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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summing it up

I like being alone.

"If you don't like being in your own company, what makes you think others will?"--Anonymous

"Who knows the world lives alone."--Ali, 600?-661

"Whosoever delighted in solitude is either a wild beast, or a god."--Aristotle, 384-322 B.C.

"The physical union of the sexes … only intensifies man's sense of solitude."--Nicolas Berdyaev

"A wise man never enjoys himself so much, nor a fool so little, as when alone."--Josh Billings, 1818-1885

"The right to be let alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued in civilized man."--Justice Louis D. Brandeis

"Get away from the crowd when you can. Keep yourself to yourself, if only for a few hours daily."--Arthur Brisbane

"This great misfortune--to be incapable of solitude."--Jean De La Bruyère, 1645-1696

"How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude!"--Jean De La Bruyère, 1645-1696

"Solitude is the place of purification."--Martin Buber, 1878-1965

"I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone."--Lord Byron, 1788-1824

"'Tis solitude should teach us how to die; It hath no flatterers; vanity can give, No hollow aid; alone--man with God must strive."--Lord Byron, 1788-1824

"The departure from the world is regarded not as a fault, but as the first step into that noble path at the remotest turn of which illumination is to be won."--Joseph Campbell, 1904-1987

"Better be alone than in bad company."--John Clark, 1596-1658

"The secret of solitude is that there is no solitude."--Joseph Cook

"In the tumult of great events, solitude was what I hoped for. Now it is what I love. How is it possible to be contented with anything else when one has come face to face with history?"--Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970

"The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil."--Thomas Alva Edison

"I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity."--Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

"I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind."--Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

"To go into society, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary while I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars."--Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

"Solitude is naught and society is naught. Alternate them and the good of each is seen."--Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

"Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend."--Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."--Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

"Now the New Year reviving old Desires/ The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires."--Edward FitzGerald, 1809-1883

"Great decisions in the realm of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual working in solitude."--Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939

"Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else."--Eleanor Roosevelt

"I was never less alone than when by myself."--Edward Gibbon, 1737-1794

"By all means use sometimes to be alone."--George Herbert

"As for solitude, I cannot understand how certain people seek to lay claim to intellectual stature, nobility of soul and strength of character, yet have not the slightest feeling for seclusion; for solitude, I maintain, when joined with a quiet contemplation of nature, a serene and conscious faith in creation and the Creator, and a few vexations from outside is the only school for a mind of lofty endowment."--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832

"Deep down, Erikson wants profoundly to be respected and admired--and very deep down he wants to be left alone."--Stanley Hoffmann

"A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company."--Charles Evans Hughes

"Solitude either develops the mental power, or renders men dull and vicious."--Victor Hugo

"Religion … shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude."--William James, 1842-1910

"It may be laid down as a position which seldom deceives, that when a man cannot bear his own company, there is something wrong."--Samuel Johnson, 1790-1784

"And for this you must have quiet and solitude. But society does not allow you to have them. You must be with people, outwardly active at all costs. If you are alone you are considered antisocial or peculiar, or you are afraid of your own loneliness."--J. Krishnamurti, The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Volume III, page 216

"A solitude is the audience chamber of God."--Walter Savage Landor

"What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it--like some secret vice!"--Ann Morrow Lindbergh, 1907-2001

"Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat."--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character."--James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891

"The nurse of full-grown souls is solitude."--James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891

"There is no free society without silence, without the internal and external spaces of solitude in which the individual freedom can develop."--Herbert Marcuse, 1898-1979

"Society is all but rude/ To this delicious solitude."--Andrew Marvell, 1621-1678

"Give up the dark side and be in the light. Seek happiness in solitude and not in material pleasures."--Dhammapada: The Wise Person, verse 87

"Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life's nothingness."--André Maurois

"There is not true intimacy between souls who do not know how to respect one another's solitude."--Thomas Merton, 1915-1968

"People who take time to be alone usually have depth, originality, and quiet reserve."--John Miller

"Solitude sometimes is best society/ And short retirement urges sweet return."--John Milton, 1608-1674

"And Wisdom's self/ Oft seeks to sweet retired solitude/ Where with her best nurse Contemplation/ She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings."--John Milton, 1608-1674

"Nature has made us a present of a broad capacity for entertaining ourselves apart, and often calls us to do so, to teach us that we owe ourselves in part to society, but in the best part to ourselves."--Montaigne, 1533-1592

"A man should keep for himself a little back shop, all his own, quite unadulterated, in which he establishes his true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude."--Montaigne, 1533-1592

"No one can help us to achieve the intimate isolation by which we find our secret worlds, so mysterious, rich and full. If others intervene, it is destroyed. This degree of thought, which we attain by freeing ourselves from the external world, must be fed by the inner spirit, and our surroundings cannot influence us in any way other than to leave us in peace."--Maria Montessori, 1870-1952

"One man runs to his neighbor because he is looking for himself, and another because he wants to loose himself. Your bad love of yourselves makes solitude a prison for you."--Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900

"'He who seeks may easily get lost himself. It is a crime to go apart and be alone.'--Thus speaks the herd."--Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900

"She would not exchange her solitude for anything. Never again to be forced to move to the rhythms of others."--Tillie Olsen, 1913-

"All the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber."--Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662

"Solitude lies at the lowest depth of the human condition. Man is the only being who feels himself to be alone and the only one who is searching for the Other."--Octavio Paz, 1941-

"Flight of the alone to the Alone."--Plotinus, 205-270

"If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right."--Jules Renard

"Never less alone than when alone."--Samuel Rogers, 1763-1855

"I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other."--Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926

"Solitude vivifies; isolation kills."--Joseph Roux, 1834-1886

"Something of the hermit's temper is an essential element in many forms of excellence, since it enables men to resist the lure of popularity, to pursue important work in spite of general indifference or hostility, and arrive at opinions which are opposed to prevalent errors."--Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970

"One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude."--Carl Sandburg, American writer, 1878-1967

"If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision, courage. There things are rarely produced by communities. Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself."--Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., 1971-

"The young should early be trained to bear being left alone; for it is a source of happiness and peace of mind."--Arthur Schopenhauer, 1288-1860

"I love tranquil solitude."--Percy Bysshe Shelly, 1792-1822

"They are never alone that are accompanied [by] noble thoughts."--Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-1586

"I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time … I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will."--Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

"I went to the woods because I wished to live life deliberately, to confront only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."--Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

"I had three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society."--Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

"In solitude, be a multitude to thyself."--Tibullus, 54?-18? B.C.

"Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of man's being alone. It has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone."--Paul Tillich, 1886-1965

"God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly."--Paul Valéry, 1871-1945

"Oh blessed a thousand times the peasant who is born, eats and dies without anybody bothering about his affairs."--Giuseppe Verdi

"That inward eye/ Which is the bliss of solitude."--William Wordsworth, 1770-1850

"We're all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life!"--Tennessee Williams, 1911-1983

"If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress."--Dhammapada: The Elephant, verses 329-330

"What do you think is better: to seek for a partner, or to seek for the Self?"--Buddhacarita

"Sit alone. Sleep alone. Travel alone. Do your practice alone. Enjoy your seclusion without desire."--Dhammapada: Other Things, verse 305


"To fear to be alone is to fear the company of oneself."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"You alone are enough for you."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"Those who would NOT be alone are those who are NOT worthwhile company."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"To be lonely when alone means that you need others to feel alive, real, worthwhile--you alone are NOT enough."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"If you are NOT enough company, then no amount of people can ever be enough company--after all--they are just more you."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"To be single is neither a crime against nature nor the state."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"No one with a mind is ever bored or lonely."--Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

"Memento mori"