Nothing warms us to one another, and makes us long to be with family and friends, than the discovery that we’re all we’ve got.
A friend sent an article to me listing and explaining the benefits of being alone. I’d add to the list the opportunity, as Henry David Thoreau said: “…to front 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.”
But the trick isn’t just being alone, you need to be disconnected, off the grid, without help and without any chance of help. Almost like being alone on the moon. Even a hiking trail is too much connection. Even the sight of a jet contrail muddies the water of such solitude. Knowing you are out-of-reach, and in danger, and truly alone is the key element.
It’s hard to get very upset with the business and busyness of life after returning from such experiences. And the perspective gained helps the mind to defend itself from the comforting tales of life purpose and happy endings our species is want to tell in an effort to push away the fearful aspect of death and the story being really over and done.
I strongly recommend Going Alone. Though only if you’re willing to bleed a little, or maybe a lot, or get lost, and confused, and scared, and to have your grown up fantasies swept aside by indifference. And of course are ready to die and never enjoy another thought or moment of being, from now until forever.