Sunday, February 3, 2013
The Silence and Solitude of the Mountains.
We are all immersed in a common chaos of signs, gadgets, gizmos and sensational events, yet somehow detached from it also. We are all soulless in the Wall Street way, all victims of greed, social media, consumerism and cultural anesthesia. This consumer attitude suggests a certain materialistic destiny, which explains why so many intellectuals are exploring spirituality and philanthropy. Perhaps that is why the sages retreated to the silence of the mountains, far away from the maddening crowd. Yet even if contemplative solitude gave them a glimpse of the sublime, questions arise, what now? What is the purpose of this solitude? We try to entertain the illusion of controlling the fires of sensuous desire that consume us. To take oneself out into the wilderness as part of the spiritual quest is one thing, but to remain there in a kind of barren ecstasy is another. In aloneness we can hear ourselves more clearly, but how much goes on in that quiet universe of which we know so little. Solitude can enliven a new sense of what companionship with the universe means. We must consummate the desire to temper the passion that devours us. It is one of the great paradoxes of solitude, that it offers us not an escape, not a paradise, not a dwelling place where we can haughtily maintain our integrity by ignoring vicious and corrupt social world, but a way back to that world, and a motive for being there. The silence of our traumas and chaos, the world reminds us by its fragile beauty – of our limitations and our ultimate demise. –Vinay-