# Day 52 (The Lost Art of Solitude)

A few days ago a friend had posted this inspirational quote on her social media site. A beautiful image (no photo-credits were given) with a wonderful thought by Mandy Hale (perhaps better known to the world as “The Single Woman”)

For me it jogged another memory, of a cocktail-party-interaction many years back, about  J. Krishnamurthy and his advocacy of cultivating the art of being alone. J. Krishnamurthy, of course remains a colossus twentieth century thought-leader, his writings and talks reflecting a unique confluence of Eastern and Western philosophy brought about by his extraordinary life. To partake of any one of his numerous talks, conversations, writings is to come away feeling somewhat “enlightened.” In many ways, i feel he is the founder of the belief-system so many espouse today as ‘humanism and compassion.’ To return though, to his take on solitude, he proposed it as a method for everyone, not just the hermits and sages, so that one may have greater clarity and freedom from the complexities, fears and frustrations of our humdrum life. He wanted us as individuals to open our mind to the true nature of itself and the universe, and to use solitude as a means to accomplish the task of self-knowledge. In his own words…

“It’s beautiful to be alone. To be alone does not mean to be lonely. It means the mind is not influenced and contaminated by society.”

In another place he continues on the theme…

“You are never alone because you are full of all the memories collected over time…You are the mutterings of yesterday; your mind is never clear of all the rubbish it has accumulated. To be alone you must die to the past. When you are alone, totally alone, not belonging to any family, any nation, any culture, any particular continent…only then can the mind see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.”

While that may sound too mystic and other-worldly, what i have always loved among his solitude-quotes is when he talks of being alone with nature…

” It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fisherman’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt and which can never be destroyed.”

Truly to detach oneself from all things around and just watch the ebb and flow of the ocean’s waves, to hear the wind rustling among the pines, to watch the grand spectacle of the sun rising over mountain peaks, to observe raindrops forming small rivulets on the window pane…those are life-moments that can fill you with an exhilaration beyond words. The problem is today most of us do all that not for the experience but for that ‘instant-click and share’ on social media. With your friends, family, the world itself just a click away on that five-inch-screen in your hand, when are we truly just solo? Somewhere we have lost that “art of being alone”, and the bigger question is do we even want to or are we perhaps a wee bit afraid of being “by ourselves in solitude”…


About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, Thought snippets and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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