I am off on holiday as from tomorrow, on a canal boat – obviously the attraction is being peaceful, relaxing and just generally cruising along. I wonder thus what other extremes a person might make to find a higher state of peace from the general speed of life. It seems natural that humans should feel the need to bond closely with nature, to benifit from getting in tune with her. Click here for a link to a website offering such an experience as retreating into nature to recharge ourselves.
Why did Henry Thoreau live in the woods?
“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.”
Thoreau wanted to get the most from his life by determining what was really important, and he did that by removing himself somewhat from the normal life of Concord, Massachusetts in the 1840’s. One side of this was economic: he reduced his material needs by living simply, so that he would not have to spend much time supporting a lifestyle that he did not need or care about. The other side was spiritual, not unlike the spiritual retreats of eastern and western religions.
And it worked. Thoreau liked it so much that he lived in his cabin for more than two years, and came back with a great story. He worked on this story for several years after leaving the Pond, until it became the Walden we know today.
It’s definitely getting me thinking about doing something beyond an ordinary relaxing holiday – I would like to enrol on a retreat such as this one – Where creativity and calmness can come together in a synthesis: The Art of Stillness.
This is an interesting link to a Guardian interview with a guy who went to a primitive cultured
people with the intention of converting them to Christianity. He ended up being converted by them.. Check it out here
And here is a nice interview with Daniel Everett on the excellent organization ‘Future Primitive.’ http://www.futureprimitive.org/2012/03/daniel-everett-the-grammar-of-happiness/