Time in Solitude, by Robin Armstrong
Spending time in solitude, especially in an isolated room or cave, was a difficult challenge at any time in history. Anyone who dared to be alone was highly respected as a spiritual seeker, or labeled a madman and subsequently harassed. Yet over the centuries, solitude remained an abode of safety for those that did not fit into the norm. Most of the Great Ones (Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Ramakrishna, Ramana, and Shirdi Sai Baba to name a few) have had their experiences in solitude. In many cases it seemed to be the prerequisite for enlightenment.
In today’s world just the concept of being away from electronic media seems like madness. Technical advancements have made the world a very small place. It is difficult to find somewhere really quiet in nature. The concept of being alone usually means not living with someone. It also implies getting lost in television and whatever media is available. The average person today would have difficulty experiencing a media fast, much less time alone without media! Imagine living a week without radio, television, telephones, computers, email, the internet, without newspapers or anything to read. And perhaps even without talking about media related events, shows and matters! Do you think that you could successfully complete a one week media fast? The challenge is issued.
We are not used to doing without things! We are not used to being still without filling up the environment with sound and sensations. Unfortunately this keeps us wrapped up in a cocoon of thoughts and plans, reflecting on the past and projecting into the future. It is quite a puzzle for anyone to simply Be Here Now! Without agendas or expectations!
It is difficult enough to give up the bad habits that diminish our willpower; habits such as drinking or using drugs. We often don’t consider how the media diminishes our being.
Silence is the simplest thing there is and it remains one of the most evasive. To spend time in solitude and reinforce one’s inner being presents an almost unfathomable challenge to the average person.