Key terms: aging, isolation, detachment, contemplation, loneliness, loss of strength
The Hermit is an aging wise man who lives in seclusion. He is devoted to meditation and contemplation. He is interested primarily in the past. His gaze is directed to the left, what indicates looking back in the time. If he would be turned to the other side, it would remind us of looking into the future. That's why he is wrapped in a warm coat, because it embodies the autumn of life.
He has a stick and a lantern in his hands. The lantern is a source of light and the light is a source of knowledge. The Hermit is walking back through his memories and illuminates old thoughts and memories by his lantern. They step out from the darkness. The Hermit gradually goes through his life and evaluates it. Even you can be inspired by him. Dive into your memories and think over what you have managed better and worse up to now. Close your eyes and meditate. Your conscious mind then becomes a lantern, which will brighten the dark corners of your past.
Unsteady walking requires support. The stick in the other hand of the Hermit is a symbol of old age. Years pass by quietly and there is always the need to reconcile with them. The best is to be prepared for the old age in advance.
There are two possible reasons, why the Hermit went into seclusion. He acted deliberately and left the society to gain new energy. To be in the society is often stimulating, but also exhausting. And loneliness helps to concentrate the mind and provides the ability to search for new sources in your heart. However, it is possible, that the loneliness of the Hermit results from lack of interest in his neighborhood. Was he then thrown into his solitude involuntarily? You have to find such a response, that is closer to your personal story.
Think first whether there is someone near you, whose life story resembles the Hermit's one. Someone, who would deserve and appreciate your attention, to be pulled out from his loneliness. Living on the edge of interest may be bitter and painful. Although your old age may be still far away, your forces will certainly wane over the years. And if you are lucky, you will become old one day as well.
Also try to start thinking about yourself as the Hermit would do. Are you not currently in some period, in which to withdraw into seclusion would bring you more benefit? Loneliness can bring relaxation and help you to obtain the needed detached view. It is possible to become the Hermit just for few hours a week. Get out from the carousel of obligations and professional responsibilities – take the time to meditate, relax and think.
If you evaluate that you live your life properly, it gives you pride and new strength. It will then be easier for you to continue in the current effort knowing that each of your steps really brings you a meaning and fulfillment. And if you find out that your way of life does not entirely correspond with your beliefs, you can become the humble Hermit. Perhaps only temporarily. Finding the inner peace is a matter of time and sacrifice.