Guardian article with a twist on the idea of hermits as wise sages. Titled “This reclusive life: what I learned about solitude from my time with hermits.” Byline: “When the chaos of the big city began to drag, Paul Willis wondered if solitude might be the answer. Would his encounters with hermits yield what he wanted?”
The author is disillusioned with visits to two hermits in Arizona and New Mexico respectively. He concludes:
Among the Apophthegmata is a saying by an unknown hermit: “It is better to live among the crowd and keep a solitary life in your spirit than to live alone with your heart in the crowd.”
In other words, if you go into solitude to get away from something, your troubles will probably follow you.