+ "You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka
+ Solitude does not mean withdrawal from community. Instead, solitude is the practice which makes community thrive. We are not robots thoughtlessly doing what society demands. We are spiritual beings charged with transforming society into the most holy, glorious, fantastic realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom. Getting awayfrom the demands of society allows one to figure out how to participate in the very just and life-giving demands of God. Society can be very demanding. Get away from all those demands from time to time and discover your true self. Get connected to God intimately. Solitude miraculously opens the door to heaven. WOW!
Hermitary offers "Solitude in Sufi Tradition."Excerpt 1: "The use of solitude as discipline and means may have channeled deep individual and cultural expressions into daily life. Sufism as mysticism was devotional in a way paralleling Hindu Bhakti, but strictly regulated by Muslim and Quranic tradition. Yet who can doubt that the magnificent poetry of Sufi tradition so rich in mystical symbolism, sensual imagery, and Dionysian expression, was not itself a devotional expression that elevated Sufi practice as praise and extroversion, contrasted to the introversion of Western and Far Eastern solitude and silence."Excerpt 2: "Solitude in the crowd becomes the face of the self going about daily life. Constant consciousness of God in every circumstance preserves a disengagement from the world without disrupting the functions of society, which in turn are supposed to be based on Islamic ethics. The Quran identifies those who successfully practice 'solitude in the crowd' as those 'whom neither business nor profit distracts from the recollection of God' (24:37). Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad is a saying of himself (and as a model to others) that he has 'two sides: one faces my Creator and one faces creation.'"
Silence and solitude are the marks of spiritual maturity. They lead to peace and bliss. The spiritual life is an inner life and cannot be attained on the outside. The spiritual life is its own reward and seeks nothing beyond itself. Once we achieve inner peace and conscious contact, we want to overflow. This is the mark of truth and love to move toward goodness and transcendence.
The ancient philosophers called goodness, truth, beauty and love the transcendental properties of Being.
"The best and sweetest flowers in paradise, God gives to his people when they are on their knees in the closet. — Prayer, if not the very gate of heaven, is the key to let us into its holiness and joys." -- Thomas Brooks (found at http://www.quotationpark.com/topics/devotion.html)
Hermitary offers recommendations from Evagrius Ponticus on this practice. Warning: If you take these recommendations seriously, you will have to change your life a lot if you are anything like me or most of us very privileged netizens.