Intelligence, Loneliness, and Solitude

There are different kinds of loneliness, of being alone, and loneliness and solitude are not the same sort of thing, I think. There is the loneliness of ideas, and the loneliness of proximity, there is the loneliness of emotions, and the loneliness of the spirit. One can feel alone in the midst of a crowd as easily as one can feel it when one is solitary. One can feel as though one is an outcast, a stranger, or an alien, even when there are other people around you. You can still feel alone, so alone, as though you are the first and the last of your kind, it’s a different kind of loneliness almost.

There is the loneliness of not having people near you who are alike to you, and this is the burden of the genius, you’re an alien amongst your people if you are without peers, genius needs genius, and that may well be its greatest weakness. You need someone who is as mad, creative, and brilliant as you are, but you really do not wish to admit to it. I don’t know if I am genius, but I have felt the solitude of brilliancy, or at least, not having anyone present with which to share my thoughts with. One does not wish to be the teacher all the time, sometimes one desires to be the student, or of equal standing.

I suppose, the genius is found looking for either a close friendship, or at the very least a worthy opponent. If they are going to compete, or even argue, they want it to be someone who is worthy of losing to. Anything less simply will not do.

Part of it is that the genius is inclined to remain alone, simply because they lock the door to their tower, and sit high in the high chambers of it, pondering the secrets of the universe, and wondering why they are alone, when all along, the door has been shut, locked, and unapproachable. Alone, yes, always, yes, and empty. The genius needs friends, I suppose.

For myself, I do have to admit, I do often wonder where is someone I can really open up to, and share with, if I do open up and share with you, it probably means I have a great deal of respect for you and consider you of equal standing with me, especially if I am speaking in a manner like what I write. I have done so on occasion, and have done so more and more, even with people whom I did not imagine I would ever open myself up to, but when the moment came, I did. That is good, I suppose it means I’m either starting to get off my high horse, or that I’m becoming more trusting of people in general. Either way, it is a good thing I think.

It’s not that I’m trying to sound arrogant, and it is hard to read this post without it coming off as such, though it is not meant to be so. Still, the loneliness of brilliancy is real, and does need to be talked of.

On the other hand, there is the value of solitude. In having time alone to be yourself, in taking moments, or hours, or what have you, to reflect quietly on your thoughts. There is a freedom in having a few moments to yourself, where you don’t have to worry about what others are doing or thinking or what have you, because they’re not present. I am a person who likes to be around people, but every so often, I do like to have a few hours to myself if I can. Mostly because I can feel like I can turn my music up without bothering people or using headphones, and while headphones are nice, they can leave you feeling rather isolated in a world of your own. If you’re like me, most of what you hear through them are not even words of your own mother tongue, or native language, or whatever it is that you wish to call it.

Regardless, even the difference between headphone and a set of speakers is nice. I hate driving, but the one thing I like about it is having time to listen to music, that part I like. It is nice on one hand, but on the other, is no substitute for interaction with actual humans. I like having the ability to play music aloud, but I do not mistake as being a valid social interaction. Still, I enjoy having a few hours alone for this purpose every few months or so.

It’s not always the case that perfection is found in the balance, but often times the best place to look for something is in the center. What is the most obvious solution to a given problem. It is also important to take other possibilities into consideration, but generally speaking, considering which among those is the most reasonable is a good place to start. It’s how I can often just jump right in and start using equipment I’ve never seen before in my life. I forget what age I was, but there came a point when I realized that if I guessed how something worked, most of the time, I could at least get it to do something, usually what it was that I wanted it to do. After awhile, experimentation and learning supplement the guesswork and you can quickly master new things. I sometimes joke to myself that “I don’t actually know what I’m doing, I’m just guessing. but don’t let them know that, let these mere mortals bask in the glory of my superior intellect!” Alright, with that last part I am just kidding, I do not actually think of my intellect as being superior or of other people as being mere mortals. However, it is true that a good percent of what I’m doing is just guesswork and intuition, very little of it is related to actually knowing what I’m doing. Now, I did learn how to drive a car properly, I didn’t just get in and start guessing how to drive. It drove me nearly mad to do so, but I did take the time to learn properly. Still, I have been known not to correct people when they say to me that they could never do half this stuff, and tell them “Me either, I actually do not know how to do half this stuff, but I pretend I do and do it anyways. It’s mostly guesswork.”

Truth is, most people are capable of doing the exact same things, but I think we live in a society where from cradle to grave we don’t like to act outside of our preexisting knowledge. The idea of learning without a teacher seems foreign and strange. I believe our education systems, including higher education, often discourages creativity in thinking, and the looming threat of political correctness doesn’t help either. Taught to question everything except itself, most beliefs of the day have a huge, gaping, whole in the center of them, obvious, visible to the outsider but unseen by most inside. Question everything except that which one holds for themselves. One result is we’re always assuming that the experts see what should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense, so we leave the hole watching to the experts, and dare not think for ourselves that what the experts say may not be true, nor take into consideration that the experts do not see the holes either. Sometimes I think ideas such as safety and security are a bit too valued, and the idea of doing something dangerous seems absurd, even if the end result is more valuable than not doing anything at all.