Abbot Theodore and Thoreau

Another brother asked the same elder, Abbot Theodore, and began to question him and to inquire about things he had never yet put into practice himself.  The elder said to him:  As yet you have not found a ship, and you have not put your baggage aboard, and you have not started to cross the sea:  can you talk as if you had already arrived in that city to which you planned to go?  When you have put into practice the things you are talking about, then speak from knowledge of the thing itself!

There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.

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