Walden

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or Life in the Woods.

On August 9, 1854 "Walden: or Life in the Woods" was published.

In the summer of 1845, Henry David Thoreau, left the comfort of his home and lived for two years in the wilderness on the north shore of Walden Pond, located in Concord Massachusetts.

My father introduced me to Walden and the concept of transcendentalism many years ago. The idea that there is inherent goodness in nature and people was appealing to me. It was a philosophy that enjoyed popularity in the late 1820's and early 1830's and was an outcome of noted philosophers such as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Johann Gottfried Herder. Not the most familiar of names.

Henry David Thoreau is a name that is forever linked to the phrase "The Mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Perhaps it takes living in the wilderness to experience the immensity of nature and recognize the privilege of simply existing within a complex eco-system.

"I went to the words because I wished to live deliberately…" Henry David Thoreau

These words were written over 160 years ago. They continue to have relevance in our every changing, paradoxical world. We can still choose to live deliberately

19 Comments

  1. Liz

    Ah Walden – just being reminded of his work and wisdom is sufficient to induce a sense of peace and calm – thank you so much for showcasing this wonderful and life-essential writing. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you, Liz!!! I was thinking of you especially this weekend as you attend the Worlds Bagpipe Band Competition. We were there with you in spirit. Bagpipe Bands can never be thought of peaceful or calm, but there is a deep and profound feeling of homecoming when I hear them coming. Many hugs!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clanmother

        Oh no!!! I hope Steve has recovered. Well, then we were both there “in spirit” with the streaming. I love this new technology that allows us to be there, when we’re here. Next we will be beaming over.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms Frances

    A truly remarkable gentleman and his experience can teach us so much. Much is written and discussed about meditation and “how it is found and accomplished”. Perhaps reading “Walden” would give an encouraging start to that experience. Quiet and solitude enjoying nature without the busyness and noise of daily life and—-alone with our thoughts would be a good place to discover meditation. Thank you for this significant post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you for adding depth to this conversation. Walden is not an easy read. It must remembers to view it through the lens of a previous century. Even so there are universal truths:
      “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of
      life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to
      the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts,
      the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the
      poor. The ancient philosophers, Chinese, Hindoo, Persian, and
      Greek, were a class than which none has been poorer in outward
      riches, none so rich in inward.” DHT – Walden

      Like

  3. Letizia

    Do you know, I have never read him? I have his book at home but, for some reason, never gotten around to reading it. I am very much recharged by being in nature and many of the passages I’ve read by him resonate with him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      I read Walden in stages so that I could integrate his thoughts within our current reality. Consider the idea of shelter. Vancouver is not alone in its concern for affordable housing. I think this will be one of the most critical issues we will face going forward.

      Here is as passage from Walden:

      “While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings. And if the civilized man’s pursuits are no worthier than the savage’s, if he is employed the greater
      part of his life in obtaining gross necessaries and comforts merely, why should he have a better dwelling than the former? But how do the poor minority fare?….The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another.”

      I know you will enjoy Walden! Your comments are very much appreciated. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Letizia

        Such a profound and, unfortunately, still very relevant passage. Thank you for sharing it with me. I will read it like you, in stages, as it looks to have so much to take in.
        I love our ongoing conversation! Hugs back.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you, Cindy. I agree – this is one of America’s most enduring book. I am learning to blog on the move with my iPad rather than my desk top computer. Everything is mobile now – time to get with the program. So far, its been great fun. Thanks for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

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