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believes is to be found in man. In the essay (1841), he describes ‘the Over-Soul’ as the soul of the whole that is present in man: “within man is the soul of the whole” (Collected Works 139).Here Emerson asserts that what he believes to exist in everyone is in fact ‘the Over-Soul’. Furthermore, as he concerns that ‘the Over-Soul’ contains everything; consequently, man holds everything inside himself. Also, Emerson in his essay “Self-Reliance” claims that God exists within, which is the repletion of the idea that the truth of the world exists inside as he regards God is contained within ‘the Over-soul’: “Let us astonish the intruding rabble of men and books and institutions; by a simple declaration of the divine fact …God is here within” (Essays40).
In another essay “The Method of Nature”, Emerson states his ideas about the concept of “microcosm”. He illustrates that everything has wholeness: “Nothing can be found in the world that is imperfect. Each creature is complete and contains the truth” (Complete Works 1: 246). It should be noted that Emerson states that the truth is ‘the Over-Soul’. He suggests that each creature, even the tiniest one, holds the entire universe inside itself. To explain the presence of ‘the universal soul’ in everything, also, Carl Bode in his book, The Portable Emerson, states the idea that Emerson holds about each creature and considers this doctrine as a strange belief. It expresses that the great globe in which human beings live is reproduced in miniature down to the tiniest detail, in a drop of dew, for instance (64). Also, in another place in the essay “Compensation”, Emerson talks about the presence of the soul of the whole or ‘the Over-Soul’ in each minute object: “The world globes itself in a drop of dew. The microscope cannot find the animalcule which is less perfect for being little. Eyes, ears, taste, smell, motion, resistance, appetite and organs of reproduction that take hold on eternity? all found room to consist in the small creature. So do we put our life into every act…” (Essays 63).He states that everything in the universe, even the smallest objects, holds the entire globe.
Following what is said in previous paragraph, also it is illustrated throughout the writings of Emerson that the concept of ‘microcosm’ could be also recognized in each essence of this universe; that the entire world is gathered in each essence. In “Compensation” he writes some examples and descriptions of the world in which everything is a replica of the eternal truth of the world.
The universe is represented in every one of its particles. Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff; … Each new form repeats not only the main character of the type, but part for part all the details, all the aims, furtherances, hindrances, energies and whole system of every other. Every occupation, trade, art, transaction, is a compend of the world and a correlative of every other. Each one is an entire emblem of human life; of its good and evil, its trials, its enemies, its course and its end. And each one must somehow accommodate the whole man and recite his entire destiny”. (Essays 55)
the essay “Compensation” like the poem “Each and All” manifests that everything in nature contains all the power of nature, and even every entity if it is, “occupation, trade, art, transaction”, has the whole world inside and it also, has a relation with other entities. He brings various examples and through all of which emphasizes the presence of the whole universe in each entity. All cosmos will be comprehended from each particular being and all universal laws could be found in encapsulated form, in each manifestation of God.
Other than direct statements about the notion of ‘microcosm’, from the doctrine of unity among God, man and nature the concept of ‘microcosm’ can be understood. Emerson believes that man, nature and God are one truth and he asserts that there is unity among all of them. In an entry in the Journal IV for 1837, Emerson declares: “I can even with a mountainous aspiring say, I am God, but transferring me out of the flimsy and unclean prescient, of my body, my private will and meekly retiring upon the holy austerities of the just and the loving, upon the secret fountain of nature”( Essays 46). Emerson believes this united spirit that contains God, man and nature is present in man (Ekhtiar 92).Somewhere he states that knowing this reality that man contains the universal entity is the notion that brought him calmness and an answer to his questions and doubts:
Man begins to hear a voice that fills the heavens and the earth, saying that God is
within him; that there is the celestial host. I find this amazing revelation of my immediate relation to God a solution to all the doubts that oppressed me. … It is the perception of this depth in human nature, this infinitude belonging to every man that has been born, which has given new value to the habits of reflection and solitude. (Qtd. in Payne 177)
Other than the idea of the unity of God, man and nature that was explained earlier, Emerson’s doctrine of ‘matter’ and ‘mind’ also, reveals his concept of man as a ‘microcosm’ of the world. According to Emerson, there is one mind common to all individuals. As it was stated in previous part of this chapter, this universal soul or as he names ‘the Over-soul’ has double nature; the material world or ‘matter’ and ‘thought’. ‘Matter’ is the projection of ‘Thought’; thus, the universal power of the world is “Thought” since Emerson states that ‘the Over-Soul’ is the real essence of the world (Ekhtiar 45).Consequently, “Thought” that is the true essence of the universe, is present in each entity and everything is a microcosm of this force. He affirms that the universe is the projection of the mind: “When the mind opens, and reveals the laws which traverse the universe, and make things what they are, then shrinks the great world at once into a mere illustration and fable of the mind” (qtd. in Payne 194). He deems that what is outside man is to be found within him: “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, ? that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost” (Essays 46).
In addition to the two mentioned doctrines of the unity, and ‘matter’ and ‘thought’, the idea of the unity of dual concepts reinforces and proves Emerson’s notion of ‘microcosm’. According to Emerson there are dual aspects in nature: evil and good, light and dark, life and death etc., that all of which coexist and complete each other. This duality is an illusion which is rooted in one spiritual meaning, ‘the Over-Soul’. This doctrine proves that in every object there is the real spirit of the world: “The true doctrine of omnipresence is that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb. The value of the universe Contrives to throw itself into every point. If the good is there, so is the evil; If the affinity, so the repulsion; if the force, so the limitation” (Essays 56). Consequently, the dual aspects of the entities exhibits that each object contains the whole truth of the world since the opposite notions are simultaneously present in each substance.
Lastly, in a comparison between Emerson and ‘Visionary poets’, the notion of ‘microcosm’ is worth mentioning. In the previous part of this chapter entitled “Individuality”, it was explained that the “Visionary Artists” use their individual power, or their intuition, to understand the truth of the world. One of the other aspects of this kind of art, according to Joseph Nechvatal, is the belief in the presence of the cosmos in each essence of the world: “What unites visionary artists is the driving force and source of their art: their unconventionally intense psychic imaginations. Their gift to the world is to reveal ‘in minute particulars’, as Blake would say, the full spectrum of the vast visionary dimensions of the mind” (Blake and visionary Art). Also, Alex Grey, the outstanding visionary artist, considers this notion of microcosm common in most of visionary artists (“Visions of Alex Grey”). Accordingly, William Blake is amongst those artists who follows the same route in his depiction of art and poetry, and also Emerson exactly holds to this idea as one of his own. Emerson brings many reasons to prove his doctrine of ‘microcosm’. In “The Over-Soul” he asserts that if someone needs anything that is for the best, it will certainly come to him, because the heart in every one is the heart of all (Essays 140). In another essay “Nature”, Emerson maintains: “The rule of one art, or a law of one organization holds true throughout nature. A leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole and partakes of the perfection of the whole; each particle is a microcosm” (Essays273). This power in each minute entity is also obvious in actions happening in the universe. In the same essay Emerson writes: “The wise man, in doing one thing, does all; or, in the one thing he does rightly, he sees the likeness of all which is done rightly”(273). Indeed, his microcosmic view is not just limited to objects, but it also includes activities or abstract notions.
The trace of the notion of ‘microcosm’ is clear in Emerson’s writings. Many doctrines of his ideas prove that everything in the world is a replica of the universal soul of the world to manifest the omnipresence of ‘the Over-Soul’, that is, the all is in each particle and the entire nature reappears in every leaf and moss (The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5: 180). Actually, in his notion of ‘microcosm’ he reveals that the identity of each creature is ‘the Over-Soul’.
Chapter Three
New Identity in Emerson’s Selected Poems
Chapter three deals with finding a new identity for creatures of the world and especially human being, in light of Emerson’s doctrine of unity. The traces of the concept “unity” will be demonstrated in the poems of Emerson i.e., “Each and All”, “The Sphinx”, “Brahma”, “Unity”, and “Xenophanes”. The study reveals that all the creatures and also human being have one reality that is the united soul of the world or ‘the Over-Soul’. In fact ‘the Over-Soul’ is the truth of every creature. This new identity for everything and especially for human makes everyone consider himself and others as one essence.
۳.۱. Unity in Emerson’s Philosophy
According to Emerson, God, man and nature are one truth that he entitles ‘the Over-Soul’ and it is the real essence of the world. In other words, ‘the Over-Soul’ contains everything in the world and it is the united spirit of it. This unity relates every substance to the other one and Consequently, each one affects the other one.
۳.۲.۱ Unity in “Each and All”
The poem was first published in the Transcendentalist magazine, the Western

Author: mitra4--javid

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