What are the transcendental elements in Emerson's "Self-Reliance"?

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Transcendentalism emerged out of Romanticism, a movement which valued the inherent goodness of the individual and felt that civilization corrupted that purity. It also placed faith in intuition over rationalism and exalted nature. The transcendentalist movement grew as well out of the Nonconformist Christianity that dominated New England. These faiths, such as the Congregationalism widespread in Massachusetts or the Quakerism in Rhode Island, emphasized the individual examination of conscience and urged finding the divine spark within. Of course, Transcendentalism also critiqued these faiths for trying to replace the reality of the individual's own religious experience with tradition and authority, and for too much emphasis on sin.

"Self-reliance," we can see, is almost a Transcendentalist manifesto. In it, Emerson strongly advises the young person embarking on life to listen and follow what the divine voice within him is telling him to do. Every person is born with a God-given destiny...

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