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Thoreau as Spiritual Guide

Thoreau as Spiritual Guide

A Companion to Walden for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion

Now available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store and in the Google eBookstore.

Author: Barry M. Andrews

Price: $16.00

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Now available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store and in the Google eBookstore.

A fresh reading of Walden as a meditative companion, teaching tool and guide to personal growth. Discussion questions included for group or personal use. Includes discussion questions for group and individual use.

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Preface

Self-Culture: Transcendentalism and the Care of the Soul

Walden as Spiritual Classic

Guidelines for Leaders

How Do We Spend Our Lives?

How Do We Wake Up?

How Do We Grow?

Society and Solitude

The Spiritual Life

How Then Shall We Live?

A Thoreau Chronology

"Thoreau is aware that othersmight think his philosophy and lifestyle extreme, but feels that he must exaggerate to some extent in order get his point across. Indeed, he fears he's not "extra-vagant" enough, using the word in the sense of wandering beyond the "narrow limits" of common experience. "I desire to speak somewhere without bounds," he writes; "like aman in a wakingmoment tomen in their wakingmoments; for I amconvinced that I cannot exaggerate enough even to lay the foundation of a true expression." Sometimes one must shout in order to be heard.

The problem is, we settle for too little.We prize our dullest perceptions as common sense when, in fact, what passes for common sense is really the sense of people who are asleep.We wouldn't recognize a wise person if we saw one. Some believe that we are intellectually inferior to our ancestors and let it go at that. Shouldn't we rather be the most intelligent persons we can possibly be?We seem so desperate to succeed and in such desperate enterprises. Instead,we should do what is right for us.As Thoreau says in a well-known passage: "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."We should not settle for anything less than the truth."

"Andrews is a knowledgeable and articulate advocate for the continuing religious relevance of the New England Transcendentalists, and his study guide on Thoreau's Walden will be a valuable resource to contemporary Unitarian Universalists. As Andrews shows us, disciplined spiritual practice was a crucial component of the Transcendentalist ethos. Thoreau's experiment at the pond can serve as a guide for readers today."

—David M. Robinson, Distinguished Professor of American Literature, Oregon State University and Author of The Unitarian and the Universalists

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