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Transcendentalism Quotes

Transcendentalism Quotes

This Quotabulary article brings to you some wise quotes about transcendentalism from some of the most famous transcendentalists of all time.
Ratnashri Dutta

The Christian Examiner was one of the publishers of the transcendentalism work.

If you look up any standard dictionary for the word 'transcendentalism', then this is what you will get to know- "Any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered by the study of the process of thought, or a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical".
In simple terms, transcendentalism is a group of ideas or rather new ideas in philosophy and literature which started in the New England or the Northeastern part of United States. It gained prominence between the early and the middle 19th century. It was a movement which was started in order to protest against the cultural and social conditions that were prevalent at that time.
The people who followed this theory of American Transcendentalism were known as the Transcendentalists and they were seen as a group of people who were well educated, and who rebelled against the present situation of their land which was during the 19th century. They were the people who were searching for something different, something motivating; not only for the people during that period but also for the future generation. Here are some of the famous transcendentalism quotes that have been used time and again by some of the famous transcendentalists.

Famous Transcendentalists

There were several famous transcendentalists who became involved in several social as well as cultural issues of the state, such as fight against slavery, or women issues, rights of the African-Americans and so on. Besides the men, there were women transcendentalists too, who fought for the same cause as their male counterparts; to mold an American identity that's separate from the other European nations (including England). Here are some of the famous transcendentalists.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (He was the one who started the whole concept of transcendentalism)
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Herman Melville
  • Walt Whitman
  • Margaret Fuller and several others.

Let us now take a look at some of the quotes about nature as well as other important parts of the human life by Thoreau and others.

Transcendentalism Quotes

"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
-Albert Einstein

"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day"
-Albert Einstein

"As we lay huddled together under the tent, which leaked considerably about the sides, with our baggage at our feet, we listened to some of the grandest thunder which I ever heard, - rapid peals, round and plump, bang, bang, bang in succession, like artillery from some fortress in the sky; and the lightning was proportionally brilliant. The Indian said, 'It must be good powder.' All for the benefit of the moose and us, echoing far over the concealed lakes." -Thoreau

"A man is wise with the wisdom of his time only, and ignorant with its ignorance."

"Allow yourself to trust joy and embrace it. You will find you dance with everything."

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." -Emerson

"It is never too late to give up your prejudices." -Emerson

"Nature provides exceptions to every rule." -Margaret Fuller

"Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman." -Margaret Fuller

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." -Louisa May Alcott

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." -Louisa May Alcott

"As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." -Thoreau

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it." -Margaret Fuller

"The especial genius of women I believe to be electrical in movement, intuitive in function, spiritual in tendency." -Margaret Fuller

"To be great is to be misunderstood." -Emerson

"When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it." -Emerson

Anti-transcendentalism Quotes

This was also a movement which highlighted mainly the darker side of society. Let's take a look at some of the quotes.

"All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life."
-Herman Melville

"Nature is vast and incomprehensible, a reflection of the struggle between good and evil."

"Belief in individual truths, but no universal truths, and the truths of existence are deceitful and disturbing."

"As the moral gloom of the world overpowers all systematic gaiety, even so was their home of wild mirth made desolate amid the sad forest."
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

There are more such famous quotes which you can find out from various textbooks. These are some quotes which had resolved several social issues as well as cultural issues and had created a new identity for the America.