The ancestor of every action is a thought.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Spiritual Laws"
 

IDEALS OF THE MIND
a Wisdom of Thought

 

Our third conversation is with Thought. We believe in the ideal of the "American Scholar," in whom a knowledge of books is balanced by experience of nature and practical activity in the world. Innermost House provides a way of life where these three come together in one unity of conversation, from which all alike may take away what is useful to them in the pursuit of their own work. We believe in the ideals of the mind, the whole mind, the mind made whole with the entirety of life. We seek the living forms of a higher learning in the deepest foundations of experience. 

 
 
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But we must not follow those who advise us, being men, to think of human things, and, being mortal, of mortal things, but must, so far as we can, make ourselves immortal, and strain every nerve to live in accordance with the best thing in us; for even if it be small in bulk, much more does it in power and worth surpass everything.
                              Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

At Innermost House, we are dedicated to thinking ideas back to their origins in the elemental forms of thought, so to conceive a truly original and universal culture. We invite all thinkers to join with us in a worldwide circle of shared conversation, seeking the meaning of our self-evident truths in the abiding ideals of the mind. 

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What is the remedy? They did not yet see, and thousands of young men as hopeful now crowding to the barriers for the career, do not yet see, that, if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him. Patience, — patience; — with the shades of all the good and great for company; and for solace, the perspective of your own infinite life; and for work, the study and the communication of principles, the making those instincts prevalent, the conversion of the world... 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The American Scholar"

 

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”

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