I was looking for Oscar Wilde’s essays and lectures book in Kinokuniya’s summer bargain. Then, accidentally I found this book entitled Manuscript Found in Accra. I quoted the book before about solitude and keept it for my books shopping list for a while.
Being alone for quite long time sometimes tickles people around me. But, actually it is a very good phase of life for being alone, for having a solitude before facing the demand of the world.
“Tell us about solitude,” said a young woman who had been about to marry the son of one of the richest men in the city but was now obliged to flee.
And he answered:
Without solitude, Love will not stay long by your side.
Because Love needs to rest, so that it can journey through the heavens and reveal itself in other forms.
Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed. Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement.
Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.
Therefore, blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.
If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.
And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.
But the void does not exist. A vast world lies hidden in our soul, waiting to be discovered. There it is, with all its strength intact, but it is so new and so powerful that we are afraid to acknowledge its existence.
The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think. And that frightens us. Best not to take the risk. We can always say: “I didn’t do what I should have done because they wouldn’t let me.”
That feels more comfortable. Safer. And, at the same time, it’s tantamount to renouncing your own life.
Woe to those who prefer to spend their lives saying: “I never had any opportunities!”
Because with each day that passes, they will sink deeper into the well of their own limitations, and the time will come when they will lack the strength to climb out and rediscover the bright light shining in through the opening above their head.
But blessed be those who say: “I’m not brave enough.”
Because they know that it is not someone else’s fault. And sooner or later, they will find the necessary faith to confront solitude and its mysteries.
For those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.
In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise have arrived unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them. In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.
In solitude, they will learn that saying “No” does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying “Yes” is not always a virtue.
And those who are alone in this moment need never be frightened by the words of the devil: “You’re wasting your time.”
Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: “No one cares about you.”
The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.
And in that moment, Its light illuminates everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes an immense difference to Its work.
And when we achieve that harmony, we receive more than we asked for.
For those who feel oppressed by solitude, it is important to remember that at life’s most significant moments we are always alone.
Take the child emerging from a woman’s womb: it doesn’t matter how many people are present, the final decision to live rests with the child.
Take the artist and his work: in order for his work to be really good, he needs to be still and hear only the language of the angles.
Take all of us, when we find ourselves face to face with unwanted visitor, death: we will all be alone at that most important and most feared moment of our existence.
Just as love is the divine condition, so solitude is the human condition. And for those who understand the miracle of life, those two states peacefully coexist.
Paulo Coelho in Manuscript Found in Accra, pages 31-37
Picture taken at Ashinoko Lake, Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan, November 2014