Nature is two-faced. This means that not only can it be cruel and treacherous in its wake while exerting natural justice but it can also be a source of solace. Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman cite that nature can be rejuvenating for the soul. These philosophers believed that nature’s glory can always be manifested in the rebirth of both the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the human being. Just like in Whitman’s words that always stirred emotions of beauty in readers with his beautiful prose, Thoreau (1862) is quoted in his journal saying: In the instant, you leave far behind all human relations, wife, mother and child, and live only with the savages—-water, air, light, carbon, lime, and granite. Nature grows over me. Frogs pipe; waters far off tinkle; dry leaves hiss; grass bends and rustles, and I have died out of the human world and come to feel a strange, cold, aqueous, terraqueous, aerial, ethereal sympathy and existence. I sow the sun and moon for seeds. This shows that he, just like the other philosophers of his time, believed that nature was capable of restoring the human soul to a state of tranquility. Jonathan Edwards believed that everything in nature was meant to arouse desire in the human soul. The way that people enjoy a breeze, a ray of sun, a chirp from a bird or other thing in nature that inflicts calmness is the way that people should feel when they get to know God. He further said that to know God is to enjoy God and since nature is part of God’s way of showing his glory to human beings, then it follows that: to know nature is to know God and hence to enjoy nature should translate to enjoying God. Thoreau exemplifies his admiration for nature by equating dying in nature as a rebirth. He believes that this is some sort of a recycling in which death in nature is reciprocated with a rebirth. Edwards and the Iroquois League believed in the infinity of nature. Additionally, they believed that nature did not have an end point and that it was self-generating.
ReferencesEmerson, R. W. (1841). Method of nature: An Oration. Boston: Samuel G. Simpkins Emerson, R. W. (1883). Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Massachusetts: Cambridge Thoreau, H. D. (1862). Walking. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 9 (56) pp. 657-674 Welker, G. (1996). The Iroquois Constitution. Retrieved from on 18th January, 2012 http://www.indigenouspeople.net/iroqcon.htm
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