Art Of Living By Thoreau Walden
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Art Of Living By Thoreau Walden
Thoreauís Art of Living In Thoreauís Walden, he explores the art of living
by presenting a dichotomy of sojourning in nature. The life of participating
with nature considers living simply and wisely while cooperating with both its
lowest and highest elements. Thoreau calls for a change in life by changing the
conventional ideas of standard societal views and its participation with the
torpor of the material mass. Throughout Walden, Thoreau delves into his
surroundings, the very specifics of nature while trying to live the ideal life.
Perhaps the main theme and overbearing concept that Thoreau wishes to convey to
the reader both in the conclusion and throughout Walden, is that we must
recognize the great power and potential for new discovery and enjoyment in our
minds. Thus, Thoreau calls for an "ideological revolution to simplification"
in our lives and conveys a paradoxical view that the highest point of living is
the leading of a simple life of a balance between change and solitude. This life
is the art of activity within the art of structural living- a non-instrumental
way of enhancing oneís life through spiritual development and the cultivation
of the mind and body. The purpose for this enhancement is fostering the spirit
in its progress and not marred by material products or social structures. The
spirit involves activity with nature and must not be hindered by material
necessities Kim 2 demanded by society. Such progress is change within oneself,
within oneís mind and soul and ultimately achieved through self-recognition.
It is the recognizing of the self that leads to individualized experiences. This
art requires pure devotion of the individual and the divorce from the boundaries
of business and time. In doing so, the individual experiences a transcended
self, a "elevated piety" and "perennial youth " (211). Thoreau compares
the art of and active life to one of unending youthfulness. He pervades the
importance of the youth as innocent and pure. Such life must not be tainted by
obscurities and the mundane routine of the city life but rather emerged,
submerged in the purest form of existence-nature. Thoreau equates the outdoors
(natural stimuli) with innocence when he states that "every child begins the
world again, to some extent, and loves to stay outdoors" (17). Thoreau mirrors
youthfulness to nature in order to convey a need of constant rebirth into purity
and innocence that leads to a love of the earth. Thoreau provides an example of
a life embracing youthfulness and the active search for change and perfection.
The story of the man from Kouroo is a compelling anecdote for how humans can
transcend time and reduce it to the simple illusion that it is. This passage and
the story of the man as a whole can be taken as a metaphor that Thoreau is
showing us, one which we can apply to our own lives. The art does not"compromise with time" or with otherís opinions (211). The artist of
Kouroo continuously searches for the perfect stick to make a staff until he
finds that stick. He ignores even his friendsí dissuasions and desertions and
perseveres his pursuit to Kim 3 obtain that which will bring purity. Thoreau
states, "Let us settle ourselves and work and wedge our feet downward through
the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and
appearance" (63). The metaphor that Thoreau gives of the swamp with the hard
bottom serves to show how people can drown and sink in the bog of society.
However, to "settle" is to unsettle oneself from the conventions and ground
feet downward in order to transcend. Although he searches for a simple element
Ė a stick- the process, the art of living is continual, complex and endearing.
It is his "singleness of purpose" and love for the activity that brings him
a pure art and youthfulness. The active life Associated with the art of living
reveals living oneís life engaging and searching nature without worrying of
limitations. The search of perfection results in a perfect art so unimpeded by
external events. The artist uses pure materials of nature that are not tainted
by the materialistic focus of the world. By employing these pure elements, the
true artist of life brings a new system to take the place of old aged societies
and brings forth a "world with full and fair proportions" (211). This new
world constructed by innocence and purified nature does not age or dies but
rather transcends beyond the torpor and mundane life. Thoreau continues to argue
that living requires loving and meeting life. He calls the
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Civil disobedience, Ecological succession, Henry David Thoreau, Lecturers, Walden, Nature, Simple living, Walking, Thoreau Society
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