We are made for solitude. Our lives may be rich in relationships, but the human self remains a mystery of enfolded inwardness that no other person can possibly enter and know. If we fail to embrace our ultimate aloneness and seek meaning only in communion with others, we wither and die. The farther we travel toward the great mystery, the more at home we must be with our essential aloneness in order to stay healthy and whole. Our equal and opposite needs for solitude and community constitute a great paradox.
From the viewpoint of BELIEFS all doubts are disastrous. From the viewpoint of FAITH, doubt is the indispensable stimulant. To lose one's BELIEFS may not be a loss but a gain: an opportunity. "When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has gained," is an ancient Sufi saying. To lose one's FAITH, however, is catastrophic; the loss of this vital human constituent means mutilation, dehumanization, cynicism, nihilism.