Walden by Henry David Thoreau is about one man’s escape from civilisation in 1845. Thoreau retreated to the woods surrounding Walden Pond in Concord
Massachusetts and lived there for two years and two months in a hut, which he built. Emerson
had offered Thoreau the land and the retreat was seen as an experiment in self-sufficient living. Walden is Thoreau’s detailed account of his stay there, what he observed and analysed around him and how through seeking solitude he found freedom intellectually.
As Thoreau wrote: "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." Like Anthony de Mello
, Thoreau realised the importance of awareness
in life and how we should not rely on mechanical aids to keep us awake. He asked questions such as "Why should we live life in such hurry and waste life?" and decided life was often frittered away by detail.