“Our life is frittered away by detail.” As individuals, we center much of our consciousness on the materialistic aspects of life which renders us blind to its more salient features. We need to live in a simplified manner in order to perceive all that living has to offer. Thoreau contemplated the theory that we require nature and being near it within his works. The essays from Walden reflect the ideas of Transcendentalism in the way that they put emphasis on spiritual development and comprehension as opposed to worldly pleasures.
Thoreau was a transcendentalist who’s ideas accentuated the significance of creation and being close to Mother Nature. Transcendentalism is a philosophy that asserts the primary of the spiritual over the material. On July 4th of 1845, Thoreau moved into a small house near the shores of Walden pond to conduct a two-year experiment on simple living. “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.” We squander much of our time on meaningless, money-oriented possessions which do nothing more than divert our cognizance, ultimately leaving us less spiritually aware. We’re all disembodied spirits of low consciousness in need of blinders so as to finally prioritize the most momentous changes in relation to living as opposed to societal pressures, expectations, etc. Materialism fills a void. We must repent and fill this emptiness with intent, objective, and challenges. Materialistic assets obstruct our view on the most consequential facets of living and we wind up in a state of somnambulism apropos life.
Multitudinous individuals have stopped moving to the rhythms of nature and become heedless due to an artificial world we tend to fabricate. We relinquish our sentience and are never truly compos mentis. “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” Everyday provides us each with a renewed opportunity at crafting our souls morality. We hold the intention of leading a more fulfilling life while disregarding experiences yet to be ascertained. An infinite expectation of the dawn essentially signifies a new beginning for oneself with the intention of awakening and elevation of our lives. One could surmise they’re wide awake while their soul still slumbers. We are obliged to enhance our connection to nature as well as one another in this world for the purpose of perceiving the idea that it’s the smaller, seemingly trifling interactions which truly nourish our soul and aid in establishing our destiny and moral outlook. “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” When crafted, the soul is capable of making changes in not only the substantial parts of life but “even in the details.”
In relation to transcendentalism, Walden reflects the idea of preserving one’s “blank slate.” It’s theorized that the human mind is incapable of processing data at birth but later develops rules for adding and processing data as formed solely by the sensory experiences of an individual. Our experiences in life shape our outlook on ourselves and the world around us. Living life among civilization many times results in unnecessary complexity and we don’t live in a way that allows us to truly grasp knowledge or useful experiences for that matter. “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” If we would just live simply, we wouldn’t be subjected to such a high rate of problems for the reason that we’d no longer allow ourselves to become controlled by our materialistic belongings as well as the work it takes to afford said possessions. It is vital that we assert ascendancy of ourselves over our chattels. Frankly, if we were fully adamant on the aspects of simplification, we’d not be so distressed and doleful at all times which would provide for improved time management as well as personal development. “The fibers of all things have their tensions and are strained like the strings of an instrument.”There’s plenty of time within a day to go out into nature and do some self evaluation as well as connection with creation for the sake of easing the overtask and tensity. We undergo constant crippling affliction which is ostensibly significant in the concept of self refinement. Perhaps, we musn’t suffer in the interest of assimilating the magnitude of lucidity but instead be more in touch with mother nature. “Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
To conclude, spiritual development and maturation must be prioritized. So that one may flourish, simplicity and connection with creation are manifestly inescapable. As individuals, we must know who we are and where we stand in this universe for the purpose of facing it readily. The coherence of Transcendentalism is clear despite its modest questionability and Walden reflects its ideas in a way that provides a sense of perspicuity.
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