Some Basic Tenets of Transcendentalism
It is important to remember as you read this that Transcendentalism is a highly individualistic philosophy, so Transcendentalists tend to disagree with one another quite readily. This is merely a list of beliefs that many Transcendentalists might agree with…

  1. All people and things desire to exist in their ideal state.
  2. One must have faith in intuition, for no church or creed can communicate truth.
  3. Self-reliance is the highest virtue.
  4. The goal of life is to "transcend" the lower animalistic impulses of life and move from the rational to a spiritual realm.
  5. The human soul is a part of the Oversoul and will return to it at death.
  6. This Oversoul/Life Force/God can be found everywhere; therefore, travel to holy places is unnecessary.
  7. Miracles are all about us - the whole world is a miracle and the smallest creature is one, no less significant than the miracles of the Bible or any other sacred text.
  8. More important than a concern about the afterlife, should be a concern for this life.
  9. Emphasis should be placed on the here and now.
  10. There is a relationship between all things.
  11. What we think of as evil is only the absence of good, just as darkness is just the absence of light.
  12. Light is more powerful than darkness because one ray of light penetrates the dark.
  13. Great leaders, philosophers, etc. show what an individual can become through thought and action.
  14. It is foolish to worry about consistency.
  15. Societal reform must not be emphasized - true reform comes from within.