Solitude (quotes)


Solitude is being alone


Some solitude is necessary

  • Man cannot survive without air, water and sleep. Next in importance comes food. And close on its heels, solitude. Thomas Szasz
  • Solitude is a necessary protest to the incursions and the false alarms of society’s hysteria, a period of cure and recovery. Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Solitude, if rightly used, becomes not only a privilege but a necessity. Only a superficial soul fears to fraternize with itself. Alice H. Rice
  • We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.  Helen Hayes
  • One who will not accept solitude, stillness and quiet recurring moments…is caught up in the wilderness of addictions; far removed from an original state of being and awareness. This is ‘dis- ease. T.F. Hodge

The rewards of solitude


Find stillness and serenity in solitude

  • Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself. Thomas Browne
  • Solitude is an ocean with wonderful places hidden in its depths. Isaac of Nineveh
  • There is a solitude which each and every one of us has always carried within. More inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea: the solitude of self. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • The person who has not learned to be happy and content while completely alone for an hour a day, or a week has missed life’s greatest serenity. Clay Tate
  • The holiest of all holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Solitude is a good place to visit, but a poor place to stay.  Josh Billings
  • I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments. Oriah Mountain Dreamer
  • The best of all is to Be alone to experience one’s soul in Silence. To be nakedly alone, unseen, is better than anything in the world, a relief like death.  To Be–alone–is one of life’s greatest delights.  Sunyata
  • StillnessSerenity

Solitude transforms the emptiness of loneliness to the fullness of aloneness

  • To transform the emptiness of loneliness, to the fullness of aloneness. Ah, that is the secret of life. Sunita Khosla
  • What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be. Ellen Burstyn
  • In solitude… where we are least alone. Lord Byron
  • Isolation is aloneness that feels forced upon you, like a punishment. Solitude is aloneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude, out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart. Jeanne Marie Laskas
  • Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone, and the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone. Paul Johannes Tillich
  • Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than of the absence of others.  Alice Koller
  • Loneliness

Solitude is a wonderful spiritual outlet

  • Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe. Lao Tzu
  • Settle yourself in solitude, and you will come upon Him in yourself. St. Teresa
  • Solitude is the audience chamber of God. Walter Savage Landor
  • Solitude is the place of purification. Martin Buber
  • To be alone and to be drunk with your own aloneness is what meditation is all about. Osho Rajneesh
  • I restore myself when I’m alone. Marilyn Monroe
  • Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better. Henry Rollins
  • Spirituality

Through solitude, we get in touch with ourselves

  • All humans are frightened of their own solitude. But only in solitude can we learn to know ourselves, learn to handle our own eternal aloneness. Han Suyin
  • If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came and to which you go. Ewart L Udall
  • If you’re lonely when you’re alone then you’re in bad company. Jean-Paul Sartre
  • In solitude I found myself. Alison Stormwolf
  • Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude. Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death- – ourselves. Eda LeShan
  • Solitude can be frightening because it invites us to meet a stranger we think we may not want to know.   Melvyn Kinder

Solitude is a wonderful opportunity for reflection and renewal

  • …solitude is such a potential thing. We hear voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts, we get under no other condition… Amelia Barr
  • The thoughtful soul to solitude retires. Omar Khayyam
  • Spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order. Susan Taylor
  • When I am ….. completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us. Virginia Woolf
  • Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up. Pearl S. Buck
  • Solitude is not a way of running away from life … from our feelings. On the contrary. This is the time we sort them out, air them, get over them, and go on without the burden of yesterday. Joan Chittister
  • Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self. May Sarton
  • I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone.  That’s how I refuel.  Audrey Hepburn
  • A place of solitude offers a retreat from the opposing forces and diverse demands of living, an entry into a state of peace and unity. Mind and body can retire from confusion and conflict to a sanctuary of clarity and harmony. Anthony Lawlor
  • ReflectionRest and renewal

Solitude inspires creativity and inspiration

  • I learned that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. Brenda Ueland
  • In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone. Rollo May
  • Proximity to the crowd, to the majority view, spells the death of creativity. For a soul can create only when alone, and some are chosen for the flowering that takes place in the dark avenues of night. Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. Albert Einstein
  • Spend less time immersed in popular culture and take conscious breaks from the everyday world to practice creative thinking. Charles Cave
  • It is in solitude that the works of hand, heart and mind are always conceived, and in solitude that individuality must be affirmed. Robert Lindner
  • It is well to be alone. It fertilizes the creative impulse. Max Nordau
  • A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Without great solitude no serious work is possible. Pablo Picasso
  • Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry. Thomas Mann
  • CreativityInspiration

Final thoughts

  • Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism. Thomas Merton
  • Our equal and opposite needs for solitude and community constitute a great paradox. When it is torn apart, both of these life-giving states of being degenerate into deathly specters of themselves.  Solitude split off from community is no longer a rich and fulfilling experience of inwardness; now it becomes loneliness, a terrible isolation.  Community split off from solitude is no longer a nurturing network of relationships; now it becomes a crowd, an alienating buzz of too many people and too much noise.  Parker J. Palmer