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Eshai
05-21-2014, 07:12 PM
In what seems like the distant past, I would occasionally indulge in prolonged periods of time in relative isolation. During those times, I didn't go to the store, I didn't talk to anyone, and I spent most of the hours wandering in the woods of my parents' (may they rot in eternal agony) property and the surrounding farm and timber lands.

Whenever I would have these times in isolation, I was able to shift out of the social/external mode and into the internal mode of honest self examination. Here, fear and sadness would dissipate. It has been over a year since I took any prolonged period of time to myself, and I miss it. I think periodic time spent in isolation is important, if not imperative, to a better understanding of the self.

What do you guys think?

Awani
05-21-2014, 07:57 PM
RIP, rot in pieces... ;)

I constantly isolate myself. This is why I like friends and social gatherings online because if I want to be isolated I just don't log on. As soon as I stop working I always spend my time in isolation. I don't keep many AFK (away from keyboard) friends. People who have a big social network are very busy. Social friends are like vampires. Some need them, I don't.

You cannot go seriously into alchemy if you are not partly a hermit.

So for me regular isolation is a lifestyle, but I never stay isolated for weeks on end just a few times a week. I would do more but I got to work at the moment.

Saying that everything is a state of mind. I always stay in inner isolation, meaning I cannot honestly be present in society. If I am I'm just playing along, but inside I am not there.

:cool:

Krisztian
05-21-2014, 10:19 PM
. . . . I look any prolonged period of time to myself, and I miss it. I think periodic time spent in isolation is important, if not imperative, to a better understanding of the self.

Would be hard pressed to find a spiritual discipline of Old that doesn't advocate what you describe here.

Nature seems to bring out the authentic in us. I love the sound the wind makes against trees. It has it's own orchestra and particular sound [of invitation, play, initiation].


You cannot go seriously into alchemy if you are not partly a hermit.

Can't argue against that either.

Awani
05-21-2014, 10:46 PM
Forgot to add that I work in the city but I live out in nature surrounded by trees and ocean... so it makes the nature aspect of the isolation closer... it would be harder in the city. For me apartments/flats are no longer an option. 30 years of living in a box surrounded by concrete is enough for one lifetime (incl. all reincarnations).

:cool:

Eshai
05-21-2014, 11:09 PM
"I would do more but I got to work at the moment. "
I understand. That is also one reason why I haven't taken some time in isolation.

"You cannot go seriously into alchemy if you are not partly a hermit."
Interesting thought. Yes, I have always been antisocial, and whenever I am around people for too long I start to fantasize about doing not nice things to them. I have a job where I am frequently required to go in at a moment's notice, or where I must go in at odd hours periodically. It kills my train of thought and plunges me into a crushing emotional abyss. I can see why hermits isolated themselves, and shut out society. It sucks that I got used to eating and sleeping inside of a house. lol

"If I am I'm just playing along, but inside I am not there."
You must have extraordinary mental discipline. Do you meditate frequently? I used to meditate often, but it seems like there is no such thing as a quiet moment, except early in the morning when everyone is still sleeping.

Awani
05-22-2014, 12:16 AM
Do you meditate frequently?

No meditation, just imagination.

:cool:

Eshai
05-22-2014, 10:56 AM
In some cases, there might not be a significant difference. ;)

DonSweet
05-22-2014, 05:19 PM
I'm curious about one aspect of this subject of isolation, mainly over just having finished a two hour conversation with a friend. This friend is/was extremely upset with me over my need/desire/propensity for isolation and was literally demanding that I seek more socialization and social acceptance outside myself.

Do any of you have these experiences where others resent or criticize your process of withdrawing?

This friend, whom I have know for many years, clearly interpreted my need/desire/propensity to socially isolate myself as mentally defective, virtually in the extreme, indicating I should address the issue and change.

Naturally ... (naturally to me, anyway) ... I do look at any isolation I use, create or participate in with the balanced perspective presented in other posts here, in that there is a time for it, and it is not an extreme choice isolating myself the majority of the time. In other words, I only withdraw to gain perspective and find balance within myself. I do not seek to live a life of isolation.

But apparently, this person perceives my choice of any isolation at all as "bad."

Anyone else have this experience?

Awani
05-22-2014, 05:27 PM
If I have this experience with a friend (and I have had it) they seize to be a friend i.e. problem solved. Sounds harsh, but extremely time efficient.

:cool:

Krisztian
05-22-2014, 05:45 PM
This friend, whom I have know for many years, clearly interpreted my need/desire/propensity to socially isolate myself as mentally defective, virtually in the extreme, indicating I should address the issue and change.

I see this what you bring up in-bedded in society. For the security of Nations, for society-at-large part of the programming is to have people view the way things are as socially mandated. Isolation, the act of it, is viewed as dangerous to the system.

What I read from your post was that the fear that was subliminally instilled in citizens was triggered in your friend, that's all.

Many of the spiritual practices that I'm familiar with encourage isolation to combat that very programming of the ego.

Eshai
05-22-2014, 07:13 PM
I agree that periods of isolation help to reduce the power of the ego and how it has been programmed to respond.

dev's podcast introduction roughly addressed this issue (http://www.naturalbornalchemist.com/), which I found relevant. There was a part of a recording in the podcast which talked about culture, and how we are creators of our culture... not objects of it always doomed to obey its "laws." I think time spent in isolation can help us to recognize this.

"Do any of you have these experiences where others resent or criticize your process of withdrawing?"
Don, I have experienced this. Many of my friends would be angry with me if I did not want to spend time with them. I would often never answer the phone, and sometimes they would simply show up at my house. Most of the time I would not answer the door, and to be completely honest sometimes I would actually be afraid to for some irrational reason. Like a feeling of imminent dread approaching. If I was at a party or something, I would typically disappear, and often be resented for it.

Their negative feelings to my desire to be alone was never extreme. They mostly simply acted annoyed, or somewhat bothered. Truth be told, it always made me feel somewhat guilty. Perhaps this is just the nature of the animals we are: always trying to secure allies within the herd so we can feel safer. Maybe inwardly, they felt as though I was acting like an enemy (enemies keep their distance, after all).

Dendritic Xylem
05-23-2014, 02:22 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4


"Solitude is often a crucial ingredient to creativity."

Eshai
05-23-2014, 12:10 PM
Thanks for sharing that video, Dendritic. That's a very refreshing and thoughtful lecture. I plan on reading the book she mentioned.