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The Healing Power Of Nature And Romantic Love

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Autor:  anton  03 March 2011
Tags:  Healing,  Nature,  Romantic
Words: 2236   |   Pages: 9
Views: 332

Brielle Giesen

T.R 1130-1245

Final Essay

I. Introduction

Although the Healing Power of Nature may seem to be a long lost remedy from the Native Americans, William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Jean Jacques Rousseau see it not as form of medicine, but rather as a state of mind. After a sensible state of mind has been developed, one can only assume their heart will develop next, with enchanting ideas of Romantic Love, which is relevant in the works of Heinrich Heine, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. All of these great philosophers and writers lived in a period of time called the Romantic era. The word, romantic, actually has no real meaning and other romantics would argue for it's different meanings. This is an era where creativity and free expression of emotions dominate. Imperialistic ideas from the previous Enlightenment era were rejected. Let us first discover the Healing Power of Nature as described by William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Thesis: Although the Healing Power of Nature may seem to be a long lost remedy from the Native Americans, William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Jean Jacques Rousseau see it not as form of medicine, but rather as a state of mind. After a sensible state of mind has developed, one can only assume their heart will develop next, with enchanting ideas of Romantic Love, which is relevant in the works of Heinrich Heine, John Keats, and William Wordsworth.

II. The healing Power of nature

A. William Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

B. Henry David Thoreau, Walden

C. Jean Jacques Rousseau, On Education

III. Romantic Love

A. Heinrich Heine, Lorely

B. John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn

C. William Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

IV. Conclusion

After reading and evaluating the works and writings of some of the most influential philosophers of the Romantic era, I can only come to the conclusion that "we are only human." According to the concept of the Healing Power of Nature, romantics wanted to reclaim human freedom by respecting nature and wanted to be at peace with her. They were introspective and the concept of Romantic Love was prevalent in every artist's music, paintings, and writings.

Although the Healing Power of Nature may seem to be a long lost remedy from the Native Americans, Henry David Thoreau, William Wordsworth, and Jean Jacques Rousseau see it not as form of medicine, but rather as a state of mind. After a sensible state of mind has been developed, one can only assume their heart will develop next, with enchanting ideas of Romantic Love, which is relevant in the works of Heinrich Heine, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. All of these great philosophers and writers lived in a period of time called the Romantic era. The word, romantic, actually has no real meaning and other romantics would argue for it's different meanings. This is an era where creativity and free expression of emotions dominate. Imperialistic ideas from the previous Enlightenment era were rejected. Let us first discover the Healing Power of Nature as described by William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.

The Healing Power of Nature in this era was not considered medicine or a remedy for any illness one might have. It was the understanding of Mother Nature. The understanding that nature was to be respected as a power rather than neglected and used for human waste. We need to go back to our basic form and rediscover that humans are only creatures endowed with reason, and as creatures, we should not be living our lives pushed by economic necessity, rather by knowing our inner soul and who we are according to nature. Let nature heal your worries and repair your corrupt mind. In Henry David Thoreau's book Walden he goes into the woods to live for two years so that he could live deliberately and renew himself. He goes on to explain the place in which he had built his cabin, where it is tranquil and ones mind is not filled with stories of gossip and so called news. In talking about the news he says

"and if you have learned the history of her crops for an average year, you never need attend to that thing again, unless your speculations are of a merely pecuniary characterВ…..Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fictitious. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy taleВ…If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence-that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of reality."

While on a camping trip with my friends, I was able to see nature in its purest form as

Thoreau describes above. Without the ringing of cell phones or the loud playing music during traffic, or the hustle and bustle of busy people trying not to be late, I was able to realize what nature has given us. We are nothing without Her. Nature is reality. Not having to worry about when and where to be at a certain time or what to wear to fit in, I was able to enjoy the dirt between my toes, the sun warming my face in the morning, and the fresh water cleansing me every time I jumped in. In that moment I realized exactly what Thoreau had meant when he said, " If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be." We as humans will come and go in such a short period on this Earth, but nature revives itself again and again and is the only truth, the only reality. As humans we need to let nature revive us as well.

This theory is again relevant in William Wordsworth's poem Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey. In this poem, Wordsworth goes on to describe a time when he was young, and he enjoyed nature, and he remembered every green meadow and every hillside in which brought him such joyous memories as an adult. He is able to think back and realize what wonderful times he had, and this allows him to escape form reality, if only for a short moment. He is able to feel "a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things." Wordsworth is describing exactly what nature is. This is the idea that nature has the power to force thoughts of wonder and feelings too incredible to describe, onto man. This is the healing power of nature; when a grown man can be overwhelmed with society and then think back to a time when he was roaming the mountainside, and feel relieved of his stress.

Relieving of stress is such a small part of the healing power of nature though. Nature shapes us into the people that we are, if of coarse we let her. Jean Jacques Rousseau's book On Education explains why it is important for parents to let their children learn from nature rather than trying to teach the child what they could learn much better on their own. He explains that nature will teach the child pain and grief so that he gains strength, and strength, not in a physical sense, enables man to survive. Rousseau states "Society has enfeebled man, not merely by robbing him of the right to his own strength, but still more by making his strength insufficient for his needs. This is why his desires increase in proportion to his weakness; and this is why the child is weaker than the man. If a man is strong and a child is weak it is not because the strength of one is absolutely greater than the strength of the other, but because the one can naturally provide for himself and the other cannot." So in this quotation, nature is the foundation of mankind, and rather much better than society. Nature holds the power to limit the desires of man, in turn making him stronger. And a strong man is one who has endured nature's hardships, and is now knowledgeable on what might come, and he is able to prepare himself for the next steps of life.

Now that our mind has developed and expanded through the workings of nature, one can only presume that the heart will start to develop next with fancy, illusive ideas of Romantic Love. Romantic love, some would argue, is indescribable and has no real meaning or definition. Here we will read Heinrich Heine, John Keats, and William Wordsworth, and they will tell us what they think is romantic. Let's start with Heinrich Heine's Poem Lorely. This poem is about a beautiful, mysterious woman who sits atop a rock above the ocean. She has long streams of golden hair and sings a mystifying hymn. She would be so easy to fall in love with at just a glance. And that does happen, to a boatman, Heine writes, " The boatman in his small skiff is seized by turbulent love, no longer he marks where the cliff is, he looks to the mountain above. I think the waves must fling him against the reefs nearby, and that did with her singing the lovely Lorely." This quotation directly exemplifies what it means to be in love. The man, who is in love with Lorely, is being tossed and turned in this boat, crashing against the reef, only to catch a glimpse of this woman. He will no longer look for anyone else but Lorely. She is what he has come for, and he will die in the depths of the ocean just to get her.

As for John Keats, he sees romantic love in the same light, a never-ending struggle. He writes a poem called Ode to a Grecian Urn in which he finds an ancient urn with carvings of people on them, and visualizes his own conclusion as to what had happened to those people. To him it seemed to be a man and a woman in the trees expressing the love they had for one another. And he writes " Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss, though winning near the goal-yet, do not grieve; she cannot fade though thou hast not thy bliss, forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!" Keats sees a man and a woman forever longing for one another, but never being able to feel each others love, because they are stuck on this timeless urn where there story will live on in the hearts and eyes of others but the story will never end. What is interesting is that he also writes that even though they are stuck on this urn for eternity, without ever being able to give affection toward one another, their love will live on and they should not be sad because their love will never fade. What comes to mind when I read these lines is the story of Romeo and Juliet. Never able to really love one another due to the circumstances of their family, they still are in love in a mental picture and a fairy tale.

A different sort of romantic love would come from William Wordsworth. In his poem Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey. This sort of romantic love is a love unnoticed and unrecognized by anyone, a love that is unselfish, and that has no repercussions. His poem describes a man that is reflecting back on his childhood and remembering such sweet thoughts he had, and these thoughts let him escape reality for a moment. This man does not want a love in return or for his love to be noticed, he had rather just love to love, if you will. Wordsworth writes "feelings too of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, as have no slight or trivial influence on the best portion of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." Wordsworth is blatantly stating that a mans value and worth is placed in all of the things he did out of love, to receive nothing in return. He is saying that a man is a man because he commits these acts of pure love.

After reading and evaluating the works and writings of some of the most influential philosophers of the Romantic era, I can only come to the conclusion that "we are only human." According to the concept of the Healing Power of Nature, romantics wanted to reclaim human freedom by respecting nature and wanted to be at peace with her. They were introspective and the concept of Romantic Love was prevalent in every artist's music, paintings, and writings. But again who is to say what Romantic Love really is. All of these concepts can really only lie in the eye of the beholder, since there is no evidence to prove any one right!



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