Emerson’s Transparent Eyeball Coloring Page

In a recent service at First Parish in Concord, I shared this image with the children.  I asked my husband Peter Bowden to draw it after the classic illustration by Christopher Cranch.  “What do you think this drawing is?” I asked the children.  They laughed and cried out, “An alien!” “A monster!”  “A mutant!”

I explained that it is actually an illustration of a spiritual experience.  When we become a “Transparent Eyeball” as Ralph Waldo Emerson described in his famous essay “Nature”, we have a sense of oneness with everything that surrounds us.  When we open our senses to the natural world, we can experience connection with all of creation of which we are a part.

As Emerson wrote in 1836, “Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”

This coloring page is free for you to use as an educational tool or just for fun!

Download:  Transparent Eyeball Coloring Page (PDF)

The idea of the transparent eyeball first appeared in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Nature, published in 1836. This illustration by Peter Bowden is based on a drawing by Christopher Pearse Cranch, ca. 1836-1838.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transparent Eyeball coloring page





4 thoughts on “Emerson’s Transparent Eyeball Coloring Page

  1. Peter says:

    Reblogged this on UU PLANET and commented:

    For a recent children’s message, I made an easel pad sized drawing of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s TRANSPARENT EYEBALL as first illustrated by Christopher Pearse Cranch (ca. 1836-1838). I took a photo of the black and white Sharpie drawing and turned it into this coloring page. Enjoy!

  2. Winifred Ganshaw says:

    Amy, This is simply “priceless” and I will share with my newly formed Women Awakening group. As well as with our RE committee and my daughter to use with her son. Thank you.

    I am looking forward to seeing Fran, Sandy and others at GA. Love, Winnie


    • Rev. Amy Freedman says:

      Thanks, Winnie! Happy to know you can use it and even happier to know you are going to GA! See you soon!

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