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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Solitude and Freedom?

“He who does not enjoy solitude, will not love freedom.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Every now and again I get this intense urge to be…ALONE. Away from people- school, friends, neighbors.

Solitude. Being alone. I need that. Not often, but I do.

But what’s the connection between solitude and freedom? I think of two.

The first is that solitude in a way is freedom: freedom from the thousand tiny tyrannies of other people’s needs, wishes, demands, desires. Free from having to worry about things outside your control.

The second I can think of is that both freedom and solitude are intensely tied to thought. Yes, “when men abandon the privilege of thinking the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon,” but more than that, being free to do what you want to do involves deciding what you want to do instead of relying on the decision of others. Solitude allows you to think more clearly, and thus there is another connection. Hence the phrase, “to be alone with your thoughts.”


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