Understanding the Religion of Solitude

Solitude, a state of being in closest vicinity with one’s own self. Though sounds similar but, there is a subtle difference between solitude and loneliness. While loneliness is something imposed on us by others, we choose to be in solitude.

Solitude is something we can rarely afford these days. With my mobile by my side, laptop showing full Wi-Fi access, I never find myself in the blissful state of solitude. Solitude means to enjoy those passions which make me feel lighter, which make me understand myself better. And that evolves from an inner richness, a vivid introspection. The tranquility, which is the quintessence of solitude, throbs in delight and exuberant bubbles of imagination float in jubilation. Yes, solitude does help us to open our minds. The blaring sounds of our mundane existence, the nitty-gritty of  daily life….build a distance with our hearts. It’s solitude which zeroes that distance whispering the truth of our souls to us. 

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Solitude frees us from all the harnesses imposed by life and society. “I’m myself” in solitude and I don’t need to pose or pretend to others. Aren’t we pretending in one way or another every day to match our existence, to suit ourselves in the best possible way in this society? Solitude comes as a blessing. It ameliorates that agony of soul by developing our dreams. Dreams which can only be seen when inner truth knocks the door of the heart, solitude acting as a conduit.

One can be in solitude in the wilderness. Feeling the Nature, listening to the murmuring of the winds, observing the cerulean sky and realizing that life is beautiful. But it’s not always necessary that you’ve to leave the homely corner to enjoy your solitude. Sit alone and wait and think, the ecstatic world of solitude will unmask itself slowly. It could make you confront yourself, present before you a new “me” who was yet unknown to you, but, it will make you feel whole unto yourself.

We are all social animals. We love company of other human beings, but there always resides somewhere, inside us, a closed room which opens itself up only in solitude. It’s the room where the true self resides and the sunshine of solitude rejuvenates that soul.

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre


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77 responses to “Understanding the Religion of Solitude

  1. I love this post. It is a great essay on Solitude with nuggets of wisdom and some beautiful language. My experience of working with monks for a time is that it is possible to cultivate a sacred space where tranquillity can be achieved anywhere at any time regardless of ones surroundings. It is a question of focus or to use modern popular terminology, mindfulness, being in the moment and at peace. They were Benedictines always open and welcoming to others but centred, grounded in the spiritual life.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts on the post. You’re so right to say with absolute profoundness that tranquility can be achieved anywhere and anytime if one has that state of mind. Great to know about your experience of working with Benedictines…🙂

      Would love to hear your comments on my other posts too…🙂

  2. A good analysis on solitude. I am nocturnal and hence I like the essence of solitude only in the night time. And the days I love being around people or at least there should be some kind of sound in the home (silence freaks me out) and so I always keep myself entertained with music🙂

  3. You have explained solitude so wonderfully! Fully agree that “one can be in solitude in the wilderness.” as I feel the same way. Solitude is the greatest teacher.

  4. Beautiful tribute to the virtues of solitude. Only a seeking mind can enjoy the bliss of solitude. Thanks for such an enriching post.

  5. I so agree with you. Solitude is bliss and loneliness is a curse…
    If you dont enjoy your company, then life becomes hell…
    Then the million dollar question comes – Do we have the luxury of me-time anymore?

  6. A good take on the topic. There is a thread line difference between understanding loneliness and solitude. Solitude is actually peaceful, while loneliness is chaos (both within ourself).

    Solitude is what we all desire for🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. It is a very deeply thought out post, which will resonant with one and all, we all have undergone and keeping undergoing this two state of existence. Yes, I very much agree that solitude is different from loneliness…loneliness is not a happy state of existence and it forced upon us but solitude is a state of bliss and which we aspire to be in, and yes with today’s engagement and cacophony of life it has become a rare phenomenon and ironically loneliness has become a common commodity.

    Many of the problems in life can be better handled and dealt with easy provided we our in control of ourselves which comes, we being connected to self, we being able to talk to ourselves and being able to internally absorb and analyze things rather than being externally dependent and governed by external factors to take our own decisions.

    We all have a room within is a wonderful thought and we should find time to visit our own room is so much true and is grossly neglected aspect of our living…we wonder around everywhere and forget to visit our own house within…a paradox of life.

    • You’ve wonderfully described solitude Nihar. Indeed, loneliness is what we experience nowadays even in the madding crowd and the worst thing is, we can’t understand that we are alone. We have become accustomed to our lone confinement and thus solitude has become a more distant dream…we have lost that subtlety of mind to differentiate solitude with loneliness.

      • You are right many times we are in midst of crowd and not aware of the fact that we may be very much alone, it is a state we get into without realizing it but it has very strong affect on our thinking and living, we need to be careful and recognize the signs of loneliness and avert being pushed into that state which has the potential to put us in depression…but yes on the other hand solitude is such a wonderful state to be in and we should all try to be in that state periodically to give the impetus to think creatively and live better in our life…

        Yes the ability to spot the subtlety and differentiate is the essence is such situations…

      • Absolutely right Maniparna, passion is good but obsession is bad beyond a point…and there exists a very thin line of difference between these aspects…it was a lovely post to discuss two such close words but having a fundamental difference between solitude and loneliness.

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