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Published 4 years ago with 36 Comments

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Conversation 7 comments by 5 users
  • daemonk (edited 4 years ago)
    +18

    I think the best quote from Chris (the hermit) was:

    "Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."

    The idea of how our identity and personality really only exist in the collective minds of other people is cool. In isolation, we are freed of the slots that other people try to fit us into and do not need definition, because each and every one of us already "know" who we are.

    • Cuken
      +4

      A part of me wants to believe that at least a small portion of our identity isn't defined by other peoples perception of us. Humans are social creatures, but I'd like to think there are attributes that I have "internally" that define me as a person. When we are "free" of the slots other people place us in, how do you define yourself? Are you caring if you have no one else to care for? Considerate when your the only person to be considerate too. . .

      • vaporwave
        +1

        I think the line is drawn between what you have done and what you would do. Morals vs past. A drastic example would be choosing to save another person's life or your own. People may think that, based on your past decisions, you would sway one way, but only you know what your true actions and reasoning is. When you are left without society, you only have your morals.

        • daemonk
          +2

          I would argue that morals are just a reflection of empathy. Something is bad because if it happened to you, you would feel horrible about it. The ability to put yourself in another person's situation and empathize is what determines right or wrong. If you were living in isolation, how would you empathize? Perhaps with other animals?

        • Cuken
          +2

          Isn't the society you're brought up in a huge catalyst for your moral choices? Easiest example that comes to mind is Middle East versus Western cultures. If you ask either side, they would both claim the other is morally corrupt. Someone going into the forest would take their moral values with them as they were. Maybe over time they would change as the lack of societal influence on them dissipated, but going in as a hermit, the previous influence would still be there. . .

    • couchpillow
      +1

      Does anyone know, off hand, any books that explore this idea? I'm looking for something new to read.

    • FranklinS
      +1

      Lovely

  • Katherine (edited 4 years ago)
    +15

    This is actually a very well-written and -researched article. Interesting story, too. It might be appreciated in /t/longform.

    • Cuken
      +2

      I have removed the Maine link and added in Longfrom. Thanks for the suggestion Katherine.

    • Tadaima
      +1

      Thanks for that link. I use popurls for general news and the Longform section is the best one.

  • hingeattack
    +3

    Wow, I'd have trouble doing that for thirty days.

  • Blavatsky
    +2

    This was fantastic. Thanks for the post. I can't believe this guy didn't just learn to hunt. Especially since he had some experience in his youth with his father.

    Also It leads me to think, how many other hermits do you think are out there that do just that? Hunt, live off the land, never to be seen.

    When I was 18 my plan was to retreat into the woods, say fuck it and just go. Never did it, sometimes I still wonder if I made the correct choice!

    • Cuken (edited 4 years ago)
      +2

      You're welcome! Do you think you'd be happy if you still lived in the woods? If you have goals now, how different would they be if your started on the hermit lifestyle? Right now you may aspire to get a promotion or buy a new car, if you're a hermit you might aspire to save up enough food for winter, or cut enough logs to burn to stay warm etc. Does the latter still sound appealing to you?

      • Blavatsky
        +1

        Sounds appealing in theory but I'm sure not in practice. It blows my mind to think of what would have happened if I had gone that way. The thing about that lifestyle is that you miss out on so much, that is the main reason I never went through with it.

        I'd like to think eventually I can find a happy medium between the two. You know like a get away property way out in the woods. Then once you get sick of it you come back home.

  • kabamman
    +2

    Could you edit the title to include TIL?

    • UpAndRunning
      +6

      TIL you can edit titles in Snapzu. Amazing!

    • Katherine
      +3

      It's not just in TIL, though.

      • Cuken
        +4

        When a snap is part of multiple tribes with different formatting preferences, I wonder what you do. . .

      • kabamman
        +2

        I wonder what the rules should be on that then?

    • Cuken
      +3

      All done :)

  • Kysol
    +2

    Aaaaaaand this is now on my bucket-list. Hide and torment a town for 30 years.

    In all seriousness. That was a great read.

  • bogdan
    +1

    "You speak like a book"... this sent shivers down my spine.

    It's amazing how the culture around us influences the way we express ourselves. This man's only source of information were books... and his language molded into that spoken in books.

    Can you imagine the effect the internet has on us compared to say, how people were years back who only had access to the TV?

  • frohawk
    +1

    Forget Into The Wild, this is a story I want made into a movie.

  • verdacomb
    +1

    It was really weird seeing this article. I just recently started listening to Mysterious Universe podcast. I went back and I'm listening to Season 12 (they just started 14) and they had a long talk about the hermit in the article. I listened to it a day or so before this article came out. Anyways, that's the end of my story. MU is awesome.

  • emmg (edited 4 years ago)
    +1

    "Get enough sleep."
    I've been telling people this for years. They just laugh. The first time I heard this was in an interview with Douglas Coupland...and it is an essential part of my every day life. Thank you for posting this article. It made my morning.

    • Cuken
      +2

      You're very welcome, glad you enjoyed the read! The author did a tremendous job, I look forward to seeing more.

  • SoCalWingFan
    +1

    This is one of the more incredible stories I've read lately. It sounds like part of the reason he wasn't found earlier is because his parents never filed any report that he had gone missing? A lot of circumstances had to really align in this guy's favor for him to be left alone for as long as he was. I honestly can't believe he made it through so many winters...

  • Juka
    +1

    i read all damn what is life

  • KingMe
    +1

    To be without people surrounding you and remaining content to me feels like such a foreign concept. Its connections to other people that make me feel like I have some sense of stability in this chaotic world.

  • cunt
    +1

    This man lived the life many of us wish we could, no worries and in isolation. It's a pity that with today's thinking there arent more communities built with this in mind

    • Cuken
      +2

      I would hate this lifestyle. I think a lot of people look at his situation longingly and wish they could do something similar, but as soon as they enter the situation, they would want out pretty quickly. The article talked about how he had winters where he ran out of food and propane. He had such a crazy will to stay hidden that he didn't bow out and continued on while suffering physical and mental anguish. To me, that's insane. . . Help was within walking distance and his pride kept him from going in.

      • cunt
        +1

        It actually sounds a bit like he was mentally unstable to be honest and maybe he was running away from his problems

    • panzer (edited 4 years ago)
      +1

      He wasn't living like a true hermit, instead of living off the land away from society like hermits do, he was living off the scraps of others. its really not as noble as the author makes it out to be. He could've lived off the land in a place that's more hospitable, but he wanted that lifestyle where he didn't have to interact with society, while also benefiting off of it. He just took and took while never giving back.

      Pretty poor way to live life honestly.

  • Sabokhusky
    +1

    That was a very well written and researched article, and was an absolutely fascinating read! Thank you for sharing. Hard to believe something like this is even possible in our busy, modern, over-crowded world.

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