The Transcendentalists

Trade is also but for a time, and must give way to somewhat broader and better, whose signs are already dawning in the sky” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson in The Young American

The Transcendentalists were a group of American anti materialists from the late 1820s and 1830s, who sought an alternative to the industrial economy amidst nature, in the simple life. Transcendentalism developed as a reaction against 18th century rationalism among a group of mostly New England thinkers and writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

 The Transcendentalists believed in living simply and wisely and experienced their most vivid and profound experiences in nature. Their aesthetic was more naturalistic than artistic with the goal was to transcend materialism and rationalism and so penetrate their inner spirituality that was at the core of each person. “There is something greater within than the whole material creation, than in all the worlds which press on the eye and ear; and that inward improvements have a worth and dignity in themselves.” 

Words by Sidsel Solmer Eriksen

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