A Hermit Discovers the Kingdom
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment [of living alone in the woods]; 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. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary;
new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around
and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a
more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In
proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less
complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness
weakness. 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."
From Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Boston, Massachussetts: Beacon, 2004), p.303
(originally published in 1854 by Ticknor and Fields, Boston as Walden; or, Life in the Woods).