“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”*

From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

*Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American philosopher, poet, and environmental scientist whose major work, Walden, draws upon each of these identities in meditating on the concrete problems of living in the world as a human being. He sought to revive a conception of philosophy as a way of life, not only a mode of reflective thought and discourse…

If one were asked to name the cardinal virtue of Thoreau’s philosophy, it would be hard to identify a better candidate than awareness. He attests to the importance of “being forever on the alert,” and of “the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen” (Walden, IV). This exercise may enable one to create remarkably minute descriptions of a sunset, a battle between red and black ants, or the shapes taken by thawing clay on a sand bank: but its primary value lies in the way it affects the quality of our experience. “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” (Walden, II). Awareness cannot be classified as exclusively a moral or an intellectual virtue, either, since knowing is an inescapably practical and evaluative activity—not to mention, an embodied practice. Thoreau portrays himself not from a presumably neutral or impersonal vantage point, “but from an embodied point of view” in which his somatic sensory experience puts him “knowingly in touch with” his surroundings (Goodman 2012, 36). For such reasons as these, he has sometimes been interpreted as a “philosopher of the senses” (Mooney 2009, 195), who offers an original response to the central problem of modern philosophy as a consequence of recognizing that knowledge is “dependent on the individual’s ability to see,” and that “the world as known is thus radically dependent on character” (Tauber 2001, 4–5)…”

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