Without solitude there can be no real people….the measure of your solitude is the measure of your capacity for communion.
Solitude is such a strange idea.
No human being can become human with out a society.
At so many levels we require others to be able to develop our potential.
We need the many levels of culture to give us our start.
We need the technologies developed by the combined work of billions of other people to allow us to communicate as we are now.
So there is a sense in which solitude of that kind is a myth – a nonsense.
And there does seem to be another sort of solitude.
In this other sense, it seems to be that as conscious self aware entities, we can learn to trust ourselves enough to be alone with our own subconscious thoughts and feelings.
I this sense of solitude, of being one with all the many unknowable aspects of self, that compared to our conscious awareness feel all knowing, infinite, and all powerful, that is the only sense that seems to me to make sense.
It seems that in a very real sense, we are all that powerful.
It seems that in a very real sense Marianne Williamson was accurate in the most scientific of senses when she said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
It seems to me that in a very real sense it is this fear that drives us to create ideas of gods and afterlives, to absolve us of the responsibility for effective action in the here and now.
It seems that in the deepest of scientific senses, knowing ourselves (in as much as our eternally inadequate distinctions allows us to glimpse aspects of the reality that we are) is key, and to know oneself demands a certain degree of solitude (as well as a certain degree of sociality).
It seems my only access to the outside world is through the shadows on the wall of my cave, the shadows thrown by the distinctions of my mind, which are themselves mere shadows of the reality beyond.
And yet we exist in reality, however limited our perceptions of it are.
Current estimates are that most people get to process less than 5% of what is in their visual field (the exception being some of those on the autistic spectrum).
We are capable of so much more than the stories we tend to tell ourselves.
Homo narrans – the story telling ape!
Perhaps it is time for a new chapter in the story – something entirely novel from a historical perspective!