The Age of Loneliness

March 22, 2023    Article    874 words    5 mins read

The inability to enjoy loneliness leads to the desire to communicate with idiots.

Or is it

The inability to enjoy communication with idiots leads to a desire for loneliness.

Can’t remember, just press play, friend, and read on.

The feeling of loneliness derives from the (false) perception that experience is “my” experience. Without the identification with the feeling of “me” as a basis it is impossible to feel lonely, even though there is awareness of the fact that your experience is indeed unique. Your personality is not yours and it is not you, it is just another element of experience.

On the other hand, it is possible to perceive the being of others as an extension of your perception of your own being. It is like a isomorphic relation between elements of two spaces.

You can perceive the richness of your experience (and how it can be clouded by a lot of bullshit also), your feelings, thoughts, the variety of sense perceptions you have from the world. You cannot feel what others feel exactly but you can know that people also experience feelings, thoughts and a variety of sense perceptions. There is a connection when, for example, you just know in real time that a person is hurt, you look at his face, see his emotion and feel something yourself. You will also notice that when this happens, you and the other person try to hide it, you will block your feeling of empathy and the person will try to hide what he is feeling. Our day-to-day interactions are like that always, it’s like a play, we feel fear, we try to hide, we try to show ourselves to ourselves and to other people as something different than what we are. Being what you are (i.e. actually paying attention to what is actually appearing in your experience, uncomfortable as it may be) implies shame and fear, and cause discomfort in other people because perceiving you implies a reflexive relation in their minds.

I think this feeling is unsolvable by “normal” means. You won’t solve it by finding friends, nor by finding a partner, or building a family. This used to hurt me more because i would put myself in these situations and everything felt insubstantial, the world felt distant, i felt that a conversation and the myriad of situations and contexts we experience was a frustrated effort of reaching one another, but even though the desire was there the only thing we were able to pull off was some stupid funny personal anecdote. It was even worse when the play begins and everyone just start to show themselves off over meaningless things.

When you do find a group of “friends” and a partner, it doesn’t take too long to notice that you are acting out a fantasy in you head, looking for people and situations that are somewhat similar to what you imagine and when this projection “works”, there is a temporary feeling of satisfaction. There is a immediate perception that what we’re living is not real and all the satisfaction goes away, the passion and attraction goes away and the feeling of friendship goes away. Seeing that what i have now is only my fantasies, the loneliness deepens because now it seems impossible to go beyond my dream-world, it feels like even my words (symbols of my thoughts, windows to my mind) are futile. I also think that this kind of projection is quite egotistical since you are trying to bind people and transform them for you own satisfaction, and it is easy to see it when you notice people projecting their fantasies in you and it causes anger, so maybe you just don’t want to continue playing these social games.

I do think it is possible to solve it though. The solution won’t give us what we think we want when the pain is present, but there is a point where you are so fed up with everything that you just want a way out, and at the moment where the solution is present, the pain is not.

I can understand this feeling of disconnection. It really does feel like everyone lives in their own box, they travel to work, come home, and don’t even know their neighbors. There’s no real sense of community anymore. Is friendship even real anymore? It’s like everyone is in their own bubble and if you’re not in their social circle/bubble then you are basically a nobody to them and they never talk to you. People these days feel extremely judgemental, smartphones, dating apps, and social media turned society this way, it’s like we have an infinite amount of people to choose from online so the value of an individual human being goes down, and people use rigid and extreme standards to filter out who they choose to communicate with and who they don’t.

Genuine and deep connection between human beings requires a kind of emotional capacity, raw honesty and cognitive clarity the we usually don’t have. Just try the following exercise: forget the fact that people won’t comprehend you and make a genuine effort to comprehend other people, just pay attention to them. You will notice that you can’t. You can’t, people can’t, everyone is alone.