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Thine is the dark wood sleeping in One nerve tortures and maddens thee,
One drop of blood is death to thee. Thee the winter chills;
The mighty voice of nature, Thee the spring time thrills ;
Is thy parent, not thy creature, All things nod to thee
Is no pupil, but thy teacher; All things come to see
And the world would still move on If thou art dreaming on;
Were thy soul forever flown. If thy dream should break,
For while thou dreamest on, enfolde And thou shouldst awake,
In natures's wide embrace, All things would be gone.
All thy life is daily moulded
By her informing grace. “ Nothing is if thou art not.
And time and space must reign Thou art under, over all;
And rule o'er thee for ever, Thou dost hold and cover all;
And the outworld lift its chain
From off thy spirit never."
Here the soul is evidently sunk in. naFrom thy enveloping thought.” ture; it is, to use a mathematical ex
pression, spoken of as a function of the Thus man is made to he the only real universe. existence, and outward nature a mere II. Having spoken of some of the pephenomenon dependent upon him. Man culiar characteristics of the Transcendenexists really, actually, absolutely; but tal school of philosophy, we shall now nature is an accident, an appearance, a take occasion to say a few words concernconsequent upon the existence of the ing its origin and progress. But here it will human soul. Thus is the universe sunk, be necessary to speak of the philosophy swallowed up, in man. The concluding of Kant, a subject not easily handled. lines of the extract are an example of The fundamental postulate of the phithe Transcendental Theology, an exam- losopher of Königsberg may, however, ple of the swallowing up of God in man. initiate the reader into the whole sys. “ Thou art under, over all;
tem. Here it is, as near as we recollect it. Thou dost hold and cover all; Thou art Atlas—thou art Jove."
“ If any truth be present to the mind
with a conviction of its universality and Materialism makes man the result of necessity, that truth was derived to the organization, denying the existence of mind from its own operations, and does not separate and individual souls, and thus rest upon observation and experience: sinks man in nature: it also identifies “And, conversely, if any truth be present God with the active powers of the uni- to the mind with a conviction of its con
As Pantheism sinks man and tingency, that truth was derived to the nature in God, as Materialism sinks God mind from observation and experience, and and man in the universe, so Transcen
not from the operations of the mind itself.” dentalism sinks God and nature in man,
For example, we know that every effect It must be confessed, however, that our Transcendentalists are, by no
must have its cause, and this truth lies
in the mind with a conviction of its uni. consistent. Sometimes they express themselves in a way that leaves us in versality and necessity; this truth is dedoubt whether they are not, at bottom, and experience, but from the operations
rived, therefore, not from observation Materialists. For example, the poem of the mind itself; it is born not from from which the foregoing extracts are quoted, is followed by another, of the mind itself. In other words, to pass to
outward nature, but in and from the same author
, made up of beautiful and the technology of the Scotch School, we clear statements, where, in the midst of explicit repudiations of Transcendent.
are forced by the very constitution of alism, traces of the sensual system of the principle of causation may be said to
our being, to admit this truth, so that D' Holbach are distinctly visible.
be a law of our intellectual natures. quote a few lines :
On the other hand, we say, we know “ Dost thou dream that thou art free,
the sun will rise to-morrow; but we are Making, destroying, all that thou dost see, not absolutely certain of this fact. This In the unfettered might of thy soul's
second truth lies therefore in our minds liberty?
with a conviction of its contingency, and Lo! an atom crushes thee,
not of its necessity, and is, consequently,
not derived from a law of our intellectual The plate is inserted, and the machine natures, but from observation and ex
says, I perceive something hard, black, perience.
cold—what is this something I perceive ? By every fact of experience a reve- Down come the shears, the nail is cut lation is made to the soul, not only of off, and rattles away into the box. Ah, the idea which it has appropriated to ha! says the machine, I now begin to itself, but also of those conditions of the see into the mystery of those same per. external world, and of its own nature, ceptions of which I was conscious a which rendered that acquisition possible. moment ago. It was a tenpenny nail, it For example, when we perceive moon- is long, four-sided, sharp at one end, and light, it is necessary, first, that there flat at the other. By this time the shears should be something out of us to pro come down again, and the machine says, duce the effect of moonlight upon our another tenpenny nail, by all that is sensibility; and also, second, certain in- glorious! This aquisition of knowledge ternal faculties which are receptive of is beginning to be interesting-I must the influences of moonlight. Without know a little more of the philosophy of the outward object there is no perception, this business. So the machine goes on and without the inward faculties there is to soliloquise.—Listen ! likewise 110 perception; for the moon I have now, says the machine, in my shines upon the trees as well as upon experience, memory, or nail box, several me, but the trees do not perceive, being tenpenny nails. These were undoubt. devoid of the perceiving faculty. Now edly acquired from the external world, the idea I have of moonshine might have and are all that I have as yet acquired been modified by a change either, first, from that world. Therefore, if aught in the outward object, or, second, in my beside tenpenny nails exist in the experceiving faculty. Had the moonshine ternal world, I have no conception of been different, it would have produced a such existence, and that world is, consedifferent effect upon my sensibility, and, quently, for me, a collection of tenpenny consequently, the idea would have been nails. The following appear, therefore, different.
Hal my perceiving power to be unvarying laws of actual existence: been different, the influence or effect of first, all things are long and four sided, the moonshine would have been differ- and second, all things are sharp at one ent, and the idea resulting would like end, and flat at the other. wise have been different. All this is But stop! says the machine-let us plain. Now the faculties of the mind beware of hasty inductions. An idea are permanent, and always operate in strikes me! About these same nails, I am the same manner; therefore, the truths not so clear that they were not formed given by the faculties, where nothing by the concurrent action of two agents. from the external world intervenes, are Perhaps the material was furnished by universal and necessary. But the out- external nature, while the form resulted ward world is always changing; there- from the law of my nature, the constifore, the truths given by observation and tution of my shears, of my own nailexperience are always contingent. Per- making being. The following concluhaps we can make this plainer by an sion, at least, cannot be shaken :- I may illustration.
look upon every nail from two distinct Our readers have undoubtedly seen points of view—first, as to its material, machines for cutting nails; if they have and second, as to its form; the material not, the consequence is by no means undoubtedly comes from without, and is grave, for the instrument may be easily variable; some nails are of brass, some described. A nail-machine is composed are of iron ; but the form is invariable, of a pair of shears, which are made to and comes from within. All my nails work up and down, sometimes by steam, must be long, and four sided, and that sometimes by water-power, A man universally and necessarily ; but the mastands before the machine and inserts the terial may vary, being sometimes brass, end of, an iron plate between the two sometimes iron. This is plain; for I parts of the shears when they open-- acquire all my nails according to the law when the shears shut, they cut off a nail of my nail-making being ; that is, being from this plate, and this nail depends for translated from scientific into popular its size and shape upon the form of the language, according to the form of my shears.— The machine is in operation. shears. After mature deliberation, I
think I may take the following postulate whenever we look on the outward. as the foundation of all my ulterior phi- (We give the Kantean statement.) losophy.
But it is impossible for any one to re
main satisfied amid the skepticisms which “ Whatever I may find in my nail-box, arise from a denial of the real existence whether nails, or whatever else relating to of space and time. If space and time nails, if I be convinced that it is what it is
are mere distorting media, through which necessarily, and must be as it is universally, we perceive outward nature, all our senthat same thing, whatever it be, was not sible perceptions are erroneous; and, if derived to my nail-box from external na
no new method of acquiring knowledge ture, but finds the reason of its existence in the formation and shape of my shears.
can be discovered, we may as well doubt “ And, conversely, whatever I may find This is the question asked by our Trans.
of every thing. What shall we do then : in that same nail-box, which is neither
cendentalists. The tirst course which necessary nor universal, but variable and contingent, has its origin, and the reason presents itself to the mind is that of en. of its existence, not in the formation and deavoring to eliminate the elements of shape of my shears, but in the external space and time from all our conceptions; world.”
but this is evidently impossible: we
must, therefore, endeavor to transcend Having relieved itself of this postulate, them. But how can we transcend space the machine continues its meditations in and time? This also is evidenily imsilence.
possible; and the nearest approach to The difference between the postulate such a transcendent position, is a selfof the nail-machine and that of the deception by which we persuade ourKönigsberg philosopher, is by no means selves that we have attained it, while great Let us use them both in en we ignore every thing that tends to condeavouring to get a clearer conception of vince us that we are on the same standthe position of our transcendental friends. point with other men. The confused
Do we not see all material objects un system of things seen from the point of der the relations of space? Is not space view which seems to transcend space and a necessary and universal form of all our time, gives us Transcendentalism. But sensible perceptions ? But what says why will this system sink God and nathe postulate ? The notion of space can ture in man? For this reason,
-When a not come from the external world; for, man has cut himself off from every thing if it did, it would not be attended with which is not himself, (which he must do the conviction of universality and ne if he attempt to transcend space and time) cessity with which it is attended. The he must find the reason of all things in notion of space comes then from the himself. But the reason of God and the mind, and not at all from the outward universe are not to be found in man, world. (We speak as a Kantian.) Space and, if we seek them there, we shall then has no outward existence, and the deny both God and the universe, putting supposition that it has, is the merest some chimera, which does find its reason hypothesis imaginable. The arguments in man, in their place and stead. Trans. brought to prove such a position fall at cendentalism is, therefore, a sort of hu. once to the ground, for we have before man Pantheism, requiring a conception proved that all our notion of space comes of contradictions in the same subjeci. from within; and any inference from the To follow a transcendental writer, we within to the without, is utterly invalid. must not endeavor to find the logical conWe may treat time in the same manner, nection of his sentences, for there is no for time is the medium in which, uni- such logical connection, and the writer versally and necessarily, we perceive himself never intended there should be. events. Sensible objects and events, are We ought rather to transcend space and the iron, brass, the material of ideas— time (if indeed we can,) and follow him space and time are the form impressed there. A transcendentalist never reasons; by the shears. After all, what can we he describes what he sees from his own make of time and space? Simply this: point of view. So the word Transcendtime and space are the color of the in- entalism relates not to a system of doc. tellectual spectacles through which we trines but to a point of view ; from which, look on outward nature; they have no nevertheless, a system of doctrines may real existence, but are a distorting medi. be deduced. This explains to us why um which we spread before our eyes so many, whose desires were right, have
been unable to read the writings of the the initiated seem to have remained ignonew school. They have tried to find a rant, even to this day, of the peculiar system of doctrines where they ought to doctrines of the school. The sect seems have looked for the point of view. to have aspired to the construction of
But to return to our postulate. We a new power in society, one that should see every thing according to the law of maintain the rights of the instinctive cause and effect. The fact of causation tendencies of the soul against the enis universal and necessary; for every croachments of conventionalism. The fact of experience gives us, on one side, force of the school has been much in. its material, which comes from the out- creased by the mystery which it threw world, and on the other its form, which around its operations—which were, incomes always in part from the law of deed, the greater part of the time, no calisation. Let the reader turn for a operations at all. Hence arose the form moment to the postulate of the nail-ma- of action par coterie. Had the real chachine. He will find that every truth racter of the system been known, the which lies in the mind with a conviction wriosity of the world would have reof its universality and necessity, is de- mained tranquil, and Transcendentalism, rived to the mind from its own operations, which, in a great measure, depended and that it does not rest at all on obser- upon that curiosity for its actual existvation and experience. But does not ence, would have been stifled at its birth. the truth that every effect must have its There are, however, several objections cause, lie in the mind with a conviction against the form of operation par coterie. of its universality and necessity? The First, it is incompatible with the posconsequence is clear. The law of cau- session of powerful doctrines, for a sect sation is another distorting medium holding to a strong creed is irresistibly through which we look upon the out. impelled to preach it to the world and world, and we have no legitimate au make converts. Secondly, a coterie thority for affirming that the external inevitably forms a dialect for its own world is in any way subjected to that use, which cannot be understood by any law. It is true that we are forced to except its own members, and a new conlook upon nature under that relation, but ventionalism arises within the clique as the necessity of the case arises not from bad as the conventionalism of the world; the fact of the reality of the law of cau thus the main end of the establishment sation, (we speak as a Kantian,) but of the sect is defeated. Experience has from the constitution of our nature. But shown that such is the natural course of here all positive knowledge is annihi- events; for a cant has grown up and belated. An idea is good and valid, if we come current among the Transcendentalmay have any confidence in these forms ists which is worse, and more sickening, of the soul; but what is the relation of than that of the Millerites. Again, the the form of the shears to the out.vard ranks of a coterie are recruited, not by objeci independent of the machine? Who the earnest-minded, the thinking, but by shall infer from the inward to the out- those who are curious to dive into things ward
shrouded in mystery, by those
ho are The system of Kant is one vast skep- desirous of appearing to know more than ticism; admit the fatal postulate, and their neighbors, of possessing some key there is no dodging the conclusion. It to the secrets of the universe, of which will be seen that our transcendentalists the million are deprived. Thus, a movehave not been unfaithful to the thought ment beginning in strength degenerates of their master.
into weakness; vain and airy speculaIII. New systems of thought are pro- tion takes the place of philosophy, fancy pagated in various manners : sometimes that of imagination, and mystification by preaching, sometimes by private that of reasoning. No poet can thrive teaching, sometimes, as was the case with in such an atmosphere, for the genuine Mahometanism, by the sword. Nei. poet speaks to universal humanity, and ther of these methods has been adopted cannot be heard by a coterie, where they by the transcendentalists. Their doc- seek honor one of another. For these trine has been a new religion rather than reasons, the transcendental movement, a new philosophy: Admission into their although commenced in strength, as a ranks has taken place by initiation rather reaction against conventionalism, has than by instruction. In fact, many of totally miscarried. The strong members
have left the coterie for the world, and forms, all changes; and this wonderful those that remain keep up the form of power is possessed by each individual existence without the power thereof. soul. Will there not then be necessarily
A Jate reviewer of Mr. Emerson's Es a confusion, a mixture of universes, says remarks, that he (Mr. Emerson) has arising from the conflict of the creative a large and constantly increasing circle energies of distinct souls? This diffiof readers. It is well for Mr. Emerson culty may be made to vanish. Suppose, that his works are confined to no such for a moment, that I have a magical large and increasing circle; he speaks no power over some great public building, longer to a coterie, to a private circle, the City Hall for example ; suppose every however large and increasing: His one of its parts, by a pre-existing harworks are beginning to be appreciated by mony, to be made obedient to my will, his countrymen at large, and they will so that when I will the windows to open be judged, not by any conventional and shut, the doors to turn on their standard, but according to their inheren ninges, &c., they immediately do it. merits. Private meetings of young ia- Would not this City Hall, thus immedi. dies to settle the manner of the birth of diately obedient to my will, be a new the universe, the nature of social rela. body with which I am invested ? Suptions, and the basis of self-reliance, are pose I have power over a dog in the no longer the only public to which he moon, so that he barks, runs, wags his can appeal. The organization of the tail, according to the action of my sect (and it has an organization, though will, am I not existing “in this dim spot without outward form and constitution) which men call earth,” and also, at the had a work to do which it has done. Its same time, in “the orbed maiden whom mission is past, let us call no names, but mortals call the moon?” In the first leave it to dissolve in peace. If the re case I exist as a man, in the second as mains of a former vitality give it for a an animal of the canine species. Withmoment the form and appearance of life, out doubt, I may have millions of bodies; let us respect its present insignificance, there is no difficulty in the matter; all remembering the good it has done. that I operate upon by immediate magi
IV. The limits of this notice will not cal power, by magia, to use the technopermit us to speak in order of each essay logy of Jacob Behmen, is to me a body. in Mr. Emerson's new series. Like the So I may be in this world a man, and in ancient philosopher, who showed his cus the moon a dog; yet am I not two, but tomers a brick as a sample of the house one, for one soul animates the two bodies. he wished to sell, we shall select a small But mark! While I am immersed in things portion from the volume under considera of time and sense, paying no regard to the tion, as a specimen of Mr. Emerson's soul, which is under and behind all, I whole edifice. Not that the parallel is think the man who is now moving about, by any means complete, for the portion trading and traveling on earth, to be my. we select, is, in itself, a living whole, self, and only after deep thought, fasting, and, although not a perfect exponent of and meditation, do I find that I am also a the volume in which it is found, is, dog. But here mysteries thicken. I am nevertheless, a very good exponent of not only both a man and a dog, I am also Mr. Emerson's general doctrine. It might neither a man nor a dog ; for I am the indeed be wished that the books of our soul that speaks through both. “What Transcendental writers were somewhat we commonly call man (says Mr. Emermore homogeneous. As they are now son) the eating, drinking, planting, countconstructed, there is no connection be- ing man, does not as we know him repretween the beginning, the middle, and the sent himself, but misrepresents himself. end, no connection between the consecu Him we do not respect; but the soul, tive chapters. The Essay on “ Experi. whose organ he is, would he let it appear ence,” however, seems to form a perfect through his action, would make our whole, containing as much thought and knees bend.” The man, therefore, who poetry as any in the volume, and is, has attained to right knowledge, is aware moreover, capable of being analysed : we that there is no such thing as an indivi. select it therefore as the basis of our dual soul. There is but one soul, which further remarks.
is the “Over Soul,” and this one soul is But here a difficulty arises. The soul, the animating principle of all bodies. as we have seen in the beginning of this When I am thoughtless, and immersed notice, creates all-man, the universe, all in things which are seen, I mistake the