In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
For those who are not frightened by the solitude, everything will have a different taste. In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them. In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path. In solitude, they will learn that saying 'No' does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying 'Yes' is not always a virtue. And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: 'You're wasting your time.' Or by the chief demon's even more potent words: 'No one cares about you.' The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing. And when we achieve that harmony, we receive more than we asked for.
Not everyone knows how to be alone with others, how to share solitude. We have to help each other to understand how to be in our solitude, so that we can relate to each other without grabbing on to each other. We can be interdependent but not dependent. Loneliness is rejected despondency. Solitude is shared interdependence.
One ought to love society, if he wishes to enjoy solitude. It is a social nature that solitude works upon with the most various power. If one is misanthropic, and betakes himself to loneliness that he may get away from hateful things, solitude is a silent emptiness to him.
Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann
Solitude is a condition of peace that stands in direct opposition to loneliness. Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. loneliness is small, solitude is large. loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nodbody answers; solitude has it's roots in the great silence of eternity.
True happiness is impossible without solitude.... I need solitude in my life as I need food and drink and the laughter of little children. Extravagant though it may sound, solitude is the filter of my soul. It nourishes me, and rejuvenates me. Left alone, I discovered that I keep myself good company.
Far from the madding crowd is a mistake on a honeymoon.... Solitude! Wherever you are, if you're on a honeymoon, you'll get quite as much solitude as is good for you every twenty-four hours. Constant change and distraction -- that's what wants arranging for. Solitude will arrange itself.
Every book is an image of solitude. It is a tangible object that one can pick up, put down, open, and close, and its words represent many months if not many years, of one man's solitude, so that with each word one reads in a book one might say to himself that he is confronting a particle of that solitude
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again. What was she seeking to salvage from the daily current of living, what sudden revulsions drove her back into the solitary cell of the dream?
All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community. Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when we ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
This sometimes happened: from time to time, Dante¨s, driven out of solitude into the world, felt an imperative need for solitude. And what solitude is more vast and more poetic than that of a ship sailing alone on the sea, in the darkness of night and the silence of infinity, under the eye of the Lord?
Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. Loneliness is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity.
I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each shall stand guard over the solitude of the other. For, if it lies in the nature of indifference and of the crowd to recognize no solitude, then love and friendship are there for the purpose of continually providing the opportunity for solitude. And only those are the true sharings which rhythmically interrupt periods of deep isolation.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Solitude delighteth well to feed on many thoughts;There as thou sittest peaceful, communing with fancy,The precious poetry of life shall gild its leaden cares;There, as thou walkest by the sea beneath the gentle stars,Many kindling seeds of good will sprout within thy soul;Thou shalt weep in Solitude,--thou shalt pray in Solitude.Thou shalt sing for joy of heart, and praise the grace of Solitude.
Martin Farquhar Tupper
The fruit of solitude is increased sensitivity and compassion for others. There comes a new freedom to be with people. There is new attentiveness to their needs, new responsiveness to their hurts. Thomas Merton observes, 'It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them.... Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.
Richard J. Foster
It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverance for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.
Solitude is an interesting companion. It is both enemy and friend, comforter and tormentor. I spent a lot of time in Dun Cinzci's meat locker trying to decide which. Fortunately, when I tired of solitude, I had guilt to keep me company. Guilt is an even more interesting acquaintance than solitude, let me tell you. Solitude is a harsh but essentially benign attendant. Guilt, on the other hand, is a living, breathing creature, cruel and remorseless. It eats you from the inside out; devours what little hope you have left. It feeds on you, growing stronger with every accursed replayed memory, every useless recrimination." ~ Cayal, The Immortal Prince
It is this nothingness (in solitude) that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something. The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone. The wisdom of the desert is that the confrontation with our own frightening nothingness forces us to surrender ourselves totally and unconditionally to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Henri J.M. Nouwen