It is important to take time to daydream, think and contemplate. It gives our intuition time and space to speak to us. Spending time alone is a must. Above all, we should not confuse time alone or seclusion with loneliness.
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; It is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Value of Solitude — Time to Contemplate
We are creatures who need to spend time alone. It’s important to have time to ourselves. This is a basic form of self-care. When we are alone without an agenda, it gives us time to normalize. It’s a way of connecting our creative and intuitive mind.
There are many things to contemplate and think about. Are we alone in the Universe? What happens to my consciousness when I die? These questions are unsettling even terrifying to think about. But, these types of questions are necessary. Contemplating these kinds of questions is a way of sparking our creative mind. It also provides us with meaning and perspective.
We lose connection with our natural creative and intuitive abilities when we don’t make time to contemplate. Our intuition wants to speak to us, but most of the time we are too busy. So, solitude gives our intuition time and space to speak to us.
Spending time alone in nature is good for our mental and physical health. Spend time forest bathing or meditating in a garden. This is an almost immediate way to connect with source, with nature. Whenever possible, we conduct our introductory meetings near forests or at gardens. The seclusion one experiences in nature calms and focuses the mind. We cannot overstate the value of solitude. It heals the soul, the mind and the body.
When we take time to contemplate our bodies also have a chance to speak. If we stop long enough then things will surface that we have kept hidden because our mind is focusing outward on daily tasks.
How Does Loneliness Differs from Solitude?
Being alone does not make you lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd. So, the lack of people around you does not make you lonely. Seclusion is not the same as loneliness.
“Loneliness is not the experience of what one lacks, but rather the experience of what one is… It is ironic how much of our freedom we expend on power — on conquering death, disease, and decay, all the while concealing from each other our carefully buried loneliness, which if shared, would deepen our understanding of each other.” — James Leonard Park, Essay on Loneliness of Spirit
There are three kinds of loneliness, social, emotional and spiritual loneliness.
1. Social loneliness is when you are without reliable relationships. The lack of people to share interests with, on whom you could rely if your car broke down, etc. It is a lack of trust.
2. Emotional loneliness stems from feeling like you have no meaningful connection or relationships. You don’t have a significant other, spouse, or partner. You feel distant from everyone, even your family.
3. But there is another type of loneliness. We know this as spiritual or existential loneliness. This loneliness is a sense of longing that cannot be fulfilled through social connections of any kind. So, no matter how good our personal relationships are, you can still feel like something is missing.
You can still feel ‘empty’ and ‘lonesome’. If this sounds like you, then the problem won’t be found in personal relationships. You can only quench it by following your heart. It is what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. This is what spiritual exploration is all about. And it is one of the first major spiritual lessons.
How Spiritual Exploration Differs from Religion
Many people don’t understand that spiritual exploration is at the opposite end of the spectrum of religion. Religion is dogma centering on what might have created the universe, what may happen after you die, and rules of integrity for governing behavior. This doctrine revolves around fear and reward. There is the fear of eternal punishment for those that disagree and an eternal paradise for those who believe.
Whereas, Spiritual exploration has nothing to do with doctrine or dogma. It involves the use of spiritual tools/technologies to expand awareness and open the doors of consciousness. These spiritual technologies stand up to the test of science as having repeatable common experiential phenomena.
The value of Solitude is immediately clear when developing your own path. You need time alone to think, meditate, and practice. When you do this the spiritual loneliness fades away. The inner quest is definitely the answer to spiritual loneliness. And the ancient spiritual technologies for expanding awareness and opening the doors to higher states of consciousness are the right tools for this quest.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group. We like this simple method.
- Tools to enhance critical thinking. This study of basic logical reasoning along with spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Then we also use a comparative analysis. This is a step-by-step way of comparing beliefs between different worldviews. Above all, these tools will help sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- The Enneagram Personality Profile. This is mostly an analytical tool. It provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
- Seated meditation is often the heart of your spiritual practice. This includes a range from Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and more advanced Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection. It is also an important key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection, such as Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Pathways for expanding and exploring awareness. This progression includes a range of processes from lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey and Guided Meditation to third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness. Practical tools to guide your path, a spiritual journal, and automatic writing.
- Healing practices are the final group. This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is also a part of this group and is vital to our overall health and wellness.
The modern culture does not understand the value of solitude. It programs us to keep busy all the time. Taking time to contemplate is a waste of time rather than a necessary part of our emotional and physical health.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia