The values of solitude - one of its values - is, of course, that there is nothing to cushion against attacks from within, just as there is nothing to help balance at times of particular stress or depression. A few moments of desultory conversation...may calm an inner storm. But the storm, painful as it is, might have had some truth in it. So sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands. The reasons for depression are not so interesting as the way one handles it, simply to stay alive.
Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.
Inward solitude is that which cheiefly brings a Man to
the purchase of Internal Peace.
It is only in solitude, when it has broken the thick crust of shame that separates us from one another and separates us all from God, that we have no secrets from God; only in solitude do we raise our hearts to the Heart of the Universe; only in solitude does the redeeming hymn of supreme confession issue from our soul.
Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude.
Acquire knowledge, it enables its professor to distinguish right from wrong; it lights the way to heaven. It is our friend in the
desert, our company in solitude and companion when friendless. It guides us to happiness, it sustains us in misery, it is an ornament amongst friends and an armor against enemies.
The solitude of writing is also quite frightening. It's quite close to madness, one just disappears for a day and loses touch.
And now I begin to understand why I was imprisoned so many years in this lonely chamber, and why I could never break through the viewless bolts and bars; for if I had sooner made my escape into the world, I should have grown hard and rough, and been covered with earthly dust, and my heart might have become callous by rude encounters with the multi-tude.. ... But living in solitude till the fulness of time was come, I still kept the dew of my youth and the freshness of my heart..... I used to think that I could imagine all passions, all feelings and states of the heart and mind; but how little did I know!...Indeed, we are but shadows—we are not endowed with real life, and all that seems most real about us is but the thinnest substance of a dream—till the heart be touched. That touch creates us,—then we begin to be,—thereby we are beings of reality and inheritors of eternity.
Self-reliance can turn a salesman into a merchant; a politician into a statesman; an attorney into a jurist; an unknown youth into a great leader. All are to be tomorrow's big leaders - those who in solitude sit above the clang and dust of time, with the world's secret trembling on their lips.
Perhaps the logical question to ask at this point is: Why go? The answer is that when a man has been there and undergone the baptism of solitude he can't help himself. Once he has been under the spell of the vast luminous, silent country, no other places is quite strong enough for him, no other surroundings can provide the supremely satisfying sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute. He will go back, whatever the cost in time or money, for the absolute has no price.
It is useless to advise solitude for everyone; one must be strong enough to endure it and to work alone.
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
Our language has wisely sensed these two sides of man are being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. Although, in daily life, we do not always distinguish these words, we should do so consistently and thus deepen our understanding of our human predicament.
God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.
Writing is sweat and drudgery most of the time. And you have to love it in order to endure the solitude and the discipline.
Once more Uncontradicting solitude Supports me on its giant palm; And like a sea-anemone Or simple snail, there cautiously Unfolds, emerges, what I am.
Seriously, I think it is a grave fault in life that so much time is wasted in social matters, because it not only takes up time when you might be doing individual private things, but it prevents you storing up the psychic energy that can then be released to create art or whatever it is. It's terrible the way we scotch silence & solitude at every turn, quite suicidal. I can't see how to avoid it, without being very rich or very unpopular, & it does worry me, for time is slipping by, and nothing is done. It isn't as if anything was gained by this social frivolity, It isn't: it's just a waste.
I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.