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Philosophy of Thoreau Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer Let him step to the music which he hears however measured or far away Thoreau 345 In Walden Henry David Thoreau bases his philosophy of the true meaning of life on the importance of self-reliance to gain self-fulfillment the value of simplicity for freedom and the illusion of progress In proportion as he simplifies his life the laws of the universe will appear less complex and solitude will not be solitude nor poverty poverty nor weakness weakness If you have built castles in the air your work need be lost that is where they should be Now put the foundations under them 343 For Thoreau one must depend only upon and trust only in the thoughts and ideas of oneself becoming a nonconformist in society and live as fundamentally as possible for outward improvements in life cannot bring inner peace and contentment Thoreau loathes the culture he is surrounded by which is fascinated by the idea of progress and success represented by advances in technology territory and economics--the illusion of progress He does not believe that any social advances seen only on the outside will help him gain inner contentment or live life to its fullest capacity All luxuries that allow a person to be perceived as successful are unnecessary and irrelevant to the true essentials of life and only add to the complexity and desperation of mankind Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only indispensable but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankindlove wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity independence magnanimity and trust 202 Resisting progress Thoreau criticizes the train which seems to be encroaching upon Walden Pond in Sounds claiming it
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