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The dialectic of solitude
; Coyoacan, Mexico
Solitude - the feeling and knowledge that one is alone, alienated from the world and oneself - is not an exclusively Mexican characteristic. All men, at some moment in their lives, feel themselves to be alone. And they are. To live is to be separated from what we were in order to approach what we are going to be in mysterious future. Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only who seeks out another. His nature - if that word can be used in reference to man, who has 'invented' himself by saying "No' to nature - consists in his longing to real¬ize himself in another. Man is nostalgia and a search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.
Every moribund or sterile society attempts to save itself by creating a redemption myth which is also a fertility myth, a creation myth. Solitude and sin are resolved in communion and fertility. The society we live in today has also created its myth. The sterility of the bourgeois world will end in suicide or a new form of creative participa¬tion. This is the 'theme of our times', in Ortega y Gasset's phrase; it is the substance of our dreams and the meaning of our acts.
Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are end¬lessly repeated in the mirrors of reason. When we emerge, perhaps we will realize that we have been dreaming with our eyes open, and that the dreams of reason are intolerable. And then, perhaps, we will begin to dream once more with our eyes closed.
solitude; human condition; love
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