Thursday, January 29, 2009


According to the Existentialist, a human being's existence is a lonely existence. At the end of the day, we are all alone. Can anyone ever truly understand what it is to be you, to experience all the things you have experienced, to understand your joys and happiness, your pains and sorrows? Surely we can talk to other people about how we feel, we can draw pictures, we can play music, but all this attempt to communicate ultimately leaves something behind. We cannot always get our feelings, ideas or experiences across exactly. There is a painful reality that ultimately we are alone, by ourselves, and ultimately lonely.

Some people are better at alleviating their loneliness than other people, at hiding their monadic existence than others. For them, loneliness is a fleeting feeling that visits them on gloomy days or rainy days when human contact becomes minimal and they are left only with the thoughts in their heads. For others, loneliness is a curse, a shadow that follows them all the time, that rears its ugly head at every human contact, that surrounds them in their waking and in their dreams.

Whether I agree with it or not, loneliness is a universal phenomenon, it visits every human soul at some time in every culture, every race, every class, every age, and at all times in human history. It is inescapable, and has been expressed throughout the ages in music, literature and art. To feel lonely is to join the rest of humanity in acknowledging that we are somehow fundamentally separated from each other, doomed to speak and yet never fully understood.

Not only is loneliness so pervasive, but it has been associated with a variety of different emotions. People who feel lonely describe it as painful, and it is associated very strongly with feelings of depression, suicide, low self-esteem and aggression. Being lonely for too long may not be a good thing. And while we suffer a monadic existence, we are social animals, needing each other, to bond, to connect, to love. It is the paradox of human existence to seek to fill a need that can never be satisfied, to fill the vortex of loneliness in our lives.

So what is loneliness? Is it a feeling? A condition? For different people, it means different things. I suppose, It is hard to describe exactly what it is, or how come we feel this way. Perhaps a better question is "what is loneliness for you?"

Life is a journey, I am not sure what I am experiencing right now…….maybe a short spell of isolation within my sanctuary.

One can be alone in a crowd

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