The Modern crisis of loneliness

When we think of what might have we lost on the way to becoming modern, we’re likely to think about mealtimes. Family life seemed to revolve around mealtimes. How seldom they now take place communally, how rare it is for whole families to gather, and how much technology has become a thing in our mealtime. If. we reflect back on the old days, we can appreciate how all ages used to come together around a table and how welcoming the atmosphere seems to have been. Even close relatives might have been invited to join in. But, the modern condition appears so bleak by comparison. Rather than a family around the hearth, it is a single person with food around and a screen in front of him. Modernity is surely a lonelier place than the world that preceded it. The question to ask is why or maybe this question ”Is our loneliness because of technology?”

Is Technology the cause for the Modern Crisis of loneliness?

It is not ultimately technology (cities, cars or screens) that have made us lonely;

it’s an identifiable set of ideas in the modern world that has coated solitude and loneliness with less glamour, less adulation, less dignity, and finally with signs of illness and failure.

we have rendered ourselves lonely first and foremost because of certain stories we have started to tell about what loneliness means.

Most eras before our own knew that solitude was a sign of salvation. During 14-century Sufism movements and practices begin. Bored and exhausted of the difficulties and adverse effects of a life filled with glitz and glamour, people began resorting to fleeing away from their lives and leaving away the hustle and bustle for a simple and modest existence with the purpose to pray and serve God And its people. And sure, they did find peace and solace under his almighty shelter. Similar movements and events that formed Sufism also formed monasticism.

Birth of Monasticism

In the fourth century, the greatest saint of early Christianity, Saint Anthony was said to have spent more than forty years by himself in Egypt’s Western desert, not saying a word, eating only bread and salt, communing with God Just like other highly acclaimed personalities such as, Buddha, Confucius, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Muhammad, etc. – Not eating bread and salt but. So impressed with St Antony’s life, Different occasional visitors came to join him in the desert and became collectively known as the Desert Fathers and their philosophy of solitary piety would go on to have a decisive influence on the founding of monasteries. At the height of monasticism in the Middle Ages, a million people across Europe and North Africa had chosen to forego the bustle of family and commerce in order to dwell, in some of the most rugged and remote terrains in the world, in silent contemplation of God.

Birth of the Modern Crisis of Loneliness – Romanticism

However, in the wake of the Reformation and the destruction of the monasteries that accompanied. Monasticism and its Solitary piety began to lose its prestige and recede as a practical option. Those who had previously lived alone at the tops of mountains were now encouraged to serve God by remaining in the community, finding a suitable spouse – and starting a family. Following this type of life, with the passage of time, to the newly social religious community was added the influence of Romanticism, a movement of ideas that similarly encouraged people to give up on thorough commitments to their own company and seek someone outside of their company. – A romanticized partner. This event started an evolution because for the Romantics, happiness lay in identifying one exceptional soulmate to whom one could surrender one’s independence and with whom one might fuse mind and body. In the process, the Romantic movement turned solitude from a respectable choice to evidence of pathology and it questioned the honor of solitude. The aftermath of that ideas started the decline for monasticism. but gave birth to the modern lifestyle along with its loneliness crisis.

What Gave Birth to The Modern Loneliness Crisis?

In 1996, the Beatles released Eleanor Rigby, the song that more than any other defined what loneliness meant for the modern age, it was one clear point that being single was lamentable, and only with romantic love could there be a decent life. And so did all the other songs of the modern era run the philosophy of romantic love in its frameworks. -Love not but romanticism. Undeniably, these projections undermined the little glamour one’s own personal lives held, and from then on it set off the modernity crisis of loneliness in the modern world. The Modern World which not only made it mandatory to have a partner. It made it feel essential to have a vibrant gang of friends – and to enjoy seeing them regularly at parties.

But there was not the slightest admission that it might become our biggest problem and our main cause of loneliness one day. In 1921, Carl Jung, -psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology, introduced the terms ‘extraverted’ and ‘introverted’ to divide humanity. The former referred ‘extroverted to a sort of person who could best realize their potential in the company of others and introverts were those who needed to move away from crowds and idle chatter in order to regain their integrity. it explains that the over neediness of emotional needs or its lack, both could lead to emotional imbalances and breakdowns. So that’s where the crisis of loneliness took roots. Where? -In the absence of moments or periods of solitude and solace of our personal space where one could regain his integrity and be real, nor a clone or fake. Moreover ‘Everyone possesses both ‘ Intro and Extro’ mechanisms,’ Said Carl but it was evident where the spirit of the modern age resided. -Romanticism and a much-extroverted lifestyle. But at what costs?

With the costs of rejecting our appearance; height, size, skin color, hairstyle, clothing style,  etc…

With the costs of becoming too self-conscious – in a criticizing and debilitating manner.

Inclusively at the costs of losing one’s integrity and becoming a fake. But, from all the things that are beautiful in the modern world, one thing that is not beautiful is a fake, a clone and that is the reason some couldn’t fit in and that’s why they feel lonely and left out.

So, to lessen modernity’s crisis of loneliness, we need for solitude to be taught and treated as an emotional just like social connectedness is considered an emotional need and subsequently, we need for singlehood to regain its prestige of the previous era of the Sufism, and Monasticism. Isolation isn’t a particular malediction; it’s where good people who cannot mask themselves well behind a fake tend to end up.

So Don’t worry if you opened up and got rejected. You are alone, not because you are a failure or ill but only because you are of a noble spirit in this cruel world. Don’t worry there were others too before you who were fed up with these types of lives filled with beauty but ultimately fake lives and they ended up isolating themselves from people. When you do so, you aren’t in fact on our own at all. You are – as modernity has failed to remind us – dining with some of the finest, most elevated spirits who have ever lived. Don’t worry there are many socially anxious people like you, -enter a crowded room and there are full of status-panicked, socially-anxious people, every one of it. We are, though ostensibly by ourselves, in the very best company.

Why is Loneliness and boredom good for you?

Recommended: Before preceding with this article, Read the previous research article for better comprehension of this topic, Click Here to move to the previous article.

In a recent study, participants were placed in a room for between 6 and 15 minutes. They were given nothing except a button that they knew would shock them if they pressed it. They were asked to entertain themselves with their thoughts, but they could self-administer the shock if they so chose. So what happened? Well, 25% of women and 67% of men shocked themselves. This is despite the fact that they had previously told the experimenters that they would pay money to avoid the shock. Apparently, they’d rather experience physical pain than just be bored; to have nothing to keep them occupied but their thoughts. But they are not alone. Around 95% of American adults report participating in some leisure activities over the past 24 hours. But only 17% say they spent any time at all just relaxing and thinking, because that apparently is boring, and being bored is unpleasant. So what is boredom? Well contrary to popular belief, it’s not when you have absolutely nothing to do. It’s just when none of the options you have available to you appeal to you. -Particularly thinking all alone. This aimless state lets your mind wander and for some their most creative ideas, productive thoughts, and ingenious designs were generated out of these states and moments of stillness. This state is called The Alpha Wave state, the state when you are in the shower or on the toilet seat. It is a state when your mind is in the most productive state, loaded with creative and ingenious ideas.

Conclusion

I think loneliness should be a thing of the past. Today we are not feeling loneliness out of a need for connection; we are connected everywhere and elsewhere from our virtual world which is a click away to our real world, Friends, Social Circles, Parties, etc… but it is out of romanticism. -A Concept of a world where you are not the most happy if you don’t have a great romantic partner. A concept where you can not live by yourself – In your own company, happily, It is a concept of finding happiness in other’s company. That’s All.

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Thank You

Finally A video from Xavier Rosset of his adventure of living 10 months far from countries and cities on a volcanic island. Enjoy…

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