We are born alone, but is loneliness born with us? When was the first time I felt lonely? Was it when my mother did not pick me up from the cradle when I was crying, craving for some human touch,assurance and warmth? Was it when I felt like an ‘other’ in a group of friends who all had something in common except me? Was it when I felt like I had to explain myself with so many words when I was a teenager? Was it when I felt cheated, criticised and judged later as an adult? Is loneliness a thought,an emotion ,a feeling,a sensation or a situation in which we find ourselves often? Is it just linguistic confusion as philosophers like to call when we end up complicating things too much, discussing about words and concepts for which it is hard to find a reference in our shared world? Perhaps there are more questions than answers when loneliness has to be spoken about.
How do we experience loneliness? Is it like living in a dark room which has no doors or windows, is it like being crippled and unable to move, is it like drowning in an ocean with no one to save , is it like getting transformed into a giant insect one fine morning like Gregor samsa ? It is all of it and more ,perhaps like temporary death.
It’s when our existence does not matter ,when we lose the trust and hope that we are or will be on the minds and hearts of people who matter to us. After all human existence is not only about the spatiotemporal persistence but also about living beyond space and time , ‘being held’ in the collective conscious and unconscious of those whose lives we are able to touch.
Perhaps loneliness and anxiety is the beginning of philosophy. The realisation that I don’t have and can never have direct access to a stream of consciousness other than mine , nor can others really ‘see’ and ‘feel’ my stream of consciousness without the mediation of language or some other shared platform does not come without it’s emotional repercussions. There is always an uncertainty about understanding an other person and being understood by others and therefore human relationships are messy and conflictual.
Yet the most beautiful aspects of human life ‘ connection’ and ‘ compassion’ are born out of a deep understanding and experience of loneliness ,an experience of the pain of isolation and alienation. We are all together even in our ‘loneliness’ ,isn’t it strange and familiar at the same time?

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