What in the World Does Castles in the Air Mean?

Why is this blog named Castles in the Air?

This phrase popped out to me while reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau, whom I greatly admire for his simplicity and boldness in being himself and not wanting to adhere to social norms and expectations. Thoreau writes,

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if no one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

(emphasis added)

“Castles in the air” means many things, some of which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Aiming high; your dreams need not be limited by nothing and by no one except yourself.
  2. Dreaming about something is one thing; pursuing it is something else entirely.
  3. Sounding ironic. Castles are these magnificent, heavy, monumental mass of a building spread out over hundreds and thousands of acres. Air is just … air. Thin, light, breezy, unbound, free. So castles in the air … sounds ironic, but fun at the same time. :)

  • Jonathan Chan

    May I add a 4th: It’s like dreams or hopes that have very little chance of happening – but still, never say never.
    For all things are possible as long as we don’t give up our hope, and we truly believe in what we believe!

    One more: It doesn’t really matter how high the castle is in the air – no matter it’s 6 inches in the air, or 10000 feet in the sky.
    The key is – it’s in the air! Think outside the box, and be creative in life!
    Sometimes it’s beyond our ability to control how high it can go, but what really matters is the process… “get it up”!

  • http://castlesita.wordpress.com Castles in the Air

    Excellent point, Jonathan! Great take on the “castles in the air” concept. Be creative, think outside the box, and never settle for second best! You can do only what you think you can do.

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