Rodin’s famous statue of the thinker shows him alone. Sustained solitude is a requisite for insightful thinking.
Thinking requires solitude. It is a simple fact that it is impossible to think – deeply at any rate – while interacting with others. Add another mind and right away, the path ahead becomes tortuous. Human minds tend to diverge. Opinions seem always to vary. Except when they are trying hard to get along, minds agree on precious little. Inevitably, discussing any topic will lead to disagreement and the taking up of positions. This can be interesting and enlightening, but conversation definitely will not take one where one would go on one’s own. To think anything through to one’s own fully developed conclusions, one needs to be alone.
We are walking a lightly trod, yet millennia-old path here. The thinking tradition is illustrious and those given to habitual thinking have left us a fine legacy of insights into the nature of solitude. Continue reading