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Simplify, simplify." – from Walden (1854), by Henry David Thoreau As a group, the transcendentalists led the celebration of the American experiment as one of individualism and self-reliance.They took progressive stands on women's rights, abolition, reform, and education.
Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs.
Nature can show that "all good things are wild and free." "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
The club had many extraordinary thinkers, but accorded the leadership position to Margaret Fuller played a large part in both the women's and Transcendentalist movements.
She helped plan the community at Brook Farm, as well as editing The Dial, and writing the feminist treatise, Woman in the Nineteenth Century.," he urged Americans to stop looking to Europe for inspiration and imitation and be themselves.
He believed that people were naturally good and that everyone's potential was limitless.
He inspired his colleagues to look into themselves, into nature, into art, and through work for answers to life's most perplexing questions.
This knowledge comes through intuition and imagination not through logic or the senses.
People can trust themselves to be their own authority on what is right. Their chief publication was a periodical called "The Dial," edited by Margaret Fuller, a political radical and feminist whose book "Women of the Nineteenth Century" was among the most famous of its time.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.