Aloneness is your nature. You were born alone, you will die alone. And you are living alone without understanding it, without being fully aware of it. You misunderstand aloneness as loneliness; it is simply a misunderstanding. You are sufficient unto yourself.”
They do say misery loves company. From the day we are born into this incarnation we are subtly instructed to look for company, to look for someone or something to hide the loneliness everyone feels.
I have been lonely many times in a crowd. I feel my loneliness more keenly in a crowd than when I am in my home, doing what I do, doing what I do slowly. Loneliness bothers me when I am in the world, not when I am not.
Our society defines success in many ways. One of the definitions of success revolves around how many friends you have. Just look at Facebook for an example. What is the point of Facebook? Is there a point to it? I don’t think there is. i think the whole point is the numbers game played. How many Facebook friends do you have? Do you feel better because you have 10,000 friends on Facebook? Or when you are alone at night, before you fall asleep, do you still feel your loneliness even with all of those Facebook friends? You do. I know you do.
Loneliness is natural. We are alone beings. There isn’t anyone out there, in the world, that can make you feel less alone. You are self-contained. Everything you need, everything you are looking for to complete yourself, is right there in your center. The cure for loneliness doesn’t exist for you in another person or more Facebook friends or more society. The cure for loneliness is yourself.
Years ago someone remarked to me that something worried him about me. He said he was worried because I didn’t have that many friends. It irritated me. It also bothered me that I didn’t have that many friends. I’m not a person who makes friends easily. I don’t let a lot of people into my life. In my experience, the people who have come into my life and claimed friendship with me have been looking for something else.
In my role as a psychic consultant, I counseled my clients on living from their center, not living while directing their energy outside of themselves toward someone or something else they thought would make them happy. I told them first they had to be happy in themselves. Looking for someone to bestow happiness on them was the problem. Happiness isn’t something that comes from owning, possessing, having. Happiness is an energy form that just is.
I have been fortunate in my life to spend much of my time alone. I have actively refused to merge with other people, to spend hours talking about problems on the phone, hours discussing this or that, time to me which was wasted time. I have been the repository of emotional baggage many times to the point where I’ve felt like someone’s wastebasket. I have babysat other people’s neuroses. I have learned that doing these things is in my nature. I have an understanding and empathetic nature. I can sublimate what I want, how I want to spend my time, to someone else who seems to need me more than I need space.
The only problem is that I do need space. I’ve lived my life consciously choosing aloneness over togetherness. I do experience loneliness from time to time. I see it as a clue that I am out of center, that I am not being natural, that something is amiss within me. When I get back to being natural, the loneliness turns to aloneness and I am once again content.
I have learned that unless I can be content with myself, I really cannot be content with someone else around me. I become judgmental, critical and I feel my energy diminish. If I am not content with me and me alone, I am not ever going to be content with anyone else. There will always be something more to have, more recognition, more commitment, more time, more togetherness. There will always be the need for more. Unless I am content within myself.
I am a closed being. I am part of a whole, but the whole doesn’t contain me, I contain the whole. As I learn and grow and expand my idea of bliss, I find that I touch this expansion of love for the whole of existence because I can be alone. I am content to be alone. And when that feeling of contentment leaves me, when I say to myself I need this person or that person or I need this or that, then I am unhappy. I refuse to live my life unhappy.
I don’t often quote the Bible. That’s a taboo with me, being raised in a home where the Bible was taught but not lived. But there is a passage in the Bible that explains this aloneness/loneliness dichotomy and how to get beyond it. It is the passage that reads “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and then all else will be added unto thee.” Yes.
The Kingdom of Heaven was an abstract concept to a little girl and then a teenager. I always envisioned a shiny gold place with a throne and an old man in robes sitting on that throne. I don’t know where that mind picture came from, it was just there. Maybe I saw it one day in a book, I don’t know. I only know that was my concept of heaven.
There were no directions given on how, exactly, to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, other than not breaking any of the 10 commandments or honoring your father and mother – you know all those behavior things the Bible taught so well. There wasn’t any talk of sitting and meditating on the meaning of what was being taught. There were only exhortations given out like an algebraic formula, if you do this, then you will get that.
I didn’t find my path in Christianity and when I was old enough to skip church on my own decision, I did. I was still seeking though. And I read everything. I read books on Judaism, books on every religion I could find and books of the great philosophers. I still found nothing that made my heart sing.
And then one day I met a man, a gorgeous man, I might add, who gave me a book. He gave me Ram Das’ book entitled “Be Here Now.” I wasn’t in the best place mentally, suffering from depression, feeling heavy and hopeless. I could barely concentrate on walking, let alone reading. But I did read that book. And then we discussed it. And I asked him questions because he understood that book better than I. And I started to get it. Slowly I started to get it.
I read that book the first time 41 years ago. And I still slip from time to time, I still get out of center, I still refuse to be here now, I still look outside myself for something, anything to cover over my pain, my loneliness, my sorrow. It’s a good thing I don’t like the taste of alcohol because I can see myself deadening my pain with liquor. Luckily that wasn’t my path. And it’s lucky I never got into the drug culture, didn’t like nor understand the people I met who were always stoned or always high on this or that. I looked at them with a sober eye and decided I wouldn’t be numbing my brain with chemicals either.
No. My path is to take life neat, the way it is. To learn what life is and in order to do this, I have had to be happy with my aloneness. I tried running from it, thinking loneliness was a fault, loneliness was a result of me not being good enough, me not being gregarious enough or interesting enough or just enough. Loneliness was me not being.
The day you decide that all these efforts are failures, that your loneliness has remained untouched by all your efforts, that is a great moment of understanding. Then only one thing remains: to see whether loneliness is such a thing that you should be afraid of, or if it is just your nature. Then rather than running out and away, you close your eyes and go in. Suddenly the night is over, and a new dawn … The loneliness transforms into aloneness. Osho
Being natural. Being now. Being alone …….. that’s the center of living and the jumping off point to everything. That aloneness is the Kingdom of Heaven. I found it.