Aloneness & Isolation

There is much resemblance between isolation and independence, the latter often being the consequence of the former. Many are inclined to tell you that isolation is dangerous and may prove destructive to your mental well-being; they will go the extra mile to talk you into avoiding it, because they know, from intimate experience, how terrible a thing it appears to them, as if it has the irreversible power to completely strip them of their will to survive. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth, for what I have learnt amidst the suffering and chaos of isolation is enduring, illuminating and of great use to my higher intention. But for a while, I have always had a lurking suspicion; that perhaps the insight imbued in aloneness is, more often than not, failed to be seen by people’s unrestrained lack of forbearance and open-mindedness when faced with a most challenging divorce. In other words, most people never get to thrust out enough into the dark and hidden waters of the unfamiliar to rise above the common threshold and cast themselves in a novel, almost unusual light.

Many of us are summoned at many points during our life, we are spurred on by a higher power to take the initiative in a set direction, we get what is called the ‘call to adventure’. How many are conscious enough to pick it out when it reveals itself? How many are conscious and courageous, to not only recognise a favourable opportunity, but also to swiftly seize and leverage it to realise new heights? I think mediocrity suffers a serious disease; namely, that the average man is not only driven by a baseless fear that misleads and betrays him, but by his unmindfulness, he misses everything advantageous that unfolds in his life, hardly using it to cultivate and enrich his current state. Moved by his interminable and persistent dread, promising chances that invite him to enter solitariness and shoot up are turned down; without knowing anything whatsoever of its implications and effects, he blindly leans onto his preconceptions and remains fixated on them with his life. A preconception rooted in a lack of knowledge is of little use, and the sooner you realise a false impression, the more likely you are to unknot yourself from its adverse consequences. And if truth be told, isn’t mediocrity one grand misapprehension that perpetuates itself, simultaneously full of pity and blind of its own difficulty and deficiency. What I observe in the common man is a shared damnedness and docility, as if reality is materialising before him and there’s nothing he could possibly do to affect it, except comply with it until it reduces him to ashes. Moreover, consider man’s fondness for comfort, and how it pleasantly lures him into immobility and worse, lifelessness.

That tragic inanimateness is man’s nemesis, for it gradually wears him out and destroys everything he established, while quickly shrinking his unrealised potential. And once man’s soul is completely sapped, no amount of affirmative encouragement will be helpful, as by then he has already made up his mind and unfortunately, found some ease in his dreary, unpleasant state. Often, man is unhappy but forgets he is so, and raw, un-fabricated reality becomes so insufferable to swallow that he greatly believes he has no other answer but to remain condemned to slavery, deliberately yet unconsciously hiding away and covering that base ruin he cowers at and despises. We have all, at some point, slipped into some near form of lethargy, where all we want to do is wallow in our pity, pamper ourselves with harmful pleasures and quench our appetites. But we shall not forget an inarguable and evident truth: the cyclical nature of things occasionally demands that we tumble hard to our death – this is the bitter aspect we deliberately keep away from – for during that descent into madness, you are given the chance to be renewed, then consolidated.

This bitterness or acidity of life is not only all-important, but of the essence. For without that momentary discontent and indignation, the sweetness of living would be compromised and our sincere eagerness would quickly turn into incessant tedium. A life free from hardship is one occupied by monotony, and since variety is the spice of life, one must live through not only sweet glory, but bitter defeat; then he knows something of thankfulness, contentment, kinship. Man then comes full circle; on the one hand, the bitter teaches him to contend with hardship to solidify his nature; on the other, the sweet teaches him to acknowledge in gratitude where he came from, nudging him to preserve a great humility and as much as possible, a lack of vanity. This, then, is man’s chief object: to give himself totally to aloneness, growing so familiar with such a state that he begins to seek it more than tremble at it. This apparent loneliness will inform him of the worth of quietness, the sense in peace, and the independence in becoming self-standing. For the first time, he will savour the liberty in renouncing helpless reliance and having as a goal the desire to make strides and prosper in the direction of his aims; skywards.

Ultimately, man’s ascendancy, in spite of its many deterrents, is glorious beyond ideology, belief, and contention, an admirable demonstration of heroism, man-power, and judgement. And there’s but a few cases that move me more than seeing a man who came from an unfortunate scarcity of resources; endured poverty and by his determination and despair, trounced all shortcomings and triumphed in the most exemplary and manly fashion. To perceive a man that came from the very bottom – powerless, weak, vulnerable – and to see him shoot up and gracefully climb up the ladder with all his might; that is a most heartening experience that I shall adore and revere forever, a testimony of his thorough conviction, toughness of character and sheer will. These are the lives of men we should honour and commemorate, for their spirit and attitude is the paramount display of man’s inestimable greatness – the same greatness that lies within each individual man, and though each man has differing capacities and abilities, each embraces a worthy paragon that can be a meaningful and telling contribution to civilisation. Now, whether he believes that to be accurate or not is contingent upon his judgement and understanding, but that doesn’t take away from his aptitudes and potentiality.


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The Art of Solitude

Lay aside a room only for yourself, devoid of hindrances; there you will bring sovereignty into being, your foremost peace and refuge. Inside, your usual dialogue should be of yourself, with yourself: so acquainted with ourselves that the external world finds no place within its confines.