Adam Phillips: “An affinity for solitude is comparable only to one’s affinity for certain other people.”
In reality, many endure solitude, and some even choose it. Loneliness can be more prevalent around others than isolated from society. Or is solitude really loneliness? People aren’t ever truly alone – whether hiking deep in a wilderness with no other human being around or sitting in a crowded bar alone with only a drink for company.
Even the most extroverts go through a period of being alone, with their thoughts. The characters in books are at times loners just like real people. This brings empathy for the reader, which brings a character to admire. An experience with solitude and with community can help one in distinguishing between what isolation and community means to him or her.
Phillips mentions, “One way the adolescent differentiates himself, discovers his capacity for solitude — for self-reliance that is not merely a triumph over this need for the object — is by taking and making risks.”
Risk makes the character. It creates solitude, where he or she can discover him or herself.
Being with others helps me enjoy solitude more, and being alone helps me enjoy the company of others more.
Adam Phillips seems seems to suggest people who seek solitude also seek the company of certain people. Solitude seeks the person who doesn’t explore the world to discover her or himself.
The link to the book is below to those interested: