Several authors have analyzed the concept nature and its impact on the humanity in different ways. Nature can be defined as the physical collection of various things in the world, except for human beings and artificial creations made by them. These remarkable collections include animals, plants, landscape, and other features that exist on the Earth and surround humans in their environment. Nature has a different impact on the lives of people depending on their beliefs. A comprehensive literature review has shown that people associate the events that occur to them as the events that take place in nature. Some people perceive nature as a force that responds to their reactions and thoughts. To the contrary, others associate various events with the supernatural beings in agreement with their religion. This group of people believes that God is the controller of the issues that happen to them. As a result, diverse views of nature’s impact have been spread among the Earth population. This paper will analyze the literature concept presented by such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. The analysis will aim at finding out each of the writers perception of nature and its impact on religion. In addition, it will discuss whether life has erased religion as the foundation of belief.
Nature as Symbol: Emerson’s Noble Doubt
The Emerson’s theory is supported by different arguments that state that the course of nature is not affected by the emotional changes of humans. In the journal, Emerson wrote about his experience of life that helped to elaborate more on the particular conception of his view and emotions. The value of the phenomenon that surrounded him was based on the view and understanding of the worthiness attached to the subject but had little to do with the emotional energy. Emerson insisted on the existence of two significant aspects, namely the spirit and flesh. Therefore, it becomes easy to separate the feelings created by the body and the soul. However, nature affects both the flesh and spirit in different ways (Porte 12). Emerson’s articles explained the pleasure generated by the two diverse tendencies that were influenced by the natural forces of the Earth. The idealism theory of Emerson was based on the individual discretion and taste.
Therefore, according to the content of the article Noble doubt, nature was a great valuable to Emerson. Nature was an essential part of human life, and it was the reason behind all the events that occurred to people. Moreover, he considered nature a free resource to entice the lives of the creation and meet their needs. For example, he stated that; the lands are owned by the individuals but the landscapes and the horizon belong to no one’ (Christian 22). Therefore, all the creatures in the world had an equal chance to utilize nature in their lives. Moreover, his passion for nature has been depicted through his in-depth descriptions that make his literature interesting and easy to create images in the mind of nature. This dedication is evident that he really treasure nature. His choice of words has been analyzed earlier by Lawrence Buell, an author, who stated that Emerson’s connection with nature was inseparable. For example, in his article Nature he described the universe of stars as a sparkling beauty aligned in the blue horizon to create the ambiance for the soul and enrich the flesh of humans (Christian 22). As a result, the work of Emerson has given readers a crucial perception of the atmosphere and other creations as perceived by Emerson. As a result, humanity has increasingly embraced the content of the Noble Doubt and is even reflected in articles and poems dated after his writings (Eady). Moreover, an extensive influence to take care and appreciate nature has been given to the worlds population.
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As per the review of the Emerson’s view of nature, it becomes evident that there is a force behind the life of people and the occurrence of events on the Earth. Therefore, nature means the supernatural power that controls one’s spirit and body reactions. In this regard, he did not recognize God as a supernatural power that controlled his belief. As a result, his theories do not support religion and its implications for the human activity. However, he recognized the empowerment of God for a human being by creating a guiding power and atmosphere with phenomena such as stars, moon, sun, and landscape. On the contrary to what people believe today, God did not control current occasions of the humans’ life but prepared the natural way to provide for their existence and that of other creations. Therefore, according to his concept in the noble doubt article, nature has not replaced religion but has been considered as a natural way that was created by God to enhance living of all creations (Kastner 22). Another theorist that has discussed nature and its impact in a different way is Thoreau.
The Thoreau’s thought was based on the economic spirit and science about the pure politics of his time. The American policies of the ninetieth century were the issues that triggered the thinking of this author. The expectations of the American population were that the politics were supposed to bring wealth, freedom, happiness, and development to the country, but instead, they yielded an economic depression. This reaction became paradoxical to Thoreau, and he wrote about his thoughts concerning the issue. In his theorem, he explained the expectations of humans and the course of nature as natural forces on the Earth. Just like Emerson, Thoreau recognized superpowers that influenced the living of all the creations in the land. The American political stability in the 19th century was affected by the depression to a considerable degree (Mark 18). The citizens were depressed by the lack of financial empowerment and became more demoralized. The Americans indulged in many casual and technical activities that paid less and demanded more energy and time. As a result, people became less happy and felt engagement caused by their inadequacies. In the end, the population became less productive and demoralized. This claim is evidenced in his article regarding economy and philosophy by the quote give me that I need, and I will provide what you need’ (Christian 4).
Therefore, the political and economic philosophy of Thoreau explained that people were affected adversely by the reactions of nature or the environment. Positive changes in the environment lead to a positive response from people and vice versa. Thus, the natural forces that do not create a serenity and proper atmosphere for individuals derive their happiness and reduce their productivity. Besides, regarding his economic philosophy, he stated that people should be left to live in the natural conditions of Mother Nature to allow a proper flow of events. He attributed changes in the economic status of the country to the changes that were introduced by the leaders at that time. The famously quoted politicians of that time include Thomas Robert and Adam Smith, who lived between 1723 and 1832. Therefore, according to the writer, nature is a force that has a definite effect on people and their performance in the world. Moreover, Thoreau substantially emphasized the strength of a character in his article about Pencil of Nature (Christian 22).
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In addition, Thoreau discussed the use of photography in terms of recording and making the reflection of experiences. Other authors, such as Sarah Cameron and Emerson, analyzed that article in their writings. According to both researchers, Thoreau’s photography was a record that proved how nature and occurrences of a personal life are aligned by nature to successfully bring the result of things that are attracted by the human mind. The article proved that people had control over the things that happened to them through the creation of the interest. Nature provides with what is attractive to the population on the Earth. The writer referred to the photography as a picture representation of nature (Christian 21). For example, the action exerted by taking a photo gives a result of depicturing the items that were placed in the total focus. Therefore, in terms of the use of photography, Thoreau discussed the relation between nature and creations metaphorically. Thoreau did not attribute the forces of nature to any other being or force. Therefore, religion was not part of his beliefs. However, with his description and analysis of nature, a close relationship with it has been illustrated. Therefore, he greatly valued nature, and he campaigned for its conservation by all the creatures. Nature meant an absolute requirement for the existence of man, and it would sustain his needs and those of other creatures too. For that reason, Thoreau kept his faith in nature and not religion.
According to Thoreau, religion did not exist in the beginning, and all creations existed in a comfortable way. Moreover, even without religion, people lived happily and created wealth. Therefore, nature provided diverse sources, relations, and created different opportunities for the existence. In this context, the quality is superior to the control of the relationship of creations in the world with their environment. As a result, the writing of Thoreau about the political economy and Pencil of Nature have influenced the depletion of religion amongst his followers. The articles have encouraged a dependence of nature on its due course, rather than on religion in the world. Therefore, people believe that the economic spirit, science, and reflections are natural sources for humans and other creations in the world. The actions of all the creations are the attracting magnet of the results and experiences they pass through in their daily life.
Whitmans Song of Myself
Another writer that is popular for his independent analysis and writing on nature is Walt Whitman. He was a poet that is well known for having expressed his view about nature through the poem The Song of Myself. In this poem, Whitman uses a style that is similar to those employed by Emerson and Thoreau in order to show his relationship and interaction with nature. According to Whitman, he did not believe that space and time had any influence on him. However, the writing acknowledges that the two are inseparable. As a result, he wrote in his poem that people and things could only exist in groups to live in the world satisfactorily. The groups or units of different creations are what attract the forces of nature that God created for them. Whitman recognized religion in his writing when he said the distancing of man and things to God denies them their right’ in the poem (Cochrane, Jennifer, and Graham 53). Therefore, he acknowledged that God was like a supernatural being that satisfied the needs of his people through nature. Moreover, Walt Whitman, a worlds critic of the 19th century, contributes vastly to the consideration of choices by readers concerning their relationship with nature. Whitman’s rhetorical Song of Myself’ is an excellent piece that was used to describe nature
Moreover, the author attributed the changes in the occurrence of events to the diversity in the creation. The diverse interests of individuals are the cause of different experiences that occur in the life of each human being. Therefore, Whitman encouraged unity through the diversity in order to create the equality in recognition of the demands and interests of each population. In his poem, he stated that individualism of the will made it weak (John 42). The commonness in the needs of units in creating would result in a better recognition of each species in the world. For this reason, his poem Song of Myself’ did not specify to whom it referred but was open for a radical generation. In this song, Whitman encourages the unity despite the diversity of the creation to contribute more to the recognition in the world (Whitman 1). Through his ideology, it is easy to understand that he viewed nature as a common ground for God to treat all his creations equally.
Nature meant a source of food, water, and space for all the creatures to Whitman. He considered nature as a representation of Gods presence on earth. In return, he valued each and everything on earth that was availed to human freely. Moreover, his relationship with God was drawn closer by the events and experiences that occurred to him and those that surrounded him. His relationship with nature was described by Edward Dowden, a critic in his time as theological due to its religious argument. Edward is one of the authors that supported the work of Walt. Edward stated that despite the beliefs of people that nature controlled their lives, a different perception would be right. Dowden says that Whitman must be correct in stating that a superior force (God) existed, and he controlled both nature and the rest of the creation (Golden 17). Therefore, the study of the Whitman’s work has been a tremendous support of religion in the world. People are encouraged to view nature as providence from God to his creations in order to ensure they survive. The works of Whitman have been used to history by other authors such as R.B. Lewis to refer to egoism in their work, where they encouraged the recognition of God in the achievements made by men through their living (John 35). This reference has been achieved because Whitman did not associate nature with egoism for it was a gift that should be valued by God.
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Therefore, Whitman’s discussion on nature recognized God and showed how efficiently he supplied for his people and things. As a result, people are convinced of the value of life and the care, love, and kindness that God provides them. The theory helped in creating a good relationship with God and boosted the appreciation of nature. People started indulging in activities that are aimed at protecting the life for it is viewed as a gift from God. Besides, religion has been strengthened by this concept interpretation. For years, this poem has become a masterpiece for the discussion of nature and creation relationship.
From the review of the works as mentioned earlier of the writers, it is evident that the Earth creations have an unavoidable relationship with nature. The interaction is inevitable for both either humans or other things in the world. Moreover, the impact created by the interaction is valuable, and it contributes to shaping the behavior of humanity and people’s beliefs. Additionally, through the analysis of the writings by the three authors, the views of human beings have been attributed to the primary influences on their reactions. Therefore, whether a person believes in God or the force of nature or other forces, his or her experiences in life are shaped by that notion. Emerson and Thoreau did not believe much in the existence of God. However, Thoreau recognized that God existed and provided for his creations with the help of nature. However, in his writing, Whitman identified God as the controller of the natural incidences and experiences that were achieved in the lives of all the creations.
The concept of nature that has been accomplished in the works of the three writers is necessary for the human being’s perception of nature. Poems and articles have created a growing influence of the idea of human behavior. Therefore, the majority of people today shape their beliefs according to the ideas of a writer that was more convincing to them. Many articles that analyze these writings have evidenced this claim. Some of the writers support the views of Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman, while others criticize them. However, the detailed content of the writings has been essential in the literature review on nature. Therefore, a consideration of the articles’ analysis will be helpful in answering if nature has replaced religion as a foundation for the belief in the world (Cochrane, Jennifer, and Graham 47).
In conclusion, several authors have used these kinds of literature on nature to criticize the belief amongst communities. The analysis proved that with the free will of humanity, people are left to choose what they feel is convincing them. As a result, in some communities, religion has been displaced as a foundation of belief due to their substantial trust in nature. However, other communities have embraced nature as a source of Providence to the creations of God and have defended religion as the foundation of their beliefs. In my opinion from my experience, the foundation of faith is religion, because there is clear evidence that nature did not always exist, but was created. Therefore, I support the view of Whitman regarding the recognition of God, but the concepts of Emerson and Thoreau are right apart from the disapproval of the supernatural being that is above all.