Squirrel and I discuss loneliness in the time of coronavirus. Please do not eat random mushrooms like Squirrel does. Made with love on Orcas Island.
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When Squirrel mentions that human beings barely exist as individual creatures, he’s referencing this quote by trauma researcher Bessel van der Kolk, from The Body Keeps the Score.
“Our culture teaches us to focus on personal uniqueness, but at a deeper level we barely exist as individual organisms. Our brains are built to help us function as members of a tribe. We are part of that tribe even when we are by ourselves, whether listening to music (that other people created), watching a basketball game on television (our own muscles tensing as the players run and jump), or preparing a spreadsheet for a sales meeting (anticipating the boss’s reactions). Most of our energy is devoted to connecting with others.”
“Take your loneliness for a f***ing walk” was a pithy piece of advice given to me by a psychedelic integration therapist in 2019. It remains a favorite nugget of life wisdom.
Sociologist Eric Klinenberg and Ezra Klein discuss loneliness and solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wonderful Wired article on the modern history of loneliness.