A collaborative search for wisdom, at Middle Tennessee State University and beyond...
"The pluralistic form takes for me a stronger hold on reality than any other philosophy I know of, being essentially a social philosophy, a philosophy of 'co'"-William James
Section 10-First Installment-The Philosophy of Walking
The Philosophy of Walking is a really inspiring book written by Frederic Gros. Filled with stories of walking, it challenges the reader to think about different versions of walking in a philosophical manner. I like this book because its easy to read and comprehend, and is also very obvious. All of the Philosophies of Walking are obvious, but only when they are actually discussed they seem so obvious. Ill start by giving an example of this from the book. Chapter 4 is called "Outside", it explains that outside is almost always a commute from one inside place to another. Like I said, the philosophies in this book are extremely obvious once stated, yet . So, as I said, Frederic states that outside is a commute from one inside place to another. He goes on to say though when actually outside, there is different forms of the outdoors. One form is just going out to take a fresh of breath air for example. Otherwise, it may have been to play a sport or enjoy time with your friends. Then there is major outdoor expeditions. You are no longer in the shelter that you were before. The experience of the outdoors is now completely changed because of the hours spent paying attention to things you may hadn't before. Maybe you notice the beauty of the stars, the feeling of freedom, or dwell upon things you never have before. If not, your bound to have something you can take from your outdoor adventure. Next I want to talk about the chapter called solitude. I found this chapter to be abundantly helpful personally. If you've ever walked and talked to someone you know that you often don't share the same walking pace. This is the exact reason why Frederic and many other philosophers like Thoreau could agree you should walk in solitude. This way someone else's pace or rhythm wont affect your thoughts and you can think freely with no strain. If you find someone that is compatible with your preference of walking though, you could be considered to still be in solitude. You just have to be careful to really define what solitude is. Some may think their walking in solitude, but too many people causes opinions to sway. So when you walk, you should either walk all by yourself or walk with someone who will benefit your thinking rather then corrupt it. Of course, as Gros states, you can never truly be alone because life is all around. A grasshopper chirping at your feet or a bee pollinating plants may be things that cause different thoughts. Although this is true, it doesn't harm or disturb your typical thoughts like other human beings can. The Philosophy of Walking goes to talk about even more interesting philosophies like these. Reading this book adds a lot more meaning to walking. Overall what I got out of these chapters was to be more mindful when I'm walking. The ability to think to myself, why is the outdoors different now then usual? Or maybe ask myself if others walking and conversations are effecting my own. I want to finish with this quote. "The joy of walking transcends setting; it engages the mind as well as the spirit. Some great walkers don’t like there to be buildings in their way, and that’s fine for them. Others of us just can’t do without the buildings."