Solitude and Obscurity

I was reminded of A Little Learning (is a Dangerous Thing) the other day, and went looking for the text.  Once located, I of course clicked around and refreshed my acquaintance with some of Pope's other famous work. I'm a linguaphile like that.  Anyhow, I was enjoying the zen-like effects of reading his Ode on Solitude until I got to the last stanza:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
   A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
                                   In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
   Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
                                   In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcern’dly find
    Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
                                     Quiet by day.
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
    Together mixt; sweet recreation:
And innocence, which most does please
                                     With meditation.
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
    Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
                                    Tell where I lie.
There was suddenly a little war going on in my psyche.  Zen bubble = popped.

If my life were so intrinsically fulfilling that I didn't need to be 'seen or known' then... Well, the fulfilling part sound good, but then what? Is that even possible, for so social a beast as we?  And frankly I've done a little lamenting and I'd hope that I'm worth a little in my turn.

As my words have never forked lightening, I'd be more inclined to rage against the dying of the light.  Does that make me petty, egotistical, the product of an insufficient mother, or just a blogger? Is it a human failing to need to be seen, or a neutral characteristic of our species?

Fittingly, Pope has something razor-sharp and timeless to say about that too.

Where do you sit on this? Would you trade a happy and fulfilling life for obscurity, or do you strive to be seen? How do you do this and, if you could control others' perceptions, how would you want to be seen?

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