Solitude or Loneliness ? 74th Day 03-15

by Administrator 15. March 2011 03:37

Today I was asking myself very simple question “What is the main difference between solitude and loneliness?”  The first obvious answer came through defining our feeling or perception of the each word. Solitude has a clearly positive tone to it, in contrast with loneliness, which indicates unpleasant and undesirable state.

 According to Wikipedia, solitude is defined as isolation, seclusion from the other people. In the long term, it’s perceived as something not healthy, leading to loneliness and failure in establishing relationships. However for some people is not depressing and vied as a way to spiritual enlightment. On the other hand loneliness brings an array of negative association: emptiness, social pain, dysfunction of communication, depression…

 Its informative but still doesn’t answer the question, why two people experiencing exactly the same level of social interaction will perceive it in opposite ways ( aside from genetics)…one as desirable and the other as painful…The answer is obviously in individual approach…how we are  defining our own state. It is very subjective experience…as the friend of mine pointed to me, you could feel very lonely in the middle of the crowd or quite satisfied in the solitude. Psychologists believe each of us has a “sweet spot”…other words just right amount of social interactions…not enough and we are lonely or too much will lead to over stimulation.  So, again… it is very individualized point of view with everyone setting their own threshold. Solitude was found to have positive effect on people in improving their concentration, aiding in positive growth experiences ….religious, identity, helping with artistic expressions, as in case of poet Emily Dickinson and numerous musicians.

 I suppose some of us are equipped well with an ability to be in the solitude…what about the others? Is it only genetics or something else that influences unique, personal evaluation…between painful loneliness and desirable solitude…? I was reminded again of a need to look at the very basic human thought…philosophy.

 The existentialist school of thought views loneliness as a very basic human “right” or rather destiny…we are coming alone to this world alone and end of the road …again alone …yes…quite depressing for me too…Philosophers….like Sartre believed in epistemic loneliness…our fundamental condition, resulting from the paradox between our conscience to seek meaning of life and the nothingness of Universe…As I started to read a little more on that subject, I came across very interesting article by  Ben Mijuscovic  who received Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of California in San Diego and Masters in Literature from the same institution. He states that all acts of consciousness are resulting from the need to escape loneliness….which is impossible …because loneliness is absolutely universal and necessary principle. It’s the prism through which man vies reality, without being aware it is prism…

  Maybe Brand Blanshard in “The Nature of Thought”  was  absolutely right saying … man is like nautilus who dwells in the house of its own making… Ben Mijuscovic points, that man is trapped in his own hermitic self consciousness and yearns to escape by relating to others beyond himself. The false key leads to another “cage”….and he remains condemned to loneliness… Sartre believed we are not only absolutely alone but also condemned to freedom….as a consequence of state of aloneness….

After reading all of this …one thought comes to mind, how important for us human being is to have a faith, to believe…to see the bigger picture of the universe…If loneliness in inescapable element for us humans and the basic need to interact, grows out of it, then relating to the Universe as the “bigger plan” is vital for our well being… Even Sartre, with his very ( my opinion only) sobering and depressing view on God and universe admits, that love is the mankind  most radical attempt to transcend its own loneliness.

How strangely it is to start questioning such a basic psychological idea as loneliness and solitude and end up thinking about different schools in philosophy or religion … Well…it reminds me to see the Universe as One …divided by us, humans through our perception …When we peel the layers, we somehow always end up with basic questions about our existence…. Since it is up to each and one of us and our perception to decide, if we are lonely or simply seeking solitude…believe in God and bigger picture …or not ….I would rather embrace my conscious choice of seeing the Universe not as a cold and senseless place and people doomed to fail at all attempts to connect and love….

Maybe love is not mankind perfect key ( solution)…yet…maybe we are in the process of fitting it ( learning it)…our conscious evolving and slowly escaping the separation and loneliness. I believe we can change ….for better …love more unconditionally  and feel connected to each other. We can escape “nautilus house” by shear conscience decision… and its consequences. That’s the world …I want to see for us…




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The Little Prince

"People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for..."

"They don't find it," I answered.

"And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."

"Of course," I answered.

And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart."








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