Self Reassurance

Sister Ruth, who is looking for a place to live, is one of just 600 Christian religious scattered around Europe who have made a vow to live as hermits.

This is her philosophy behind living a solitary life. “It is all about stopping the craving for interaction with other people – the addiction to all the things we think we need in order to reassure ourselves that we are loved and valued as beings,” she explains. “Identity literally translates as ‘to make a thing of yourself’. So much of our contact with others is hollow and about creating feedback about ourselves.”

See also this, from a few weeks ago.

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4 thoughts on “Self Reassurance”

  1. Hmm. Not something I can easily identify with, not as a permanent state – ultimately, I can’t help but see a refusal to engage with others EVER as a nihilist act.

  2. I can imagine how difficult that must be to find a place like that. I’ve always felt the draw toward hermeticism. In fact, my partner and friends respect that I need “hermit times”. I remember when I first came to Europe after growing up in Colorado, where I could hike for days without seeing any other person and just be with the “stillness”. Not so easy here! The first time I went to Shasta in the 80’s I thought it would be like that…then I heard the highway close by! :0)~ I also think being away from others can really teach us how valuable others are. A healthy hermit has a love for humanity…not disdain. Anyway, those our my lunch break thoughts…back out into the very, very cold and windy weather…snow is on the way!

  3. I love this poem by Buddhist Priest Ryokan & it seems to fit here.

    Full seventy years & more have I beheld
    The clash & roar of human life,
    And felt upon my breast the weight
    Of right at war with wrong,
    Till now my mind is weary,
    And my spirit cries for rest.
    This night, the darkness deepens, & the snow
    Like some kind minister to my troubled soul,
    Falls softly, folding close in sleep the noises
    Of the outside world.
    No sound of any footstep comes this way
    To mar the stillness of this midnight hour,
    Only my spirit moves, as bowed before the burning incense,
    Which lifts its curl of smoke beneath my window,
    I lose myself in silent meditation,
    And touch the great, wide world with prayer.

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