Solitude is the mirror for all things human, thought and emotion alike. In solitude, a person learns to talk with himself, understand the need for self-reflection and realisation. He treats strengths and weaknesses alike, while also embracing the master practitioner in him. His yesterday’s self is the corpse on which he improves, while having a clear focus on who he wants to be on the day, yet to come.
Dialogue, debate, arguments are the staple diet of an individual in solitude. While he may not be perfect, it is certain that his thoughts show signs of heightened confidence. While he may not be brave, it is rather evident that he has no fear when it comes exploring new ideas and ponder upon them. He is the master of self-reflection, being aware of all the things that changed him in ways only he realises. Knowing his flaws, his fallacies, he fights through beliefs that hold no value in his life. The imaginary boundaries that surround us, is not strange to him. He clearly identifies that these walls are made up of ideas and beliefs, unique to the people enclosed in these. He punches through the walls, trying to break these down brick by brick, feeling happy about having achieved something. He knows that it is not happiness he craves, but evolution.
Life is nothing but an evolutionary calendar to him. Every day is a race against the person he was yesterday. He evolves throughout the race, filling his voids by examining his younger self. Of course, this confidence a sense of pride in him. No wonder he has more pride than yesterday. But he is also a master of putting this pride to good use. He tries to help others in ways and means unconventional. He realises that money is just a medium to bring about change. In a world where money can buy materialistic people happiness, he understands that change must be bought by things that money can buy, and not money itself.
Beauty and ugliness, to him, are just adjectives used by people of lesser thought. He knows that they (people) judge a cover alone, rather than considering it a book. To him, uniqueness is the measure of life. It is evident that uniqueness cannot be measured, but only understood. To him, people are ‘urns’ of thoughts and beliefs, some fresh and some expired.
Being in solitude requires a marvellous amount of focus and dedication. While he who is in solitude, has great bravery and willpower, it would be foolish to consider him inhuman. Like others, he too feels the need to indulge in vices and things that may make him weak. Intoxication (of the mental and physical kind), seduction, greed and immense narcissism, to him, are escapes from the immense discipline that is required in solitude. Like any other person, he is in misery and regret by the end of it. But he remembers to make good out of it. He races again and observes the way he was in misery. He realises what made him do things that spoils his streak and then makes a well thought out decision. He understands that these things, when done in small amounts, will make the solidarity taste so much better.
There also exists a very silver lining between Solitude and Loneliness. And at times it hits him hard. He yearns for someone who could make him better, beyond his thoughts. Someone who could break him to such an extent, only healing would make him stronger. Analogous to hitting a wall. Something hitting/hurting you back, an experience which can never be felt alone. It takes two to make a fight. Such should also be the essence of a relationship. One should see things in the other one, that he doesn’t see in himself. That is also how the brain in him works, he adores those and that, he lacks in himself.
While being alone is a crucial part of his solitude, testing himself against others, constitutes the second act of solitude. His pride and confidence makes him think great of himself, but also aware of his human form. There are better ones out there than him and he needs to observe and learn from them, for a change. Sometimes to learn, and Sometimes to reassure himself of the fruits of solitude, by looking at those lacking ones.
My life in solitude
The past 2 years and my departure from India, has sparked an endless flame of scepticism in me. Solitude was one of the few experiences I felt in these 2 years. Its similarity to loneliness was, at times, quite discomforting. But there were times in public where I felt the results of solitude. Self-awareness, clarity of belief and idea and a greater sense of confidence were one of the many fruits it had to offer. The best part of it is the ongoing and subtle dialogue between the mind and brain, which acts as a mechanism to filter out one’s fallacies.
While education improves one’s cognitive knowledge, the subconscious application of that information can be assessed in solitude. One knows about his own thought pattern and can expect his own actions. It becomes a game of mental Chess, with yourself. Reasons for which one consumes alcohol and other humanly temptations, are also well understood in this period. I experimented with different types and configurations of these and ended up despising vodka (:p). There was a lot of regret after vodka consumption, I ended up doing things I wasn’t necessarily proud of. I was more suited for the old-man kind of drinking, a glass of rum with a pipe probably.
While I was mostly alone, I did read someone else’s thoughts… Friedrich Nietzsche. During this time, his metamorphosis of the Camel, the Lion and the Baby inspired me greatly in recognising my own evolution throughout the years. How I was once a Camel, who carried others’ beliefs and ideas like a beast of Burden. How I became a Lion after realising the nature of my existing moral code and slaying the Dragon, rightly named, “Thou Shalt”. And how I finally emerged as a Child, with a clean slate for a mind, ready to be rewritten by my own hands. While, on the way I also started seeing a sort of “Fanboy syndrome” in me, for his works, I soon encountered a few of his beliefs which didn’t entirely apply today and synced up with me, which made me look at him as a human.
There were times when Loneliness, the weak person’s solitude, took over. It was painful, rather suffocating, beyond description. My stomach would curl up in itself, I would grasp for breath, warm tears rolling down my cheeks. These are the times I call, “phasing out of focus”. This is where the weaker part of one’s self takes over and starts interpreting solitude as this, deep and dark dimension which yields no benefits. But how can a person who has only seen light, embrace the darkness? How can a person who has known only right, understand what wrong feels like? How can a person who has been among people all his life, know what solitude feels like? Such is my dialogue with myself, convincing the weaker person, an embodiment of my past, to give solitude a chance. That “Me” would assume solitude for loneliness and would run away from it. But it is necessary that I hold onto him, because he is a constant reminder of what I do not want to become.
Solitude has built a foundation to rebuild my life upon. It has made me get rid of the anxiety, I used to suffer from. I stopped romanticising the people I looked up to. These dialogues inspired me write about them in my blogs, like the previous blog, “The Scream”, where all of the emotions written about, were a result of a dialogue with myself. They were the interpretation of three versions of myself, one who felt, one who ridiculed the feeler and one who assessed the other two. I can hence conclude that the previously upheld issue of indoctrination, in one of my previous blog posts, can be solved effectively by solitude.
Solitude is the maker of all things, individual.