Solitude For Ourselves And Others

Jung recounts a story of a clergyman who had been working fourteen hours a day and was suffering from emotional exhaustion. Jung’s advice was that he should work eight hours a day, then go home and spend the evening alone in his study. The clergyman agreed to follow Jung’s advice precisely. He worked eight hours, and then went home and to his study, where he played some Chopin and read a novel by Hesse. The following day he read Thomas Mann and played Mozart. On the third day he went to see Jung and complained that he was no better. “But you didn’t understand,” Jung replied, on hearing his account. “I didn’t want you with Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann or even Mozart or Chopin. I wanted you to be all alone with yourself.” “Oh but I can’t think of any worse company,” answered the clergyman. Jung replied, “And yet this is the self you inflict on other people fourteen hours a day.”

Experiencing God by Kenneth Leech


  1. …there is a particular radio talk show that i frequently listen to in which the host advocates a meditation exercise called “be still and know”…his listeners regularly call into the show to tell of their experiences while trying the exercise and the results are interesting in that the majority of them can’t bare to sit still in silence for any real length of time without being overcome by a sense of terror and fear…….very interesting.


    1. I think many of us fear silence and solitude. It is the place of being rather than doing. If we are not doing and producing we are often left wondering who we are and what life is about. We tend to believe that our being is the result of doing when it is just the opposite. If we get the being right the doing flows naturally.



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