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I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
topics: truth , values  
I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
topics: books  
We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
topics: nature  
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. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. . I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
topics: eternity , humor , time , wisdom  
Things do not change; we change.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
topics: cost , life , price , time , value  
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Bramin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.
All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.
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.
topics: death , life , living , nature  
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
topics: philosophy  
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

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