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by Henry David Thoreau

Walden Wisdom Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Essay.Paragraph)

Quote #4

I mean that [students] should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living. (Economy.72)

Real education can't be achieved in a classroom. It has to be lived and practiced. You know what this means: lots of field trips. (By the way, Walt Whitman totally agreed. Check out his poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer.")

Quote #5

I want the flower and fruit of a man; that some fragrance be wafted over from him to me, and some ripeness flavor our intercourse. His goodness must not be a partial and transitory act, but a constant superfluity, which costs him nothing and of which he is unconscious.

Wisdom also appears to have an "unconscious" element to it. People can be wise without knowing that they're wise or talking like a philosopher. Wisdom is synonymous with "goodness," not book learning.

Quote #6

Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. (Where I Lived.21)

Thoreau wants his readers to know that enlightenment isn't just for people who have the time and means to run off into the woods. Possibilities for discovering truth are everywhere.

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