On Kahlil Gibran: Aloneness is the desire, destination, and death of loneliness

Acharya Prashant
12 min readJun 13, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

“Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.”

-Kahlil Gibran (The Broken Wings)

Acharya Prashant (AP): “Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers, it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.”

-Kahlil Gibran

(Referring to the questioner) So, what Sushmita is asking is, “How solitude is related to sorrow?” First thing. Second, she is saying that what she understands from this quote is — solitude is related to aloneness.

‘Solitude’ here stands obviously not for Aloneness, but for the craving of the mind, to reach aloneness. In the sense that Khalil Gibran is talking about solitude here, solitude represents — loneliness. So, this presents us an opportunity to look into the relation between ‘loneliness’ and ‘aloneness’.

What is ‘loneliness’?

The sense that — I am, but I don’t really have company. Is that not so? That’s what you call ‘feeling lonely’. I am, and there are others, but they are somehow not available to me. That’s what you call ‘the sense of loneliness’. That’s the starting point — I AM, and I AM, along with others. Others too exist. I exist, and so do others. And the way I am, the way I know myself, the way I have defined myself, I think that a relationship with others, or at least to the few special others, a few particular others, will bring me contentment.

The way I am — I am a fragment, separated from the rest of the world, with my own self-interests, with my own particular individual definition of security, with my own goals and objectives, with my own private life, with my own little, divided individuality, that’s how I am. And this thing, that I AM, is looking for a relationship with others. This fragment is…

Acharya Prashant