I live in a house full of people but I have always felt alone. Is there a word for that? Is there a condition that the DSM has concocted to be able to monopolise a share of the economy? I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do know is what I feel and coming to grips with that is my journey.
Whilst some may tumble into a catastrophic affair of despair and depression and this by no means is looking down upon their dilemmas, I revel in the loneliness.
I enjoy being alone with my thoughts and am comfortable enough to hear them over and over, voluntarily and involuntarily. Yes we all hear our thoughts and voices, it’s not abnormal and you don’t have a condition. The issue is being able to deal with those voices or thoughts effectively.
Like any learned skill, you need practise and an atmosphere conducive to it. You cannot learn to appreciate, understand, contemplate debate, revel, reject, agree with or change your thoughts if all you ever do is hear the thoughts of others. If all you do is surround yourself with incessant jabber, with never ending mindless drivel and gossip, with a blaring screen beaming alpha rays deep into your subconscious, pretty soon you will forget that the voices and thoughts you hear are actually yours.
They become alien to you and you subject yourself to a myriad of societal presumptions simply based on the fact that what was once an intimate friend or friends, have been away for so long that you barely recognise them.
That is the trickery behind media. It is meant to numb you and place thumbtacks of reminder notes all over your mind map. Reminder notes to cue you into action, action that is not in essence yours truly, but yours artificially.
It’s 2013 and loneliness and solitude are the missing ingredients in a growing person’s arsenal of skills. It didn’t happen overnight. Not even in the last decade but it has been carefully and deliberately orchestrated for over one hundred years. It’s actually been longer than that but technology has seen the advances it needed most in this period and data is now such a king that it has markedly taken effect. Like a fine wine which lays dormant for years on end and then in one fine year alone comes to maturity that makes one believe it happened overnight.
So how does one practise comfort with hearing voices, listening to regurgitating thoughts and piece it all together to live sanely (whatever that means) and without the need for interference from pharmaceuticals or psychotic psychiatrists trying to force a pill down your throat for a condition you don’t have and one that doesn’t exist? (You don’t want to get me started on psychiatry) I don’t know and cannot pretend to be an expert in the area. I do know myself though and how I deal with it. Perhaps I will divulge at a later time but what I do know is that you need skills and practise to get better at anything.
Repetition is the master of skill and mental, emotional, spiritual and social skills are not privy to a different set of rules. In order to get better at dealing with those voices and being comfortable with your thoughts, personally I believe a lot more solitude is in order. How can you deal with your thoughts if you’re being bombarded by thoughts of others? It doesn’t make any logical sense.
Although the area of neuroplasticity is one of the foremost researched fields in the world of academe, skills learned later in life are not like those etched into our wiring from an early age. One has to appropriate quiet time and solitude for children. Solitude that doesn’t mean you prop a child in front of a television and leave them alone for 3 hours. Solitude is not that, nor is it mindless swiping on a phone, tablet or computer screen.
Once upon a time solitude carried with it the connotations of wisdom, understanding, learning, peace, tranquillity, enlightenment and self-knowledge. It was not a word that entailed one was alone. Rather it meant that one was engaging at a much deeper near spiritual like level, learning things about themselves and their surroundings through a socialisation with one’s own thoughts, engaging with the characters inside one’s mind and soul, embracing them, visiting them and asking them for their own opinions. Solitude meant that you had created your own inner social circle of friends who could critique you, agree with you, ask you to remain patient if the answers weren’t clear yet or prompt you to action and immediacy if it warranted.
One word, but not as empty and barren in meaning as we now have relegated it. Time in solitude produced artists, poets, scientists, doctors and literary geniuses. It produces scholars and sages, saints and Gnostics. It was the pre-requisite for every single Prophet.
Solitude was the Alchemy of wisdom and achievement. Let the above roll around in your mind, ponder over it but more importantly, make an honest assessment of how much time in solitude you afford yourself for personal growth. If you cannot be bothered for your own sake then bare it in mind for the future generations.