substances in this poem. For instance the second stanza states that death is not really death; shadow and sunlight are the same or another example when he says that the doubter and the doubt are contained within Brahma to which all persons aspire to return (537). This stanza states that the universe lives in harmony and not opposing forces such as good and evil. Also, the stanza reiterates the same idea in stanza one that reveals all the contradictory things are not different. Clark Mayo writes of the analysis of the second stanza as: “though contradictions seem to exist, Emerson suggests, they are in fact meaningful paradoxes not meaningless contradictions… The second stanza is a discovery of the essential unity of opposites-what Emerson calls polarity” (Jason 2: 537). Brahma tells the reader that what appear to be opposites–a warrior and his enemy, remoteness and nearness, shadow and sunlight, and shame and fame‒are really the same. Whatever is “far or forgot” (line five) is in fact “near”. Furthermore, these contradictory concepts have the same spirit as also Emerson himself believes that the opposite concepts are really illusions but their truth is the same. He deems that these contrasting notions are reconciled in the unity of the universe that is ‘the Over-Soul’ and there is no difference between contrasting concepts (Collected Works, 2:123). Consequently, all these opposite qualities are part of the essence of Brahma that is according to Emerson the truth of the world and therefore are unified in Brahma. Tiffany Wayne discussing the second stanza states that Brahma is an eternal spirit, encompassing all things, and therefore has no beginning and no end, can neither slay nor be slain (Critical Companion to Emerson52).It can be implied that knowing the truth of the world everyone realizes that there is no beginning and no end, so there is no difference between time, space, and knowledge, they are interconnected. Knowing this new identity for the objects in the world, everything for man is the same and he doesn’t long for something through destroying other men or things.
In the last stanza Brahma addresses everyone that is a lover: “But thou, meek lover of the good! / Find me and turn thy back on heaven” (۱۵-۱۶). Here Emerson again utilizes irony to emphasize on attending to Brahma instead of Christianity. Mayo thinks that Emerson uses irony when he clearly implies that it is the abode of Brahma that is to be sought rather than Christian heaven (536). The poem states that if someone finds Brahma, he no longer needs the “gods”, or faith, because they are one in the same, and if each person has found Brahma, he is self-fulfilled, and needs not faith. Consequently, this new identity shows to man that he is above humanity, and in turn he is his own “god”. He is all in one.
Generally, the poem reveals that all gods are contained in Brahma. As Mayo writes in the analysis of the poem other Hindu gods—such as Yama, the lord of death; Agni, the god of fire; and Indra, the warrior god and god of rain—long to live in Brahma’s essence: “Strong gods pine for my abode” (۱۳) as do the holiest Hindus of the past: “And pine in vain the sacred seven”(۱۴).the poem shows that everything comes from Brahma since the gods seek union with Brahma and it also is the source of all actions as it is said through the poem. Consequently, Mayo concludes that Brahma is what Emerson names ‘the Over-soul’ (۵۳۷). It is the united spirit of the world that not only contains the gods within but also embraces everything as it is shown in the poem.
۳.۲.۵. Unity in “Wood-notes I, II”
Four hundred lines in length, “Woodnotes” spanned two early issues of the literary journal, the Dial, of October 1840 to October 1844. It was included in Poems (1847) and in abridged form in Selected Poems (1876). It poeticized the theme of his inaugural work Nature (1836) and such essays like “The Method of Nature” (۱۸۴۱) and “Nature” of Essays: second series (1844). It also praises the inspiration of nature in human soul.
۳.۲.۵.۱. The Existence of Universal Truth Everywhere
Emerson sometimes mentions that God exist but the matter that is of more importance in his
writings is the presence of the ‘universal truth’ everywhere. Also, it should be noted that in his philosophy, the universal truth is the united spirit of the world that contains God, nature and man. In relation to this, in “Wood-notes” the presence of the divine through the world is shown as it appears in many shapes like “sparkle of the spar” or “axis of the star”.
While the poem accepts God being the creator, “God said ‘Throb’! and there was motion, / And the vast mass became vast motion (268-269). Also, Emerson invokes the “eternal Pan”, but the poem ultimately focuses not on praising a deity but the primary theme of the poem explores the divine everywhere:
Thou askest in fountains and in fires,
He is the essence that inquires,
He is the axis of the star;
He is the sparkle of the spar;
He is the heart of every creature;
He is the meaning of each feature;
And his mind is the sky.
Than all it holds more deep, more high (Poems 311-318).
The divine can be seen as “sparkle of the spar”, “mind of the sky”, “heart of every creature”, and “the axis of the star”. Tiffany Wayne states that the main focus of the poem is finding the divine all around, “in pure transparency” (Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism 320).
Wayne writes that the three poems “The World-Soul”, “The Sphinx” and “Wood-notes I, II” represent the presence of ‘the Over-Soul’ in everything to emphasize the ‘universal soul’ as the spirit that contains all the creatures within, and also to reveal the unity in the universe (320). “Wood-notes” explores ‘the Over-Soul’ in the wood, or to state more clearly, the existence of the universal truth everywhere. It appears everywhere as “sparkle of the spar”, “heart of every creature”, and “meaning of every feature”. Consequently, the poem shows that the universal reality is the truth of the entire world and its real essence. In the poem “The World-Soul”, the world-soul manifests itself everywhere. It penetrates into the “cellars” and “factories” as it shows itself as “inevitable morning” that appears in the cellars. In “The World-Soul”, the spiritual soul of the world is shown as ‘Nature’. To state the meaning of Nature, according to Emerson in his essay “Courage”, ‘Nature’ refers to the spiritual soul of the world. Emerson defines it as “Not me” and by me he means his body. Consequently, Nature is the ‘spiritual soul’ of the world that also contains man’s soul. In “The World-Soul” Nature will smile in a factory, as morning in cellars:
The inevitable morning
Finds them who in cellars be;
And be sure the all-loving Nature
Will smile in a factory. (Complete Works 33-38)
The spiritual soul manifests itself in different ways like morning in cellars and factories. Also, in other lines the world-soul attracts everyone’s higher consciousness with “the crimson morning” that “flames into / The fopperies of the town,” and by the noon sun that “shines heartily” overhead, and also by the night stars that “weave eternal rings”. Thus, the lines show that ‘the Over-Soul’ can be discovered everywhere. Similarly, in the poem “The Sphinx”, the same meaning repeats in new lines. The Sphinx that is equal to ‘the Over-Soul’ is to be found everywhere in the world: “She melted into purple cloud, / She silvered in the moon… / She flowed into a foamin
g wave (Poems123-124, 127). The mentioned universal soul is the reality of everything that is the true identity of each creature as it is shown in the poems. The poems reveal that the essences of the world have many faces but one united entity. Thus, this new knowledge of everything identity that is in fact the universal truth of the world or the ‘Over-Soul’ makes everything sacred and the living beings are blessed as their real substance is the universal soul.
۳.۲.۶. Unity in “The World-Soul”
The poem “The World-Soul” was written in 1843, a year after the death of Emerson’s son, Waldo. The poem manifests human defense against death and the celebration of self-renewal and also reconciliation of man within the forces that are imposed by nature. The primary theme of the poem is the oneness of his identity in the world-soul. The poem in some parts points to the universal soul that is present in the world and encompasses the whole universe. Also, it can be said that it reverberates with two transcendentalist essays “The Method of Nature” (۱۸۴۱) and “Nature” (۱۸۴۴) and with many poems like “Woodnotes” (۱۸۴۷) which theorized the inner nature of the world. The poem displays the presence of the universal soul of the world that is named the world-soul in the poem. Moreover, it gives the reader an understanding of the identity of the human and the moral realization of the individual.
The poem begins by giving thanks to some views in nature like the morning light and the foaming sea, associating these manifestations of pristine nature with “each man of courage,” with “maids of holy mind,” and with “the boy with his games undaunted” Swinging then to the negative pole of human activity, the poem states that the human’s saving “angel” always sits among them in some disguise, “in a stranger’s form”, Or woman’s pleading eyes”. The saving grace is the world-soul’s ubiquitous presence that penetrates into many things; then, the poem states the features of this power. Lastly, the poem ends with the lines that refer to Emerson’s own aging and mortality.
In some way, the main theme of the poem is indestructibility of the human nature and the oneness of everyone’s spiritual identity in the world-soul. The world-soul is the saving angel of man that solves the problems and the power that is never thwarted. Also, it manifests itself as many things like the morning and a flashing sunbeam. Therefore, it is achieved from the lines that this spiritual force is Emerson’s notion of ‘the Over-Soul’. David Dilworth asserts that the world-soul in this poem refers to ‘the Over-Soul’. He states that Neoplatonic philosopher, Plotinus, conceived ‘the world-soul’ as the third aspect of the divine nature, namely, as an “emanation” from the One or Good to the Divine Intellect and thence to the world-soul. He adds that Emerson here expands on this mystical framework for understanding degrees or levels of spiritual consciousness. The poem first describes the soul’s downward plunge into vice and folly and then its possibilities of upward ascent toward identification with the world-soul. The world-soul thus, stands in for ‘the Over-Soul’ of the earlier essay of that name (Critical Companion to Emerson 292).
To state in details the traces of the world-soul as a reflection of ‘the Over-Soul’, the poem reveals in some lines the presence of the world-soul everywhere. The negative aspect of the human activities are the “cities of proud hotels”, the baseness of man’s politics and