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Being Alone-Prerequisite to Self-Knowledge
The ablest men in all walks of modern life are men of faith. Most of them have much more faith than they themselves realize. --- Bruce Barton
近代生活中最有能力的人们是那些具有信念的人们。 那些人们大都有着大于他们自己所知的坚定信念。 --- Bruce Barton
When I was in China, I often yearned to have some protracted time to be alone, for I always was with a crowd. When I was alone, I felt peace and I could meditate and think deeper into many things that concerned me. I found that when I was alone, I often felt less lonely. Yet when I was with a crowd, I often felt most lonely.
I now define the state of being alone as "a sacred state of being with oneself, a precious state of meditation and reflection without obstruction and distraction, a necessary state that is prerequisite to acquire self-knowledge and inner peace."
A state of being lonely is usually a state of yearning to be associated with someone you can communicate, an urge to be understood by others.
Being lonely has nothing to do with being alone or not. Even if you are in the middle of a gigantic crowd, you will still experience loneliness. Being alone is not the same as being lonely, and often when one is alone, he will be full of thoughts and ideas and questions to be answered... He is least lonely.
When you observe people around you, you will find that those who often are being alone are those who are often the least lonely; and those who often are with a crowd are those who are often the most lonely. Inner peace and self-knowledge are often reached only by those who try to find time being alone. People who want to use their association with others to avoid questioning themselves and to chase away their loneliness are often full of self-doubts and moral and intellectual uncertainty and confusion.
Most Chinese have a cultural habit to be with a crowd and with others all the time. This tendency prohibits them from fully reaching their inner self and their self-knowledge; therefore this tendency often obstructs and impedes their self-discovery and their fulfillment as a free being.
So find yourself some free time to be alone, to pray, to meditate and reflect about life, about meaning of existence, about your own priorities in your choices... Hence you can make better decisions, make true improvement in your life and make yourself a better, happier human being as each day passed.
Best wishes. Your often alone but certainly not lonely friend: Kai Chen 陈凯