To understand loneliness we need to establish exactly what consciousness is. Our consciousness is an internal reflection of the outer world. All that we take in, all that we turn our attention to, leaves an impression on us and we form ideas about these. The sum total of all of this produces the internal process that we refer to as our consciousness. We can see therefore that our consciousness is always changing. If we accept that, we also know that human consciousness changes over the centuries.
It isn’t too hard to trace the development of consciousness from pre-Christian times until now. Up until around 750BC we developed the feeling levels of consciousness. Then, at the time of the great thinkers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, human beings began to develop thinking. Since the 1400’s we have been developing the will levels of our consciousness. This current phase is becoming more intense at the present time. Because our will is such a personal thing it means that our relationships with each other are much less personal. We are more detached and more individual and we find it hard to like other people. Inherently, the consequence is loneliness.
Our task is to overcome this isolation by engaging with others with the intention of becoming interested in them. As we work towards overcoming the difficulty of understanding each other, we actually strengthen our will. This strengthening assists us to form a stronger connection with our higher self, our ‘I’ as well as the higher self of others. In this way, we create a new sense of community beyond the tribe and family. There is a watch point here however; in this new community we don’t find cliques based on favouritism. In the new community love and respect for each person is equal and inclusive.
Image: Golden Autumn – John Atkinson Grimshaw