Philosopher Paul Tillich Said “Our language has wisely sensed these two sides of a man’s being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone and it has created the word Solitude to express the glory of being alone “
However, this post is not about how to enjoy your time in solitude, for you can find many options on this on the internet. This post is about why it is good to spend some time in solitude, not only for the people who are on the spiritual path but for almost everyone.
There is no doubt that we are programmed to seek out the company of other human beings and the presence of others in our lives makes a great difference to our quality of life and experiences. Relationships with others make our life happy when they go well and miserable when they don’t work out. However, what is our relationship with our own “self” , can be found only in solitude.
What is the need
The ultimate test for the ability to control the quality of experience is what a person does in solitude, when there is no external demand of attention and validation from others, which unfortunately has become addiction in today’s social media-driven world. It is easy to enjoy with friends and entertain oneself with others but what matters is one’s own mental condition during solitude. Does one indulge in such activities which help in aligning oneself with the real growth?
A person, who rarely gets bored and does not constantly need an external stimulus to enjoy the moment, definitely has better control on himself. Learning to use time alone, instead of escaping from it is important in early years. Researchers have shown that the teenagers who can’t bear solitude, find it difficult to concentrate on the work which requires serious mental work in their adult years. Occasional solitude, which they learn to enjoy in a positive way with a mental discipline, has tremendous effect in the development of their consciousness. Secondly in the formative years, they learn how to enjoy life without others.
Early is good
Though it is good to develop this trait in the early years, the habit can be cultivated at any age. However, there are many adults who don’t know how to convert their unpredictable loneliness in solitude to exploit its benefits. Equipped with only the bare minimum of inner discipline, they accumulate only despair and dissatisfaction. If a person does not know how to control attention in solitude, he will distract himself towards the easy external solutions whatever good or bad it may be. When physical vigor diminishes with the age, one has to turn one’s energies from the external world to the inner realities. However, it is difficult to do, if one has not learnt the habit of using solitude to one’s growth and advantage.