Emerson became known as the central figure of his literary and philosophical group, now known as the American Transcendentalists. These writers shared a key belief that each individual could transcend, or move beyond, the physical world of the senses into deeper spiritual experience through free will and intuition. In this school of thought, God was not remote and unknowable; believers understood God and themselves by looking into their own souls and by feeling their own connection to nature. (Biography.com)
I developed a teen age crush on Ralph Waldo Emerson-thought we had a cosmic connection because I went to Emerson Jr. High. As an adult I named my 25 pound black cat “Waldo” to pay homage to this philosopher and poet. His belief that we can live at a level more deeply than the material world around us has always struck a chord of truth with me.