Freedom From the Effects
Of Communal Persuasion
'The Buddhist scripture tells us, 'look within; thou art the Buddha.' The Christian tradition says, 'the kingdom of heaven is within you.' The only thing we really need, to get in touch with the mystery, is ourselves. For the writer, this type of profound self-reliance and self-trust are indispensible. But we can only achieve them when we are away from the opinion of friends, teachers and editors, the manipulation of advertising and shop windows, the influence of conversational wisdom. The only way we can get away from those things is through solitude. Freedom from the effects of communal persuasion is only found when we remove ourselves from community. But even when we are alone, the attitudes and expectations of others shadow us. It takes work to shed the years of relying on other people to validate us.'
--from Writing as a Sacred Path--A Practical Guide to Writing With Passion and Purpose.