There is a fundamental interpretive dilemma in ancient ethics, which has persisted to this day. It can be characterized as the result of two competing and deeply-ingrained interpretive frameworks, corresponding more or less to the Socratic and Christian understandings of wrong action.
When loneliness arises, one should observe its cause: not a lack of company, but a sense of deficiency in one’s self: an unwillingness to be with oneself. It is true that this deficiency often compels the lonely person towards externals, such as the company that appears to be absent (though this is only the best-case scenario). Yet this simply reveals that one’s self has established itself on externals, for only by so founding itself can its own deficiency, in solitude, manifest as an external need.
Summer has hit the city, popping windows open, laying laundry out on lines and beds out on balconies. Buildings drip sweat from a thousand air conditioners that sputter and strain to cool their insides. In the middle hours of the day, when the high sun burns away any hope of homeostasis, they eject their occupants to the parks, where the poor things squint and jostle and trip over each other. Slowly, pupils contract and eyes open up to a scene that can only be described as a mass social dissection—all the innards and inner workings laid out in the light. The whole skin of the city runs clear as butter in a hot pan.