I am loving my aloneness. I am feeling fulfilled, nourished, fresh with new energy and ecstatic. However, there are days when I feel lonely. Then I get sad, unmeditative and even grumpy. Osho, can you talk about how to go through the transition period from loneliness to aloneness?
Nirvano, aloneness is the Everest of meditation, the highest sunlit peak. Once you start enjoying aloneness, there is no end to where your joy stops growing. It goes on growing, it goes on spreading; it seems as if the whole universe is full of joy and full of fragrance. Aloneness is the greatest achievement in life but certainly there is a painful period of transition.
Man ordinarily lives in loneliness. To avoid loneliness, he creates all kinds of relationships, friendships, organizations, political parties, religions and what not. But the basic thing is that he is very much afraid of being lonely. Loneliness is a black hole, a darkness, a frightening negative state almost like death … as if you are being swallowed by death itself. To avoid it, you run out and fall into anybody, just to hold somebody’s hand, to feel that you are not lonely.
I have seen people when they are walking in the night on a lonely street, they start singing songs. Nobody has ever heard that they are singers! And what suddenly transpires that they become singers? – and loudly. They are simply trying to forget that they are lonely. They are trying to drown themselves in their own voice.
Nothing hurts more than loneliness.
But the trouble is, any relationship that arises out of the fear of being lonely is not going to be a blissful experience, because the other is also joining you out of fear. You both call it love. You are both deceiving yourself and the other. It is simply fear and fear can never be the source of love. Only those love who are absolutely fearless; only those love, who are able to be alone, joyously, whose need for the other has disappeared, who are sufficient unto themselves.
The common psychology of man is of loneliness. He does everything to avoid it. But whatever you do, it is always there, just like your shadow. You may not look at it, but you know it is there. And once in a while you cannot resist the temptation either: you will look and you will find it always there. You cannot escape from your shadow. In the same way you cannot escape from your loneliness just by creating friendships, relationships, marriages, organizations – religious, political, social. They give you a little relief, but they don’t transform anything.
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.
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.
The transition period is a little painful and difficult because of old habits but it won’t be long. And the way to make it short, bearable, is to enjoy your aloneness more and more. Make it a point that when you are enjoying your aloneness, you are not miserly. Then sing and dance, then paint. Do whatsoever you always wanted to do, but you were so much involved in relationships that there was no time left.
Be creative, and the more creative you are, the more rejoicing, the more dancing, the more songful your aloneness becomes. Those periods of sadness, of grumpiness – old habits – will start falling like dead leaves falling from the trees. They also cling for a little while, but they have to fall.
You just have to make your aloneness more and more strong. So you don’t have to do anything with your sadness or your grumpiness, or your fear that the old habit may come back again. You have not to think about that at all. You have to pour your whole energy into the joy of being alone. You have only a certain amount of energy – either you can dance or you can be sad. If you dance half-heartedly, then you are saving energy for sadness. That’s why I insist: live every moment totally and so intensely that no energy is left to be invested in sadness, in misery, in anger; there is simply no energy left.
So the whole effort has to be very positive. Feed and nourish your aloneness with all that you have, pour your love, and you will be surprised that those gaps of sadness and grumpiness are not coming anymore because you don’t have any energy for them and you are no longer in a welcoming mood for them.
And if by chance you find some clouds of sadness coming, just watch. Don’t get identified with them. Remember only one thing: everything passes. So these clouds will also pass. Many times before they have been there and they have passed, so there is no question that this time they are not going to pass away. So why unnecessarily get disturbed? You just let them pass. You remain absolutely unidentified and watchful.
If these two things are remembered, your aloneness gets your total energy so that no energy is left for anything else. But if in the beginning you don’t understand what is total and you are holding something back, then some moments will come. For that, use a watchfulness, unidentified with the moment, as if it has nothing to do with you, as if it is somebody else’s sadness, somebody else’s grumpiness – none of my business. Keep a distance; don’t let them come closer and become one with you.
That’s what I mean when I say, don’t identify. Don’t say, “I am sad,” simply say, “A cloud of sadness is passing in front of me.” Don’t say, “I am angry,” simply say, “A cloud of anger is just at the corner going by.” And it will not leave even a trace on you; it will not even touch you. And once you have become aware that by not identifying you become free of everything, you have a secret key in your hands for freedom from any kind of emotion, any mood, any thought.
This will remind you that you have not been putting your total energy into your aloneness, something is left. So next time, when you are again feeling alone and the clouds have gone and the sky is clear, put in more energy. You never know how much you have. You will know only when you put it into action, when you make the potential actual – only then will you know. When the seed comes to blossom, only then will you know what was hiding in that seed. So many flowers – such a small seed – so much green foliage, such a beauty. But you know only when things become actual.
Much of your life remains unlived; it never becomes actual. That’s why very few people are able to blossom. They live at the minimum – and I teach you to live at the optimum.
Just enjoy everything. When you are alone, laugh. Tell a beautiful joke to yourself, sing. But remember that you have to nourish your aloneness so much that it becomes the most beautiful experience of your life; that no sadness can overtake you; that no past can ever possess you again; that no old habit can get you again into patterns that you know perfectly well are simply misery and suffering.
Two things: one, a totality in aloneness. And if in the beginning sometimes you have not been total and a cloud comes, remain unidentified, far away. Slowly, slowly no sadness comes, no suffering comes, no feeling of loneliness comes.
And that does not mean that you cannot relate with people. In fact, only a person who lives in a beautiful aloneness is capable of relating, because it is not his need. He is not a beggar; he is not asking you for anything – not even your company. He is a giver. Out of his abundance of joy and peace and silence and bliss he shares. Then love has a totally different aroma to it, then it is a sharing. And if both persons know the beauty of aloneness, then love reaches to its highest point, which has very rarely been possible. Then it touches the very stars of the sky.
You cannot even dream of the beauty of it and the benediction of it – because both are overflowing with joy, both are overflowing with laughter, both are ready to give and nobody is asking for anything. Both are ready to give freedom, both are ready to give unconditionally. This love becomes one of the most beautiful meditations, in which two persons melt and merge and become one.
Aloneness does not mean you cannot relate. It simply means you will have to relate in a totally new way, which will not create suffering and misery, which will not create conflict, which will not be an effort – directly or indirectly – to dominate the other, to enslave the other. Because it is not out of fear, it is pure life. Out of fear is only death; out of fearlessness grows everything that is beautiful.
Just a joke for Nirvano. In her aloneness she can think about it.
A priest, a backpacker and Ronald Reagan were flying in a plane. Suddenly the pilot ran in and said, “The plane is about to crash. There are only three parachutes and I am taking one.” And he jumped out. Ronald Reagan grabbed the next parachute and said, “I am the smartest man in America and America needs me.” Then he jumped too.
The priest turned to the backpacker and said, “I am an old man. You take this last parachute and jump.” The backpacker laughed and said, “Don’t worry Father, the smartest man in America just grabbed my backpack and jumped.”
From The New Dawn, Chapter 27
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation