Running away from loneliness can be pushing us to always be somebody, to be well thought-of, approved, escape from ourselves. Doing things, being things and getting things.
Can we learn to live with that loneliness and not run away from it, not try to fulfil ourselves through some action?
Can we live with loneliness and not try to transform it, not try to shape and control it?
If the mind can see it differently, then perhaps we will go beyond that loneliness, beyond that despair, which does not mean into hope or a spiritual state of devotion. All that is simply another means of filling the emptiness.
On the contrary, if we can understand and live in that loneliness and not run away from it, but live in that strange loneliness which comes when we are bored, when we are afraid, when we are apprehensive, without condemnation of it, we, in that time, might be truly at home with ourselves, and possibly our higher or deeper self can be awake.
Contentment comes from the natural spiritual life which is formed from within. When that spiritual life comes forth, it lightens all the burdens that humans have. It makes life smooth, floating on the ocean of living. When there is no appreciation, no receptivity, no giving back to the source, we sink like a rock to the bottom of the sea. Which means we become proud and calculating. Instead, in being alone, with loneliness, we ca float like the boat that is in a dialogue with its source, receptive to movement.
Aloneness and awareness make loneliness entirely different. Awareness is observation without condemnation. Awareness brings understanding, because there is no condemnation or identification but silent observation.
If I want to understand something, I must observe, I must not criticize, I must not condemn, I must not pursue it as pleasure or avoid it as non-pleasure. There must merely be the silent observation of a fact. There is no end in view but awareness of everything as it arises. That observation and the understanding of that observation cease when there is condemnation, identification, or justification. This means that the experience of aloneness – loneliness seen through a different lens, can be a critical element of being a problem solver, inspired leader or the inspiration of a family.
Love produces contentment and contentment creates beauty.
If you can feel the life-force within you then you cannot be lonely. You become nourished and satisfied when you spend time walking in the park, around the block with nothing to do. No phone, no earphones, maybe even without the dog to keep you company.
Your material mind and body always craves companionship in it’s own form, physical. That companionship finds itself in doing, being, getting. Like going for a run or a swim and actually doing a certain time or distance. But being alone is more like floating on the ocean without a goal or going for a walk in nature without an objective. Yes, the mind will wander and so we give it a comfort zone by looking for abundance. Abundance is beauty.
Consequently the body, the physical, can be lonely, but not the inspired self. The more the lower minded people absorb themselves in how lonely they feel, the more they focus on the body, then the more lonely they feel, instead, allow that feeling of alone to to enter your openness and feel the discomfort and weight of responsibility, the fear, then transform this feeling into a deep connection to the one and the all, nature, the universe, beauty.
Lonely, you may search for answers, you may decide that, “really what I need is a better job or more profit or do my work better” Now you have another quest and another book list to fill your already over crowded shelf. You meet people and then you say “this is me getting better”. Perhaps after a small time you are forced to recognize “oh no it’s not it”. Then, after twenty or thirty reboots you say “Oh, this spiritual stuff is crappy” I don’t want to navel gaze.
At that point people settle for someone else’s life who is willing to live with them, an empty obedient puppy. By then they may be so disgusted at themselves, that they go out and become self-important, then they persuade themselves that this is the best they can do, they decide to be happy at life and then go home, eat dinner, watch TV, and forget about it.
The point is clear. All this means that you have to be careful if you wish to evolve into an inspired version of yourself, a great leader, a real visionary success, to be alone frequently without digital connectivity. You have to reframe the concept of loneliness and the determination to escape from it, into activity and habit and relationships of need.
If you indulge in them in the long run those escapes overpower you. They take you where you never wanted to go. They can convert your energy into tension, into a self-reinforcing feedback loop. Your task is to remember that you don’t have to get caught up in it in the first place and that loneliness can be seen as aloneness, and everyone on earth experiences loneliness but some, who are aware can enjoy it and it becomes the great anchor of a spiritual foundation.
All this means that you have to be careful. You have to think it through before you let yourself get absorbed in becoming too proud, feeding the appetite of the body and mind, which has the consequence of fear of loneliness. If you indulge in the appetites and let them run you, then in the long run, they over power you. You are success. Being alone each day without digital access for only 10 minutes walking the beach or strolling in a park observing the beauty of it. This will take you where you want to go, where you visualised where you are going.
Your physical, mental and emotional needs alone without the insight of alone time, convert your good inspired energy into tension, in a self reinforcing feedback loop.
In this feedback loop the mind feels isolated and confused because it is afraid of loneliness. It’s ambitions to be away from that loneliness create patterns that seem threatened by the quietness of alone time, then the mind seem so separate and engaged in doing and having that it fears the loss of it.. The KEY is an openness to both, mind (doing and having) and the alone time, quiet thinking time, of being. Then the result is expansion.
To rid ourselves of the fear of loneliness, we must understand the gift of aloneness. Aloneness is not the opposite of loneliness. They are one in the same however, one is beneficial and the other an infliction. We glorify the skills to master aloneness in order to prevent a rift between vision and reality. In city life we must work hard to be alone, alone from all influences, from all compulsions, from all demands, longings, hopes, so that the mind is no longer in the action of frustration. That makes, what happens when we are out in nature, like sitting by a camp fire, or waiting for a fish to bite or just watching the sunset, a needed scheduled task. City life is filled with time schedules and obligations and responsibilities that fill the day, week, month without a single moment of contemplation.
Ultimately, loneliness is the complete sense of not being able to depend on anything, not having anybody to turn to, whereas, aloneness is to embrace that we are connected.
When we have appreciation for the spiritual emptiness within us, the beauty of everything becomes clearer, and then that state of despair which overcomes us and causes us to seek noise to fulfil us, fades in intensity. Then our ideas, thoughts and visions become more expansive. And material things, approval, company performance, people, stimulants loose their automatic hold on us and we enjoy rather than seek to become different to who we are through them by chasing away fear and becoming hooked in compulsion.
Aloneness is essential, it is a spiritual thing. But the mind cannot come to it with a city built understanding of it. The whole problem of loneliness is that it is not seen for it’s worth. All people are, at times lonely, but for those whose city life does not embrace it, they spend so much of their life running to escape it, and in that life, all activities are the activities of escape from frustration. The inspired person is not afraid of loneliness, it is for them the grass roots of truth from which the beauty of work and life can be appreciated. Happiness is happiness, alone or in company, and the action of aloneness is to create that awareness, without changing anything, immunised from our environment, permanently.
Learn To Be Alone
Great composers, artists and inventor’s have always had the capacity to be alone for extended periods of time. The greater their achievements, the more alone they were. Edison, lived, ate and slept in his workshop laboratory for weeks at a time. Interruptions would bring his mind back to the surface layers, so he would immerse himself in the inspiration of silence for days at a time. It was through this isolation that his subconscious mind could access that great ocean of knowledge called the universe. It is from there it can tap really inspired discoveries.
The author has lived for many months in isolation. Even in the company of other people who are isolated it is very difficult to gain the feeling of being alone. I achieve this isolation on my ocean kayak out at sea, alone, going nowhere except out and back and being at one with the swell and knowing that it was not a fight for survival but an engagement in being. This is the experience. And at other times, walking slowly under the pressure of high altitude acclimatisation I have walked up many mountains to sit at dawn, alone and exposed, and experienced this isolation of not knowing how to get home again. These are extremes we can achieve simply walking in a manicured park by becoming absorbed with a phone camera in hand to find a beautiful twig and by photographing it and sharing it on instagram take and give from the moment of aloneness.
Someday, this deeper layer of life will become more widely acknowledged. It will become a vital part of leadership, relationship and health.
What will happen? Mind will not be mind. An era of honesty will be necessary. Where the benefit of aloneness will be treasured in relationship for it on it’s own can be the key to longevity, love and contentment between people.
It has been said that to really know ourselves, our thoughts, our sincerity, or our evil, where nothing can be hidden, we must be alone with ourselves. This is obvious to one who is conscious of the subconscious, it is a natural consequence.
The creative mind, the subliminal mind, can tap the universal sea when it is left undisturbed for long periods (exceeding 3 hours), and, while a person needs to know very little of its contents, they are totally inspired by it. All great thought comes from this deeper level of self-awareness immersed in the universal sea. In contrast to this, a recent study revealed that the average concentration span of children is shrinking. This is not because of the use of computer screens but the adherence of parents to old school multitasking. In other words, the children are being interrupted by parents who cannot themselves, be alone, they must talk and intervene. The issue of adult alone time and ability to be alone therefore impacts their influence on children, concentration, their own awareness of imagined worlds, not screen time.
Children in the countryside grow up differently. They are left alone for significant periods without the parent distracting them and yet, being watched over for care. Getting used to long periods of silence is such a gift.
If the time should ever come when people have the mastery through alone time, aloneness, or loneliness to connect with this ocean of thought, the result will be a remaking of the conditions that exist on earth. This capacity exists only to a very limited degree today, but it is slowly increasing .
LEARNING TO HESITATE
Hesitancy can be so essential to discovery, to further self understanding; but how can there be hesitancy when we know so much, when our minds are so full, when the self- protective armor is so highly polished and all the cracks are sealed from within?
What perspective are we left with when life is measured in steps, seconds, kilojoules, payments and flight schedules? What connection to the trillions of stars is possible from within the threatening dimension of streets, cars, mind noise and competition for resources. This city dweller will eat and drink and pray and meditate and read in order to survive, a self serving strategy of coping, and all this pillages the true humanity within us.
When the mind feels lonely, it turns on the radio, picks up a book, picks up the telephone, runs away from what is into something which is not. Studies reveal that the average business person causes interruption to their thinking every 30 seconds by sipping, ringing, moving, itching, asking, looking, and internet surfing. Emails randomly and in most cases gratefully, interrupt the immersion of focus every 30 seconds. This is not the mark of a genius nor the inspired thinker.
For the average person when there are not the physical demands of everyday living, when the mind becomes aware of its loneliness, it runs away, escapes. The escape, whether into religious contemplation, training for triathlon, a long lunch, a conversation, an email or a cinema, is exactly the same; it is an escape from what is. The person who escapes through drinking is no more troubled than the one who escapes by meditation or Yoga; they are both the same, both are escaping, they fill the moments with doing to escape the being.
The Power of Mental Stillness
You can create perfect calmness of body and mind which will charge you with tremendous energy, give you the power to think great thoughts, the power to hold great determination and not lose any of its force. This we refer to as perfect stillness.
Imagine a machine that has been built for the execution of a most delicate yet most useful purpose; a machine that does what it was made for, and nothing else; a machine that has no losses in motion. Every detail of its work has a purpose behind it. If it were committed to perform other details some of its power and much of its usefulness would be wasted. You are such a machine and properly tended this machine will perform incredibly.
Being alone at times, learning to single task, you develop a calm mind which is a successful mind. This calmness is one of intent and focus not control or uncertainty.
Some of the greatest leaders have been renowned for their solidarity and compassion in circumstances of tension and where others demonstrated volatility of emotion. Napoleon, as an example drawn from the past, never allowed his nearest friend or closest counsellor to know what was passing in his mind nor what affect any news, good or bad, really produced on him. He retained a capacity of steadiness that told nothing. He was a person of perfect stillness;
ALONE TIME _ MAKE EVERYTHING COUNT
Every person whose existence is worth anything to themselves or the world, must at times, daily, be alone with themselves. It is in this unstimulated silence with the gift of thankfulness to nature that you will find the voice of certainty and self-reliance.
This is the magic of silence. (E-tox)
A technique for deep penetration during these short periods of alone time is to let yourself become absolutely weightless. Just imagine that all of your body has absolutely no weight. Sit in a chair, walk or lie on the floor. To be comfortable you just have to imagine yourself completely weightless. You can do this now. Firstly begin to relax each part of your body one by one feel it merge into the earth. Relaxing your hand and your feet and your toes in your fingers feel the body surrender to the earth and as it does it feel yourself become weightless. You don’t have to hypnotize yourself. You simply must come to appreciate that you are not the body and that the body is simply the vehicle. You won’t achieve this by intellectualising, you will achieve this by surrendering the body to the support of the earth and then you will find yourself suspended weightless. (just be aware not to do this in a busy area or while driving)
When you forget your body completely, you can feel like you are floating. Your body does not actually leave the ground you feel like you are outside your body. In all of my classes in yoga and breathing, people continually talk about the experience they had floating in space weightless. This is inspired time. Weightlessness can exist in the moment only when we forget our body, and truly immerse ourselves in witnessing nature.