“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées
I learned of this quote years back during a yoga class. It’s stuck with me and I wanted to share it. That’s how I came upon this curious “wow” moment.
So here’s what happened on the way to this post. I looked for photos of “people sitting alone in a room.” Know what I found in those “empty” rooms?
-→ People sitting in corners slumped over in depression.
-→ People on their computers or cell phones.
-→ People reading books or engaging in some other kind of activity.
-→ People staring out the window.
-→ People with their heads tipped to their chins.
-→ People with hands over their ears.
-→ People with their faces buried in their hands.
-→ If they were outside, they were more likely to look peaceful, contemplative.
But in the inside shots, NONE of the people could effectively sit quietly in a room alone.
Except for this one:
Questions: Why does the internet (society) think we are incapable of doing this? Was Pascal right? Are we incapable?
So fellow bloggers and readers –
Can we trust the silence?
Can we allow our minds to speak to us in gentle, compassionate tones?
Do we listen?
Can we relax, be grateful? Happy?
Please let me know if you can find another non-depressing photo of someone sitting quietly alone in a room so I can share it with anyone who may want to try (or continue) to do so.
I think we can sit alone comfortably in a room and maybe there are not more pictures of this because when one is comfortably alone in a room, no one is there to take the picture. Some of my best times are sitting alone and just soaking in my blessings. It’s how I pray.
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Thanks, J! Good point. Or maybe it’s because there are no photographers in the rooms since those folks, like you, are sitting quietly in a room ALONE! 🙂
Thanks for the comment!
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For non-meditators it is true, it is torture to sit alone in a room. However, I thought that was a quote by Marcel Proust. Perhaps I have been mis-quoting or either it was a prevalent topic of the day in his time.
I have found that a certain time of solitude is necessary, or else I will go spinning off the earth in desperation.
Thanks for your work.
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Well said, Cynthia! Who wants to spin off the earth?! Here’s a great article I just found! https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-19/new-study-found-people-are-terrible-sitting-alone-their-thoughts-how-about-you