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It seems sometimes that the only people who believe in the essential spiritual practice of solitude are ascetics or individuals with deep seated mental problems that lead to isolation. In a society where urbanization and connectiveness rule there is something in us that also romantacized the notion of seperation, or a vacation from the hustle and bustle of life. As opposed to a valid spiritual practice solitude is seen as some sort of luxary.
For clergy it is something what we do when our bosses (congregations) have allowed us continuing education time. We all know that being alone and doing nothing can not constitute work. So then we are constantly challenged, “where is the value?”
We have become a people disconnected to ourselves in a haze of our own ego’s striving for altruistic domination. We have become a people disconnected with native surroundings because it is threatening and alien. We have become a people disconnected from our ground of being because we can no longer discern the still, small voice amongst the rambling disembodied narratives that overwhelm our landscapes.
The only answer to such spiritual chaos is solitude. It is not a retreat from the crowd, but the contemplation of one’s place while a part of creation in humility. It is no consumeristic individualism, but true self love that creates love for all of our neighbors. There are of course principalities, powers and rulers of darkness of this world who benefit from countering our need for solitude. They are a danger not only to our individual spiritual beings, but are a threat to an active and loving community that grows in faith. Beware of such dangers. Four groups that find solitude a threat to their future and success are:
1. Those in power.
2. Consumer capitalism
4. Those believing in action without reflection.
When faced against these forms of principalities it is easy to get discouraged. Whether it is their benefit from apathy or nihilism they have consolidated a huge amount of capital and muscle in keeping order. Yet, in the midst of this solitude becomes an act of resistence against the rulers of darkness of this world. It becomes a spiritual declaration of independence from those who would want to control not only our exterior life, but our interior one as well. Solitude is a radical act if the interior which frees us from the sometime physical bondage of our life situations and declares our freedom for God over and against those who seek to control us.
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