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Why this habit of escaping aloneness


Published by Penguin Books India
The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2
Chapter #6
Chapter title: Aloneness is ultimate
1 September 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code: 7809010
ShortTitle: SOS206
Audio: Yes
Video: No
Length: 0 mins
After a tidal wave of events, and with the memory of a profound experience, I face new aloneness. Efforts to share or escape into distractions have bad results. why do I cling to this habit of escaping aloneness?
Amrito,a Aloneness is ultimate. There is no way to be anything other than alone. One can forget it, one can drown oneself in so many things, but again and again the truth asserts. Hence, after each profound experience you will feel alone. After a great love experience you will feel alone, after a deep meditation you will feel alone.
That’s why all great experiences make people sad. In the wake of a profound experience, sadness always settles. It is because of this phenomenon that millions of people don’t hanker after profound experiences; they avoid them. They don’t want to go deep in love, sex is enough. Because sex is superficial, it will not leave them alone. It will be fun, an entertainment; for a moment they will enjoy it and then they will forget all about it. It will not bring them to their own center. But love brings you to your center; : love is so profound that it leaves you alone.
This will look very paradoxical, because ordinarily people think love will make you aware of togetherness. That is utter nonsense. If love is deep it will make you aware of aloneness, not togetherness. Whenever anything goes deep, what happens?you leave the periphery of your being and you fall into your center, and the center is all alone. There only, you are; or not even you, but only a consciousness with no ego in it, with no identity in it, with no definition in it, an abyss of consciousness.
After listening to great music, or after penetrating into the meaning of great poetry, or seeing the beauty of a sunset, . it always happens that in the wake of it you will feel sad. Seeing this, millions have decided not to see beauty, not to love, not to meditate, not to pray, to avoid all that is profound. But even if you avoid truth, truth bumps upon you sometimes. Unawares, it possesses you.
You can distract yourself for the moment, but no distraction is going to help. Aloneness has to be accepted because it is ultimate. It is not an accident, it is the very way things are. It is Tao. Once you accept it, the quality changes. Aloneness is not creating sadness. Your idea that you should not be alone, that is creating sadness; your idea that to be alone is to be sad is creating the problem. Aloneness is utterly beautiful because it is profoundly free. It is absolute freedom; how can it create sadness?
But your interpretation is wrong. , Amrito. You will have to drop your interpretation. In fact, when you say I face new aloneness, you really mean you face new loneliness. And you have not seen the distinction between loneliness and aloneness.
Aloneness, misinterpreted, looks like loneliness. Loneliness means you are missing the other. And who is the other? – a Any excuse that helps you to drown your consciousness, any intoxicant: it may be a woman, a man, a book, anything anything that helps you to forget yourself, that takes away your self-remembrance, that unburdens you from your awareness.
You mean loneliness, really. Loneliness is a negative state: the other is missed and you start searching and seeking for the other. Aloneness is immensely beautiful. Aloneness means a moment when the other is no longer needed, you are enough u into yourself so enough that you can share your aloneness with the whole existence. So inexhaustible is your aloneness that you can pour it unto the whole existence and it will still remain there. You are rich when you are alone, you are poor when you feel lonely.
The lonely person is a beggar; his heart is a begging bowl. The alone person is an emperor Buddha is alone.
And, Amrito, what has happened to you has been aloneness, but your interpretation is wrong. Your interpretation is coming from your past experiences, from your past mind. It is from your memory. Your mind is giving you a wrong idea. You drop the mind. You go into your aloneness: watch it, taste it. All the aspects of it have to be looked into. Enter into it from all the possible doors; it is the greatest temple there is. And it is in this aloneness that you will find yourself and to find oneself is to find God.
God is alone, and once you have looked into it without the mind interfering you will not want to be distracted at all. Then there is nothing to distract, then there is no need to be distracted. Then you would not like to escape from it because it is life, it is eternal life. Why should one want to escape from it? And I’m not saying that in this aloneness you will not be able to relate. In fact, for the first time you will be able to relate.
A lonely person cannot relate because his need is so much. He clings, he leans upon the other. He tries to possess the other because he is constantly afraid: If the other goes, then what? I will be left lonely again. Hence, so much possessiveness exists in the world. It has a reason. The reason is simple: you are afraid if the other leaves, then you will be left alone, utterly lonely. And you don’t like that, and you feel miserable even with the idea of it. Possess the other! Possess the other so totally that there is no possibility of the other escaping from you. And the other is also doing the same to you: the other is trying to possess you. Hence love becomes a miserable thing. Love becomes politics; love becomes domination, exploitation. It is because lonely people cannot love.
Lonely people have nothing to give, lonely people exploit each other. Naturally, when you have nothing to give and the other starts exploiting, you feel offended. You want to exploit the other and not be exploited; that’s where politics enters in. You want to give as little as possible and get as much as possible and the other is doing the same to you, and both are creating misery for each other.
I have heard…
A man stopped his car deep down in the woods and started being very loving to the woman who was sitting by his side. But the woman said, Stop.! You don’t really know who I am. I am a prostitute, and my fee is fifty dollars.
The man gave the woman fifty dollars, made love to her. When it was finished he sat silently at the steering wheel without moving.
The woman asked, Now why are we waiting here? It is getting late and I want to go back home.
And the man said, Sorry, but I must tell you, I am a taxidriver… and the fare back is fifty dollars.
This is what is happening in your love-relationship: somebody is a prostitute, somebody is a taxi-driver. It is a bargain, it is titfortat. It is continuous conflict. That’s why couples are continuously fighting. They cannot leave each other; although they go on fighting they cannot leave. In fact that’s why they are fighting so that nobody can leave. They cannot be at ease because if they are at ease then they will be at a loss and the other will exploit more. Once you see the point you will understand the whole misery of marriage: the whole foundation of it is there.
One wonders why people don’t leave each other if they are not happy with each other. They cannot leave! They cannot live together, they cannot separate either. In fact, the very idea of separation is creating the conflict. They cripple each other so the other cannot escape, even if he or she wants to escape. They burden each other with such responsibilities, such moralities, that even if the other leaves he or she will feel guilty. His own conscience will hurt, will pinch him that he has done something wrong. And together, all that they do is fight. Together, all they do is a continuous haggling for the price. Your marriage, your so-called love, is a marketplace. It is not love.
Out of loneliness there is no possibility of love. Out of loneliness people start meditating; out of loneliness there is no possibility of meditation either. They are feeling lonely and they want something to stuff themselves with. They need a MANTRA mantra, T transcendental M meditation or all that kind of nonsense. They would like something to stuff themselves with because they are feeling empty and lonely. Repeating Rama, Rama, Krishna, Krishna or Ave Maria or anything, will help them to at least forget emptiness themselves. This is not meditation! This is just covering up loneliness, emptiness. This is just covering up a black hole in yourself
Or, they start praying in the churches and in the temples and they start talking to God. Now God is their imagination. They cannot find the other in the world because it is too costly to find the other in the world and it takes so much trouble; so now they create ‘the other’ high up there in heaven they start talking to God but they cannot live without the other, the other has to be there. They may escape into the desert, but even in the desert cave they will be looking at the sky and talking to the other. This is fantasy and nothing else. And if you go on talking for long, you may start hallucinating that the other is there.
Your need is such that you can create the other through imagination. That’s why the so-called religions have tried to take you away from the others that are ordinary and available. They would like you not to get married why? –because if you are married and you have a woman, a man, you don’t need a God. It is a strategy: they will not allow you to be in the marketplace because then you are occupied and you will not feel your loneliness. Then why should you talk to God? You can talk to people. They will take you to the Himalayan caves, to the monasteries, so that you are left so lonely that out of the misery of loneliness you have to talk to God, you have to create a God to your heart’s content. And then the deeper your starvation for the other is, the more is the possibility of visions of God. Those visions are nothing but illusions, dreams seen with open eyes. It is like when a person is put on a long fast, he may start imagining food, he may start seeing food.
I have heard about a poet who was lost in a forest for three days, hungry. And then came the fullmoon night. He looked at the moon and he was surprised, because all his life, whenever he had seen the full moon he had always remembered beautiful faces of women, his beloveds, things like that; but that day, after three days of starvation, tired, hungry, thirsty, he looked at the moon and he saw white bread, a chapati floating in the sky above the clouds. He could not believe his eyes! What kind of poetry is this? A great poet, and the full moon looks like a chapati!
And you all know that if you are starved of something too much, you will start substituting it with imagination. If you have lived in a forest alone for many days and you have not seen a woman, even the ugliest woman in the world will look like Cleopatra.
Mulla Nasruddin goes to a hill station. He has a bungalow there. Sometimes he says, I am going for three weeks, but by the second week he is back, or even after seven days or ten days.
I asked, Nasruddin, many times you say I am going for three weeks and four weeks”’, then you come within two weeks!. What is the matter?
He said, There is something in it. I have kept a woman there to look after the house. She is the ugliest woman horrible she is, repulsive she is! Just to look at her and one feels like vomiting.
But I asked, But what has she to do with it, with your coming early?
He said, There is a story in it. When I go to the hill station, she looks horrible. But slowly, slowly after four, five days, she is not so horrible. Then after eight, ten days, I start seeing some beauty in her. The day I start seeing beauty in her is the day I escape, because that means enough is enough! I have lived away from the world too much, away from my woman; now even this horrible woman has started looking beautiful! That simply means I have starved myself too much. So that is the criterion; whatsoever I saythree weeks, four weeks is not the point. The real criterion is the day I see the woman is beautiful, and I start fantasizing about her, then I pack up my things and I escape. I know the woman is horrible, and if I stay one or two days more, then there is going to be danger I may fall in love with this horrible woman.’!”
Loneliness cannot create love, it creates need. Love is not a need.
Then what is love? Love is luxury. It comes out of aloneness, when you are tremendously alone and happy and joyous and celebrating, and great energy goes on storing in you. You don’t need anybody. In that moment the energy is so much, you would like it to be shared. Then you give, you give because you have so much, you give without asking anything in return that is love. So very few people attain to love, and those are the people who attain first to aloneness. And when you are alone, meditation is natural, simple, spontaneous. Then just sitting silently, doing nothing, you are in meditation. You need not repeat a mantra, you need not chant any stupid sound. You simply sit, or you walk, or you do your things, and meditation is there like a climate surrounding you, like a white cloud surrounding you you are suffused with the light. You are immersed in it, bathed in it, and that freshness goes on welling up in you. NOW YOU Now you start sharing. What else can you do? When a song is born in your heart you have to sing it. And when love is born in your heart love is a by-product of aloneness you have to shower it. When the cloud is full of rain, it showers, and when the flower is full of fragrance, it releases its fragrance to the winds. Unaddressed, the fragrance is released. And the flower does not wait to ask What is coming back to me in return? The flower is happy that the winds have been kind enough to relieve him of a burden.
This is real love; then there is no possessiveness. And this is real meditation; then there is no effort.
Amrito,w What has happened to you is something immensely valuable: just your interpretation is wrong.
You say, “After the tidal wave of events and with the memory of a profound experience, I face new aloneness.”
Please don’t call it aloneness, or if you call it aloneness then try to understand its nature.
Efforts to share or escape into distractions have bad results.
They are bound to have bad results because it is aloneness, really aloneness. You will miss something if you escape from it. It is escaping from your own innermost treasure. It is escaping from your richness, from your own kingdom. The result will be disastrous. Don’t escape; dig deep into it, dive deep into it. Forget all escaping. That’s what, Amrito, you have been doing your whole life. This time, no! This time you have to go into it. This time you have to taste it in its totality. You have to become it. You have to see what it is, root and all. And once you have seen it and lived it, you will come out of it a totally new person, reborn.
I have been watching you since the day you came here. I have continuously been watching you, I have been around you, I have been looking into your eyes, your face: something profound HAS has happened but MUCH MORE much more is going to happen! If you escape you will miss the ‘much more’ that is on the way. No! This time, no! Many times you have done it, for many lives you have been doing it. This time drop all fear, drop all memories. Go into the newface of aloneness. It is really aloneness, it is not loneliness. You need not escape. If you escape from loneliness you will feel good. If you escape from aloneness you will feel bad.
Efforts to share or escape into distractions have bad results.
Don’t share right now. Let it gather, let it become a cloud full of rainwater; then the sharing will happen of its own accord. There will be no effort to share. Right now, if you start sharing, it will be again just a way of finding the other in the name of sharing. It will be escape. Sharing has to be allowed to happen on its own. You just go on gathering this aloneness and one day you will see that the fragrance is released to the winds. One day you will see that the sharing has started. You will be a witness to it; you will not be a doer, but only a witness.
Why do I cling to this habit of escaping aloneness?
Because you have not yet understood it as aloneness! You go on interpreting it as loneliness. And I can understand it, this is how everybody does it.
When you feel aloneness for the first time you interpret it as loneliness, because that is a known phenomenon. You have felt it all your life. The moment the child leaves the mother’s womb, the first experience is of loneliness: he starts feeling lonely, he had to leave his home. The greatest trauma that happens is when the child has to leave the womb. He wants to cling to the womb, he does not want to go out of it. For nine months he has lived there, he has loved the space, the warmth, and he has been so beautifully taken care of, with no responsibility, no worry. Why should he leave? He is being thrown out, expelled. He does not want to go out. Life we call it birth but the child thinks it is going to be death. It is death to him, because it is the end of the life that he had known for nine months. He is shocked, he feels punished. And he cannot think yet, so the feeling goes very deep into the body. It is a feeling of his total being, not a thought, hence it permeates every cell of his body and remains there. That is the first experience of being lonely.
And then again and again many more experiences will come. One day the mother takes the breast away, and the child is again lonely. Someday the child is removed from the mother and the nurse starts taking careagain lonely. One day he Is not allowed to sleep in the mother’s room, he is given a separate roomagain lonely. Remember the day in your childhood when you had to sleep alone in a room for the first time: the darkness, the coldness, nobody there surrounding you. And it had never been so before; the mother’s warmth, her soft body, had always been available. Now the child clings to a toy a teddy bear but is it a substitute? Or he clings to the blanket, but is it a substitute? A poor substitute, but somehow, he manages. He feels feds very lonely, dark, left, thrown away, rejected. These are the wounds that go on gathering and go on making the idea of loneliness deeper and deeper. Then one day he has to leave the home and go to the hostel with strange people, unknown. Just remember all these wounds; they are there! And it goes on and on.
Your whole life is a long process of feeling lonely. Then by chance some profound experience happens, and because of that profound experience you have a glimpse of your being. – b But your whole mind knows only loneliness, so it transforms the experience of aloneness into loneliness. It labels it as loneliness.
The experience of solitude is defined as solitariness.
That’s where, Amrito, you are missing.Forget the interpretation; that’s where you are missing. T This is really something new that is happening. It is new, so you cannot figure out what it is. The only way to know is to go into it, to be acquainted with it. Just as Master Lu-tsu said, It is like when you drink water only you know whether it is cool or warm.
Now drink this aloneness, this fresh energy that is welling up in you. Drink it, taste it, and you will be surprised: it is nothing like what you have known before. It is freedom, freedom from the other. It is what in the East we call MOKSHA,moksha, utter freedom. And after this freedom, love will become possible. After this freedom, sharing will happen. After this freedom, your life will have a totally different significance, a totally different splendor to it. Your hidden splendor will be released.
–From The Secret of Secrets, Vol. 2, Discourse 6



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