His vision of a successful life, having actually following through on the suggestions he received from his inner self, was to remove himself from society in order to connect himself more solidly with nature, the source of all goodness and truth. His ultimate goal was to perhaps inspire others to follow in his footsteps at least as far as learning more about the inner self through a more intimate connection with outer nature.
Within a chapter entitled “Solitude” in his book Walden, Thoreau compares his experience in the wilderness with the experience of ‘civilized’ living in terms of communication, companionship and engagement, all of which suggest the same kind of closer identification with the natural world in all areas of life. The first concept involved in Thoreau’s consideration of the question of solitude could be considered the opposite of solitude in the form of communication. He begins this chapter of his book with a paragraph that highlights the deep sense of communication he gains with nature as he takes an evening stroll. The first sentence captures much of the essence of the rest of the paragraph when he says, “This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore” (Thoreau 107). He goes on to describe the temperature as perfectly attuned to his own sense of correct feeling, the sounds of the bullfrogs and whippoorwills as just the right note for the moment and the breathless sympathy he feels for the falling leaves of the forest, “yet, like the lake, my serenity is rippled but not ruffled” (Thoreau 107). As the evening closes down, he gains a sense of the reaffirmation of life as the night hunters begin their prowl. Thus he gains a sense of himself by being in tune with the evening regardless of where he is. This is contrasted against the more distant communication he shares with his fellow man, many