Hermit Wisdom

The Road To Solitude

The Road To Solitude


December 2, 2015 4:17 PM

While some may call me a hermit, I don’t consider myself one. While I enjoy my solitude and I feel a deep love of and connection to Nature, I enjoy people and civilization and conversation equally as much. A social hermit might be a better term.

I was reading an article this afternoon, The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit, and was struck by two key pieces of wisdom the Hermit Christopher Knight discovered about himself while spending nearly thirty years alone in the woods.

The key to enlightenment may not lie in meditation or inner inquiry, but in simply ceasing to “perform” for others:

I did examine myself. Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.

Another key piece of wisdom—the meaning of life if you will:

Isn’t everybody seeking the same thing in life? Aren’t we all looking for contentment?

The Dalai Lama said something similar, that we all seek the same thing: Happiness.

It seems to me if you combine these two pieces of wisdom, they’ll provide us with a third:

Find happiness within yourself, and you’ll be happy everywhere.

Which leads to a fourth and far more important one:

Find Love within yourself… and you’ll spread Love everywhere you go.

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