Meditation is the way to be with ourselves and to learn to accept our own aloneness. In aloneness, I experiment with being consciously alone as a door to be egoless. In conscious aloneness, the ego can not function. In aloneness, you are not. I have always been comfortable with my own aloneness as an inner source of love, joy, truth, silence and wholeness. When we depend on other people, it becomes a bondage - instead of a freedom. I took this sunday as a meditation to be consciously alone, and to accept all feelings of pain, of not being loved and the fear of being nobody that would come up during the meditation. This meditation goes up and down during the day: at certain moments, I can totally accept my aloneness. It feels fine to accept that I am alone and that I am nobody. At other moments, I feel the pain of not being loved, when the meditation brings up how dependence on other people is a barrier to totally accept my aloneness. I take a coffee at a restaurant. I am the only person that sits alone in the restaurant, while the other guests are couples and families eating sunday dinner. It brings up painful feelings of not being loved and wanting to be needed by other people, when I see how much people cling to each other in the couples and the families. Escaping your aloneness through relationships and needing other people's attention through being a teacher, a politician or by being rich or famous, are ways of escaping the pain of aloneness. But then the relationships are not really love. Only when you are capable of being alone, you can really love. When we can be alone, we discover the inner source of love, which is our true nature. When we can be alone, it open the door to be one with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Is the invisible presence of the Christian fellowship a reality and a help to the individual? Is the Word of God close to him as a comfort and a strength? Or does he misuse his aloneness contrary to the fellowship, the Word, and the prayer? The individual must realize that his hours of aloneness react upon the community. In his solitude he can sunder and besmirch the fellowship, or he can strengthen and hallow it. Every act of self-control of the Christian is also a service to the fellowship. One who returns to the Christian family fellowship after fighting the battle of the day brings with him the blessing of his aloneness, but he himself receives anew the blessing of the fellowship. Blessed is he who is alone in the strength of the fellowship and blessed is he who keeps the fellowship in the strength of aloneness. But the strength of aloneness and the strength of the fellowship is solely the strength of the Word of God, which is addressed to the individual in the fellowship.
All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community. Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when we ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Each of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. ... When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality.
We are all born and someday we'll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.What if our aloneness isn't a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure - to experience the world as a dynamic presence - as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn't be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn't be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can't cool boiling waters in Russia. I can't be Picasso. I can't be Jesus. I can't save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes.
If you had forgotten, it would quickly come back to you. Aloneness was like riding a bike. At gunpoint. With the gun in your own hand. Aloneness was the air in your tires, the wind in your hair. You didn't have to go looking for it with open arms. With open arms, you fell off the bike: I was drinking my wine too quickly.
I have always had the capacity to go within myself and to discover the silence within, the inner meditative quality, the inner source of love and truth - the inner language of silence. Now I also notice that this silence is going deeper, and that I go beyond the ego and disappear into the silence. First this brought up fear, but now I am enjoying this meditation of disappering into the silence and to be nobody. I have started experimenting with this phenomenon to understand how to consciously go beyond the ego: yesterday when I took a cofee at a restaurant, I consciously turned my attention within and disappeared into the silence, which was like finding an inner source of bliss. In aloneness, I experiment with being consciously alone as a door to be egoless. In conscious aloneness, the ego can not function. In aloneness, your are not. When I am walking, I consciously experiment with being with Existence without having the mind constantly commenting. I try to just be wordlessly with the people and situations that I meet on my walk. When I can just be with Existence, it opens the door to be one with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten
deathAloneness has been my constant companion in life. I lost early the people that I loved: first when my young and unmarried biological mother had to leave me because of outer circumstances. I was adopted by a very loving couple, who could not concieve a child. I have always felt naturally loved by them, and I have never really felt that I was adopted. Instead, I have always felt that I did a little detour to be able to be adopted by my real parents. Then my mother died when I was 15 years old after a long sickness. On her funeral I took the decision to never depend on anybody again. Her death created such a deep pain in me that it was also the death of relationships for me. Then my father died when I was 21 years old - and I was completely alone in the world. This created a basic feeling of being alone and unloved in me, it created early a feeling of independence and self-suffiency in me. It also created a basic feeling of not trusting that I am alright as I am, and of not trusting that life takes care of me. This created such a pain in me that I simply repressed the pain for many years in order to survive. These early meetings with death also created a thirst in me to discover a quality, an inner awareness, that death could not take away. Now I can see that these early painful experiences are a blessing in disguise. It liberated me from relationships. I relate with people, but there is always an aloneness within me. I realize that a seeker of truth needs to accept that he is totally alone. It is not possible to lean on other people like crutches. When we totally accept our aloneness, it becomes a source of love, joy, truth, silence, meditation and wholeness. I shared these experiences with a beloved friend and her thoughtful comment was: 'I have my own aloneness.' Aloneness is to be at home in ourselves, to be in contact with our inner source of love, while loneliness is to hanker for other people, to hanker for a source of love outside of ourselves. Aloneness is to come home.
Swami Dhyan Giten
It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.
Sitting on the porch alone, listening to them fixing supper, he felt again the indignation he had felt before, the sense of loss and the aloneness, the utter defenselessness that was each man's lot, sealed up in his bee cell from all the others in the world. But the smelling of boiling vegetables and pork reached him from the inside, the aloneness left him for a while. The warm moist smell promised other people lived and were preparing supper. He listened to the pouring and the thunder rumblings that sounded hollow like they were in a rainbarrel, shared the excitement and the coziness of the buzzing insects that had sought refuge on the porch, and now and then he slapped detachedly at the mosquitoes, making a sharp crack in the pouring buzzing silence. The porch sheltered him from all but the splashes of the drops that hit the floor and their spray touched him with a pleasant chill. And he was secure, because someewhere out beyond the wall of water humanity still existed, and was preparing supper.
There is a need for aloneness, which I don't think most people realise for an actor. It's almost having certain kinds of secrets for yourself that you'll let the whole world in on only for a moment, when you're acting. But everybody is always tugging at you. They'd all like sort of a chunk of you.
the vacuum left by the departing visitor seemed to echo along the hallway and into the walls. It was at those times, when her aloneness took on a darker hue, that she almost wished there would be no more guess, for then there would be no chasm of emptiness for her to negotiate when they were gone.
I feel that whatever virtues the novel may have are very much connected with the limitations you mention. I am not writing a conventional novel, and I think that the quality of the novel I write will derive precisely from the peculiarity or aloneness, if you will, of the experience I write from.
We're all strangers connected by what we reveal, what we share, what we take away-our stories. I guess that's what I love about books-they are thin strands of humanity that tether us to one another for a small bit of time, that make us feel less alone or even more comfortable with our aloneness, if need be.
We're all strangers connected by what we reveal, what we share, what we take away--our stories. I guess that's what I love about books--they are thin strands of humanity that tether us to one another for a small bit of time, that make us feel less alone or even more comfortable with our aloneness, if need be.
As much as I love my family, I enjoy it when the house is empty, because then I know I'm truly alone, as we all are on the planet, after all. Every atom in us is originally from a star. And during my moments of aloneness, I'm most mindful of that; that I'm just another group of matter randomly but wonderfully arranged. That's when I feel my immortality.
If you have been expending lots of energy mingling, counseling, or socializing, you need some down time to recover. Put it on your calendar so you can be intentional about it. And for an hour or so, go to a place by yourself. Read, relax, or do nothing. No one is there to talk to you for those minutes. Enjoy your blessed aloneness for a brief season.
Thom S. Rainer
The key to overcoming aloneness and a feeling of uselessness for one who is physically able is to step outside yourself by helping others who are truly needy. We promise those who will render this kind of service that, in some measure, you will be healed of the loss of loved ones or the dread of being alone. The way to feel better about your own situation is to improve someone else's circumstances.
Ezra Taft Benson
Relationships are a development and a dance between our inner male and female sides. It is a balance and a dance between love and freedom, between aloneness and relating, between strength and receptivity, between closeness and distance, between intellect and intuition, between relaxation and activity and between meeting and leaving.
Swami Dhyan Giten
What are the path of love and the path of meditation? There are basically two different paths to enlightenment. These two paths are The path of love and The path of meditation. The path of love is the female path to enlightenment and The path of meditation is the male path to enlightenment. The path of love is the path of love, joy, relationships, devotion and surrender. The path of meditation is the path of meditation, silence, aloneness and freedom. These two paths has different ways, but they have the same goal. Through love and surrender the person that walks The path of love discovers the inner silence. Through meditation and aloneness the person that walks The path of meditation discovers the inner source of love. These two paths are like climbing the mountain of enlightenment through different routes, but the two paths are meeting on the summit of the mountain - and discover an inner integration between love and meditation, between relating and aloneness. Before I accept to work with a student now, I make an intuitive and clairvoyant evaluation about which spiritual paths that the student has walked before in previous lives. This intuitive assessment gives information about the spiritual level that the student has attained, and it also makes it easier to guide the person spiritually if he has followed a certain path in the past. A female student of mine laughed recently when I told her that she had followed The path of love in several past lives. She commented: "You have told me three times now that I have walked the path of love and silence, but with my head I still do not understand it." But this overall assessment of her spiritual growth uptil now, and of the spiritual paths that she had walked, made all the pieces of her life puzzle fit together - and brought a new, creative light to all her life choices in her current life. A male student of mine, who was a Tibetan monk in a previous life, walks The path of meditation, and I notice how I change my language and the methods that I recommend when I guide him along the path of meditation. I now work with students who walk both The path of love and The path of meditation, which also allows me to discover a deeper integration of love and meditation on my path to enlightenment.
Swami Dhyan Giten
all humans are frightened of their own solitude. Yet only in solitude can man learn to know himself, learn to handle his own eternity of aloneness. And love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other." - The Mountain is Young
Who can depart from his pain and aloneness without regret? Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache. It is not a garment I cast off this day, bit a skin that I tear with my own hands... Yet I cannot tarry longer.
It is extraordinary how the house and the simplest possessions of someone who has been left become so quickly sordid. . . . Even the stain on the coffee cup seems not coffee but the physical manifestation of one's inner stain, the fatal blot that from the beginning had marked one for ultimate aloneness.
MID-TWENTIES BREAKDOWN: A period of mental collapse occurring in one's twenties, often caused by an inability to function outside of school or structured environments coupled with a realization of one's essential aloneness in the world. Often marks induction into the ritual of pharmaceutical usage.
Mastering the art of aloneness doesn't mean living in isolation or never needing the love, support, and involvement of others. It means creating and living a life in which you feel whole and content as an individual on your own; a life in which you can take care of yourself emotionally and financially.
We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with Him - not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything - to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. We cannot find God in noise or agitation.
We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with Him "" not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything "" to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. We cannot find God in noise or agitation.
There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone. The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape. And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand. And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words. In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.
Once the primary bonds which gave security to the individual are severed, once the individual faces the world outside of himself as a completely separate entity, two courses re-open to him since he has to overcome the unbearable state of powerlessness and aloneness. By one course he can progress to 'positive freedom'; he can relate himself spontaneously to the world in love and work, in the genuine expression of his emotional, sensuous and intellectual capacities; he can thus become one again with man, nature, and himself, without giving up the independence and integrity of his individual self. The other course open to him is to fall back, to give up his freedom, and to try to overcome his aloneness by eliminating the gap that has arisen between his individual self and the world. This second course never reunites him with the world in the way he was related to it before he merged as an 'individual, ' for the fact of his separateness cannot be reversed; it is an escape from an unbearable situation which would make life impossible if it were prolonged. This course of escape, therefore, is characterized by its compulsive character, like every escape from threatening panic; it is also characterized by the more or less complete surrender of individuality and the integrity of the self. Thus it is not a solution which leads to happiness and positive freedom; it is, in principle, a solution which is to be found in all neurotic phenomena. It assuages an unbearable anxiety and makes life possible by avoiding panic; yet it does not solve the underlying problem and is paid for by a kind of life that often consists only of automatic or compulsive activities.
Aloneness and all-oneness is our authentic nature. We are always alone and all-one. We came into this planet alone and all-one. We will leave alone and all-one. And also during our whole staying in this world, no matter how we engage in relationships, we continue to be alone and all-one, though we may forget about it or pretend it is not the case. True love has nothing to do with the idea that someone is the other half of my soul and that I need him or her in order to be whole and feel complete. Only when we can be alone and all-one with someone there is true love, regardless of whether that someone is still with us or not. And yet... I miss you...
If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? ...
There must be a solemn and terrible aloneness that comes over the child as he takes those first independent steps. All this is lost to memory and we can only reconstruct it through analogies in later life....To the child who takes his first steps and finds himself walking alone, this moment must bring the first sharp sense of the uniqueness and separateness of his body and his person, the discovery of the solitary self.
Awareness is a choiceless consciousness. Awareness is the capacity to embrace, accept and include both joy and sadness, love and aloneness, light and darkness, male and female qualities and life and death. Through saying 'yes' and accepting both tendencies and including whatever aspect that happens in the moment, we meet our unlimited and boundless inner being. The inner man and woman need to find their own independence and integrity.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Sermon of the Mounts Matthew 5 AND SEEING THE MULTITUDES, HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAINS, AND WHEN HE WAS SET, HIS DISCIPLES CAME UNTO HIM. The multitudes, the masses, the crowd, is the lowest state of consciousness. It is a deep ignorance and sleep. If you want to relate and communicate with the masses, you have to come down to their level. That is why whenever you go into the masses, the crowd, you start to feel suffocated. This suffocation is physical and psychological, beacuse you relate to people, who functions from a very low state of consciousness. They pull you down and you become physically and psychologically tired and drained. That is why a need for meditation and aloneness arises. There is a practice in the life of Jesus that he noves into the crowds of people, but after a few months he goes to the mountains. He goes away from the crowd, to be with God. When you are alone, you are with God. To relate to the masses brings you down to their level of consciousness, but only in the presence of God, you can fly. With the crowd, you can not fly, you become crippled, and the masses will not tolerate if you do not live according to them, according to their level of consciousness. To be able to work with the masses, to be able to help them, you have to relate to them according to their level fo consciousness - and this is tiring and draining. Both Jesus and Buddha moved to the mounatins, to a lonely place, just to be themselves, and to be with God to regain their vitality to be able to come back to the masses where people are thristy. The montain is where Jesus do not need to think about the masses, where he can forget the mind and the body. In that moment of aloneness and meditation, one simply is. This is the inner being, the source of life. And when you are full again, you can share again. AND WHEN HE WAS SET, HIS DISCIPLES CAME UNTO HIM. To talk to the masses and to talk to disciples is two very different things. To talk to the crowd is to talk to people, who are indifferent. The crowd is resisting, defensive and argumentative. To talk to disciples means to talk to people, who have a basic thirst. It means that they are not defensive, they are open to listen to the heart of truth. AND HE OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND TAUGHT THEM, SAYING. Jesus escaped into the mountains from the crowd, but he did not escape from the disciples. He was available to the disciples. In his aloneness, Jesus is with God. And through Jesus, the disciples can feel God. The closer the disciple come to Jesus, the more they will see that Jesus is a silence and emptiness through which God can sing. And the more the disciple himself will become an emptiness, he will also be able to help other people. AND HE OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND TAUGHT THEM, SAYING. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. This is the most fundamental statement of Jesus. With this statement, Jesus has said everything. The "poor in spirit" is exactly what Buddha means with the term Shunyatta - "emptiness", no-self, nothingness. It is when the ego disappears, and you are a nobody, a silence. If you are a nobody, if you are nothing, you are God.
Swami Dhyan Giten
... any woman who accepts aloneness as the natural by-product of success is accepting a punishment for a crime she didn't commit. And she is not acknowledging one of the most precious lessons of the women's movement, the lessons of community ... We may not able to tell women that there is safety in freedom. But we certainly can say, with absolute certainty, that for free women, the only safety is in numbers.
In fact, since the accident, Mom doesn't love anyone. She is marble. Beautiful. Frigid. Easily stained by her family. What's left of us anyway. We are corpses. At first, we sought rebirth. But resurrection devoid of her love has made us zombies. We get up every morning, skip breakfast, hurry off to work or school. For in those other places, we are more at home. And sometimes we stagger beneath the weight of grief, the immensity of aloneness.
Also in contemporary Western society the union with the group is the prevalent way of overcoming separateness. It is a union which the individual self disappears to a large extent, and where the aim is to belong to the heard. If I am like everybody else, if I have no feeling or thoughts which make me different, if I conform in custom, dress, ideas, to the pattern of the group, I am saved: saved from the frightening experience of aloneness.
When we begin to set boundaries with people we love, a really hard thing happens: they hurt. They may feel a hole where you used to plug up their aloneness, their disorganization, or their financial irresponsibility. Whatever it is, they will feel a loss. If you love them, this will be difficult for you to watch. But, when you are dealing with someone who is hurting, remember that your boundaries are both necessary for you and helpful for them. If you have been enabling them to be irresponsible, your limit setting may nudge them toward responsibility.
Innovators and creators are persons who can to a higher degree than average accept the condition of aloneness. They are more willing to follow their own vision, even when it takes them far from the mainland of the human community. Unexplored places do not frighten them- or not, at any rate, as much as they frighten those around them. This is one of the secrets of their power. That which we call genius has a great deal to do with courage and daring, a great deal to do with nerve.
Once you have tasted the nectar of Silence, then whether your eyes are open or closed does not matter. Once you have tasted the nectar of that dimension, then it does not matter whether you are sitting in a room or working in an office or the kitchen or talking to people. The quality of aloneness, the quality of motionlessness, the quality of thoughtfreeness does not get affected by physical or verbal movement.
The death of God left the angels in a strange position. They were overtaken suddenly by a fundamental question. One can attempt to imagine the moment. How did they look at the instant the question invaded them, flooding the angelic consciousness, taking hold with terrifying force? The question was, "What are angels?" New to questioning, unaccustomed to terror, unskilled in aloneness, the angels (we assume) fell into despair.
In Letters to a Young Poe, Rilke says, 'The highest form of love is to be the protector of another person's solitude.' That's what I want. For other people to love each other without having to partake in them, to possess them, to allow them to be their own inside their solitude, to protect that. I wish people respected each other's aloneness. I wish I could write something very beautiful and erotic without worrying about people wanting to use me to fulfill some fantasy-which I have no control over, and often, has nothing to do with me-inside themselves.
...We leave our homeland, our property and our friends. We give up the familiar ground that supports our ego, admit the helplessness of ego to control its world and secure itself. We give up our clingings to superiority and self-preservation...It means giving up searching for a home, becoming a refugee, a lonely person who must depend on himself...Fundamentally, no one can help us. If we seek to relieve our loneliness, we will be distracted from the path. Instead, we must make a relationship with loneliness until it becomes aloneness.
Loving isn't merging, surrendering, uniting with the other. Rather, it's a kind of solitude; of profound aloneness. It induces you to mature and become whole for the sake of your beloved... to truly love another, you must first wholly love yourself. Love therefore exacts the most demanding claim of all; it both chooses you and pursues you, and reaches out, as if over vast distances, to call and draw you into your now and future self." - John VanDyke Wilmerding, ideas put forth inspired by ('after') Rainer Maria Rilke's 'Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
I learned that our deepest need is to overcome our aloneness and our separateness. We seek to escape from separateness in various ways. We seek conformity, mistaking it for union. This is a soul-crushing way to exist. Or we seek union through orgiastic states - drugs, alcoholism, overwork - or through creative activities. But the ultimate escape from separateness is through interpersonal union.
By marrying to soon, many individuals sacrifice their chance to struggle through this purgatory of solitude and search toward a greater sense of self-confidence. They glance at the world outside the family and with hardly a second thought grasp anxiously for a partner. In marriage they seek a substitute for the security of the family of origin and an escape from aloneness. What they do not realize is that moving so quickly from one family to another, they make it easy to transfer to the new marriage all their difficult experiences in the family of origin.
Augustus Y. Napier
Once you have found yourself and accepted your aloneness, then the greatest blessing is to share the love that arises within you. Each new moment presents the richest opportunity to be loving. And you can share love in the simplest of ways. Be soft and gentle. Be caring and kind. Be loving in an ordinary way, without any sense of wanting anything back, Life offers you the most precious gift. The gift of allowing you to be present and share love.
Possibly the only good to come out of these nightmares was that it brought Hans Hubermann, her new papa, into the room, to soothe her, to love her. He came every night and sat with her. The first couple of times, he simply stayed - a stranger to kill the aloneness. A few nights after that, he whispered, "Shhh, I'm here, it's all right." After three weeks he held her. Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man's gentleness, his thereness. The girl knew from the outset that Hans Hubermann would always appear midscream, and he would not leave. (36)
It made me very sad, that question. Sad and defeated. Because I knew she knew why I was thinking about that woman-I was thinking about my own tendencies toward aloneness and I thought I could end up like that woman, with a bird perhaps, or a dog-probably a dog, I know birds are supposed to make good pets but I think there's something creepy about them-but alone with a life that didn't touch or overlap with anyone else's, a sort of hermetically sealed life.
The examen is a form of personal inventory. At day's end, spend time in prayerful reflection on your day: your comings and goings, routines and disruptions, work and play, discoveries and disappointments. Think about who you met, or missed. Think about your moments of aloneness. In all, ask two questions: when was I most alive, most present, most filled and fulfilled today? And when was I most taxed, stressed, distracted, depleted today? A simpler, and more spiritually focused, version of those questions: when did I feel closest to God, and when farthest?
he wanted to sleep inside her lungs and breathe her blood and be smothered. He wanted her to be a virgin and not a virgin all at once. He wanted to know her. Intimate secrets: Why poetry? Why so sad? Why that grayness in her eyes? Why so alone? Not lonely, just alone - riding her bike across campus or sitting off by herself in the cafeteria - even dancing, she danced alone - and it was the aloneness that filled him with love. He remembered telling her that one evening. How she nodded and looked away. And how, later, when he kissed her, she received the kiss without returning it, her eyes wide open, not afraid, not a virgin's eyes, just flat and uninvolved.
In a world of intrusive technology, we must engage in a kind of struggle if we wish to sustain moments of solitude. E-reading opens the door to distraction. It invites connectivity and clicking and purchasing. The closed network of a printed book, on the other hand, seems to offer greater serenity. It harks back to a pre-jacked-in age. Cloth, paper, ink: For these read helmet, cuirass, shield. They afford a degree of protection and make possible a less intermediated, less fractured experience. They guard our aloneness. That is why I love them, and why I read printed books still.
I want you to know that life will try to crack you like an egg and your silence will eventually break. Someday you will spill some of those painful secrets and taste a modicum of much-needed freedom. You will lose a great deal as a result but the gains will outweigh every loss. You will love and be loved by a beautiful man in a place where your mutual passion won't be a marker of shame but pride. You will be awkward and alone and alien for a long time but you will transform these qualities, which is to say yourself, into a work of art. You will wear your awkwardness, your aloneness and your alienness in your hair like gold thread. You will adorn your wonkiness on your wrist like a charm bracelet studded with stars.