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Author: admin | Category: Traditional Tattoo Designs | 04.12.2013

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. 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. I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn. There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature. There are old heads in the world who cannot help me by their example or advice to live worthily and satisfactorily to myself; but I believe that it is in my power to elevate myself this very hour above the common level of my life. If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
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 a success unexpected in common hours.
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.
The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature.
If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.
Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument. There is danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone. If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.


I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. 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.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold. Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.
We are not what we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for what we are capable of being. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of today. I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve. Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.
Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand. Great men, unknown to their generation, have their fame among the great who have preceded them, and all true worldly fame subsides from their high estimate beyond the stars.
So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious. A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town. Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life.
While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
I have thought there was some advantage even in death, by which we mingle with the herd of common men. Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once. There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know.
If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life. The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them. It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.


It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.
If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing. There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. Books are to be distinguished by the grandeur of their topics even more than by the manner in which they are treated. We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New, but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.
I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society. There never was and is not likely soon to be a nation of philosophers, nor am I certain it is desirable that there should be.
I have seen how the foundations of the world are laid, and I have not the least doubt that it will stand a good while. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them. Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way. I have the habit of attention to such excess, that my senses get no rest - but suffer from a constant strain. I often visited a particular plant four or five miles distant, half a dozen times within a fortnight, that I might know exactly when it opened. Every day or two, I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there, circulating either from mouth to mouth, or from newspaper to newspaper, and which, taken in homeopathic doses, was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs. Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.
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.
This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live and could not spare any more time for that one.
To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.



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