The "Romantic Experience" is practice characterized by a deep introspection into one's self in connection with nature, and the divine. This experience goes beyond mere mental ascent, which only serves to merely tickle the empirical senses. The romantics believe that this connection goes deep, feeding the soul even in times of constriction and hardship. If maintained, this union is believed to produce the condition of joy. Both William Wordsworth's poem "Resolution and Independence" and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of The Ancient Mariner" illustrate the ways in which human beings can forfeit or lose this joy and also recover it. .
To even know the heights of this joy the romantics believe that a person must also experience the depths of sorrow. States of being such as joy and sorrow are interdependent where one cannot be known without knowledge of the other. Wordsworth experiences this process in "Resolution and Independence" sharing, "of joy in minds that can no further go, / As high in our dejection do we sink as low" (281). After a point of complete ecstasy Wordsworth soon finds himself in the depths of despair with a troubled heart. The phrases "as we have mounted" and "in our dejection" point out that while the influence of nature and the divine pervades; this journey is often one brought by our own doing and choices. We choose to walk a certain way and can allow specific thoughts to control our minds. We also make the choice to remain connected our disconnected. The danger of venturing into these depths occurs when one loses perspective and forgets the previous vision of hope and of life, thus missing the lesson to be learned. The romantics view the state of sorrow as an opportunity to grow and view the fullness of joy in its real state, no longer merely circumstantial but lasting and eternal. .
For Wordsworth the loss of joy starts with "fear and fancies," "dim sadness and blind thoughts" (27-28).