Comments

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Monica

Illuision is dizzy. Truth is clearing. It will take time for the mind to understand:-)
thank you Sally

j

Pets replace the void when you family has been taken away from you.

Cathy Geier

very good article about an important topic. Thank you.

I do disagree with a commenter who said to "suck it up". While it may be possible to pretend that one does not feel alone, sacred, isolated - it would be a great self-dis-service- in fact a real invitation for one to delve or disappear into alcohol, drugs or other possibly mind-numbing addicitve disorders.

Feeling alone and isolated is painful and definitely not fun.. but the road to self appreciation and the time spent to develop depth in relationships and in groups is well worth it.

Denise

Hahnnela: I was a flower child of the 70's and thought that everyone loved everyone else. That's not today's reality. When I was alone/feeling lonely even in a relationship I asked the universe to help me find a connection or to be at peace with no connections. The universe has offered me all types of connections. One who has turned into a great friend. I know it sounds like it won't work, but in addition to finding someone like me in many ways, I have learned to be comfortable with myself just the way I am.

Seems like that just comes with years of practice. Good luck to you. May you find someone or something that fills your soul.

maria

this came exactly when i needed it,
thanks

Hahnnelea

Howdy, it's me again. I realize my comments will probably not be posted, since they're critical, but I wanted to ask an additional question: Since there is no substitute for real intimacy, and an elemental sense of belonging is mostly a state of mind achieved by monks who have forsaken family and intimate bonds(weekend warrior monks should just stay home) what is your REAL advice for folks who end up feeling isolated by all this false connectedness that is supposed to ease loneliness?

If I had any advice to give, it would be to reject false solutions to loneliness, suck it up, and keep it real until you find a true set of relationships to fulfill you. The best relationships are to be found amongst people who are brought together by a combination of affinity and necessity; people that connect emotionally who depend on one another to make a living. Another good start would be to talk to your blood relations, living and dead. They are a part of you, and many of them sacrificed themselves so that you could be here. Talk to them for change instead of your shallow idealogical friends who only share a lifestyle choice, and have never sacrificed anything for you. True relationships should be based on survival, blood, emotional connection, common ideas, and shared experience. Choose four of those five elements, and THEN you have a cure for loneliness.

Hahnnelea

I appreciate the practical side of this article. It articulates the emotional process of loneliness in a very practical way, and quite frankly that part of it made me feel better.

Unfortunately, it's not proper to purport that one can solve their loneliness by trying to feel connected to all beings. In trying to be connected to everyone, you'll find that you're connected to no one. Forming meaningful connections with people means that you have to select those with whom you connect, and thus exclude those that you don't. You can't really have it both ways and people who try are going to drive themselves mad. The practice of yoga, or any energy work, in order to utilize infinite energy, does not mean that it is possible to have a meaningful connection to everyone or everything in the world. It simply means that there is no peak to your personal practice, and therefore no decline. Since energy work is regenerative, one can do it into infinity with no end and no final goal(as long as their life holds out).

I am not a hippy, or a trend buddhist, or a chardonnay liberal. I believe that there is no possibility of forming any true connection with someone with whom you have had no experiences, unless it is a very uncanny instance. There are certain very basic needs that all creatures share, and a feeling of sympathy for those less fortunate than ourselves is NOT the same as a meaningful connection. I used to be a hippy, and I used to buy into the "interconnectdness of all beings". It left me feeling quite empty and confused, simply because it lacks a basis in reality. Your commentary on tribe and family was way more accurate. People are tribal in nature, but we cannot have a global tribe. It is only possible to have an authentic relationship with a few dozen people in total, with a small handful of true intimates. Do not confuse the idea that all creatures(and objects)have a spirit with the idea that you can form a meaningful relationship with all of them. The former is animism, which is an ancient and time-tested way to honor not only that which you come into contact with, but that which you do not see. It does not embrace intimacy with all things, but espouses a respectful distance from that which one does not understand. Most modern hippies, who lay claim to ideas but do not comprehend them, hold contradictory views that consist of universalism AND true intimacy. They shun separatism and superstitious skepticism, which is the only way that ancient peoples were able to reason in a world that was often mysterious to them. Superstition bad vs. enlightenment good is the accepted mindset of almost all of my peers, and not a single one of them could fathom the idea that separatism(the opposite of universalism) and animism are indeed the only time-tested ways to actually have authentic relationships. No wonder everyone is such a wreck in modern society; they all think that "loving everyone" is the way to gain the connectedness that they crave.

It is difficult for someone such as myself, who needs things to be real in order to appreciate them, to engage in what I believe to be an ancient and effective practice of energy work and find myself completely surrounded by folks who favor the pretense of love over the reality of experience. As you pointed out, it's better to form relationships based on intimacy than the need to belong. Therefore, I am lonely, because I don't pretend to love people that I don't know. And no amount of wishing good will upon those people will bring me true intimacy.

Is there anybody out there that practices yoga who isn't so open minded that their brain has fallen out? Would you like to have tea and get to know one another?

Robert Baker

Your words, thoughts and ideas are very re-confirming.
It seems the basis of all self realization starts
by "letting go"

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