Man is lonely and he is carrying the burden of loneliness. And man is said to be an individual. The one who cannot be divided. Organically, it may be true. But as far as the mind is concerned, man is not an individual; he is deeply divided. Man is a huge colony of thoughts. A paranoid thinker.
I am. I think therefore I am. Or I am therefore I think I am. AmI? Me is I and I is me. Me breeds you. You is your ‘me’. Together we are we. We that breeds ‘they’. They are their ‘we’. Together all of us think, therefore, we are. Or together all of us are, therefore, we think that we are. We are deeply into relations.
Man is born alone and dies alone. Here on earth he makes relations with others. Your parents lend you a name. Your relations and attributes define you who you are – beautiful, intelligent, confident, brave or whatever. Together all your relations and you are the society. The ‘I’ is the ego that lives you in the society. In fact your mind is the whole society.
Thousands of centuries of division created by the ego — ‘I’. My God. My religion. My place. My region. My country. My city. My ethnicity. My culture. My society. My ideology. My lineage. My family. My children and me. All these divisions are the divisions bred by the ego. So many divisions that man has wrought to the world, fought millions of wars to establish these divisions and bled millions of persons in pursuit of these divisions. Yet, strangely, man is called individual. One who cannot be divided.
All these divisions that one sees physically are actually psychological. These are the divisions created by the human mind. Deep down man is an undivided individual.
Mind is in fact a division. When you look at something, you look at that from the division of your mind. Your mind cognises a recognition through word. All divisions are of language. You saw a tree. Your mind will either call it by its botanical name or will call it a beautiful tree. What happens is that your mind comes in between the tree and you and creates a division in between you and the tree. This division further coagulates memory. It does not let you see the tree in the tree-ness of being. If you can look at the tree free without a sum total of knowledge of your mind, there is no division. If the language drops, division drops then and there.
Your mind is self-centred. Your mind is in fact a sum total of all your past attributes, behaviour, inclinations, anger, hatred, agony, wounds, pressures, cultures, conditioning, aspirations and so on. It is just like being a memory chip. Your random access memory plays it back and forth. And your useful- ness to the society and society’s usefulness to you makes your mind go. Mind lives in separatism. It is a great separatist. For centuries it has isolated itself by ego. You, your family, your society, your culture, your country, ego stems self-centred division. The world is indivisible. Self-centredness creates the division.
Terming everything in terms of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’, pos- sessions, opinions, ideas, thoughts, you have over- adjectivised ‘me’, over-de- scribed ‘me’. Me is a great separatist. An ego is superior, distinctly powerful as opposed to others. The clothes you wear; the country, the city the area you live in; the house you live in; the vehicle you use, the bank balance you have; the job you have; the school your kids go to — you use all such things to define your self-centredness. Your life is a demonstration of your ego. All your life you keep on looking who is giving you respect by following you or by revering you or by accepting your dominion and who is not. The one who does not care about you is born as your sworn enemy. Now you are hurt and only a prostration will please you. The one who does not recite pleasant intonation of praise for you has no right to exist or the one who does not reciprocate my proposal should vanish. With the ad- vent of social media, today’s ‘me’ has become far more complex than that of emperors who once ruled the world’s mighty kingdoms.
This division makes one live in isolation, a type of solitary psychological cage. That generates loneliness. Human beings are frightened of loneliness. It has become the root cause of all psychological problems in the world. Hu- man despair, wounded-ness, self-inflicting pity, idiosyncrasies, treachery, violence, brutality, conflict are rooted in loneliness.
Loneliness is a fright. Man cannot be lonely. When lonely, one escapes or slips away from loneliness into some entertainment, or play, or club or company of friends, or religion. Escaping further expands the disease and deepens the wound.
In fact, you are ignorant about who you are. You continue to be ignorant all your life. This ignorance creates a deep anxiety that breeds loneliness. Man is born alone and dies alone. Man is alone. Loneliness is created when the mind denies aloneness.
Learn to be alone. Alone- ness is a flowering. Buddha, the awakened. Mahavira, the one who conquered. Both of them embraced aloneness. Aloneness is like accepting existence as it is. Accepting the existence in its true nakedness. Without the veil of knowledge. Buddha realised the truth in aloneness. For six years Buddha experienced aloneness and Mahavira did for twelve years. Aloneness is only a word to convey the opposite of loneliness. In fact alone- ness is being in the oneness of existence. To be one in the oneness of being. Mahavira shed clothes because clothes had society in them. He became naked to be one as one is. Mahavira attained Kaivalya which means absolute aloneness — just one remains in absolute aloneness and oneness of being.
Learn to be alone and not lonely. Life is a play. The play happens on the canvas of your soul. Don’t get too serious about the play. Be playful. Enjoy the playfulness of your being. Play is not essential, your soul is essential. In playfulness, silence dawns. Silence of the creator. Silence speaks in thousands of ways. Language is not essential, silence is.
Mind will always worry. Don’t listen to it. Simply be in the playfulness of life and play your character with in- tensity but don’t become the character. That is the mean- ing of Ram Leela. The play of Ram. World will continue to be in trouble. Let it be. Mind is a crowd. A big crowd. It has enslaved you in it. Don’t value the crowd. Be in the crowd. Remain alone in the crowd. Reborn in your aloneness. The aloneness will continue to be with you always. Let the aloneness take root in you and flower. You will be in bliss.
The author is a spiritual coach and an independent advisor on policy, governance and leadership. He can be reached at aru- firstname.lastname@example.org.