In my experience, reason neither enables nor supports empathy or social justice.
Loneliness is interesting. People who are experiencing what they call loneliness say it’s because there are few or inadequate people in their circle of acquaintance/friendship/love, but how many people are out there that seem socially and emotionally very well connected, and yet they still complain of being lonesome? It’s not a rare complaint.
Is it defined by number of peers, social activity, or emotional? Neither of the first two. There are those who live rather “cloistered” or secluded lives and don’t complain of loneliness. It’s just not a problem and they don’t show any stress related to it.
What loneliness stems from is an error in the development of a sense of identity. Ever notice that those who are deeply involved in spiritual practices seem to have less complaints of loneliness? Even church goers, those who are followers rather than seekers, often have serious anxiety related to it?
They are more concerned about what others think? Yes, and when confronted with a crisis of faith their adopted group identity falls away. They are confronted yet again with the sense of insecurity that made them seek to identify with a group.
What if they’ve never found the group identity first and didn’t need it, but just in finding themselves this develops? In that case it’s what in the yogic school of thought they refer to as right identification. You can approach identification from the other side, inside out, and discover that you have things in common with people and this will be solid and strong. It won’t require faith to endure.
Example; A young male in his formative years discovers there are some anatomical and factual similarities that he has with his father, so at least initially has right identification with his father. Then the peer pressure kicks in and right identification gets buried under a lot of traditional nonsense. The young boy recognizes he’s like his Dad, so he begins to observe more closely and seek interaction with his father. This is when the father may realize that the son is seeking teaching, and will inculcate his own sense of identity into the young person including a lot of deluded nonsense.
He starts to see differences, causing isolation and loneliness as he loses the identification? Yes actually. This initial right identification also highlights alienation potentially. In some cases the parent feels they are being very responsible, and they begin teaching the young person their place before they can even really seek to question on their own.
Is that linked with adolescence and rockers? Yes. A lot of the trends in teens are a sublimation of the search for identity. Telling the young boy he can’t have what originally he’s aware he has, will often make him seek something in contrast to his raising because the initial rejection or perversion of right identification leads to a natural and instinctive anger.
So sometimes the natural psychological development is subverted. The little boy is taught to be a little man, and therefore when he would be ready to process concepts of identity he’s already very conditioned and feels serious guilt. Guilt in breaking from what he’s conditioned to and in even feeling the need to. They come to so identify with their role, their ego, that when the reality surfaces they feel lost and alone which is regrettably the truth, but not for the reason they attribute it to.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.