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Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  184 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The writing of Henry David Thoreau is as full of life today as it was when he published Walden one hundred years ago. In seeking to understand nature, Thoreau sought to "lead a fresh, simple life with God." In 1848 a seeker named Harrison Blake, yearning for a spiritual life of his own, asked the then-fledgling writer for guidance. The fifty letters that ensued, collected ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1958)
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Nate Jordon
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As always, Thoreau's words are as poignant today as they were 150 years ago. His musings on life and the purpose of it are a beacon to all seekers. His critique of society's ills continue to ring true - though society and culture have changed dramatically since his time, the nature of mankind has essentially stayed the same; the social, cultural, political, and financial challenges we face today are much the same and are a result of our slow evolution. Thoreau provides insight into the core of t ...more
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read this book I get some new insight, or some new perspective. It's a great collection of letters. Here is a quote. "It is not when I am going to meet him, but when I am just turning away and leaving him alone, that I discover that God is."
Francisca Pageo
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hablar de Henry David Thoreau es hablar sobre la vida, la pasión y el sacrificio por lo que uno quiere y ama. Resulta imposible leerlo y no dejarse llevar uno mismo por sus ideas y su mirada, unas ideas y una mirada que se empezaron a perfilar tras su contacto con Ralph Waldo Emerson y otros trascendentalistas, que influyeron en su manera de pensar, de ser, llevándole a defender una forma de vida cercana a la naturaleza y la libertad del individuo por encima de la sociedad.

Será en 1845 cuando de
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My journey continues, I have turned 60 pages of,"Letters to a Spiritual Seeker." I is a wonderful set of letters H.D.T. had with Harrison Blake. These letters brings H.D.T. closer to you in that this dialog becomes a bit personal, as if H.D.T. was talking to you.

As I read I am learning about someone who is becoming a good friend, a man that lived a lifetimes before. Henry David Thoreau! H.D.T. was interested in the Natural world - Nature. His interested expands to mans’ essences, what make each
Alex Pler
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Para que las montañas se desplacen, viva en casa como un viajero. No debería ser en vano que se nos muestren todas esas cosas día tras día. Cada hoja marchita que veo en mis paseos, ¿acaso no he viajado precisamente para encontrarla? Viajado... ¿quién puede saber hasta dónde? ¡Qué locos están quienes piensan que su El Dorado se encuentra en cualquier parte excepto allí donde viven!
Beth Miller
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for meaning beyond the orthodoxy of the "church", Thoreau lovers
Recommended to Beth by: My son Robert
Shelves: spirituality
This book actually inspired the following blog post on my Blogger site back in January:

I bought this book as Christmas gift to my son Rob and have taken some time to read it while he reads some of his other book gifts first. If you love Thoreau, or even if you just love 19th century American history, this is a wonderful read. Editor and independent scholar Bradley P. Dean has done an incredible job of editing these letters from Henry David 'Thoreau to his friend Harrison Blake, which were writte
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
Henry David Thoreau, conosciuto per i suoi capolavori letterari su temi sociali e naturalistici, nel 1848, da poco ritornato dai due anni di eremitaggio a Walden, incontrò un uomo di nome Harrison Blake. Quest'ultimo chiese al maestro trascendentalista di fargli da guida e di indirizzarlo, al fine di trovare la propia via. Blake si trovava infatti in una profonda crisi esistenziale, "tremava sull'orlo" e non riusciva a comprendere se stesso. Thoreau accettò la sfida e così tra i due iniziò una f ...more
Stefano Ottolenghi
Recensione a caldo, come premessa.

Il libro contiene i testi delle lettere intercorse tra Henry David Thoreau e il suo discepolo Harrison Blake, 27 lettere su un arco di 13 anni, per la precisione. Prima brutta sorpresa: delle lettere di Blake c'è solo la prima, le altre sono andate perse tempo addietro. Un particolare che in seconda di copertina è abilmente omesso ed è precisato solo nell'introduzione. Seguire una corrispondenza solo con le lettere di una delle due parti è quantomeno difficile,
Taylor Storey
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this one at logos in Santa Cruz for 3 bucks. I loved it.

Thoreau had a friend, Harrison Blake, who had deep respect for thoreau, and asked for thoreau's guidance. They ended up corresponding for 13 years. These are 50 letters which Blake kept.

The title uses the word spiritual seeker, which carried a different connotation to me. I thought of it as prayer etc. but spiritual for Blake and Thoreau is more about enjoying life. Thoreau, if you know anything about him, was a big proponent of s
Eduardo Almeida Medina
Cuanto más elevada es la montaña en la que estás, menores serán los cambios de perspectiva año tras año, siglo tras siglo, y a partir de cierta altura, ya no hay cambio.
La naturaleza aborrece la repetición.
No deje pasar ninguna oportunidad de sentirse melancólico.
No hay nadie que no se engañe cada hora en el respeto que concede a las falsas apariencias.
En aquello que más le importe, no piense que dispone de compañeros de viaje.
Dese cuenta de que está solo en el mundo.
A mi parecer, estamos siem
Joe Ward
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading H.D. Thoreau's letters to Harrison Blake this winter and taking my time about it. As always, Thoreau's insights and manner of expression are a joy to experience. It would be wonderful to have Blake's letters to Thoreau but I understand that they have been lost. Some of the fifty letters are purely prosaic and could have perhaps been omitted, although even these provide historical perspective on Thoreau's life.

Bradley P. Dean's introduction and footnotes are helpful and interest
Jonathan Brooker
Aug 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm sure it makes me look simple or uncultured to give this book a 1-star rating, but I just could not give it anything higher. Yes, I enjoy Thoreau and so I was very much looking forward to reading such an interesting collection of his writings. However, if you were to take one side of a conversation between friends that sometimes went deep but often was simply personal correspondence, then sprinkle in some background historical information that wasn't always even applicable to the writings, yo ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Part history lesson, part insight as to the mind and heart of Henry David Thoreau, this book is captivating and holds many wise and thoughtful words on how to live a simple, meaningful and spiritual life. The introductions to each letter provided context and the footnotes are invaluable. As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. A few favorite pearls of wisdom...
"How prompt we are to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our bodies; how slow to satisfy the hunger an
Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
More than 50 letters from Thoreau to a spiritual seeker. Many gemlike thoughts to ponder:

“I know little about the affairs of Turkey, but I am sure that I know something about barberries and chest nuts of which I have collected a store this fall.”

“There is more good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages.”

“Life is so short that it is not wise to take roundabout ways, nor can we spend much time in waiting.”

“Even now I am probably the greatest walker in Concord---to its disgrace
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La correspondencia entre Henry David Thoreau y su amigo Blake nos narran en primera persona y de manera unidireccional (se desconocen las respuestas de Blake excepto la primera carta) la visión del mundo y de la vida que tenia una de las mentes más brillantes de su época.
Lectura densa y cargada de notas que dificultan la lectura (continuas alusiones a personajes eminentes, a poemas, a citas Bíblicas, lugares, otros libros…) y que dificultan la lectura pero que son imprescindibles para entender e
Sara Comuzzo
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
si sa Thoreau non era un uomo comune, non era uno scrittore comune. un naturalista, un eremita, un asceta. era tutto questo e molto altro. in questo volumetto è racchiusa la sua corrispondenza con Blake, il suo primo e più fedele discepolo. lettere che parlano d'amore, di benessere, di solitudine, della società, della civiltà, di sè stessi, di come ritrovarsi.
si può imparare molto da questi scritti, le parole di Thoreau arrivano come schegge che si fermano poco più lontano del cuore giusto per p
Mantis Matsuri
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Todos los epistolarios son curados con un carácter en mente. Algunos son desesperados, otros son divertidos y otros son una seguidilla de elogios mutuos. Este de Thoreau no puede tener otro cariz si no ese que cruza transversalmente toda su obra: el desafío al lector y depositario a reclamar el valor de su tiempo en comunión con la naturaleza. Apela al sentido común por sobre las leyes y nos recuerda la importancia y muchos usos de la amistad.
A veces las cartas terminan por sermonear, pero, en ú
Michael Picot
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Extremely interesting read. This was like reading a blog by Thoreau. Some letters were just about everyday life and his surveying business. But, many were just brilliant meanderings of a genius mind putting pen to paper. So many quotable lines within these letters that were never meant for public consumption, but are the result of a brilliant writer, just, writing.
Maughn Gregory
I read these like letters to me.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'll read anything about or by Thoreau, and this didn't fail to thrill me. I think that letters allow the real insight into someone's mind and heart.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
No hay palabras para describirlo. Es como si Thoreau reviviese y contestase tus propias cartas que hablan sobre la vida.
Jul 26, 2009 rated it liked it
I thought it was an interesting compilation, but I admit, it didn't blow my mind or beget any great thinking on my part.
Becki Hutcherson
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
So thought provoking
Michael Webb
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very well selected and collated. Easier to follow than Walden can be at times.
Matt Eisenman
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable - some of Thoreau's best work is included here.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave
Purchase this when you can. Loved.
Tom Mc
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John Giudice
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Mar 31, 2012
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Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau) was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

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More about Henry David Thoreau...
“As the sun went down, I saw a solitary boatman disporting on the smooth lake. The falling dews seemed to strain and purify the air, and I was soothed with an infinite stillness. I got the world, as it were, by the nape of the neck, and held it under in the tide of its own events, till it was drowned, and then I let it go down stream like a dead dog. Vast hollow chambers of silence stretched away on every side, and my being expanded in proportion, and filled them. Then first could I appreciate sound, and find it musical.” 6 likes
“All the world complain now a days of a press of trivial duties & engagements which prevents their employing themselves on some higher ground they know of, - but undoubtedly if they were made of the right stuff to work on that higher ground, provided they were released from all those engagements - they would now at once fulfill the superior engagement, and neglect all the rest, as naturally as they breathe. They would never be caught saying that they had no time for this when the dullest man knows that this is all that he has time for.” 4 likes
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