The Search For Solitude

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

There are some who find the idea of solitude terrifying. The idea of isolation becomes a natural correlation to loneliness. However, there is a quote by Aldous Huxley that speaks so beautifully to the power of solitude;

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

The truth is that the world around us has fetishized the idea of “connectedness” that has created an unhealthy need to be constantly with others. While community and connection are an intrinsic need of the healthy human soul, there is a natural counterpart to this need that demands that we slip away to be in companionship with oneself. Solitude can be a healing exercise that produces clarity and revelation, clarity of thought, informed only by one’s conscience and internal compass. Uninformed by the voices of the masses (or even your beloved friends and family) you can sink more fully into the truths that are constantly being revealed to you. Revelation can only come through clarity. You must have a fully awakened cognizant understanding before it can spark an “aha” moment. There are experiences (often painful…sometimes not) that demand that you spirit away to assess truly how you feel, the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, a betrayal, or an unexpected crisis. While the soul will seek out comfort, there is also an essential part of the human dynamic that longs to sink further into oneself, away from the well-meaning advice, and cry with abandon,  scream with rage or silently pray for guidance. This is not a weakness it is where you can fish-hook into your true strength.

So to you who are searching for solitude: “Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.” 

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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