Cool loneliness

I recently read a chapter from a book by a monk. I can’t remember the name of the book or even the nationality of the monk, but that’s not important. The content is what I’m going to share.

This chapter promotes non-action as a means of calming your life. I’ll take partying on the weekend as an example. In high school, partying on the weekend is a norm. And if you don’t party on the weekend, you should feel ashamed. If you’re not partying, you should put all your energy into trying to find a party. This is exactly the action that the chapter warns against. Why not acknowledge your loneliness in not partying? Spend some time with your loneliness and you’ll find it’s not so evil. Cool loneliness is the optimal loneliness that the monk promotes. It means not falling into your loneliness, but acknowledging it, accepting it, and letting it pass. You are only lonely because you feel you shouldn’t be. You think that you absolutely must go out every night. You don’t have to. You only have to eat and sleep (and whatever else it is the body does.) You exist alone, by yourself. Exist by yourself before you try to exist with others.

“We often view the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

-Ben

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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3 Responses to Cool loneliness

  1. Pingback: Moon Phases | Taking care of your pet

  2. Jay M. says:

    Interesting post. I take from this that you need to be comfortable in your own skin before you can be comfortable out in the world, and I think that is true. But I’m not so sure about the analogy of partying. Partying is an activity, you can be with others that don’t party and not be alone….

    That being said, for many years I lived alone. People thought I was lonely. But I wasn’t. I had lots of friends, but I cherished my time alone at home when I wanted it. I was quite comfortable in my loneliness.

    Making me think on a Friday night! Whatever will we do with you!
    Peace ❤
    Jay

  3. Tom Mc Laughlin says:

    Ben,

    I was a monk for a few years and what you write rings so true. I admire you for having this insight in high school. It took me a lot longer. My one suggestion is to try to think about it not as lonliness but as aloneness. There is a difference. Loneliness can bring you sadness and keep you from others. Aloneness empties you of false views of yourself and opens you up to yourself and to others. Spending time being alone helps you spend better time being with others. Think about it.

    Tom

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