“Living in forests far away from other people is not true seclusion. True seclusion is to be free from the power of likes and dislikes. It is also to be free from the mental attitude that one must be special because one is treading the path.

Those who remove themselves to far forests often feel superior to others. They think that because they are solitary they are being guided in a special way and that those who live an ordinary life can never have that experience. But that is conceit and is not help to others. The true recluse is one who is available to others, helping them with affectionate speech and personal example.


A priest I admire has a habit of saying — “You are special, but not that special.” Just because you’re holy, church-y, a dedicated volunteer, a virtuous person, so what? You’re only doing what you’ve been told. You are not special because you are treading the path. You are not special because you are farther along the path than others. You are special in the way that everyone else is special — God made you. Don’t let it go to your head.

One thought on “Special

  1. Seeing as I’ve sort of removed myself to the forest so to speak, I like this quote and the idea you’ve imparted in the story about the priest. I hope that by walking in solitude I’m better able to learn about myself and then extend that to the people I meet.

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