graduate POOL was my Walden Pond
The Graduate's Ben ("Son" played by Dustin Hoffman), boyfriend of "Mrs. Robinson," on the pool in idyllic California. It's the 50 year anniversary,* and we're barely realizing the connection.
*Mike Nichols’s romantic comedy-drama The Graduate recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is in the Top 20 of the American Film Institute’s best American movies list and has the distinction of being the last film to win an Academy Award for best director and nothing else (despite being nominated in six other categories).

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