Walden (conflict Between Mind And Body)

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In Walden, there is much conflict between the mind and the body. In Higher Laws, Thoreau discusses his desire for raw meat even though that is not his normal behavior and he doesn't even approve of this demeanor. He suffers from an unusually strong craving to let go and become one with the beast he knows is somewhere within him. He says, "Once or twice, however, I found myself ranging the woods, like a half-starved hound, with a strange abandonment, seeking some kind of venison which I might devour, and no morsel could have been too savage for me. The wildest scenes had become unaccountably familiar. I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and a savage one, and I reverence them both." (pg. 260) This illustrates the belief that inside of us all is this desire to go back to that primal self.

Even with all the knowledge humans are gaining, there is still that basic desire to show our own barbarism and to let go of that conventionalism that binds us to society and to the laws we uphold for ourselves. He alludes to the fact that we have inside ourselves two basic desires, one pulling us toward spiritual and intellectual growth and the other, more ominous, urge to relieve ourselves of the constraints that modern man and his society place upon us and return once more to that barbarous nature that inhabited humans at the beginning of time. He also says that he respects both of these instincts, which is how most men, who are intelligent enough to recognize them, do. Many times these tendencies conflict with each other, for in one's quest for spiritual...