“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”
I’ve noticed there seems to be a tendency for influencers to encourage people to be alone more.
Admittedly, this is true sometimes. It’s good for people to learn to be okay with being alone, because sometimes we’re forced to do so. If we never learn this skill, we become codependent and unreliable towards ourselves. Of course, these are traits that we always want to be working towards getting rid of. The idea is to be fully conscious of the things that are happening in the moment without being led by our ego.
That being said, solitude isn’t necessarily something we should actively be working towards. As much as we need to be okay with being alone, we need to have people to be around — it’s a human need.
Those that seek solitude and delight in it are either a wild beast or a god, at least according to Aristotle. What exactly does this mean?
It means that when we actively seek out being alone, we’re either close to being less than human or close to being more than human. In other words, those who actively seek out being alone are replacing their mind for something else.
If we enjoy being alone because it’s an excuse to get away from others, we’re like animals who are trying to keep everything they get for themselves. We become greedy, angry, selfish, closed off, and sometimes narcissistic. Of course, these are oftentimes the very things that make people dislike others. This is the process of turning people into the things they dislike about the world.
However, if we enjoy being alone because it gives us time to think about things, we often end up trying to play god. We start thinking about things that we have no control over, like other individuals thoughts and ideas, the future, the past, what things could happen and what things might happen… we drive ourselves crazy trying to manipulate our reality. This drives us to anxiety, stress, depression, and unfortunately in extreme cases it can even lead to suicide.
The key to stop both extremes from happening is to seek balance.
Of course, we aren’t wild animals. Or maybe we are, but we can think like a god. And of course, we aren’t gods. Or maybe we are, but we can think like a wild animal…
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