Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quotes from "Walking" by Thoreau (Part 1)

I like to balance my studies with audio, video, and literature, with both the new and the old. For some reason I'm drawn back to Thoreau and Emerson again and again and again. It's fun to latch on to the psychedelic minds of guys like McKenna, and it's also enjoyable to go for a raucous ride with philosopher comedians like Trussell, Rogan and Brand, but there is a corner of the room that I need not neglect: the sobering and serious reality -- one without drugs or jokes -- of minds like Thoreau. Come to think of it, Daniel Suelo reminds me a lot of HDT incarnate.


Regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.

..."Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander / Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home.

He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant that the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.

For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.

When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them -- as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon -- I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.

A traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him her master's study, she answered, "Here is his library, but his study is out of doors."

The callous palms of the laborer are conversant with finer tissues of self-respect and heroism, whose touch thrills the heart, than the languid fingers of idleness.

I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to Society.

What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?

...for many years I have walked almost every day, and sometimes for several days together, I have not yet exhausted them. An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon.

Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the buildings of houses and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap.

I saw fences half consumed, their ends lost in the middle of the prairie, and some worldly miser with a surveyor looking after his bounds, while heaven had taken place around him, and he did not see the angels going to and fro.

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