Solitude and Mental Space Life essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

I prefer lying down on my back, with my feet flat on the ground and my knees up in the air, although I have done the same basic technique sitting up as well. I close my eyes and consciously relax every part of my body, starting with my toes and working my way up, through the legs, hips, torso, arms, neck and even face. At the same time, I try to stop regulating my breathing. Every time I do this, without exception, I am amazed by the amount I needlessly control my breath. When I am able to consciously relax it, it flows much more smoothly and is far more refreshing and relaxing. This is a very physical manifestation of the ever-present pressure to be something other than who I am. It is something most if not all people experience, and yet something I think most people are totally unaware of. Even the return of the breath back to its natural "me" rhythm lets the feeling of solitude and clarity begin to settle in.

The above described set-up is the only thing really involved in this process of self-discovery through solitude. The rest consists of gently pushing away any thought as it enters my head. This is the part where I always felt like I was less successful than others, but I have learned to accept it. My mind always starts out aggressively pushing the same few ideas into my consciousness, but after repeatedly pushing these thoughts away, they begin t drift elsewhere and come more slowly. Though I am never able to completely stop the flow of ideas, just ten minutes of this type of relaxation every couple of days really keeps me grounded. I find myself making decisions about things that were causing me stress, even things that didn't consciously come up during my quasi-meditation. It really is as though the gentle pushing away of ideas -- the creation of a solitude and inner quietness -- allows the simplicity of right decisions to speak through with and cloudiness or equivocation.

My version of solitude is not quite the same as either McCandless' or Emerson's. My previous comments might have made it clear that I do not exactly approve of -- or perhaps do not fully understand -- McCandless' need for solitude or view of identity. To me, his actions represented an escape and a detachment rather than the connection I find in my brief sojourns into solitude. I appreciate that some people need more solitude than others, and it might even be that what was right for McCandless was to live completely alone. I still believe that he could have accomplished this in a less unfeeling and selfish way, however. His actions doubtless caused his family and friends needless pain; solitude need not have required the destructive tendencies McCandless displayed. On a continuum of solitude between this wilderness seeker and the self-reliance of Emerson, I am definitely closer to the latter. There are differences here, too, however. Emerson once wrote, "solitude is impractical and yet society is fatal." This is a brilliant quip, yet it is a little disingenuous. I do not believe that society is fatal, but rather that it is essential for most if not al human beings. We are inherently social creatures; the trick is simply not to lose yourself in the pressures and her mentality of the larger societal or cultural group.

Solitude is not only useful to the on who engages in it, but also to those with whom the in-touch individual interacts. Emerson gets this part right in "Self-Reliance" when he urges everyone to find their voice and speak it out loud. Any discovery made through solitude is useless if t dies with the individual; epiphanies weren't meant to be hoarded and kept out of sight, but rather shouted to the skies. The true purpose of solitude, I believe, is allowing us to more fully and openly engage in interpersonal relationships. When we better know ourselves, we are better equipped to understand and be understood by others. If that is not the ultimate goal of human existence, I don't know what is.[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Solitude And Mental Space Life" (2008, December 03) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from

"Solitude And Mental Space Life" 03 December 2008. Web.10 December. 2016. <>

"Solitude And Mental Space Life", 03 December 2008, Accessed.10 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Jesus Teachings Prayer & Christian Life He

    Jesus' Teachings, Prayer, & Christian Life "He (Jesus) Took the Bread. Giving Thanks Broke it. And gave it to his Disciples, saying, 'This is my Body, which is given to you.'" At Elevation time, during Catholic Mass, the priest establishes a mandate for Christian Living. Historically, at the Last Supper, Christ used bread and wine as a supreme metaphor for the rest of our lives. Jesus was in turmoil. He was

  • Rhetorical Theory and Practice

    Commonplace: "You Always Admire What You Really Don't Understand" There are a great many things that arouse admiration in this world of ours. Some of these things such as a creation of nature, a work of breathtaking art, scientific breakthroughs that benefit human kind, and acts of bravery are, without doubt, worthy of the admiration and the sentiment that they inspire. Unfortunately, however, human beings also fruitlessly admire a great many

  • Aria Rodriguez Richard Aria A Memoir of

    Aria Rodriguez, Richard. "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood," an excerpt from. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez: an Autobiography. Boston, Mass: D.R. Godine, 1982. Print. Bilingual education is one of the issues that have been hotly debated in the last few decades. Though proposed by Hispanic-Americans in the 1970s and '80s, many second- and third-generation immigrants from the south of the United States now have mixed feelings about

  • Domestic Prison Gender Roles and Marriage the

    Domestic Prison Gender Roles and Marriage The Domestic Prison: James Thurber's "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939) and "The Story of an Hour" (1894) by Kate Chopin depict marriage as a prison for both men and women from which the main characters fantasize about escaping. Louise Mallard is similar to the unnamed narrator in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's

  • Women s and Gender Studies

    Women and Gender Studies Of all the technologies and cultural phenomena human beings have created, language, and particularly writing, is arguably the most powerful, because it is the means by which all human experience is expressed and ordered. As such, controlling who is allowed to write, and in a modern context, be published, is one of the most effective means of controlling society. This fact was painfully clear to women writers

  • Representation of Death and the Impermanence in

    representation of Death and the impermanence in the short story "A Father's Story" by Andre Dubus, and the poem "Because I could not stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson. These two works were chosen because both speak of Death and impermanence, yet these authors employ different literary forms, characters, settings and plots. "A Father's Story" follows the format of a short story, being prose written in concise paragraphs with

  • Chemistry of Adderall Amphetamines These

    # BIBLIOGRAPHY Add Forums. Adderall Facts from the Manufacturer. Support and Information Resources Community: Jelsoft Enterprises, Ltd., 2004. Retrieved on May 1, 2011 from Collier, Mallory. Adderall: History, Uses, Side Effects, and Withdrawal. Associated Content: Yahoo, Inc., 2008. Retrieved on May 1, 2011 from Geist, Jared. Focusing in on Adderall. Institute for Food Laws and Regulations: Michigan State University, 2007. Retrieved on May 1, 2011 from>Focusing-on-Adderall.pdf Harrison, Karl. Adderall 3 dChem, 2007. Retrieved

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved