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Friday, August 24, 2018

Solitude - Zat Rana



"All of humanity'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 [Selves].
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 [Selves], which is consequently making us feel
more and more alone.

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 [Self].  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...  We are increasingly out of touch with who we are...

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 to simply being.  And therefore, we look for
entertainment, we seek company, and if those fail, we chase
even higher highs.  [Even "spiritual" highs].

We ignore the fact that never facing the nothingness is the same as
never facing ourselves [Selves].  And never facing ourselves [Selves]
is why we feel lonely and anxious in spite of being so 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.  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,
[with our Self]...

Zat Rana

Excerpt from: The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You
an article in "Medium", an online Salon for sharing ideas.

[brackets mine]


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