by Shahinur Islam
We are born alone, live alone, and die alone though other hands are involved in us. Solitude is our constant and inevitable companion. To put it in other terms, we are born helpless, live helpless, and die helpless. Nothing or nobody can help us in the absolute term though no efforts are apparently spared.
Solitary is that person who has no kindred-spirit. Solitude endows us a deeper sense of life and world. The lonelier, the deeper. Crowds may give materials, but it unifies them. It conducts knowledge to wisdom and sagacity through perseverance and meditation just as the turbulent water gets static and crystal clear after much time of zero activity resulting in a clear view of the water body. Solitude also provides a complete sense of life like this. Buddha got enlightened in solitude, and Hazrat Mohammad also resorted to the Hera for perfection in solitude. We can measure the extent of loneliness of God through the Universe. To do something good or bad, we need solitude. So dacoits or saints- all need it to plan and execute their tasks. For atonement, it is a prerequisite; for realization, it precedes everything; and for creation it is mandatory. All the good and bad deeds of a life or a single day are projected on the projector of seclusion. Then they are filtered by the mind of the person in seclusion as per the temperament of the individual and the spur of the moment. It helps dovetail the nuances and subtleties of life. Thus it provides us with not a part but a whole. And the whole lessens extremity, clears off confusion, and sets up stability.
The greater, the lonelier. For no company is found at this stage though frequently sought. So a sense of misunderstanding, which yawns the gulf, grows among the commons. Banyan trees are characteristically alone. Other creatures live in it. It holds many, but they are not its peers. Thus it stands alone. The sage also holds many, and is recourse for many, but s/he lives alone.
The higher, the lonelier. For very few people can soar higher and higher just like a vulture which goes up and up in the sky where other species of birds cannot reach. That is why, vultures live alone and isolated unlike other birds which have no ability to go that far.
Thus solitude is a boon to some people who know how to harness it in life. But it may stand as a bane to many if they are allergic to it. This species is surely afraid and anxious of it as they don’t know how to make the best use of it in life. To them, it is useless, and bears no value. There is no greater punishment to this type than solitude.
But excessive solitude makes man unsocial, self-centred and somewhat selfish. Lifelong seclusion makes one selfconscious indeed, but may not make other people conscious. Indulgence in it hinders spontaneity and naturalness, though that loss is offset by some extra-ordinary power or prowess.
However, in some phase or other in life, willingly or unwillingly, everyone experiences loneliness. Sometimes it is monotonous and tiresome; sometimes it is pleasing and enjoyable. Before we come to and after we go out of the world, we were and will be in seclusion. So solitude in this life is a continuity of before and after life.
Observation of life in solitude imparts life a whole view just in the same way as watching of play staying outside the sideline gives the opportunity to observe it wholly. For this there lies a fear of missing details, but the totality is not ignored.
Everything appears lonely, and so heavy in microview or close-up view while everything is crowded in macroview.