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Loneliness as a way of life

 
 
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:10 am
This book struck me as interesting. As I get older I want to spend more time on my own. I'd say a lot of my personal relationships are frayed at the moment-- Mostly, human nature/foibles are getting to me.

Could it be the time we are in? Do you feel it?

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/DUMLON.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 4,284 • Replies: 29
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:21 am
@Cliff Hanger,
I feel it, Cliff Hanger. I focused on this particular phrase about the man's book:

"deceptive simplicity". It's nice to know that it's all right to be lonely. Thanks.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:23 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Must be the introvert in me, but I don't ever feel lonely. In fact, overall I prefer being alone. I choose when I want to interact, or not.

The lonliest time in my life was in my childhood, when I had no sense of belonging.

Now, I feel like I have my place in the world, and no one can take that from me.

Right now, the most important person to me is out of town for 2-3 weeks, and although I miss him, I'm not lonely.

My simplicity is real, it's not deceptive.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:26 am
I spend a lot of time alone,
but it has never occurred to me to be lonely





David
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:29 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Wanting to be alone and being lonely are two very different things to me. I'm a social person who also enjoys being by myself sometimes. I would not seek out loneliness. I always think that other people are both my greatest joy and my worst idea of hell. I have have to deal with both extremes to feel fully human and engaged.

I think technology has created both a world of greater loneliness and a sense of community. Family members can spend hours on the internet, typing away in email or text messaging, but have little interaction with other people in the household. I love it when we lose electric in my rural area because the kids in my neighborhood actually go outside and play baseball or basketball. When we lost electric two winters ago I was amazed to see a dozen kids sledding down our back hill. I also know these same kids probably think they are loaded with ''friends" because of sites like My Space and Facebook.

Personally, I like to think I will have more time to be with friends and family as I get older. I'm happily married, but the other people in my life also bring me joy and I would not want to shut the door on them. I would rather have more friends than less, even the ones that make me a little nuts sometimes.

CH, I think instead of retreating and embracing loneliness you might want to look for other avenues of community. It is possible to out grow friends and there are times to move on. You might have a lonely transition, but I would not recommend loneliness as being the end of the journey.
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:47 am
@Letty,
Quote:
I feel it, Cliff Hanger. I focused on this particular phrase about the man's book:

"deceptive simplicity". It's nice to know that it's all right to be lonely. Thanks.


I agree, Letty. Do you think he's using the term loneliness in a very broad way, as there is a distinction with choosing to spend time alone and being lonely. He's probably, to a degree, addressing the culture that is so crowded with stuff, and objects, and acquisitions, which we've somehow been hoodwinked into thinking will fill up the emptiness.

Feeling lonely, periodically, seems normal. Conversely, having a sense of elation, in being able to collect your thoughts, to be able to unfold some of the complications of a busy and distracted life-- on your own, in private, seems more valuable than filling up life with people, distractions.

But back to the loneliness thing. I find, as I've gotten older, that my view of the world has expanded, and therefore I am not so quick to accept easy, quick explanations, or half-hearted attempts at anything, especially superficial friendships, relationships.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:49 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Sorry to hear about the fraying of your personal relationships, Cliff. But if you want to spend more time on your own, as you say, that doesn't indicate that you're lonely. As others have already pointed out, above, to be alone is not necessarily to be lonely.

As for the book, I doubt very much I'll read it. Self-searching introspection is not my cup of tea.
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 06:56 am
@Green Witch,
Quote:
CH, I think instead of retreating and embracing loneliness you might want to look for other avenues of community. It is possible to out grow friends and there are times to move on. You might have a lonely transition, but I would not recommend loneliness as being the end of the journey.


You're kind for being concerned, but my post is mostly an observation more than a declaration. I understand your approach to my post, but do not fret, I am not becoming island, at all.

There are times, as you've aptly pointed out, that you outgrow your circumstances. Fortunately, I have the benefit of being older and wiser and can identify the shedding skin. It doesn't make it easier, but it does make for the capacity to take notice of a lifetime pattern, which does work itself out, on its own. This has always been a mystery to me-- that it works itself out.
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 07:46 am
@Cliff Hanger,
I love being "lonely", if that's what you call it.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/103/294513664_2924f327d9.jpg
0 Replies
 
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 07:46 am
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
Sorry to hear about the fraying of your personal relationships, Cliff. But if you want to spend more time on your own, as you say, that doesn't indicate that you're lonely. As others have already pointed out, above, to be alone is not necessarily to be lonely.

As for the book, I doubt very much I'll read it. Self-searching introspection is not my cup of tea.


Ack, Merry Andrew, thanks for your post. I find it interesting he's addressing the issue. I think alienation out to be in the tag, as well. I have two approaches to this-- being alone is what you choose, and loneliness is when you want to put your head in the sand.

I know what you mean about self-searching. I'm generally one for being entertained, especially with laughter. I just don't think we're living in funny times at the moment.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:23 am
I feel that creativity dwells in loneliness or depression. When I get down in the dumps or if Im lonely (usually when Im on assignment far from home), my best method of coping is to let my mind gather ideas and put em to work. I find that ideas are just floating in space and I need to be receptive to catch em. Being alone aids that process.
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:33 am
@farmerman,
farmerman, are you really lonely when you are on assignment or simply homesick? There is quite the difference. I usually find that I am never lonely unless I reach a period of at least three months without human contact. After that I feel a slight need for conversation but it wears off quickly when I examine the scat of an animal.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:48 am
@gustavratzenhofer,
Well gus, I , unlike you, am not a hunter-gatherer. I dont really distinguish homesick v lonely. They both come from the same spot, even though one is more easily dealt with.

What treasures do you find in an animals scat?
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:49 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Spending time alone is not necessarily feeling lonely.
There was a time, where I was hardly ever alone, yet I felt lonely, and there are times when I seek solitude and find it sheer bliss. Basically, it's all a feeling you have within yourself, and it has very little to do with having others around you or not.
gustavratzenhofer
 
  0  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:50 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
What treasures do you find in an animals scat?


Mostly I just like the colors, but I will, on occasion, find a coin.
CalamityJane
 
  0  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:52 am
@gustavratzenhofer,
Oh! I thought you read the future out of animal scat, gustav?
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  0  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:58 am
@gustavratzenhofer,
He says "Good idea".

http://filmfanatic.org/reviews/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/Natives.JPG
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 10:09 am
As some of you have indicated you are, I am an extraverted and very social person who enjoys people a great deal. There are few pleasures in life that beat just spending pleasant time with friends and family. Apparently I get enough of that, however, as I am rarely ever lonely when I am alone and thoroughly enjoy being alone at times--even several days at a time--though I would not want that to be a permanent condition.

For me the loneliest times can be in crowds where everybody seems to know everybody but me, or being in a group and not wanting to be there or forced to spend a good deal of time with somebody I don't quite connect with.

A life in which there is no time to be alone with myself is not appealing to me. But loneliness as a way of life is not something I would seek either.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 10:45 am
who gives a ashit?
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Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 12:26 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
I feel that creativity dwells in loneliness or depression. When I get down in the dumps or if Im lonely (usually when Im on assignment far from home), my best method of coping is to let my mind gather ideas and put em to work. I find that ideas are just floating in space and I need to be receptive to catch em. Being alone aids that process.


It also sounds like a level of maturity too--your knowing you can chase away some demons and get the benefits from your situation.




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