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Six Kinds of Loneliness

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Hi all,

in my recapping I've been coming across some pretty raw emotions which has left me feeling a bit lonely. Perhaps it's something from my past that is still yet unresolved and continues to need the layers peeled off, but I also feel this healing path to be a bit lonely as well. I came across this article by the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron and felt it had a lot of merit from a "shamanistic" perspective. Here's a quick snipet and the full link below,


"In the middle way, there is no reference point. The mind with no reference point does not resolve itself, does not fixate or grasp. How could we possibly have no reference point? To have no reference point would be to change a deep-seated habitual response to the world: wanting to make it work out one way or the other. If I can’t go left or right, I will die! When we don’t go left or right, we feel like we are in a detox center. We’re alone, cold turkey with all the edginess that we’ve been trying to avoid by going left or right. That edginess can feel pretty heavy."


"When we draw a line down the center of a page, we know who we are if we’re on the right side and who we are if we’re on the left side. But we don’t know who we are when we don’t put ourselves on either side. Then we just don’t know what to do. We just don’t know. We have no reference point, no hand to hold. At that point we can either freak out or settle in. Contentment is a synonym for loneliness, cool loneliness, settling down with cool loneliness. We give up believing that being able to escape our loneliness is going to bring any lasting happiness or joy or sense of well-being or courage or strength. Usually we have to give up this belief about a billion times, again and again making friends with our jumpiness and dread, doing the same old thing a billion times with awareness. Then without our even noticing, something begins to shift. We can just be lonely with no alternatives, content to be right here with the mood and texture of what’s happening."





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I feel this way often. I think you're picking up to some degree the collective detachment of the human race - their absorption into technology, vain pursuits of status, etc - but also how the spiritual path in particular is isolating and demands a large amount of self-cultivation and individuation that others rarely reciprocate. A large proportion of thinkers and visionaries have felt very alone, so this doesn't indicate anything negative about you. I used to think I was somehow weak for desiring a high quality of connection with strong, creative, emotionally-developed individuals - that I couldn't satisfy this need by connecting with myself alone - but I came to realize it was merely my constitution to need this.

I'm not sure if it's possible where you live, but I'd recommend connecting in person with other individuals on the shamanic path - doing trades with each other for healing work, or merely exploring together. You might also find that as you develop spiritually, you have to re-learn energetically how to mesh with others, and that (this sounds cliche but I've found it true) only certain people are able to deeply connect at the heart - seek them out, and set intentions to guide you.

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Hi Sphinxy,

thanks for your thoughtful reply. Yes - all of what you said rings true. Luckily I do know a few individuals who I'm closely connected to that are, in many ways, walking a similar path. Its good to be in good company! I found Pema Chodron's article fascinating because it had an interesting take on loneliness; as something that really can't be avoided, though it seems like many people do everything they can to do so! It seems to be a fundamental truth about our existence but one that is rarely acknowledged (except maybe near death). I actually find the feeling beautiful and sad and, paradoxically, very connected. ;)



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