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Transcendentalism is the belief that matters of ultimate reality transcend, or go beyond, human experience. Transcendentalist thinking began during the American Renaissance with writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. However transcendental thinking did not begin with Thoreau and Emerson, but as Emerson called it, “it is the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mold of these new times.” Transcendentalism is based on the ancient philosophy of Idealism, which originates with Plato, …

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…spiritual aspects therein, and the “hippie” movement in the sixties gives Americans an increased awareness of their fellow man, with and emphasis on freedom and love. The transcendentalist movement has many good aspects to it that if applied today, could still teach everyone a few things about themselves and their lives. Plato, Emerson, Thoreau, and many others really did have a level of intelligence that transcended their contemporaries and the generations and generations after them.