By John Michael Corrigan
"The transmigration of souls is not any fantasy. i might it have been, yet women and men are just part human." With those phrases, Ralph Waldo Emerson confronts a limitation that illuminates the formation of yankee individualism: to conform and develop into totally human calls for a heightened engagement with background. american citizens, Emerson argues, needs to detect history's chronology in themselves--because their very own minds and our bodies are its evolving record.
Whereas scholarship has tended to lessen the paranormal underpinnings of Emerson's inspiration of the self, his depictions of "the metempsychosis of nature" demonstrate deep roots in mystical traditions from Hinduism and Buddhism to Platonism and Christian esotericism. In essay after essay, Emerson makes use of metempsychosis as an open-ended template to appreciate human development.
In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman transforms Emerson's perception of metempsychotic selfhood into an expressly poetic occasion. His imaginative and prescient of transmigration viscerally celebrates the poet's skill to imagine and reside in different our bodies; his American poet seeks to include the full country into his personal individual in order that he can converse for each guy and girl.