The constant progress of Culture is to a more interior life, to a deeper Home. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Home”
Innermost House is a Past, a Present and a Future. In the immediate past, from 2004 to 2012, it was an actual house hidden at the heart of the woods, twelve-by-twelve feet in size, in a world lit only by fire. During the seven years of its secret existence, it served as a private meeting place of forest nature, fine traditional craft, fundamental thought culture, and cosmopolitan spirituality, conceived to realize the "dream too wild" of a life based entirely on transcendental values of goodness, beauty, truth, and unity.
In the present everywhere and always, Innermost House is a condition of mind. It is a dimension of the inner life of every individual, occupying a landscape of MythandArchetype, Ideal andSpirit, of first and final things, of the still small voice and the inner light. The path to that inmost place is a transformative journey which only the individual can travel. Innermost House exists to serve as an example and a guide through the complications of life to the simplicity and peace that lies within us.
In the unfolding future, Innermost House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that exists to carry that private experience forward on a public basis. If traditional charity is of the heart and treats the effects of misfortune, and modern philanthropy is of the head and addresses systemic causes, we are dedicated to the ancient origins of philanthropia in the soul, which seek to kindle the fire of what is highest and deepest and best in our humanity. It is the despair of that ideal which lies at the foundation of most modern problems—moral, social, political, economic, environmental, or spiritual.
We pursue our mission through a simultaneous program of inreach and outreach, reaching inward toward curated experiences of a living, transcendental culture, and outward toward communicating those experiences through talks, teaching, and the various means of traditional and digital publication. We are a worldwide circle of seekers, in pursuit of a practical ideal. We exist to cultivate the soil and sew the seed of a deeper humanity.
Rightly viewed, the whole soul of man is a sort of picture gallery, a grand panorama, in which all the great facts of the universe, tracing things of time and things of eternity, are painted. Frederick Douglass, “Pictures and Progress”
To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich. To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes, and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.
William Henry Channing
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IMAGES Diana Lorence: Innermost House II, North Interior Elevation