Computers and the A-bomb

[Working backward from the year 2000 toward America’s beginnings.]


We tend to forget that before the world was changed by personal computers, the world was changed by mainframes. Computers were invented for gunnery control (if you were going to aim your cannons in fast-moving situations, or from fast-moving platforms, you had to make too many computations too fast to do it by hand). Like other things – like air conditioning, like airplanes, like so many other things, as we’ll see — the technology matured rapidly as money was poured into development, and as it moved from the military to the civilian sphere.

The first computers were electronic, but they were also mechanical. The computations themselves took place as fast as the electrons could hustle, but which paths they followed – what operations they performed, in what order, depended upon hard-wired boards that had to be switched out, one after another, in the correct order, to get the job done. It was a big breakthrough, the day someone figured out how to tell the machine to (in effect) change its own wiring, task by task. Enter the programmable computer. Now all the figuring out was done in advance. Instructions were fed into the machine via decks of punched IBM cards the size of the pre-war dollar bill. The machine read the deck card by card, executed each instruction one by one, and, if the programming was right, went from operation to operation at electronic, rather than at manual, speed.

Initially the machines were so expensive, that IBM president Thomas Watson estimated that worldwide demand for computers might be as high as six, an estimate that wasn’t spectacularly accurate.

At first they were programmed in what is called machine language, a binary digital language consisting of groups of zeros and ones. Machine language is also called microcode:  hence, Microcode Software – Microsoft. You can imagine how difficult it is to program. Then someone invented Assembler, which made matters easier. (If you’re interested, Then came FORmula TRANslation (FORTRAN) for scientific and mathematical calculations, and COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) for the relatively simple manipulation of massive amounts of data. These languages turned the computer into a practical way to automate many more real-world applications. COBOL for instance started to replace payroll calculations and bank statements.

This created a huge market, and IBM and other companies learned how to fill it. The IBM 360 and 370, particularly, poured into the business world in great numbers, creating large profits which could be, and were, poured back into further research and development.

By the 1960s, they were everywhere in business and government. (The space race wouldn’t have gone very far without them.) Less visibly, they were transforming military applications, as well. But the mainframe computer was never going to make its way into the home or small office, so the personal computer was a revolution built upon a revolution, which is practically shorthand for the story of technology in the 20th century.


The atom in war and peace

I think it’s safe to say that we mostly look upon the atom as a curse, but there was a time when it looked like the bright shining hope for a better future for everybody, and a time before that when it looked like our one great hope for survival, and a time before that when we were in a deadly race, or thought we were, to create an atomic bomb before the Nazis did.

To work our way backward. Eisenhower in the 1950s announced Atoms For Peace, an attempt to harness the phenomenal power of atomic fission (and, perhaps one day,  the even more phenomenal power of atomic fusion) for peaceful purposes. At the time it was fantasized that atomic plants would provide clean electric power “too cheap to meter,” freeing industrial countries from dependence upon foreign oil and offering the possibility that underdeveloped countries could leapfrog the entire development cycle, beginning where we were winding up. among the unintended results was that of giving access to nuclear materials and know-how to countries that might have had a more difficult time, otherwise, developing their own bombs. Not England, Russia, France, or China, and not Israel, but perhaps India and Pakistan, anyway. And if it had not been for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, one shudders to think how much farther the plague would have spread, because it became ever easier, ever cheaper, to develop atomic bombs. What cost the United States a terrific effort could now be done by dime-store countries with spare change. Lucky us.

Before Atoms for Peace came the balance of terror, in which the United States and then the Soviet Union raced to further develop the damned things, building more and more of them, testing them, deploying them, and finding ever more efficient delivery systems, so that what started out as a single bomb in the desert in June, 1945, then two bombs delivered in August by B-29s,  became collections of bombs, with entire fleet wings devoted to their delivery at a moment’s notice; became fleets of bombers some of which were in the air at all times, lest a sneak attack take out the fleets on the ground. (The fliers were required to wear a black patch over one eye at all times when in the air, in case they happened to be facing a blinding nuclear blast. The idea was that they would then switch the patch to the now-blinded eye and proceed with their mission. To quote Dave Barry: I am not making this up.)

The fleets of bombers were joined by missile-carrying submarines, and eventually by surface ships carrying nuclear-warhead-tipped cruise missiles. And these were joined by groupings of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) deployed around the Russian heartland, and by Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) which could destroy the Soviet Union from bases in our country on the other side of the world.

It got to the point that the Soviets and the Americans between them had deployed so much megatonnage that if a war actually had erupted, we know for sure who would have lost the war. Everybody. Maybe the earth would have survived. Maybe humanity would have survived. It is impossible to see how civilization would have. Albert Einstein once said, he didn’t know the weapons World War III would be fought with, but World War IV would be fought with rocks.

Well, it didn’t happen, though it did nearly happen, by accident, at least three times that we know of, as automated systems malfunctioned, or people’s judgment wavered. For all we know, it was only the nuclear balance of terror that kept us from fighting World War III, just as some games theorists said. But that still doesn’t tell us how to get the genie back into the bottle.

The genie got out because of the Manhattan Project, and the project was undertaken because several émigré physicists feared that Nazi Germany was trying to develop an atomic bomb. (And so it was, but it was on hopelessly the wrong path.) The physicists got Albert Einstein to write a letter to President Roosevelt, outlining what they thought could be done. Einstein’s immense scientific prestige was enough to carry the day. The Manhattan Project resulted, a totally top secret project involving thousands of people in many states, a project proving once for all that governments can indeed keep a secret when they are motivated to do so.

In those war years, Senator Harry Truman ran a commission investigating waste and fraud in wartime industrial contracts. His staffers saw all this money going into this project and nothing coming out, and he determined to find out what was what. The White House told him, hands off, and he loyally kept hands off, and only found out what was going on when he himself became president in April, 1945, three months before the first and only test, and four months before the first two times (so far, the only time) they were used in anger.

Ironically, if the United States had not proved that it could be done, probably no one ever would have, because of  the immense scientific and industrial and monetary resources that had to be invested without any guarantees of success. And the bomb was developed not primarily because some scientists thought it could be done, but because they thought it could be done and Germany was doing it. For the next 40 years, the world lived on the edge of destruction. Hitler’s last legacy.


JFK and television

[Working backward from the year 2000 toward America’s beginnings.]


After he was killed, this American president’s photograph could be found in people’s homes all over the world. This gringo president created wild enthusiasm in a brief tour of Central America in the summer of 1963, when only a few years earlier, then-vice president Richard Nixon had nearly been attacked by a hostile mob in Caracas. Yes, part of it may have been that for the first time ever, an American president shared their Roman Catholicism, but that wouldn’t explain the Kennedy-mania that swept Europe and other countries.

This rich man’s son found his way into hearts all around the globe, as people reacted to his image, his intelligence, his charm, and – not least – his policies and promise. At first he was seen (by the West, at least) as another defender of freedom, in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Eisenhower. But in the last year of his short presidency, he transcended that role as it became clear that he was a man of reason who hoped to bring the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion. The world was dreadfully tired of being terrified, and bored by the pretenses of each ideology to be the only possible way forward. Kennedy was seen as a firm, if belated, defender of human rights at home, and as a forward-looking proponent of intelligent compromise abroad, an optimist without illusions, as his wife once termed him. In those qualities, I think the world saw America at its best.

After he was murdered, his successor represented less a continuation of Kennedy’s path-breaking new approaches than a reversion to FDR’s New Deal domestically and to reflexive Cold War policies internationally. Lyndon Johnson probably meant well – don’t most people? – but there was never a time when you would have found his photograph hanging on people’s walls.

Of course, when you say Kennedy, you think television, for it was television that allowed him to have his terrific impact. From the days of his presidential campaign in 1960 through the ghastly days of his assassination and funeral, the world responded to his telegenic presence, and that of his wife and even their little children. In 1960, those who heard the first Nixon-Kennedy presidential debates on radio thought Nixon had the better of the exchange, but television made it a Kennedy victory, indeed a turning-point, because the image that came across people’s TV tubes was not of a callow inexperienced junior Senator, as his opponents wanted to portray him, but as a relaxed, confident, authoritative statesman, as he wanted to be seen. It was television that allowed him to speak directly to the nation and the world to appeal to reason, whether the subject was civil rights or Soviet missiles in Cuba or the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And it was television that turned the world into participants in his final tragic moments and their aftermath. So let us turn, as did the world, to the invention that some saw as the world’s greatest communication tool and others saw only as the “boob tube.”


They were both right. This American invention of the 1920s, not put into commercial production until after the second world war had ended, had a totally transformative impact on world culture, but with distinctly mixed effects. Like most American technology of the 20th century, it was technically superb and was continually improved upon, as it went from small black-and-white kinescopes with nine-inch screens to full-color sets with screens that stretched several feet in height and width. But, also like most American technology of the 20th century, the uses it was put to were often trivial or even harmful.

In 1962, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minnow by name, criticized commercial television as “a vast wasteland” of mediocre programming, repetitive, imitative, and unimaginative. He was so right. In television’s earliest years, unless you lived in one of the largest cities, your TV fare was restricted to a choice among three national commercial networks, perhaps augmented by an anemic public-television channel. Even the coming of cable TV (which came, at first, to areas that could not receive good broadcast quality) did little to expand the choice.

Communications-satellite links, and the installation of high-capacity fiber-optic cable in much of the urbanized part of the nation, broke the monopoly of the three networks. Now you could receive hundreds of channels. This transformed the situation, because now a single channel could specialize on one subject, day in and (increasingly) day out. Thus, news channels, sports channels, movie channels, shopping channels (!) etc. If you really wanted to watch Star Trek re-runs 24 hours a day, and you owned a TV remote, you could.

You could, and so could the world, and so American television flooded the world, just as American movies had done, beginning in the 1930s. in effect, perpetual free advertising for a certain version of the American way of life. It had an incalculable effect, but a big one. Some came to hate the “Coca Cola Culture,” others fell in love with a vision of a way of life they never otherwise would have dreamed of, and of course many people were pulled two ways. The one indisputable thing about television is that it changed everything it touched, and it touched everything.

World cultural power

[Working backward from the year 2000 toward America’s beginnings.]

World cultural power

Our final survey of America in the 20th century deals with the century’s cultural impact on America, and America’s cultural impact on the world. When the 20th century began, American culture was peripheral to Europe. By mid-century it had become dominant and in the final half it was overwhelming, and if (as in economics) the future of America’s cultural predominance had come into question, still it was only a question. As in economics, only time would tell. Now, note that cultural preeminence doesn’t necessarily mean popularity. For a couple of decades it was popular in certain European circles to decry what they called “the Coca Cola culture.” Preeminence doesn’t mean popularity; it means, you can’t be ignored.


There could be no more appropriate place to start than the internet, that really began to come into its own in the century’s final few years. This American-conceived and -executed project, begun and continued for strictly American reasons and designed to serve American purposes, seems destined to transform the mental globe, perhaps ultimately pulling us into one global community, certainly in the meantime enlarging the effective community of every far-flung language group. (And what language extends to more peoples than English? English seems fated to become humanity’s common language, if only a universally shared second language.)

No need to spell out the genesis and nature of the internet. Suffice it to say that it began in the 1960s with the military. It’s hard to explain this without it sounding insane, but military planners were concerned that an atomic war would destroy telephone links. That is, they feared that critical telephone exchanges would get destroyed, resulting in the surviving forces being unable to communicate with each other. So they invented a way to pass messages between computers by having the messages themselves search out the best available route. As happened in so many areas, what began as a military need was developed by way of the academic world, which adapted it for its own uses. Thus a military communications system became a network of military and academic sites, and certain governmental agencies, and …

Starting in about 1990, the internet began going mainstream. Its number of users doubling every few months, by the end of the century it already seemed universal, and quickly became indispensible to many businesses, researchers, curious individuals and, eventually, people who really, really wanted to see lots of photos and cartoons featuring cats.

The global effect was probably unanticipated, but it was pervasive. The “global village” that Marshall McLuhan had predicted, and had described in its early stages, was where we now began to live. Villages share rumors, gossip, and backbiting no less than information, common tasks and a certain world-view, and here we are.

Personal computers

And all of this intercommunication is possible only because of the rise of personal computers, another American innovation that transformed the world. Like all technology, it left home and changed as it grew, so that by the turn of the century people were inventing variations and applications suited to their own particular needs. (Some were of little use in developed countries but were revolutionary in third-world countries. For instance, solar recharge stations for laptops where there was no reliable electric grid.) America’s vast domestic market, its educated middle class, and its businesses with sufficient capital to reorganize around the availability of this new way of doing certain things provided the market that allowed the computers to be developed. Apple revolutionized the graphics-design industry, because it allowed things to be done in an instant that previously would not have been done at all, because they would have required too much time and labor. Thus, if you want to change fonts, tinge artwork with another color, insert special effects such as bending the type or inverting the picture, or mirroring it – all of these things could be done without computers, but only with great disproportionate effort, so, in practice, they weren’t done, or weren’t done much.

Apple introduced the first personal computer in 1975. It made a big enough impact that IBM introduced the Personal Computer, or IBM PC, in 1983. Apples far outperformed PCs in every way, but PCs were far cheaper, and were more than adequate for most business uses. Besides, they were safer for corporate purchasing agents to recommend. As someone said, “no one ever got fired for buying PCs instead of Apples.” Apple in those days was seen as quirky, arty, and, in a way, not quite respectable. Apple would not fully come into its own until the beginning of the next century. But it had helped transform the final quarter of the 20th.

Communications satellites

It is safe to say that there could have been no internet without communications satellites. Those old enough to remember the first 15-minute Telstar broadcast in 1962 will remember it as the start of a new age. America broadcasting images to Europe; Europe broadcasting images to America, and it was all live! Until that moment, images got transported from one side of the North Atlantic to the other only be being physically carried. From that moment, things changed. Within a few years a network of communications satellites had been launched, and for the first time the world was linked electronically. Telephones, televisions, computers – they could all communicate faster and cheaper, and in many cases for the first time, because they removed the need for expensive ground links such as undersea cables.

As the century progressed, this emerging satellite web was put to new use. In the third world, it was a great destroyer of the effects of isolation. Now villages in the middle of Africa or India or Greater Nowhere were within reach of the entire world’s culture as soon as they had a laptop, a satellite link, and a source of electricity. In the developed world, the contents of the world’s print and pictorial libraries were soon being digitized, bringing the vision of a day when all the world’s cultural heritage would be shared, and thus would feed into a truly global culture. And all of this, in turn, depended on the prior invention of television, but before we discuss television, we need to discuss one of the century’s cultural icons, one of the men who captured the world’s imagination.

Trusts, anti-trust and reform

[Working backward from the year 2000 toward America’s beginnings.]

Trusts and anti-trust

Domestically, the beginning of the century was when Theodore Roosevelt began to attack the influence on the national economy of trusts. While he didn’t actually do much about them (his one-term successor William Howard Taft, later to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, did far more), he did put what he called the “bully pulpit” of the presidency behind attacks that until then had been confined to the “muckrakers” – crusading journalists such as Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, etc. (And even this had its ironic aspects, for it was TR who first called them muckrakers, cribbing from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and meaning it in no complimentary way.)

Trusts had come into existence after the Civil War, and the nation was slow to appreciate how great a change they made in the nation’s economic life. Their net effect was to consolidate control (regardless of ownership) of various industries in ever fewer hands. Standard Oil, to give one famous or infamous example, was a trust, and that structure allowed it to put its tentacles everywhere. In 1890, as we will see, Congress had passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. (No, not General Sherman; this was his brother John, for an entire generation one of the Senators most respected for his economic understanding.) But for a long time the Sherman act was used, not against the corporate combinations it had been designed to curb, but against labor unions, seeing them as combinations in restraint of trade!

Now, a trust in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. We employ them all the time, as for instance when a parent established a bank account for a minor child and holds it in trust. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing on a corporate level, either, but its effects certainly can be anti-competitive. In effect, a group of companies held in trust are no longer independent; their activities can and will be controlled by the company holding them in trust. Thus, if you control the Standard Oil trust, you can determine the economic actions of every company whose shares you control. You dictate what they charge, where they sell, everything.

John D. Rockefeller consolidated the oil industry that way. Andrew Carnegie did the same for steel. In their own eyes, they were rationalizing and standardizing what had been a chaos, and it may well be that they were right. But the result was the creation of a class of merchant princes. Could any republic survive that kind of concentration of economic power in so few hands?

The danger of the situation was illustrated, to those few who understood what was going on, when banker J.P. Morgan was able to dictate the terms of his agreement to do the things needed to end the Panic of 1907. Morgan wasn’t a bad man, and what he dictated simply seemed to him to be what needed to be done. But here was a private merchant prince conferring with the head of the government as one prince to another. Anybody could see it was dangerous. But seeing that a situation is undesirable is not the same as knowing what to do about it.


TR began jawboning. Taft instituted lawsuits. Woodrow Wilson, when he was elected in 1912 promising the New Freedom, passed legislation aimed at correcting the situation.  Maybe later I’ll come back and fill in the legislation Wilson got through in the first half of his first term, before the coming of war in Europe in 1914 put an end to reform. One of the things we should examine is the Federal Reserve Act of 1914 which tried to free capital from the control of a few banks, but didn’t work out that way. Another is the Income Tax amendment, which attempted to address the effects of extreme inequality and, again, didn’t quite work out as planned.

Reforms rarely do. First comes the reform, then comes the vested interest, tweaking the reform to make it more comfortable for those it tries to reform. That’s just the way of the world. Only with time do people learn that although reform is necessary from time to time, reform is never going to lead to utopia. The problem is, many would-be followers won’t follow any reformer promising anything less than the impossible.

Another problem is that after a while the reformer is likely to start to believe that s/he is just the one to deliver the impossible, and anyone in the opposite camp must be, by definition, stupid and/or evil. And yet another problem is, maybe they are! Or maybe there’s something to be said for their side of things too. Plato to the contrary, philosophers would make terrible kings – not that anybody is likely to give them the chance.

Nonetheless, evils arise and have to be faced. The burst of reform that was Wilson’s New Freedom was the result of pressure that had been building at least since the Civil War changed everything. After the war put an end to reform, another 20 years went by until the New Deal brought forth another spate of legislation designed not only to complete the New Freedom but to deal with the problems that had sprung up since, problems unimagined in Wilson’s day. Then came war once again, and again reform was shelved. The limited reforms proposed and backed after the war by Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy met savage, intractable resistance, particularly in the area of race relations. In the emotional aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the consequent Johnson landslide of 1964, the country underwent a third burst of reform, extensive enough to be traumatizing to large numbers, causing or exacerbating a cultural divide which the rest of the century could not transcend. After the Great Society legislation of 1965-1967, reform gave way to retrenchment, and the initiative went to forces calling for retrenchment in all areas of government other than military and police.

Thoreau thesis (5) The Individual and society


Self-purification and self-discovery may be either aided or hindered by a man’s relations with others: Thoreau placed his relations with society in this perspective and thus derived his attitudes from his values.

While selected quotations from his Journal could be used to “prove” that he was desperately lonely, that he despised all human conduct, or that he loved his fellow man and wished to serve him, each of these interpretations would include only a part of the truth, — insistence that any part was the whole would distort the truth into falsity.

Put simply, he rejected those relationships which threatened to interfere with his quest for self-fulfillment, but eagerly sought those which might help him become a greater person. He appreciated the advantages organized society offered, but wished to see those advantages put to a greater use, and Wished to see the disadvantages eliminated.

At base, he recognized, we are each alone: no one can ever really understand the important facts of another’s existence.79 Genius especially is solitary.80 But it was also he who said, simply, “Society is fragrant.”81 (As he used the word, society could mean the social order, the company of friends, or any gathering of people which did not include himself). In human intercourse he found many aids to growth.

The society of others served to focus the thoughts of his solitary hours by giving them expression.82 At its best, it encouraged its members: Each was treated as though he were better than he knew himself to be.83 At best, offering a man his complement, rather than his mirror image, it was “additive and he1pfu1.84

It could serve as inspiration to awaken the divine potential in a sleeping individual;85 could free one from petty concern with himself;86 could ennoble the recipient of another’s good opinion.87

But not all society is worth courting or continuing.88 Its worth depends on what if offers : “I do not judge men by anything they can do. Their greatest deed is the impression they make on me.”89 It is not so much who composes the society as ,what that is important: “Our intercourse with the best grows soon shallow and trivial. They no longer inspire us. After enthusiasm comes insipidity and blankness.”90


79 “’Must not our whole lives go unexplained, without regard to us, notwithstanding a few flourishes of ours, which themselves need explanation?” J, p. 440.

80 “[The reader] will discover that, like every genius, [Aeschylus] was a solitary liver and worker in his day.” J, p. 93.

81 Miller, p. 148.

82 “In society all the inspirations of my lonely hours seem to flow back on me, and then first have expression.” J., p. 129.

83 “It is the charm and greatness of all Society, from friendship to the drawing-room, that it takes place on a level slightly higher that the actual characters of the parties would warrant; it is an expression of faith.” J, p. 323.

84 “When we ask for society — we do not want the double of ourselves– but the complement rather. Society should be additive and helpful, we would be reinforced by its alliance.” Miller, p. 216.

85 “There are in each the seeds of a heroic ardor, which need only to be stirred in with the soil where they lie, by an inspired voice or pen, to bear fruit of a divine flavor. J., p. 52.

86 “We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we devote of care elsewhere.” J., p. 437.

87 “So far as we respond to our ideal estimate of each other do we have profitable intercourse.” J, p. 205.

88  “There is a terra firma in society as well as in geography, some whose ports you may make by dead reckoning in all weather. All the rest are but floating Atlantides which sometimes skirt the western horizon of our intercourse.” J., p. 77.

89 J. p. 215.

90 J, p. 355.


Society, to be used to best advantage, must be alternated with a solitary disregard for it,91 lest the individual lose the direction of his life to those around him. He sharply criticized those men he saw that lived always in society, because he felt that each, beneath however unpromising an exterior, were no leas divine than he yet they had forgotten their own divinity.92 He intended to remember his. His divine core would furnish him with certain knowledge of right and wrong — and he, even if unrequested, would furnish that knowledge to society :

It is wholesome advice, — “to be a man amongst folks.” Go into society if you will, or if you are unwilling, and take a human interest in its affairs. If you mistake Messiers and Mesdames for so many men and women, it is but erring on the safe side, — or, rather, it is their error and not yours. Armed with a manly sincerity, you shall not be trifled with, but drive this business of life. It matters not how many men are to be addressed — rebuked, — provided one man rebuke them.93

This passage, written when he was twenty, is hardly the formula for attaining popularity, but it is consistent with his expressed determination to aid his fellow man by advice and by example. Too often, even among the best of men, the conventions stood in the way of a real meeting of minds:94 he wished, intensely, to break this routine, to both offer more to and extract more from society: “I would have men make a greater use of me.”95


91 “Let not society be the element in which you swim or are tossed about at the mercy of the waves, but be rather a strip of firm land running out into the sea, whose base is daily washed by the tide, but whose summit only the spring tide can reach.” J, p. 40.

92 “I would not forget that I deal with infinite and divine qualities in my fellow. All men, indeed, are divine in their core of light, but that is indistinct and distant to me , like the stars of the least magnitude, or the galaxy itself, but my kindred planets show their round disks and even their attendant moons to my eye.

“Even the tired laborers I meet on the road, I really meet as travelling gods, but it is as yet, and must be for a long season, without speech.” J, pp. 382-3.

93 J, p. 98.

94 “Men do not after all meet on the ground of their real acquaintance and actual understanding of one another, but degrade themselves immediately into the puppets of convention. They do as if, in given circumstances, they had agreed to know each other only so well.” J, p. 355.

95 J, p. 205.


Believing that all men are divine in their cores, he wrote : “We must securely love each other as we love God, with no more danger that our love be unregulated or illbestowed.96 He valued love above intellect,97 preferring, or saying he preferred, “ignorance and bungling with love” to “wisdom and skill without.”98

(Love, in his writings, tends to shade off into what we today would likely liable affection; his word is nearer his meaning than is ours).

What human relationships at best could — or should — offer is well indicated in the following entry, which may have been written with one person in mind but which offers us Thoreau’s idea of love:

I thought that the sun of our love should have risen as noiselessly as the sun out of the sea and we sailors have found ourselves steering between the tropics as if the broad day had lasted forever. You know how the sun comes up from the sea when you stand on the cliff, and doesn’t startle you, but every thing, and you too are helping it.99

Thinking of some friend — unnamed , though each may take his guess, — he wrote of those benefits discovered in solitude, which were received, unnoticed in society:

Thou hast loved me for what I was not, but for what I aspired to be. We shudder to think of the kindness of our friend which has fallen on us cold, though in some true but tardy hour we have awakened. There has just reached me the kindness of some acts, not to be forgotten, not to be remembered. I wipe off these scores at midnight, at rare intervals in moments of insight and gratitude.100


96 J, р. 288.

97 “The only way to speak the truth is to speak lovingly; only the lover’s words are heard. The intellect should never speak; it is not a natural sound.” J, p. 332.

98 “Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.” J, p. 348.

99 Miller, p. 178.

100 J, p. 456.


Yet he took care to preserve his bristling independence, regardless of his inner feelings. “If my world is not sufficient without thee, my friend, I will wait till it is and then call thee. You shall come to a palace, not to an almhouse.”101 He wished to add, not to subtract; to remember that other individuals too, were divine — that their society could aid his quest and he could aid theirs. Observing society at large, he envisioned great things to be done through cooperation in a worthy cause, — but saw little being done that was worthwhile, and found little evidence of cooperation even in what was being done.

In large part he tended to blame this on men’s tendency to uphold whatever already existed, “though its insufficiency is manifest enough.”102 For example, he decried the disparity between talk of cooperation and the practice:

Men talk much of cooperation nowadays, of working together to some worthy end; but what little cooperation there is, is as if it were not, being a simple result of which the means are hidden, a harmony inaudible to men… To cooperate thoroughly implies to get your living together.103

Despite all their rhetoric about it, and despite the close proximity in which they live, men “have not associated, they have only assembled, and society has signified only a convention of men.”104 Of course the pun on convention is designed to drive the point home twice.


101 J, p. 223.

102 “There is always a present and extant life which all combine to uphold, though its insufficiency is manifest enough.” J, p. 115.

103 J, p. 488.

104 J, p. 39.


The process itself of civilization he found essentially benign– even, occasionally, found valorous105 — alteration though it was of nature.106 It was not life in society he opposed, but rather the unnatural, superficial life that society too often encouraged. He wanted freedom from its luxuries and time-schedules;107 He wished to concern himself with living, and not with getting a living.108 His career was internal.

But around him he saw men letting the finest part of life slip by unnoticed, being too concerned with material life to heed the spiritual.109 They distracted themselves with foolish transiencies to add novelty to lives devoid of interest.110 They lived in the present, — therefore lived without perspective on their 1ives;111 without any special hope.112


105 “Some interests have got a footing on the earth which I have not made sufficient allowance for. That which built these barns and cleared the land thus had some valor.” J, p 250.

106 Occasionally he conceded that man’s works could fit into nature. “The cabins of the settlers are the points whence radiate these rays of green and yellow and russet over the landscape; out of these go the axes and spades with which the landscape is painted. How much is the Indian summer and the budding of spring related to the cottage? Have not the flight of the crow and the gyrations of the hawk a reference to that roof?” J, p. 128.

107 “Can the Walhalla be warmed by steam and go by clock and bell?” J, p. 289.

108 “It has not been my design to live cheaply, but only to live as I could, not devoting much time to getting a living. I made the most of what means were already got.” J, p. 485.

109 “Most men are so taken up with the cares and rude practice of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them. Literally, the laboring man has not leisure for a strict and lofty integrity day by day; he cannot afford to sustain the fairest and noblest relations. His labor will depreciate in the market. …

“How can he remember well his ignorance who has so often to use his knowledge.” J, p. 381-2

110 “In case of an embargo there will be found to be old clothes enough in everybody’s garret to last till the millennium. We are fond of news, novelties, new things….

“A man who has at length found out something important to do will not have to get a new suit to do it in.” J, pp. 418-419

111 “The present is the instant work and near process of living, and will be found in the last analysis to be nothing more nor less than digestion. Sometimes, it is true, it is indigestion.” J., p. 466.

112 “Most men have forgotten that it was ever morning; but a few serene memories, healthy and wakeful natures, there are who assure us that the sun rose clear, heralded by the singing of birds,– this very day’s sun, which rose before Memnon was ready to greet it.” J, p. 386.


Was it necessary? He thought not. A man did not need money to be great;113 all this concern for possessions was unwarranted and undesirable, serving as it did to stifle any incipient nobleness in a man’s character by subordinating it to the economies implied in “getting ahead.”114

This preoccupation with the things of the world men will put behind them individually as they grow in understanding, — as their spiritual life comes to dominate the material.115 Seen in the perspective of eternity, the present will not loom so large;116 they will come to see that there are more important things to be done with life than to fritter it away absent-mindedly, piece-meal.117



113 “All true greatness runs as level a course, and is as unaspiring, as the plow in the furrow. It wears the homiliest dress and speaks the homeliest language…. Heaven is the inmost place. The good have not to travel far.” J, p. 301.

114 “Be generous in your poverty, if you would be rich. To make up a great action there are no subordinate mean ones. We can never afford to postpone a true life to-day to any future and anticipated nobleness. We think if by tight economy we can manage to arrive at independence, then indeed we will begin to be generous without stay. We sacrifice all nobleness to a little present meanness.” J, p. 241.

115 “To our nearsightedness this mere outward life seems a constituent part of us, and we do not realize that as our soul expands it will cast off the shell of routine and convention, which afterward will only be an object for the cabinets of the curious.” J, p. 277.

116 “The sudden revolutions of these times and this generation have acquired a very exaggerated importance. They do not interest me much, for they are not in harmony with the longer periods of nature. The present, in any aspect in which it can be presented to the smallest audience, is always mean. God does not sympathize with the popular movements.” J., p. 315.

117 “Why let our lives be a cheap and broken hour, which should be an affluent eternity?” Miller, p. 39. Also, “Our task is not such a piece of day labor that a [man] must be thinking what he shall do next for a livelihood, but such that as it began in endeavor, so will it end only when nothing in heaven or on earth, remains to be endeavored.” Miller, p. 142.


When the realization comes, they will remember that only by giving constant expression to their virtue may they increase it;118 they will feed the body without starving the spirit. They will each help bring closer that society of individuals united by love and respect of which Thoreau dreamed:

History tells of Orestes and Pylades, Damon and Pythias, but why should we not put to shame those reserved old worthies by a community of such?119

But he proposed no specific, institutional changes. Nor did he set forth a plan to actively push for “reform” of society. He did not propose to do more than describe his vision, and to set an example in his own life. Certainly he did not propose to attempt to bring the ideal closer to reality by joining, or founding, a “reform” organization. During these years, at least, he consistently rejected all such societies, for reasons which follow logically from his belief that every man carries within himself, however deeply hidden, divine knowledge and goodness.

Most social reform groups are based on the assumption — implicit or explicit — that reforming the social conditions and institutions around the individual produces better, faster, results than does “uplifting” individuals. Obviously no one who viewed his own soul as the ultimate authority, and every other man’s soul as that man’ authority, could subscribe to this theory, — and Thoreau did not. Self-reform was his quest, and as he would not accept the possibility of reform from without, he could not agree that it could be imposed successfully by whatever combination of persuasion and environmental change.

One looks in vain for a favorable mention of the word “reformer” in the Journal of these years.120 As late as 1845 he called those reformers “frivolous almost” who concentrated on attacking Negro slavery before trying to free their own hearts and intellects from their own “keen and subtle masters.”121

For much the same reason he rejected communities dedicated to collective improvement, such as Brook Farm and Bronson Alcott’s short-lived Fruitlands. “Do you think your virtue will go to board with you?” he asked. “The boarder has no home.”122 He could not believe that individuals could better improve themselves in company than alone. Reform was an internal matter: The true reform “calls no convention.”123

Similarly, he rejected that “charity,” organized or private, which consisted of giving material rather than moral and spiritual aid. “We can render men the best assistance, by letting them see how sore a thing it is to need any assistance. I am not in haste to help men more than God is. If they will not help themselves, shall I become their abettor?”124

The assumption unstated is that he who will improve his internal condition will find himself able to improve his external condition as well. More explicitly, he wrote:

What is called charity is no charity, but the interference of a third person. Shall I interfere with fate? Shall I defraud man of the opportunities which God gave him, and so take away his life? … I will not stay to cobble and patch God’s rents, but do clean, new work when he has given me my hands full. This almshouse charity is like putting new wine into old bottles . . . We go about mending the times, when we should be building the eternity.125


118 “Are we not reminded in our better moments that we have been needlessly husbanding somewhat, perchance, our God-derived capital, or title to capital, guarding it by methods we know? But the most diffuse prodigality a better wisdom teaches, — that we hold nothing. We are not what we were. By usurer’s craft … we strive to retain and increase the divinity in us, when infinitely the greater part of divinity is out of us.” J., p. 386.

119 J, p. 113

120 “… a reformer, with two soldier’s eyes and shoulders, who began to belabor the world at ten years, a ragged mountain boy, as fifer of a company, with set purpose to remould it from those first years. J, p. 262

121 “I wonder men can be so frivolous almost as to attend to the gross form of negro slavery, there are so many keen and subtle masters who subject us both. Self-emancipation in the West Indies of a man’s thinking and imagining provinces, which should be more than his island territory, — one emancipated heart and intellect! It would knock the fetters from a million slaves.” J. pp. 362-3.

122 J, p. 227

123 “The true reform … calls no convention…. When an individual takes a sincere step, then all the gods attend, and his single deed is sweet.” J., p. 247.

124 Mıller, р. 217.

125 J, p. 212.


Immediately thereafter he adds the underlying assumption. “I must serve a strong master, not a weak one. Help imples a sympathy of energy and efforts else no alleviation will avail.”126 (Emphasis added). No one may be reformed without his active cooperation — and if he actively cooperates, he needs no outside aid.

Another cause that was not his was that of attempting to abolish war by means other than improving man’s nature through individual reform.

What is human warfare but just this, — an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party. Men make an arbitrary code, and because it is not right, they try to make it prevail by might. The moral law does not want any champion. Its asserters do not go to war. It was never infringed with impunity. It is inconsistent to decry war and maintain law, for if there were no need of war there would be no need of law.127

In other words, until men govern themselves from within, they will continue to need to be governed from without, — and no “reform” can touch either the institution of war or that of law until man so changes his nature that they will be necessary no longer.

Society, then, would be improved through the self-reform of those individuals who composed it – not by tinkering with the institutions which they in their ignorance had set up. When the men changed, institutions would change.


126 Ibid.

127 J, p. 334.




All men are one with God — as is all creation, — but men have forgotten. In this forgetfulness is the root of the vices and the weaknesses which prevent men from fulfilling their potential. Instead of concentrating on obeying the internal promptings which, heeded, would lead to maximum spiritual growth, most men bog themselves down in a morass of possessions and speculations. They think by feeding their bodies to save their souls — or, rather, they think to feed the body, but ignore the soul altogether. In their individuality they lose sight of the universal.

Yet, in society they not only do not regain sight of the universal, but forget even their individuality. Organized around proper priorities, society might aid each to lead a more fruitful, more spiritual, life; but as constituted, it merely adds another layer to the distractions with which they surround themselves. Cooperation in a worthy cause is a good and noble thing, — but noble causes are scarce and cooperation even more so.

This will change as the race matures — and not until. Increased wisdom will counsel an end to pre-occupation with gadgets and novelties, appliances and news, reform movements and politics. Men will learn as they grow that all reform is individual, and that the most effective aid that may be offered is example. The millennium will not appear until all men discover– and heed– their own inner wisdom.

So wrote Thoreau, in solitude, between his twentieth and thirtieth years, while following that individual path that led to Walden, “Civil Disobedience,” Life Without Principal, ” and immortality.


Trans-oceanic possessions

[Working backward from the year 2000 toward America’s beginnings.]

Trans-oceanic possessions

The economic transformation of the United States in the years between 1900 and its entrance into World War I in 1917 was not dramatic, but it held the seeds for many things.

For one thing, the country for the first time had overseas possessions. The War of 1898 and the events around it had brought several previously Spanish territories under the American flag. Cuba we probably could have annexed (who could have stopped us?) but domestic sugar interests did not want Cuban sugar within our tariff walls, and southern congressmen did not want a largely Negro and mestizo population added to the population. However we did hold onto Puerto Rico, as well as the splendid area for a naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on Cuba’s south coast. The treaty with the new republic of Panama, following the revolution/coup of 1903 that severed it from Columbia, had brought us the Canal Zone, a 10-mile-wide strip of land extending from coast to coast.

In the Pacific, America took the Philippines and the islands of  Guam, Wake, Midway and American Samoa, and in 1900 acquired the Hawaiian Islands by shifty dealings.

All this worked together as part of the two-ocean navy strategy that was assumed to be needed for America to take its proper place as a world power. If you were going to have a two-ocean navy, the Panama Canal would allow you to transfer armored might from one ocean to the other as the need arose. If you were going to operate in the Pacific, you would need a series of coaling stations. Hence, starting from our west coast, Hawaii, Midway, Wake, Guam, American Samoa and the Philippines. Besides coaling stations, you would need repair facilities and safe harbors – in short, navy bases. Hence Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, defenses for the canal on each coast, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and bases on the remaining islands. It’s simple enough when you understand the logic.

Of course, an alternative course would have said, we don’t have an overseas empire, we don’t need an overseas empire, and so we don’t need to be doing all this to provide support for a two-ocean navy to defend the empire we don’t have. But anti-imperialists (there was an Anti-Imperialist League, and Mark Twain was one prominent member) didn’t get any farther then than they do now. They’re always at a disadvantage when their opponents start waving the flag. So we acquired our territories, and our bases, and new neighbors such as the Empire of Japan, which wasn’t especially happy to welcome us to the neighborhood.

In 1917, just about the time we entered the war, we bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark, as additional protection for the Atlantic approaches to the Panama Canal, and this rounded out our acquisition of overseas real estate.

Thoreau thesis (4) The Individual and the quest


Thoreau believed that every man has within himself divine knowledge ; he set out to find it. This quest led him to frequent mental and occasional physical withdrawal from the world around him, and to disregard of outside opinion and authority. The truths he found within led him to a faith in the basic goodness of life which he then translated into beliefs on how life should be lived.

He early cultivated the habit of introspection and withdrawal, realizing that he could continue his quest only So long as he concentrated on it:

April 8. [1840] How shall I help myself? By withdrawing into the garret, and associating with spiders and mice, determining to meet myself face to face sooner or later. Completely silent and attentive I will be this hour, and the next, and forever. The most positive life that history notices has been a constant retiring out of life, a wiping one’s hands of it, seeing how mean it is and having nothing to do with it.39

Recognizing how easily man may be distracted by the pressing trivialities of the moment,40 he resolved to concentrate on aiding his soul’s development.41 To know himself required a “voluntary blindness”42 to the world for the inner voice.

This inner voice superseded both traditionally accepted wisdom43 and popular opinion.44 Obviously if he had within himself the certain knowledge of right and wrong, no outside authority — be it person or institution — could be closer to this source than himself.45 Nor could he be closer to the inner voice of another than was that other; he could be neither subject nor master; neither could society safely legislate for either.


39 J, pp. 132-3.

40 “The momentous topics of human life are always of secondary importance to the business at hand . . .” J, p. 173.

41 “But pray what has seeing to do with the soul that she must sit always at a window? — for I find myself always in the rear of my eye.” Miller, l65.

42 “It is only by a sort of voluntary blindness, and omitting to see, that we know ourselves . . .” J, p. 253.

43 “Whatever of past or present wisdom has published itself to the world, is palpable falsehood till it come and utter itself by my side.” J., p. 52.

44 “Let us know and conform only to the fashions of eternity.” J, p. 278.

45 “There is but one obligation, and that is the obligation to obey the highest dictate. None can lay me under another which will supersede this.” J., p. 279.


Following his own conscience “in the sight of God and Nature[,]46 regardless of what others might think, was both great freedom and heavy responsibility; his recognition of this ultimate accountability increased his awareness of the solitary nature of life :

How alone must our life be lived! We live on the seashore, and none between ourselves and the sea. . . . None are travelling one road so far as myself.

Each one marches in the van. . . . Parents and relatives but entertain the youth; they cannot stand between him and his destiny. This is the one bare side of every man. There is no fence; it is clear before him to the bounds of space.47

Alone-ness , if not loneliness, was to evoke many a passage in the Journal as the solitary years unrolled — sometimes cries of joy at his eagle’s flight through lonely mountain air,48 sometimes cries of pain at the solitary essence that could not be shared.49 But never did he abandon the journey to stop at a roadside tavern, aware though he was of just how very much alone in his quest he was:

The sublime sentences of Menu carry us back to a time when purification and sacrifice and self-devotion had a place in the faith of men, and were not as now a superstition. They contain a subtle and refined philosophy, also, such as in these times is not accompanied with so lofty and pure a devotion.50


46 “What though friends misinterpret your conduct, if it is right in sight of God and Nature. The wrong, if there be any, pertains only to the wrongdoer, nor is the integrity of your relations to the universe affected …” J, p. 52.

47 J, p. 239.

48 “We are as much as we see. Faith is sight and knowledge …. Whoever has had one thought quite lonely, and could contentedly digest that in solitude, knowing that none could accept it, may rise to the height of humanity, and overlook all living men as from a pinnacle.” J, p. 248.

49 “Of all phenomena, my own race are the most mysterious and undiscoverable. For how many years have I striven to meet one, even on common manly ground, and have not succeeded!” J, p. l53.

50 J, p. 280.


He came to see himself and others like him as pathfinders, discovering and stating truths that others would only later be able to accept.51 Despite occasional assertions that “fear of the world or consequences is swallowed up in a manly anxiety to do Truth justice”52 — indicating that perhaps sometimes the world struck back, — he spent these years carrying out the program he articulated as early as 1837:

As the least drop of wine tinges the whole goblet, so the least particle of truth colors our whole life. It is never isolated, or simply added as treasure to our stock. When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before. We go picking up from year to year and laying side by side the disecta membra of truth, as he who picked up one by one a row of a hundred stones, and returned with each separately to his basket.53


51 “All this Worldly Wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.” J., p. 162.

52 J, p. 28

53 J, p. 24.


Believing as he did that “[T]ruth has properly no opponent, for nothing gets so far up on the other side as to be opposite[,]”54 he followed wherever it led — and it led to a solitary course and a scorn for the weak-willed followers of public opinion.55 But occasionally he may have wished the task were plainer: “It would be worthwhile,” he wrote in 1841, “once for all, fairly and cleanly to tell how we are to be used, as vendors of lucifer matches send directions in the envelope, both how light may be readily procured and no accident happen to the user[;]56 nonetheless he did not waver.

The quest was the important thing– even recognition of the failure of his efforts to date had its use,57 provided only that the effort was not abandoned. Ultimately it could fail only if he forgot that he was both body and spirit, 58 or if he spent too much time expressing rather than developing his inner consciousness.59


54 J, p. 118.

55 “He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind, and extract a motive power out of the greatest obstacles. Most begin to veer and tack as soon as the wind changes from aft –ae and as within the tropics it does not blow from all points of the compass — there are some harbors they can never reach.” Miller, p. 170.

56 J, p. 179.

57 “If we only see clearly enough how mean our lives are, they will be splendid enough. Let us remember not to strive upwards too long, but sometimes drop plumb down the other way, and wallow in meanness. From the deepest pit we may see the stars, if not the sun.” J, p. 146.

58 “1 have lived ill for the most part because too near myself. I have tripped myself up, so that there was no progress for my own narrowness. I cannot walk conveniently and pleasantly but when I hold myself far off in the horizon. And the soul dilutes the body and makes it passable.” J., p. 322.

59 “Very dangerous is the talent of composition. I feel as if my life had grown more outward since I could express it.” J, p. 349.


Denied recognition by most of his contemporaries as the searcher for truth that he was, denied recognition even as thinker of his own thoughts and not pilferer of Emerson’s, he occasionally became depressed by the contrast between his high thoughts and low status — but then he who wrote that “[a] man must find his own occasion in himself”60 would wrestle his spirits back to equanimity,61 confident that his place in the divine scheme of things would eventually emerge.

His faith that all events are part of a divine plan made him cheerful and unafraid of life, confident that it was good. But the men around him he saw as neither cheerful nor unafraid.

The age is resigned. Everywhere it sounds a retreat, and the world has gone forth to fall back on innocence. Christianity only hopes. It has hung its harp on the willow and cannot sing a song in a strange land. It has dreamed a sad dream and does not yet welcome the morning with joy.62

Comparing this dejection with the bravery of nature,63 he cried that: “There is nowhere any apology for despondency. Always there is life which, rightly lived, implies a divine satisfaction.”64 He began to spell out how he thought life should be lived, calling for men to livre with more enthusiasm.65

Commonly we use life sparingly, we husband it as if it were scarce, and admit the right of prudence; but occasionally we see how ample and inexhaustible is the stock from which we so scantily draw, and learn that we need not be prudent, that we may be prodigal, and all expenses will be met.66


60 J, p 377.

61 “What a consolation are the stars to man! – so high and out of his reach, as is his own destiny. I do not know but my life is fated to be thus low and groveling always. I cannot discover its use even to myself. But it is permitted to see those stars in the sky equally useless, yet highest of all and deserving of a fair destiny…. I do not fear that any misadventure will befall them. Shall I not be content to disappear with the missing stars? Do I mourn their fate?” J, p. 339.

62 Miller, p. 144.

63 “We can conceive of a Bravery so wide that nothing can meet to befall it, so omnipresent that nothing can lie in wait for it, so permanent that no obstinacy can reduce it. The stars are its silent sentries by night, and the sun its pioneer by day. From its abundant cheerfulness springs flowers and the rainbow, and its infinite humor and wantonness produce corn and vines. J., p. 172.

64 J, p. 95

65 “All fair action in men is the product of enthusiasm.” Miller, p. 164.

66 J, p. 454.


Life, he said, should be lived “on the stretch,”67 with vigor and purpose, — for a man makes his own life.68 Excessive caution, luxury and sloth,70 lead to stagnation.

Men should live as though they owned the world, and not as though they had merely rented “a few acres of time and space” from which they could at any time be expelled.71 The only true repose, he said, “can only be the repose that is in entire and healthy activity. It must be a repose without rust. What is leisure but an opportunity for more complete and entre action?”72

While living (in repose) by Walden Pond, he spelled out his thoughts on the active life:

Why not live a hard and emphatic life, not to be avoided, full of adventure and work, learn much in it, travel much, though it be only in these woods? I sometimes walk across a field with unexpected expansion and long-missed content, as if there were a field worthy of me. The usual daily boundaries of life are dispersed and I see in what field I stand.

. . .I say to myself: Yes, roam far grasp life and conquer it, learn much and live. Your fetters are knocked off; you are really free…. The noble life is continuous and unremitting. At least, live with a longer radius.

… Do not rest much. Dismiss prudence, fear, conformity. Remember only what is promised.73

The above passage was written during Thoreau’s Walden years; obviously this proposed life of action should not be construed as one of aimless activity, or one leaving no time for serenity and contemplation — quite the contrary. Concurrent with entries on the necessity and desirability of an active life are such as these:

We may believe it, but never do we live a quiet, free life, such as Adam’s, but are enveloped in an invisible network of speculations. Our progress is only from one speculation to another, and only at rare intervals do we perceive that it is no progress. Could we for a moment drop this by-play, and simply wonder, without reference or inference!74

But I will have nothing to do; I will tell fortune that I play no game with her and she may reach me in my Asia of serenity and independence if she can.75

And this is the art of living, too — to leave our life in a condition to go alone, and not to require constant supervision. We will then sit down serenely to live, as by the side of a stove.76

Are the opposing counsels irreconcilable? I think not. He is concerned that the action performed be worth performing,77 and that it leave his life nonetheless serene. Serenity is the key. Without it any life, no matter how active, is wasted.”78

All man’s activity should aid, not hinder, his pursuit of self-purification and self-discovery. Contemplation and activity are linked opposites — neither is more necessary than the other, neither is dispensible. Only in a life combining both could a man both hear his inner voice and follow where it would lead.


67 J, p. 118.

68 “Man is the artificer of his own happiness. Let him beware how he complains of the disposition of circumstances, for it is his own disposition he blames.” J, p. 26.

69 “We must expect no income beside our outgoes — we must succeed now, and we shall not fail hereafter. So soon as we begin to count the cost the cost beings.” Miller, p. 214.

70 “They are fatally mistaken who think, while they strive with their minds, that they may suffer their bodies to stagnate in luxury or sloth. The body is the first proselyte the Soul makes. Our life is but the Soul made known by its fruits, the body.” J., p. 147.

71 “[The coward] does not dwell on the earth as though he had a deed of the land in his pocket … He has only rented a few acres of time and space, and thinks that every accident portends the expiration of his lease.” J, p. 99.

72 J, р. 294.

73 J, pp. 385-6

74 J, p. 61.

75 J, pp. 153-4.

76 J, p. 218.

77 “Who has not admired the twelve labors? And yet nobody thinks if Hercules had sufficient motive for racking his bones to that degree.” J. p. 79.

78 “Over and above a man’ business there must be a level of undisturbed serenity, only the more serene as he is the more industrious …

He must preside over all he does — If his employment rob him of a serene outlook over his life, it is but idle though it be measuring the fixed stars. He must know no distracting cares.” Miller, p. 184.