In later years, his “journal” was filled with scientific observations and insights that became an important inspiration to the modern day environmental movements. Through both art and science, his transcendentalist perspective a century later became the conscious of an individual, as much as the character of a nation, our nation, America.
“Direct your eyes right inward, and you’ll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered.” Travel them, and be Experts in home-cosmography”
Voice Of Thoreau
“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all that the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening….”
So said, H.G. Wells, english novelist and visionary, in 1902 in his article titled ‘Vision of the Future’ in a journal called “Nature”.
Poetry, music, art, religion, science, and philosophy, much is rooted in inspiration by nature.
A deep appreciation for the laws of nature, and interconnectedness of all life on earth as we know are important for sustenance of our cultural heritage of technology innovation. Such a heritage takes us back to such great minds of modern science and technology, as Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, C.V.Raman, and Albert Einstein (just to mention a few such “great minds”) must also be part of such heritage of natural philosophy. It is important thus to note that before there was modern science and technology, there was natural philosophy.
In parallel, and often totally integrated to the process of science and technology innovation, were such great minds in philosophy and arts that existed in America. In that world of the past included practical minded founding fathers of America as Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and George Mason.
Afterward, there were other “great minds” rooted in natural philosophy such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. It is from such “great minds” that our heritage of deep appreciation of nature comes forward to our era at the gates of 21st Century America’s knowledge economy and our spirit of innovation. Quest for clean water and associated “natural habitats” to sustain clean water comes from this heritage here in America.
Thoreau integrated art and science and provided a philosophical anchor for many 20th century leaders in community, arts, and science including, Martin Luther King (community leader), Gandhi (community leader), Tagore (literary voice and poet), and B.F.Skinner (scientist). Many today considers Thoreau is the father of the modern environmental movement.