Solitude: The Voice Behind the Silence

solitude

With the changing times and technology, the world has started moving faster, pressurizing humans to find ways to keep up with the pace, while also maintaining peace of mind. While everyone may have a different way of coping up with this world, I prefer Solitude. Often Used interchangeably with Loneliness, as both are characterized by solitariness, but there is a stark difference between the two.

Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.

While Loneliness is the state of being alone and missing an integral part of your life, Solitude is more of a rejuvenating state, used for reflection, inner searching or growth, or enjoyment of some kind. 

Solitude Vs Loneliness

I have often be asked why I like staying alone, and every now and then I require solitude to replenish me back into reality.

Loneliness: It is a negative state that causes a sense of isolation and the feeling that something is missing. Loneliness is harsh, a deficiency state, a punishment, and a state of discontent marked by a sense of estrangement.

Solitude: Solitude is a positive and constructive state of mind. It is both desirable and a state of being alone while also having a wonderful and sufficient company, yourself. You get the much-needed time for self-reflection, inner growth, or enjoyment. It helps in thinking and being more creative.

Solitude is something you choose. Loneliness is imposed on you by others. Solitude restores body and mind. Loneliness depletes them.

Nine Kinds of Silence

I must learn to keep silent

André Gide

In 1972, the great 20th-century novelist, playwright, poet, and psychotherapist Paul Goodman write his last published work ‘ Speaking and Language’. Paul was named the most influential man you have heard of, and in his book, he examines the nine types of silence present in life.

He very explicitly mentions how speaking and not speaking are both human ways of being part of the world, and each has a grade.

Defence of poetry
  • Dumb Silence of Slumber or Apathy
  • The Sober Silence that goes with a Solemn Animal Face
  • Fertile Silence of Awareness, pasturing the would, whence emerge new thoughts
  • The Alive Silence of alert perception
  • The Musical Silence that accompanies absrobed activity
  • The Silence of Listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear
  • The Noisy Silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speeh bit sullen
  • Baffled Silence of peaceful accord with other persons or comunion with the cosmos.

Ode on Solitude

Written when he was just 12 years old, Alexander Pope’s poem Ode on Solitude showcases the simple life and a world of peace and quiet. He highlights a man’s preference for solitude and hard work over company and luxury. The author talks about a happy person who is solitary but self-sufficient: people don’t need much to be content with their lives—just a little peace and quiet, physical and mental health, and a decent balance of work and pleasure.

 Ode on Solitude

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire

Shakespeare’s Sonets

One of the famous Sonet’s by Shakespeare, these lines showcase the poet as both solitary and shunned. While alone, Shakespeare is first downcast by his fate and curses his catastrophic conditions. In this solitude, he suddenly thinks about his beloved and gets excited. The magical effect of love eradicates his sorrow and he realizes that it is important to be happy with what you have, rather than cry for what others have and you don’t.

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

It shows the power of solitude that helps you find answers to the toughest questions and emotions that surround each one of us in our daily lives. It is thus important to take time away from the commotion of life and enjoy solitude all by yourself.

What You Discover in Solitude

From time immemorable people have gone into solitude and created their best art in solitude. This is because they find something in solitude that is impossible to find otherwise. let us see why do some people choose to retreat from social interaction? And what do they find when they do it?

a. Peace

Peace comes from within, Do not seek it Without

Gautam Buddha

Dalai Laman said we can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. This is only possible if we take out time from our schedule and sit in silence to retrospect over what we have done, what we are doing, and what we want to do, does the body finally come to peace. peace is not.

b. The Natural World

The smiling trees, the dancing flowers
The smell of wet soil, the dew winking on the grass
There is so much around I do not cherish,
Only because I am afraid to face myself.

Often in the race of being the true beauty of life, we forget the ultimate beauty that surrounds us, nature. With the changing weather, the rustling leaves, the soft breeze, the happy trees we have a lot around us. This natural world not only grounds us but also helps us understand the true meaning of life.

However, this will never happen if you neglect solitude. Walk into the park alone, step out of your house all by yourself and you will be amazed to see the natural world that you have been missing.

c. Unity with oneself

be enough
for yourself first
the rest of the world can wait

Too busy thinking about others around us, we forget to love and care for the most important person in our lives, Ourselves. When have we stopped to ask, what we want today? Solitude is all about being by yourself and understanding yourself better. This helps in uniting with yourself and thus leading a more peaceful and cherished life.

d. Boost Creativity

Creativity is more than just being different, Making the simple awesomely simple is creativity.

Charles Mingus

We have often heard of artists, musicians, writers, and even scientists seeking solitude to make their big discoveries or when they want to create something fresh. Studies have actually confirmed that solitude fosters creativity, and increases productivity.

Solitude helps you in getting rid of all the distractions of life and concentrate on what you are doing.

e. Psychological well being

The Happiness of Your Life Depends Upon the Quality of Your Life.

Marcus Aurelius

Since we were kids we have been taught t stay in the community, so staying alone can be a difficult task. However, if you master the art of solitude you actually become mentally strong and happier.

Conclusion

Having talked so much about Solitude, the next step would be ‘how to attain Soltude’. Well, as difficult it might seem it clearly is not. All you need to do is for some time of the day, week, or even month, seclude yourself from all outside noise and just be in the moment with yourself.

At first, you can try to get used to silence you can pick up a book and read in silence, go for a walk, meditate for some time or try any other form of solitude that suits you.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

~Albert Einstein

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