The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Henry David Thoreau extracts
In wildness is the preservation of the world.
Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things
which he can afford to let alone.
Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?
Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Men and boys are learning all kinds of trades but how to make men of themselves.
Most men would feel insulted, if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Those services which the community will most readily pay for it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man.
The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad,
and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Say what you have to say, not what you ought.
Any truth is better than make-believe.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
One cannot too soon forget his errors and misdemeanors. To dwell long upon them is to add to the offense. Repentance and sorrow can only be displaced by something better, which is as free and original as if they had not been.
To regret deeply is to live afresh.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee, that, if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure, that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for.