“Solitude has a double meaning for Jung in The Red Book. On the one hand, it suggests the need to distance oneself from others in the pursuit of one’s work, one’s individuation, and one’s soul. On the other hand, it suggests the capacity to ‘live with oneself,’ after scrutinizing and critiquing oneself in the most honest and direct manner . . .” (Reading the Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C.G. Jung’s Liber Novus by Sanford L. Drob, p.199).
A synonym for solitude is desert. This reminds me of the Christian desert fathers and mothers who went into the Scetes desert of Egypt to seek solitude and pray. This implies that to be closer to God and your own soul, you need solitude. These holy men and women had their faith tested by encounters with demons while praying in the desert.
The Traumatic Test
You have been thrust into an inner desert when traumatic events have bulldozed into your life. At these times of immense suffering you will feel alone . . . separated from others. It’s easy to say that these events can further your individuation, but that doesn’t reduce the unremitting pain. These agonizing events may force you to turn to God for relief—and release.
Another synonym for solitude is wilderness. You are called to enter the wilderness within. You need courage to wrestle with your inner demons and come out transformed. Your hermit inside can help you navigate the pathless path through the dark and difficult trials that await you before journey’s end. Praying the prayer of your heart while you travel the inner terrain will give you peace. Discover your heart’s prayer . . . and pray unceasingly. .
Photo Credit: Photo by Riccardo D’Angelo at Flickr Creative Commons.
Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday