Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion

By Lola Williamson | Go to book overview

2

Laying the Foundation for
American-Style Hinduism

While my classmates in eleventh-grade English class yawned their way through Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays, I could hardly contain my excitement. My inclination toward idealism blossomed upon discovering Emerson. The idea that spirit is more real than matter, and that everything is somehow bound together in one unified whole touched the recesses of my being. Emerson’s poetic words from his essay “Over-Soul” seemed to me those of a prophet:

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within
man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which
every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep
power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not
only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the
thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.1

It was not until many years later that I learned of Emerson’s love for Hindu scriptures. I discovered that he was one of many who played a role in synthesizing Hindu and American religious worldviews. In 1836, just eight years after Ram Mohun Roy had established the Brahmo Samaj in India, Emerson and his cohorts founded the Transcendental Society in Boston, Massachusetts. Links between the worldviews of Americans and Indian Hindus were being made and a new fusion, unknown before the nineteenth century, was emerging. The Theosophical and New Thought movements were to add their voices to the synthesizing process. This new amalgam worldview helped to prepare the ground for the emergence of HIMMs in America.

Hindu-inspired meditation movements were prominent in the American public eye during two historical periods: first in the early part of the

-26-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 261

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.