unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation
Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation, of being cut off, disconnected from, and alienated towards other people. The lonely person may find it difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. The first recorded use of the word "lonely" was in William Shakespeare's Coriolanus.
Solitude, Jean-Jacques Henner
My people were once around me like the sands of the shore—many—many. They have all passed away. They have died like the grass. They have gone to the mountains. I do not complain; the antelope falls with the arrow. I had a son. I loved him. When the palefaces came he went away. I do not know where he is. I am a Christian Indian; I am all that is left of my people. I am alone.
"An aged Indian of Dolores," as reported in Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, Volume 688
There walked a lonely man, silent, mute, the only man
Not knowing how, not knowing why was he the sole survivor
Why should he be alive, breathing still while others died
And the only question, why was he the sole survivor?
Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night.
Blue Oyster Cult, Sole Survivor, Fire of unknown origin, lyrics by Erik Bloom, John Trivers, and Liz Myers
Loneliness, her arch enemy, never seemed content.
David Brin, Glory Season (1993), chapter 9
Who knows what true happiness is? Not the conventional word but the naked terror. To the lonely themselves, it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
Joseph Conrad in Under Western Eyes (1911)
Loneliness / Got a mind of its own / The more people around / The more you feel alone
Bob Dylan, "Marchin' to the City", The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs.
What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
George Eliot, Middlemarch, Book V, Chapter XLIV.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.
T. S. Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs.
Eric Hoffer, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely'", The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 55.
The Savage interrupted him. "But isn't it natural to feel there's a God?"
"You might as well ask if it's natural to do up one's trousers with zippers," said the Controller sarcastically. "You remind me of another of those old fellows called Bradley. He defined philosophy as the finding of bad reason for what one believes by instinct. As if one believed anything by instinct! One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them. Finding bad reasons for what one believes for other bad reasons–that's philosophy. People believe in God because they've been conditioned to.
"But all the same," insisted the Savage, "it is natural to believe in God when you're alone–quite alone, in the night, thinking about death …"
"But people never are alone now," said Mustapha Mond. "We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it's almost impossible for them ever to have it."
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, ch. 17
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
~ Aldous Huxley
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies — all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Aldous Huxley, Doors of Perception
They're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinking alone.
Billy Joel, "Piano Man", Piano Man (1973).
He could hear nothing: the night was perfectly silent. He listened again: perfectly silent. He felt that he was alone.
James Joyce in Dubliners, "A Painful Case".
Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.
Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections (1963), p.356.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
Lennon–McCartney, "Eleanor Rigby". (1966)
Sometimes I feel
Like I don't have a partner
Sometimes I feel
Like my only friend
Is the city I live in
The city of angels
Lonely as I am
Together we cry
It's hard to believe
That there's nobody out there
It's hard to believe
That I'm all alone
At least I have her love
The city, she loves me
Lonely as I am
Together we cry.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under the Bridge, Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
Life is very long when you're lonely.
Morrissey and Johnny Marr, in The Queen Is Dead, from the album of the same name by The Smiths (1986).
We suffer a lot in our society from loneliness. So much of our life is an attempt to not be lonely: 'Let's talk to each other; let's do things together so we won't be lonely.' And yet inevitably, we are really alone in these human forms. We can pretend; we can entertain each other; but that's about the best we can do. When it comes to the actual experience of life, we're very much alone; and to expect anyone else to take away our loneliness is asking too much.
American Buddhist monk Ajahn Sumedho: The Way It Is.
It's not that I hate people, I just feel better when they're not around.
Henry Chinaski in Bar Fly.
It's pointless to cry. One is born and dies alone.
Cesare Pavese, The house on the hill.
Men who have a tempestuous inner life and do not seek to give vent to it by talking or writing are simply men who have no tempestuous inner life.
Give company to a lonely man and he will talk more than anyone.
Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-09-19.
Insults have broken my heart and left me weak, I looked for sympathy but there was none; I found no one to comfort me.
Psalm 69:20.
Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.
Octavio Paz in The Labyrinth of Solitude.
A man with no friends, only live for revenge
Live his life off the henge, cut, through a thousand men
Blade swing with the force of a cyclone
Cut crystal and bone, pistol and chrome
Stand in my path, you're a dead man
I cut the whole world in half for the Number One headband
Quest of a lonely soul, on a lonely road
RZA, Afro Samurai Theme (2007).
Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, cars, sidewalks, stores. Everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.
Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver (1976); character of Travis Bickle.
Well I'm the only one here.
Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver (1976); character of Travis Bickle.
I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (1937), Crooks.
Such a lonely day / And it's mine / The most loneliest day of my life.
System of a Down "Lonely Day" from "Hypnotize".
Dowd's theory of defending a client is to be his advocate, and also to be a friend. Trump began calling him at all hours, all days. Despite Trump's outgoing, in-your-face style, Dowd could see the president was very lonely.
Bob Woodward, Fear: Trump in the White House (2018), p. 169
The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced the ultimate, and it has let you down.
Ravi Zacharias, as quoted in "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: Not Just a Problem with Youth Ministry" (9 April 2012), by Brian Cosby, The Gospel Coalition
Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), Her, 2013.
See also
External links

Adoration ~ Affection ~ Agony ~ Amusement ~ Anger ~ Anguish ~ Anxiety ~ Apathy ~ Awe ~ Boredom ~ Calmness ~ Cheerfulness ~ Compassion ~ Contempt ~ Contentment ~ Depression ~ Desire ~ Disappointment ~ Discontent ~ Disgust ~ Ecstasy ~ Embarrassment ~ Empathy ~ Enthusiasm ~ Envy ~ Euphoria ~ Fear ~ Gratitude ~ Grief ~ Guilt ~ Happiness ~ Hatred ~ Hope ~ Hostility ~ Humiliation ~ Impatience ~ Indignation ~ Insecurity ~ Jealousy ~ Joy ~ Loneliness ~ Loss ~ Love ~ Lust ~ Malice ~ Melancholy ~ Nostalgia ~ Panic ~ Passion ~ Pity ~ Pride ~ Rage ~ Regret ~ Remorse ~ Resentment ~ Sadness ~ Shame ~ Sorrow ~ Suffering ~ Surprise ~ Sympathy ~ Wonder ~ Worry
Last edited on 20 December 2020, at 09:47
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