September 9, 2020, Concord, Massachusetts, USA
I went to the woods....God works in mysterious ways. Due to the current virus panic many of my seminars have been cancelled, but I did not cancel my trip, I let God guide me and bring me to wherever He chooses. Amazing events unfolded. A friend whom I had not seen or heard from in twelve years invited me to her home in an historic part of Massachusetts, one of my favorite places in the world. This area has always symbolized to me Freedom and the true American spirit. This is where the Founding Fathers built their dreams. So I accepted an invitation and accepted that I would have a few free days with no plans, the road unseen, the path untaken.
I did not know, I could not know, where this would lead me. They kindly offered to show me some sights of historical significance and yet the greatest thrill was the unexpected. As we were driving along I saw the sign, Walden Pond. Could this be it?
Many years ago I chanced upon this small book, written by the Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods, published in 1854. The impact on me was so profound that I not only read all the books I could of this period, and studied the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, but I considered pursuing American literature as a full-time career. It has been a life-long dream to visit this site where such profound thoughts and insights into life emerged. I hope to return someday for a deeper visit. I saw the sign and my hosts graciously agreed to visit the site, despite the current limitations due to the corona virus. The pond was far more magnificent than I had imagined in my dreams, the area so pristine, the perfect setting for such thoughts on life, such reflections on the nature of man and life. I could picture this solitary figure alone in the woods, by the pond, pondering the meaning of life. I must return to the woods.
The woods, the pond, the escape from the mundane and the limitations of daily life, that is would Thoreau sought; to seek a deeper meaning of life, to live life to the fullest and experience it directly. This is what I connected to, this purity, this freedom of thought and expression. I realized later in the day that that is reflected in my view on Krav Maga, for that is life itself. The influence of Thoreau is reflected in our style of Krav Maga.
I went to the woods, and felt a release, if just for a moment, from the tensions of life. I felt the spirit of Thoreau in this place, so many years ago, the desire to just be, to live, to feel life for yourself.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
as a movement that was trying to create a better way to live
So much for a blind obedience to a blundering oracle
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs