Thoreau + Inspiring Quotes

Discussion in 'Metaphysics, Philosophy and Religion Books' started by humandraydel, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. humandraydel

    humandraydel Member

    Hey, I'm curious as to what people think of Thoreau, and I guess Walden in particular.

    Upon reading Walden I had an incredible number of my own personal views and thoughts confirmed. It changed my life. It showed me there is a better way and I will find it if I search for it. As a result, I've begun my search and will likely end up joining or starting an ecovillage. I have a strong need to be in harmony with nature.

    Also, I wanted to leave some inspirational quotes:

    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also prison.

    As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

    If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

    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 even lived a more simple and meager life than the poor.

    That man is rich whose pleasure are the cheapest.

    There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.

    But I would say to my fellows, once for all, As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.

    dreaming of Walden Pond,

  2. fugedaboudit

    fugedaboudit Member

    yes, i do believe Thoreau was a guy that gets a bit of my respect, don't think i've read all of what he wrote at walden pond, but excerpts, & yeah, there were parts that struck me, things that sorta went along with thoughts i'd had but they were in his words... & i think his quotes are a bit interesting to read when i come across them... i guess one thing that comes to mind at the moment was something in his writings about being alone, & comparing physical distance, to, um... how do i put this, mindset, where our thoughts are... anyways, it gave me this feeling of we're all in this together, so to speak, no matter how many miles, borders, oceans apart...

    i don't know if i'm really getting anything across here though...

    well, i looked up the part:
    (it's from the "solitude" part)

    don't know if that helps explain my train of thought, but there it is
  3. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

    The only problem with that book is that it is hard to apply many of his thoughts to today's society in the materialistic sense.

    Society has changed, it was easier to "go to the woods" back then, and criticize everything.
  4. fugedaboudit

    fugedaboudit Member

    no, i don't think i see it that way...there's some part about how he went out there to "live deliberately"..... & why not think things through, and/or observe some nature?... did you read his "conclusion" part?
  5. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

    Oh no, I defenatly love and admire him and what he did. I was pointing out what probebly is the only weakness in his writting.

    Other than that, it is amazing.
  6. m6m

    m6m Member

    I saw that some one here on the Forums has this great quote by Thoreau in their signature:

    'give me a wild-ness
    whose glance
    no civilization can endure!'
  7. NovaStarwind

    NovaStarwind Member

    Walden is the best book I've ever read. It changed my life, as well!
  8. charbono

    charbono Member

    Didn't Thoreau say "Dissent without Civil Disobedience is Consent" ???
  9. fugedaboudit

    fugedaboudit Member

    *shrugs*... like i tried to explain, i don't see it that way, i suppose he might've focused on topics of his time, but i don't think i really see that as a "weakness"...
  10. HDT, what a guy. If you liked Walden, I'd suggest reading Walking. It's quite a bit shorter, only about an hours reading. Here are some of my favorite quotes of his:

    "I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business."

    "The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward."

    "...the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while."

    ***"America is said to be the arean on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freeedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant."

    "There is an incessant inlfux of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dulness."

    "The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages imply this advantage at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature."
  11. vegetable_man

    vegetable_man Member

    Ralph Waldo Emerson is, in my opinion, on the same level as Thoreau and Walden..... they all planted the seeds that would one day be Transendentalism..... which is very close to present day Gnosticism...... also i believe that the Early Beatniks found there insperation threw these three......
  12. kiss_the_sky

    kiss_the_sky Member

    I sooo loved Walden! It's one of my favourite books but I shouldn't read it too much. I have always enjoyed solitude and I'm not really an outgoing sort of person, I prefer to be alone and read a book above almost every other activity I can think of. This books says I'm right in wanting that. But it would make me a loner. I also have a nice quote:

    The morning-wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted, but few are the ears that hear it. (from Walden: where i lived and what i lived for)
  13. humandraydel

    humandraydel Member

    Wow, way to bring back a thread when I wasn't looking!

    BraveSirRobin, I agree that it was easier to escape back then, but, to me, that further reinforces his viewpoint and doesn't make it weaker. Afterall, he was criticizing the materialism of his day and it's WAY worse today. I think many of his words are as true, if not more so, than when he wrote them.

    Thanks for adding the quotes everyone. Add more if ya got em!
  14. SurfhipE

    SurfhipE Senior Member

    ah, walden. I've read sections of it, not gotten through yet, but in a few days i am leaving to hike in yosemite, and i plan to take that along, i think it will suit my current lifestyle quite well
  15. TomDijon

    TomDijon Member

    Although it may be true that some of his stuff is out of date, to compare this to how far we've gone today, in my opinion, makes it just as, if not more, relevant.

    and vegetable_man, walden is a book by Thoreau, not a person.

    I absolutely love both his and Emerson's prose. They write it with such poetic fluidity, and at the same time, intrinsically intertwined, is the inspiration; the philosophy; the meaning; the feeling. Has anyone else on here had a transcendental experience? Having experienced that experience they so humbly but so beautifully described, they made me feel that feeling again. If you've never had a transcendental experience, this might not mean much to you, but to come close enough to describing such an experience as to recreate, even minutely, that sublime feeling, is no small feat.

    "So behave that the odor of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere, that when we behold or scent a flower, we may not be reminded how inconsistent your deeds are with it; for all odor is but one form of advertisement of a moral quality, and if fair actions had not been performed, the lily would not smell sweet. The foul slime stands for the sloth and vice of man, the decay of humanity; the fragrant flower that springs from it, for the purity and courage which are immortal."

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

    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."

    "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."

    there are better ones, but that's all i could get for now. i'll post better ones later
  16. Namaste

    Namaste Member

    Walden is virtually my bible...It is the single most amazing book I've ever read. I think everyone here should read it, Thoreau is one of my favorite figures in history, he was amazing.
  17. dlo24844

    dlo24844 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Iloved WALDEN . I lived beside a river in a tent for six months, alot of time for introspection "if it's spelt right". Anyway a bloke asked me what do I do all day and I said think. He said "How do you think". That's the sorta bullshit I've had to put up with most of my life. LOVE +PEACE

  18. prismatism

    prismatism loves you

    i'm reading walden. i love it. i've always wanted to live like that, i've always felt the way he did. but it has motivated me to actually evaluate what i have and what i need. it has seperated me even further from the culture i live in. it's turned the people around me into aliens. and i'm thinking clearer. i live in alaska so it's really cold here right now, but this summer i'm gonna go live by the river :). the only real downside, is i won't be able to post here. <3
  19. Namaste

    Namaste Member

    I'd like to go to alaska in the summer. I bet it's really pretty there...
  20. inbloom

    inbloom as the crow flies...

    I own Walden, and started reading part of it. At the time though, I was neither in the right state of mind, nor the right mood to be reading that book, so I put it away. It's next on my list of books to read though, and I can't wait. With summer on it's way (still a ways away, yes I know), I know I'll draw some great inspiration from it. One of my main goals this summer, is to do what Thoreau did, and go live in the woods. Experience life at it's essence.

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