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Chronicles from the writings of Henry David Thoreau - IV

Chronicles from the writings of Henry David Thoreau

Chronicle – I:  Essential needs, work and money

Chronicle - II:  Being Truthful

Chronicle  - III:   Natural Living

Chronicle IV – Social life


There are many living beings around us, from smaller ants to bigger wild animals, which constantly locking their horns to fight for their food and racial triumph over one another. They live in groups, move as a faction and set p colonies accordingly. Their widest differences are known only to themselves.  But for Thoreau, life was lonesome and hardly had he had visitors. More he remained single, more the hopes of getting one! Therefore, he was always ready to invite the passerby or a visitor from far distance. Until then, his wisdom accompanied him with all the needed sootheness. There too, as everywhere, I sometimes expected the Visitor who never comes. The Vishnu Purana says, "The house-holder is to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest." I often performed this duty of hospitality, waited long enough to milk a whole herd of cows, but did not see the man approaching from the town.”


A small but powerful remark on nature: Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads – p.112. The laws of nature are phenonomenal as it varies from person to person perspectives.  Terrific landscapes and phenomena of nature are viewed as its operations which is embodied with all types of organs as it is usually called as Mother Earth or nature, and so, mother of humanity. Same is the perspective of ours to neighbours. We don’t see one through single glass all times.


Thoreau had seen the God within him and lived in his village Walden exploring meadows and forests. He was not stagnated; nor his village. “…be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.” Not many in the world saw the world through imagination. Traveling across the seas and continents has become the custom to learn and explore the world.  It is also seen as their obligation to meet people of various race and class and get interacted out of passion for love and learning. But there are quite a few who live perversely against this style. Thoreau noted, “…some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.”


As many great men say, Thoreau wanted us to dream and build castles in the air. Our imaginations lead to endeavors; endeavors to boundaries; then on to some new laws; and finally a license to live as an higher order of beings.  All it takes is to lay some foundation on one fine day, not the entire castle. It is man’s liberty or choice to become one. While the west has narrowed focus on work, the east reflects various colors in one shawl. However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. Explore yourself and travel farther than a traveler.


We need to understand how the science of life in us works. It is like the water in a river whose level rises flood us with full of joy and fertility or shrinks with full of drought and dry. We have both ups and downs.  Our future is with tomorrow. And, there is still a lot of time for that to dawn. In this wait, be wary about to learn few truths: “The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only for that day which dawns, we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star - p.131”

To be continued tomorrow.

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