“Solitude” by Zat Rana
“All of man’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly
in a room alone…” – Blaise Pascal
According to Pascal, we fear the silence of existence, we dread
the boredom and instead choose aimless distractions, and we can’t
help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false
comforts of the mind.
We never learned the art of solitude. And now we live in a world
where we’re connected to everything except ourselves. Everything
that has done so much to connect us has simultaneously isolated us.
We are so busy being distracted that we are forgetting to tend to
ourselves, which is consequently making us feel more and more
Never being alone is not the same as never feeling alone. The less
comfortable you are with solitude, the more likely it is that you
won’t know yourself. And then, you’ll spend even more time
avoiding it to focus elsewhere. In the process, you’ll become
addicted to the same technologies that were meant to set you free.
Just because we can use the noise of the world to block out the
discomfort of dealing with ourselves doesn’t mean that this
discomfort goes away.
Almost everybody thinks of themselves as self-aware. They
think they know how they feel and what they want and what
their problems are. But the truth is that very few people really
do. And those that do will be the first to tell you how fickle
self-awareness is and how much alone time it takes to get
there. In today’s world, people can go their whole lives
without truly digging beyond the surface level masks they
wear…[How interesting that we are required to wear masks
these days.] We are increasingly out of touch with who we are…
[Maybe this is why so many are having a hard time with
the “stay-at-home” orders – feeling confined, like their freedom
has been taken away – acting out].
Almost anything that controls our life in an unhealthy way
finds its roots in our realization that we dread the nothingness
of nothing. We can’t imagine just being rather than doing. We have an instinctive aversion to simply being. And there-
fore, we look for entertainment, we seek company, and if
those fail, we chase every higher highs.
We ignore the fact that never facing the nothingness is the same
as never facing ourselves. And never facing ourselves is why
we feel lonely and anxious in spite of being intimately connected
to everything around us.
Fortunately, there is a solution….. When you surround yourself
with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately
familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation
doesn’t allow. [Forced socialization] The world becomes richer,
the layers start to peel back, and you see things for what they
really are, in all their wholeness, in all their contradictions,
and in all their unfamiliarity.
You realize there are other things you are capable of paying
attention to than just what makes the most noise on the
surface. [Solitude] allows you to discover the novelty in things
you didn’t know were novel; it’s like being an unconditioned
child seeing the world for the first time. It also resolves the
majority of internal conflicts.
Without realizing the value of solitude, we are overlooking the
fact that, once the fear of boredom is faced, it can actually
provide its own stimulation. And the only way to face it is to
make time to just sit… with our thoughts, with our feelings, with
a moment of stillness…
Excerpt from: “The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You”
an article in Medium.com
an article in Medium.com
[brackets mine] Mystic Meandering
“Your solitude will be a support and a home for you,
even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances,
and from it you will find all your paths…”
Rainer Maria RilkeExcerpt from: Letters to a Young Poet #1