Just realized that this is my third consecutive daily entry this year. I think that’s a good way to start things…I need to journal more often. And improve the quality…not so much in how much or little I write, but in how genuine and honest I am in what I write.
I read a great quote about loneliness yesterday. I shared it on Facebook. I just took a minute to look it up, and found that the quote was but one part of a larger essay by Carl Jung, one that I can identify with very well:
Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible…
…I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum. I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; I have no judgment about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions – not about anything, really. I only know that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation of something I do not know. In spite of all uncertainties, I feel solidity underlying all existence and continuity in my mode of being.
Well said, well said. Jung illustrates the difference between being alone and being lonely. I have no problem being alone, I enjoy it a great deal most of the time. It provides me time and space in which to think freely and explore concepts without constraint or judgment. But at the same time, I have a great problem with being lonely. And loneliness is not the absence of people around oneself, as Jung notes, but instead it is the inability to communicate those important things that exist in my “inner world” with the outside world. Jung speaks of an inner “daemon” that holds a creative person captive, and an “inner law” that must be followed. They are different words for feelings I have had before.
I think about all the times that I have sat with others, and listened to them speak, and wanted to share something – some knowledge, some truth – with them. But I hesitate because when I speak, it is not understood. I’m not unable to communicate, for I can speak and write as well as anyone else. But it is in the transmission of ideas – what I consider profound ideas and feelings and principles – where I fail. Jung says:
If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely. But loneliness is not necessarily inimical to companionship, for no one is more sensitive to companionship than the lonely person, and companionship thrives only when each individual remembers his individuality and does not identify himself with others.
I have had much trouble in living with my ideas. There was a daemon in me, and in the end its presence proved decisive; it overpowered me. I could never stop at anything once attained. I had to hasten on, to catch up with my vision. Since my contemparies, understandably, could not perceive my vision, they saw only a fool rushing ahead.
I have offended many people, for as soon as I saw that they did not understand me, that was the end of the matter so far as I was concerned: I had to move on. I had no patience with people. I had to obey an inner law which was imposed on me and left me no freedom of choice. Of course, I did not always obey it. How can anyone live without inconsistency?
I see that lack of understanding in others and that’s it…I move on. Sometimes I do try to explain it in a different way and is frustrates me when it doesn’t sink in, and I give up and that’s the loneliness that Jung experienced and that I too experience, I believe. When I was in C4L, I spent hours trying to communicate important things to people. My friends were those that connected with my “inner world” and understood me. Those who did not understand were frustrating to me. The same goes with my feelings about church, about learning, about freedom, about all sorts of grand thoughts that I have that I just can’t seem to communicate to people.
I have had much trouble in living with my ideas.
I have trouble sharing my vision with others.
And that’s what makes me feel lonely. I can be lonely in a crowded room for this reason.
That’s a scary thought.
It’s also a thought that can’t be shared with others! Isn’t that the worst of it all? That I cannot expose myself for what I am, or who I am, because as Jung says, “If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely.” Who am I to walk around and say that I know more than others? I don’t seek to be learned. I don’t want to give the appearance of pride or vanity or conceit. I wonder how others, other dreamers and thinkers, felt about the subject. We introverts are a weird lot.