Lindsay (dragonzuela) wrote,

Walden - intro

Life is really stressful right now, but I think half the stress is just keeping track of what I need to do, rather than actually doing it. My day planner is helping.

There are a couple spiritual things I could write about, but I feel like saving them for later.

For now I leave you with an excerpt from Brooks Atkinson's introduction to Thoreau's Walden. It's a 70-year-old intro to a 153-year-old book, so I'm assuming I won't get sued.

As a whole, the Trancendentalists were not systematic philosophers, bent on arranging the pattern of life into a logical sequence. Quite the contrary: they believed in living by inspiration. Believing that man and the universe were God, they worshiped Him by trying to live in spiritual harmony with the great laws of nature--trying humbly to be good men. Their philosophy was little more than a collection of "thoughts," of individual aspirations and manifestations distilled from the sunshine and the mist over the river. They believed that they were living the good life, not by accumulating or acquiring possessions, but by quickening their awareness of the beauties of nature and human nature. Thoreau yearned to be as pure and innocent as the flowers in the field. Although the Trancendentalists were not as a whole consistent churchgoers in a period when churchgoing was an integral part of community life, they were nevertheless deeply religious people. In a humble way, they represented God on earth; they were His agents because they were trying to live in His image and they believed that men might yet found Heaven on earth by looking into their own hearts for the rules of life and by following the direction of their finest instincts.

...Although the world was at loose ends and his neighbors lived lives of "quiet desperation," he believed that he was on the right track and had nothing but immortality to fear when he was present to greet the first bluebird in late February or early March and to find the first hepatica blooming among the late snowdrifts...
Tags: books

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