Sunday, August 28, 2016
A Way of Life
(H3) At the beginning of the book, A Philosophy of Walking, there is a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche that caught my interest. It says, ""We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors - walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful." This is a simple justification to why the outdoors stimulates the mind and provokes the soul. I know personally that when I'm outdoors I feel a sense of peace that can never be found within the walls of a home or building, no matter how comfortable. It is not just that the outdoors have fewer distractions than the indoors, for the outdoors has many of its own. I believe it's more about biological familiarity, getting back to the roots of our existence. Perhaps, like Gros says, walking is an escape from our hectic, bustling lives. However, I like to think of it as an escape into a more thoughtful existence. Walking provides a way to get to know yourself. We are surrounded by people and ideas 24/7, bombarded with coworkers’ opinions, television's perspectives, radio's standpoints, etc. With all these beliefs shoved down your throat, it is impossible to truly know what you believe, without being pulled one way or the other by those who think they know best. Walking gets your blood pumping and mind working. It is such an effective method because putting one foot in front of the other is not rocket science, it doesn't take much thought, but it does provide a way for the scenery and one's position to change. Finally, I believe peripatetic philosophy is so successful because, while walking, one is introduced to stimuli that provokes the kinds of questions central to philosophy. After all, walking is not a sport, it’s a way of life.