Solitude (repost and updated from 2005)

There are no ancients before me,
No followers behind:
Only the vastness of heaven and earth
On this mountain terrace.
Though heaven may know the ultimate,
Joy or sorrow is our own will.

We stand alone in this life. No one lives our life for us. Neither drug nor sorcery can remove us, even for a moment, from our own life. We can deny it, but it is useless : We are here alone, to engage every precious moment according to our wills.

The precedents of the ancients may be helpful, but in the end they are only references. The thought of those who will follow after us is likewise merely a consideration. What matters is being, pure being. Accept who you are. Be who you are.

If there are gods in the heavens, maybe they know the future. As a human being, I can only say that the future is yet to be made. Let us go forth and make it, but let us make it as beautifully as we can. The degree of elegance is determined by our will and the perfection of our own personalities. Therefore, do not sigh over misfortune or adversity. Whether you are happy or sad is entirely up to you.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

The Tao cannot be sought from others; it is attained in oneself. If you abandon yourself to seek from others, you are far from the Tao.
— Huainan-tzi

The experience of solitude, of the trembling beauty of a swaying pine or twinkling star, or a bird call, is our self reflecting the infinite Tao and becoming, in that moment, conscious of being part of it and not apart from it. — Hermitary and Meng-Hu

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after one’s own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

We must reserve a back shop all our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude. –Michel de Montaigne

I am tired of frivolous society, in which silence is forever the most natural and the best manners. I would fain walk on the deep waters, but my companions will only walk on shallows and puddles. — Henry David Thoreau, Journal

Solitude and nature are absolutely necessary for the proper development of a human being. It is an admixture of natural life, lived in solitude, amid beautiful surroundings of nature and what we call an arboreal life, which is absolutely necessary for the poise and harmony of the human mind. –Gopi Krishna

Never less idle than when wholly idle, nor less alone than when wholly alone.
–Cicero, De officius

I need time and space, and solitude, but it keeps being denied to me. Retreating into inner stillness is the only answer today.