Updated: Aug 25, 2019
A most spreaded problem in today’s world is the false belief that we may only find true fulfillment and happiness by having and connecting to external material and entities, to a point of depending and needing them to function and to thrive in whatever we may do in our lives.
By aspiring for more and more material to belong to us, many of us delude ourselves by believing that rich and variated pursuits, A.K.A “living a full life”, while in practice many of us are enslaved to our own passions and wills, by positioning them in a rank where they dictate our lives and happiness, thus making us slaves of our own desires.
In western society we grow up believing that there is a certain way of life which is the healthiest and happiest one to live: engaging in various social activities, hanging out, leading a romantic life, do whatever our urges dictate us, avoid extensive solitude and so forth. This system of socialization is enslaving in a way that make us live, behave and think in not by our own terms and individual principles, but by norms, conventions, culture and conformity. In my opinion this socialization’s main motive is to convince us that being alone with ourselves is a problem solved by indulging in more conformative thoughts and activities, or, in other words, to escape from being with ourselves.
Perhaps Nietzsche was right: this world is behaving according to slave morality. Many of us tend to fulfill after norms and trends not necessarily and entirely by our own personal preferences, but also from the fear of being left behind by being alone.
When I browsed on topics which regard solitude and singlehood here on Quora, I found many questions which simply ask if its okay to for people to live by themselves, being single, not having social life and so forth. In an age where there is no need for conformity in order to fulfill one’s elementary needs, one should really ask themselves, why do we require other’s approval to in a certain way?
Here is an insight: to live the life of a master of their own path, one should evaluate and highly consider the importance of detachment. Whether we detach from social activities, needy relationships, others expectations and dictations, The more we detach externally, the more we connect - internally.
In this age of constant connection to the world, we tend to forget the next insight: that we are distinctive and separated individuals at least on the metaphysical aspect. Many of us are so anxious by thinking what others shall think of them if they shall engage in activities and thoughts that may not be normative, but may interest them personally without any regards to society.
Let me tell you yet another insight: Your life belongs to you, not to other people, no matter how dear and intimate you are with them. A self-master is one which knows that life isn’t worth spending by copying and mimicking norms and conformities. In terms of language which shapes our mindset, we tend to judge other people and ourselves according to stereotypes. One popular stereotype is the “Normal Person”. This person lives life according to what we may see on advertisements and popular media; they have a socially rich life, they are well accepted into society, lead well-managed romantic lives, and sees life with a simple-minded perspective, without thinking too much.
What is the purpose of living and thinking normally but to live according to external dictations? We many of us are so dependent on other entities to approve our lifestyle and mindset? We should we fear what others may think of us, if that fear is not the fear of being with ourselves?
Let me tell you the following: there is no escape from solitude. No matter how much of a rich social life you may manage, you cannot deny the actualization of being alone. We are individuals because we are distincted from other individuals, and that distinction comes from the inevitable fact that we are alone. And the more we distinct ourselves, the more we actualize our individual merits and capabilities. By being intensively social, all we do is simply pushing aside something which shall arrive no matter how much we shall attempt to reject it, and that, is solitude.
This fear of solitude has no place in a master’s life, and emotional dependence on other people to fulfill your overall satisfaction is a dependence of slaves who are afraid to find themselves on their own. Thus to be fit (not only physically) is to be autonomous. The more we endure extensive solitude, the mentally stronger and independent we become as distinct individuals. Having a social, material or political power is a collective illusion; a power which is external and and at times unstable. Authentic, rich and stable power comes from within. The more mature we become, the stronger we are. The stronger we are the more capable we become to endure the absence of social distractions and stimuli.
Therefore I come to this conclusion regarding dependence: Dependence beyond its basic standards, A.K.A complex and unnecessary dependence is weakness. Since so much of us praise conformity and the followship of norms and trends, many of us are mentally weak.
The path to competent and enduring strength comes from within. The more internal your strengths shall originate from, the more resilient, brave and strong you shall become. Solitude is a state of being where one separates themselves from their external/social strengths and reputations in order to expose oneself to the depths of undiscovered mental prowess. By “mental prowess” I infer to everything which comes purely from within you and not from others which you may be dependent upon.
Unnecessary dependence is a serious symptom and phenomenon which serves as a barrier between you and your purely-self potentials and merits, hidden by social distraction and norms. In each and every power of us there is immense power which its full potential is yet to be actualized. I believe none of us are truly stupid. I believe that the concept of stupidity comes from lack of inner actualization, since wisdom is an internal merit. The less we actualize our pure selves (a.k.a us as ourselves without being relative to others) the more incompetent, shallow, simple-minded and wasted we become. Unnecessary dependence is cancer, which keeps us away from our internal power of health and of autonomous productivity and policy.
By accepting solitude into our lives, we accept to experience the company of own inner riches. There is no need to be heavily engaged in social and romantic activities to fulfill one’s existential void; an existential void is truly fulfilled from within, not by external means.
As a finish I shall tell an anecdote. Diogenes, an ancient Greek philosopher, lived in a barrel, literally, and had little property beyond it. One day Alexander the Great came to him and asked him if he needed anything.
Diogenes said: “Yes, I need something from you - to stay away; you are blocking the sun”.
In unnecessary dependence, our inner sun is blocked.