Thoreau's Journal: 17-Mar-1852

I catch myself philosophizing most abstractly when first returning to consciousness in the night or morning. I make the truest observations and distinctions then, when the will is yet wholly asleep and the mind works like a machine without friction. I am conscious of having, in my sleep, transcended the limits of the individual, and made observations and carried on conversations which in my waking hours I can neither recall nor appreciate. As if in sleep our individual fell into the infinite mind, and at the moment of awakening we found ourselves on the confines of the latter. On awakening we resume our enterprise, take up our bodies and become limited mind again. We meet and converse with those bodies which we have previously animated. There is a moment in the dawn, when the darkness of the night is dissipated and before the exhalations of the day commence to rise, when we see things more truly than at any other time. The light is more trustworthy, since our senses are purer and the atmosphere is less gross. By afternoon all objects are seen in mirage.


Jane said...

Reading these accounts of the weather is enough to make me wish I were living in 1852 instead of 2005. I live 20 miles from Concord, and there have been no velvety breezes this March, as least so far. The ponds hereabouts all remain frozen solid, and the land is still under a foot of snow. I'll be visiting THE pond next week, though, and hopefully things will have warmed up somewhat by then.

Anonymous said...

I lived it even in a city thousands of miles away.You can find a thoreauvian proof here