The Gita within Walden

ISBN 10: 0791476170 / ISBN 13: 9780791476178
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Synopsis: This book explores and interprets the myriad connections between two spiritual classics, Henry David Thoreau's Walden and the Bhagavad-Gita. Evidence shows that Thoreau took the Gita with him when he moved to Walden Pond, and the books have much in common, touching on ultimate ethical and metaphysical questions. Paul Friedrich looks at how each work speaks to fundamental problems of good and evil, self and cosmos, duty and passion, reality and illusion, political engagement and philosophical meditation, sensuous wildness and ascetic devotion. His examination moves through several stages, from an analysis of key symbols, such as the upside-down tree, to an exposition of social, ethical, and metaphysical values, to a consideration of the many sources of these syncretic works. This book should be of lively interest to those concerned with the origins of Indian and American thought, activism, and poetry.

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Paul Friedrich is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including From Root to Flower and Music in Russian Poetry.

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Title: The Gita within Walden
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