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