“My desire for knowledge is intermittent; but my desire to commune with the spirit of the universe, to be intoxicated even with the fumes, call it, of that divine nectar, to bear my head through atmospheres and over heights unknown to my feet, is perennial and constant.”
— Henry Thoreau in his journal, February 9, 1851
“I catch myself philosophizing most abstractly when first returning to consciousness in the night or morning. I make the truest observations then, when the will is yet wholly asleep and the mind works like a machine without friction. I am conscious of having, in my sleep, transcended the limits of the individual, and made observations and carried on conversations which in my waking hours I can neither recall nor appreciate. As if in sleep our individual fell into the infinite mind, and at the momet of awakening we found ourselves on the confines of the latter. On awakening, we resume our enterprise, take up our bodies and become limited mind again…. There is a moment in the dawn, when the darkness of the night is dissipated and before the exhalations of the day commence to rise, when we see things more truly than at any other time. The light is more trustworthy, since our senses are purer and the atmosphere is less gross. By afternoon all objects are seen in mirage.
— Henry Thoreau in his journal, March 17, 1852