Walking inside oneself

Ranier Maria Rilke: Letters To A Young Poet

  • Letter 6 : letters to a young poet by Rainier Maria Rilke “What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours – that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grown-ups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn’t understand a thing about what they were doing.

    And when you realize that their activities are shabby, that their vocations are petrified and no longer connected with life, why not then continue to look upon it all as a child would, as if you were looking at something unfamiliar, out of the depths of your own solitude, which is itself work and status and vocation? Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.”

Walking inside oneself for hours on end is the best way of coping with the inner solitude .Just like a child who walks alone among the much taller grownups who are preoccupied with matters which seem rather silly and which he does not understand. A child’s not-understanding is a way of being alone while defensiveness and scorn are participation in what precisely you want to separate yourself from .

Rilke’s friend must be passing through a period of rejection perhaps because the society ostracized him for his failure to fit into the society . An individual who has not developed a normal mental faculty to fit into the society faces rejection and experiences tremendous loneliness deep within and it is only by enjoying the solitude of walking within oneself that one overcomes the loneliness.

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Retired banker with poetry and photography as chief interests

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