Alone and Unnoticed ... Photo by Thomas Peace c.2021
Post Format

Regarding Loneliness and being Alone…

32 comments

Human beings have dealt with loneliness for generation after generation. Most of us run away from it. We run away from it in many ways. We run away from it through various forms of entertainment. We run away from it by incessantly watching entertaining sports, by going to entertaining religious services, by endlessly socializing, texting, talking on the phone, reading, endlessly watching television, endlessly listening to the radio, and by innumerable other ways. However, it is always there, waiting around the corner. It is there waiting and once again manifesting. Mankind has been avoiding it for eons. It can even manifest in a person who is among a large group of people. Many, as a means to coping with it, even engage in alcohol and drugs.

Few of us are really involved with loneliness beyond mere conflict. Instead of merely being in conflict with loneliness, by constantly running away from it (as most incessantly do), can one realize that one actually is what it is, without merely thinking that it is what one “has” (as some loneliness)? If we often merely try all of the innumerable escapes from loneliness, it will always be there waiting and popping up again and again. Obviously, it is great to socialize and such. But to merely constantly run away from loneliness may merely feed its flames.

Aloneness is far different than loneliness. The root meaning of alone is ‘all one.’ (How can the mind be ‘all one,’ or whole, if it is primarily composed of fragmented thoughts and if it is constantly escaping from — and in conflict with — the loneliness that it is?) With aloneness, there is contentment/joy/deep perception without needing outside influences. It may occur to one who is a light to himself (or herself). Bliss without endless motives may be indicative of the intelligence of aloneness. It is not a selfish intelligence. It is an intelligence that involves compassion and care for all. True aloneness is beyond propaganda. True aloneness does not blindly jump on the bandwagon just to fit in. True aloneness perceives beyond the inner and outer separation that so many others have accepted from so-called leaders and superiors.

Alone and Unnoticed ... Photo by Thomas Peace c.2021
Alone and Unnoticed … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2021

Posted by

My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

32 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Oh Tom, I love this post. Being alone is a feeling of completeness -Being is enough. Loneliness is another matter entirely – when we are lonely we long for “the other” – a dog, a person, a spiritual state of being in which we are filled -emptied we experience a hole within us. The poet Rilke addresses this quality of loneliness well. Emergence magazine has some of his poems on one of their podcasts – all of which are excellent – All you have to do is to google Emergence and the site will come up. I highly recommend it.
    Lately I am dealing with the kind of loneliness that comes with changes in nature’s weather patterns – I am longing for rain and it is a visceral thing – this longing – I have flash backs of heavy spring rains – not much I can do here except allow the loneliness to run its course….in the process I hope to be filled again. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Completeness, yes, Sara! 🙂
      As for Rilke, well, i never much cared for the guy. But Cummings is another story… a story that deals with an enlightened human being.
      A poem by E.E. Cummings:

      no time ago
      or else a life
      walking in the dark
      i met christ

      jesus)my heart
      flopped over
      and lay still
      while he passed(as

      close as i’m to you
      yes closer
      made of nothing
      except loneliness

      Reply

      • I like Cummings too and always did – but The Book of Hours – Love Poems to God – translated by Johanna Macy – and I forget who else – is worth the listen! On Emergence you can just listen…

  2. Food for thought. I never thought about the two as separate but now it makes sense. I am alone but not lonely so therefore I can enjoy my aloneness. Thanks for a great blog.

    Reply

  3. Much to ponder in this post – alone and lonely rwo very different states for me – both familiar but vastly different. I crave time alone – a rare pleasure + opportunity to connect with nature, self, spirit. My challenge is balance between alone and with … the with grabs most of my time … making the alone time all the more precious.

    Reply

    • Thanks much, Jazz. So glad that it gave you much to ponder over! 🙂 Jazz, aloneness is a precious treasure. But they didn’t discuss that aspect of life with us in school, did they? We just learned things like multiplication and division, and, internally, our brains are full of division.

      Reply

      • Tom, you have certainly hit on something here that seems to follow me around: no fundamental social or mental subjects were dealt with at school back when I was schooled. Similarly, there were no ‘after-school’ coping strategies discussed with students. If you were unfortunate enough (as I was) to live in a household where communication and mentoring was not practiced, then you left school at 16 and found yourself floundering in a foreign world.
        Although the basics of maths, English and science are necessities of schooling, most students would benefit enormously from well-being and life coaching. If schools can ‘teach’ religion (which, by the way, I totally disagree with), then surely they can ‘offer’ some definitions and differences in words that will become a natural part of the students’ lives once out in the ‘real’ world.
        Of course, this may be happening in schools now, and I admit that ‘living strategies’ might be controversial in some context, I believe that basics could be approached with students, with positive outcomes.
        So many times I hear (even from my self), “I remember such-and-such piece of information from school” (decades earlier). If that ‘such-and-such’ was, for example, the difference between ‘loneliness’ and ‘aloneness’ instead of the final resting place of Kind Tutt, well, just imagine the possible difference to the lives of many.
        Thank you.

      • Yes, Gaye, that’s why i have always been fond of alternative schools. I don’t know if many are still around but there used to be some that dealt with things more holistically and such; plus they would get kids involved with doing real solar energy projects and organic gardening (and similar things). 🙂

  4. Indeed there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I appreciate your rumination Tom! That’s why time is so precious, especially when we reflect on the loved ones who have passed on from the life we once shared with them. 🙏🏼

    Reply

  5. It’s been my experience that people who don’t like being alone are lonely. One may even say that they may be afraid to be alone because they fear loneliness. Like you so aptly describe they try to avoid being alone filling their time with busyness so as to not be alone and to be lonely. If only they learn to be all one than they would not longer be lonely. Well said, Tom.

    Reply

  6. I have lived alone for eleven years now and have adapted well, likely because I chat with people here, or on other forms of social media. I have no relatives, have only kept up with friends online and have worked from home for a decade. I guess that is why the restrictions of the pandemic have not bothered me. I believe you can make your own happiness and I am happy to have my quiet time in nature, as do you Tom. I am often resentful of someone that treads on that solitude I enjoy by wanting to chitchat in the only time I allow my mind to be a blank slate and take it what is around me.

    Reply

    • I was always content with being alone much of the time. Then Marla happened, and that was a wonderful blessing too. She was appreciative of aloneness, as i was, so it worked out great. We shared so much together but also respected each other’s alone time. Now that she has passed, it’s quite an adjustment for me. That’s partially why i wrote this particular article. I don’t have many relatives to speak of either and i’m not much of a socializer, but i do like online friendships/communication too. My only concern now is that if somehow i get sick with something serious for a while, who would take care of the critters?

      On a different note: warm weather will arrive again soon enough. 🙂

      Reply

      • I thought your situation now was behind the post Tom … it is funny … neither you or I are introverts and we can socialize, etc., but prefer our own company. People don’t understand that at all … it is healthy to have “alone time” in any relationship. I know you worry about the critters and should make provisions … I’m thinking what about an accident – they’s need to be fed, the birds covered at night … even if just a few days/nights away. When I still had Buddy, my canary, I had a card I carried on me at all times to please ensure someone went in and got him and alerted my next-door neighbor who would have taken care of him. I have not gotten another pet – too painful when I lost Buddy, having had him euthanized when he had a stroke. I’ll lavish my attention on my Park critters instead.

        We are getting some snow, not measurable, but it depends on the course of the weather the next few days. Mother Nature better not mess with my last COVID shot Tuesday morning!

      • Thank you very much for your advice, Linda, and i’m so sorry about Buddy. I’ve lost many pets over the years… dogs, birds, and especially fish (with having had fish for 60 years so far). It’s very hard to lose them — they become family — but that should not stop you from sharing your life with pets afterward. My sister-in-law and her husband just got their sweet dog of 16, Sonny, euthanized, as he could no longer walk. It’s rather ironic, to me, that your canary who passed, was named Buddy. My dear friend, whose name was Buddy, had around 100 parrots, and when he passed, they were auctioned off. Buddy bred and raised many types. Buddy was a great friend. My advice is to get a pet. Dogs are super nice — my Lola (miniature dachshund) is a super sweety — and Macaws (especially Blue and Golds) are just like dogs (if hand-raised) and they live forever.
        Parrot cages, by the way, do not have to be covered at night, thank goodness. I wouldn’t have a blanket big enough anyway!
        My sister-in-law might be able to help a little with pets, should something go wrong, or maybe neighbors. And there are pet-sitters in the area that i’m looking into, though they are not too familiar with birds and fish.
        Great that you are getting your 2nd Covid vaccine! (Now they are saying that we may have to get Covid shots yearly, like with influenza. You can be sure that there will be many variants popping up (with all the 3rd world countries that are only 1% vaccinated).

  7. Wise words. It’s sad that one is deemed as selfish when choosing to be whole without the external muddle. Aloneness should not be feared.

    Reply

  8. Love the moth photo. I have a thing about moths!
    Your piece about loneliness struck a chord with me. I’ve never minded being alone but it is increasingly regarded as a social disease. Social pressure to be with other humans sets up expectations that are not always fulfilled and then people feel even lonelier. Loners are regarded as dangerous.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s