top of page

Is Solitude Possible Without God?

As I'm editing this book on solitude, I keep reverting to references and sources that emphasize our connection to God. Although the Upanishads and the Vedic tradition doesn't really call it "God," they do refer to a divine essence that surrounds and permeates the world. The other references I use, particularly pertaining to loneliness and the Dark Night of the Sense, direct the attention to a divine source or spirit.

But then I wondered, is it possible to be in solitude without believing in God?

Someone who attended one of my Insight Timer sessions asked me how to connect if you're not a believer. I honestly don't know. If you don't believe in some sort of force, energy, or even emotion that ties us together even when we're not physically together, I would imagine you might have a hard time feeling that connection.

Then I turned to the Buddhists, who don't necessarily believe in a divine being. You might think that this "emptiness" might feel just that--empty. However, if you listen to any Buddhist talks or read any of their works, you feel nothing but peace. They don't try to argue their point because they see all of it as an illusion--Maya--that keeps us from experiencing the moment as it is.

Thich Nhat Hanh addresses solitude and loneliness in his book, Silence. He never mentions a divine connection. Instead, he says that our external world can easily feed into what we're feeling inside. If our life episodes have traumatized us to a certain degree that we feel lonely, we can easily keep energizing our feelings of loneliness by consuming media--videos and music--that resonate with our loneliness.

"So why do we open our windows to bad movies and TV p