The constant progress of Culture is to a more interior life, to a deeper Home. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Home”
Seeking a Deeper Home for Human Nature In the Lost Link Between Wild Nature and High Culture
We begin with a belief in the native wholeness of the individual soul. We believe in the past as a way to inwardness, and inwardness as a way to the future. We seek a deeper home for human nature in the American Wisdom Tradition, from ancient founding, to rebirth in spirit, to the closing of the frontier. Innermost House is a Past, a Present, and a Future. In the immediate past, from 2004 to 2012, it was an unelectrified house hidden at the heart of the woods, 12 x 12 feet in size, a living link between wild nature and high culture. During the seven years of its secret existence, it served as a private meeting place for leaders, thinkers, and creators, conceived to realize the "dream too wild" of a woodland conversation founded wholly on the transcendental values of truth, beauty, goodness, 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. Innermost House exists to serve as an example and a guide through the confusions 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. We are dedicated to the ancient ideal of philanthropia, which seeks to kindle the fire of what is highest and deepest and best in our humanity. We pursue our legacy through a paired program of inreach and outreach, reaching inward toward curated experiences of a living, transcendental culture, and outward toward communicating those experiences to the wide world.
We address the largest problems in our world today—complex threats to nature, culture and spirit—not by treating their symptoms, but by seeking out their unseen sources. There, at the origin of things, we seek our renewal. We are a worldwide unity of friends trying to do something good.
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