The Solitary Life

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I recently I wrote about Kahlil Gibran and solitude. Now while many sages and seers have claimed there is something preferable in the solitary life, I’m skeptical of overemphasizing the need for it. We are social beings and there is much evidence that loneliness is a major problem in the modern world.

Still, there has been a lot written lately about the benefits of the solitary life, or at least one with sufficient solitary time. (Note though that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the barbaric torture of solitary confinement.) Here are a few recent short articles on the topic:

The pursuit of loneliness: how I chose a life of solitude” (The Guardian)

The Virtues of Isolation“(The Atlantic)

Embracing a Life of Solitude“(The New York Times)

The Paradox of Dying Lonely and Living in Solitude” (HuffPost)


3 thoughts on “The Solitary Life

  1. Choosing ongoing solitude as a one’s destiny seems to me an abdication of one’s responsibility for contributing to working for the survival of our Planet and humanity.
    It is critical to reach a stage of individuation that one is not one of ‘the lonely crowd’; that an individual does not feel lonely when he/she is alone.
    However, every decent Guru, even after many years of meditation for this purpose, say in the isolation of a Himalyan cave, eventually hears ‘an inner call’ that he must come back
    to society to serve humanity.

  2. That “inner call” is hunter/gatherer programming designed to encourage coherence in the tribe.
    I don’t recall volunteering to be born. Others chose to obligate me to coexist with billions of upright apes on a mudball of limited resources.
    I will cooperate to the degree it makes my life less of a hassle.

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