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Being Alone

We feel inconvenient when we are alone because we don’t know who we are. With the other, things are clear, defined. We know the name, we know the form, we know the person – Hindu, Christian, Indian, American – there are some ways to define the other. How to define yourself? Deep down there is an abyss – emptiness beyond definition. You start merging into that. It creates fear. You become frightened. You want to rush towards the other. The other helps you to remain out. When there is nobody you are simply left with your emptiness. Nobody wants to be alone.

The greatest fear in the world is to be left alone. People do a thousand and one things just not to be left alone. You imitate your neighbors so you are just like them. You lose your individuality, you lose your uniqueness, you just become imitators because otherwise you will be left alone. You become part of a crowd, a church, an organization. Somehow you want to merge with a crowd where you can feel at ease, so that you are not alone. To be alone is really the greatest miracle. That means now you don’t belong to any church or organization, you don’t belong to any theology or ideology – socialist, communist, fascist, Hindu, Christian, Jain, Buddhist – you don’t belong, you simply are. And you have learnt how to love your indefinable, ineffable reality. You have come to know how to be with yourself.

Aloneness is the first lesson of Love. Loneliness is absence of the other. Aloneness is very positive. It is an overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that there is no need for anybody else. Even if the whole world disappears, he will love that tremendous emptiness, this pure infinity.

This does not mean that a man who has become enlightened and has come home does not live with others. In fact, only he is capable of being with others. Because he is capable of being with himself he becomes capable of being with others. If you are not capable of being with yourself, how can you be capable of being with others? A man who loves his aloneness is capable of love, and a man who feels lonely is incapable of love. A man who is happy with himself is full of love, flowing. He does not need anybody’s love, hence he can give. When you are in need how can you give?

It is a natural response. The first lesson of love is to learn how to be alone. Try it, to have the feel. Just sit alone sometimes. That’s what meditation is all about – just sitting alone, doing nothing. If you start feeling lonely then there is something missing in your being, then you have been unable yet to understand who you are. Then go deeper into this loneliness until you come to a layer when suddenly loneliness transforms itself into aloneness.

Loneliness is the negative aspect of aloneness. If you go deeper into it, one moment is bound to come when suddenly you will start feeling the positive aspect of it because both aspects are always together.

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