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"Party of One:The Loner's Manifesto" by Anneli Rufus, according to the SF Chronicle, "belongs on that short shelf of books that revise how we think about human behavior."
Of course like the classic new book about introverts by Susan Cain, it was written by someone who self-defines as part of the party in the book title.
Rufus makes an important point that loners and introverts are not synonymous categories;
and not all loners are Unabombers.
And leave it to a "non-Christian book" to include some great lines about solitude and spiritual formation.
- "Nonloners learn by imitation....by sharing; by comparing notes, nonloners decide what is true. It is telling that in at least two major religions and important milestone in spiritual progress is called Confirmation."
- "Like Elvis Presley, Merton basked in the benefits of a charisma fueled largely by his loner status."
- "It [anchoresses in the anchorhold] was a solitude totally absolute yet utterly dependent on the aid of outsiders."
Loners know about those demons. Even the least spiritual and least neurotic has known solitude so deep that you can hear a pin drop at the bottom of your soul. The brave let it bounce and abide, rather than run to the corner bar or seize the remote control. It happens when doubts, regrets, choices made and chances missed swoop out of the crannies into which we have stuffed them. Even the most secular of us has said 'I wrestled with my demons.' p. 149