- Author Hazrat Inayat Khan
All the prophets, all the great ones have sought solitude. Christ was in solitude for a long time in the caves of the mountains. Moses was in solitude on Mount Sinai. Buddha had to have solitude for a long, long time before he could give his message to the world. The Prophet Mohammad was for a long time in solitude on Mount Hira. Why this solitude?
You may see by the experience of your own life what solitude does. If you try to go out all day to talk with acquaintances and friends, you will find that each day so much is gone from your speech, first because of your exaggeration, for to speak, you begin to exaggerate. Then, if you speak to amuse people, you may say what is not true: you add to what you are saying. Then out of politeness you embellish what you say: you say what you do not mean.
To everyone the wish comes to go home, to be with one or two people whom one likes, or to be alone. When you are silent thoughts are less, feelings are less, and the mind has a rest. When people come – people whom you like or undesirable people – the impression of their words or actions fall upon you and your peace of mind is broken.
A part of your time should be given to solitude. The more you cultivate solitude, the more you will like it, but when very much time is spent in solitude, people become unbalanced. The madzubs in India are very great people; often they are Nabi or Qutb. They attain a very high degree of spirituality. They have control over the elements, but part of their power, as the world demands it of them, is lost to the external world. I think that it is most desirable to be well balanced: to spend so much time with others, and so much time in solitude.
Balance in Solitude