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
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.
The problem is our modern culture does not value personal time. It looks at contemplation as a waste of time. The cultural narrative is all about being 100% productive, 100% of the time. This is unhealthy for our minds and our bodies.
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, spending time alone gives our intuition time and space to speak to us.
The Value of Solitude
Spending time alone, especially in nature, is good for our mental and physical health. Spend time forest bathing or meditating in a garden. This is a simple way to connect with our essence. We are, after all, part of nature.
Solitude and nature go together. The wind and the environment bring much needed healing of our soul. We can become so caught up in the commercialized culture that we forget who and what we are.
Whenever possible, we conduct our introductory meetings near forests or at gardens. The seclusion one experiences in nature helps us to calm and focus the mind. We cannot overstate the value of spending time alone. 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. This is the real value of solitude.
How Loneliness and Solitude Differ
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. Existential Fear. This the loneliness that comes when we do not face the fear of death. 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 relationships are, you can still feel like something is missing.
Religion cannot fill this void. It does provide a counterfeit distraction they call the afterlife. But, this is simply trading one fear for another. Instead of facing the fear of death, we become obsessed with the potential loss of afterlife rewards. Now we get to fear hell.
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
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. They exhibit repeatable common experiential phenomena.
The value of Solitude is immediately clear when developing your path. You need time alone to think, meditate, and practice. When you do this the spiritual loneliness fades away. The inner quest is the answer to spiritual loneliness. And the ancient tools for expanding awareness and opening the doors to higher states of consciousness are the right tools for this quest.
Spiritual technologies are ancient methods for exploring the human spirit. They come from cultures all around the globe. They are time-tested by generations of use. These practical mental tools help us expand awareness. Some open the doors to higher states of consciousness.
The methods we select are tools that can stand up to the rigorous test of science. They are repeatable processes. Several produce scientifically measurable effects on our physiology. Some of these changes include brainwave coherence, lower heart rates, and increased skin resistance. These measurable change prove these tools produce states of consciousness different from waking, dreaming and sleeping.
Anyone can use them, all you need to do is follow the process. We think of them like a recipe for a cake. You combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious. They do not the belief or faith in any religious doctrine.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
Everyone has their own path. You can start with any of these methods. The more you use, the better.
Our 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.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia