One day Brenda came to me expressing her frustration with her daily life. She said, “Dada, I never have any time to myself. I can never sit quietly and meditate or do any of the things that you talk about. I just have so much to do here, with the ranch and garden, our business and the guests. Then I get tired, and Larry and I argue about what are the important things. Our relationship is suffering, quite a lot at times. I don’t know what to do.”
After listening to her, I felt sad about her situation because I knew her sincere urge for spiritual unfoldment. We discussed this issue by sitting together quietly on several occasions. Unfortunately this is what is happening everywhere with many sincere individuals. I have seen this pattern in countless families and with numerous seekers. They have an idea of what spiritual search is, make a plan, then try to meditate for an hour per day at least, do some yogic postures, eat organic food, etc. Thus begins and ends their day, mostly every day. It goes on and on this way to the end of life.
The modern seeker, so occupied with work, immersed in family, busy with projects and activities, finds it very difficult to save time to be totally with himself. He practically abhors being physically alone, and psychologically also he refuses to look inward, even for a short time. People are constantly occupied with their pursuits, doing numerous things. This busy-ness has become a very strong habit pattern, which continues from morning to evening. They refuse to entertain even the idea of some time solely for themselves. People come to think of this pattern as the normal way of living, and then teach it to their children by example. This routine of busy-ness becomes all there is to living.
When we begin to talk about aloneness, whether physical or psychological, most people become nervous. They think that aloneness is a negative state. However, the negation of busy-ness – the constant activity of the mind and body – is not the end of life. Aloneness is not a state of withdrawal. Rather it is the ability to remain free from the influences and pressures of our surroundings. Then, one can experience an intimate relationship with oneself, a contact with one’s own internal energy field. Such a living is a sensitive and creative existence – the life of an uncontaminated being.
The capacity to be alone allows the flowering of a deeper inner confidence, balance and security. The tendency of clinging to people and to material objects is an indication of insecurity. Aloneness – the state of psychological solitude – is a catalyst to develop one’s own inner potential. The creative capacity of man lies in his innerness. Only in aloneness can one remain in touch with the inner flow of Life energy, which is the creative element. But we have built life solely around external relationships, with their stimulations and excitements. There is hardly any freedom or space to invite creative action from the depth of one’s inner being. We rarely make contact with our inner being, with our center, the source.
Is not one’s own silent innerness an integral part of life? Do we even know anything at all about this part of us? Yet isn’t it actually the most important aspect of ourselves? Then why do we neglect it? Why do we refuse to even acknowledge our silent intrinsic existence?
Man carries a creative talent deep down in himself, but he has not recognised this fact fully. Only when he remains still and stops his ceaseless outgoing wanderings in the form of thoughts, emotions and pursuits, will he be able to gather his scattered energy to find balance and centeredness.
Aloneness is the state necessary to enter into this region of inner being. Only by coming in touch with your innerness can you discover this hidden potential, the intense sensitivity. This is fertile ground for the sprouting of creativity. Such a fertile unit of total-ness brings unique freedom and freshness to living. It also brings stability, peace and fullness. Every individual has to find this quality of fullness and stability, which comes into being only when he is in contact with his inner domain.
Such a natural, stable balance within himself is a state of psychological solitude. Only in such aloneness can man find his own inner touch. Herein he experiences what his own being is, his own uncontaminated existence, the life force uniquely his. He begins to feel some traces of a quiet energy below the usual agitated mind. He experiences a different quality of energy, feeling very much at ease and at peace with himself.
Without psychological solitude, man will never find the space to get in touch with the silent, non-thinking, non-verbal innerness. Aloneness is the gate to move deeper within oneself. It is the state in which to find the touch of one’s own uncharted existence.
Aloneness also means freedom from the environmental influences, the constant compulsions of living, and from all society’s conditioning. Such influences of the surroundings pollute our stream of Life energy, Anger, hate, violence and greed are all manifesting themselves around us. We are living in a commercial culture wherein greed and ambition are glorified. Such interactions of all human minds generate psychological and emotional contamination in the space around us. How can one remain uninfluenced by such strong contagious contaminants?
These psychological tendencies create their own field of magnetic influence because they are also living energies. Every thought and emotion creates its own thrust in space, affecting the life around. Like noise pollution, these mental/emotional activities generate their own contaminants, which then influence us in their own way. We may not be able to see or measure easily the degree of harm, but the psychological pollutants are there, affecting us, the society and the world.
Is it not necessary to be free from all such pollutants? The seen as well as the unseen? The psychological as well as the environmental?
Freedom from all influences – social, cultural, emotional and environmental, to name a few – is the state of psychological solitude. The sensitive and creative person eventually senses the emptiness of our usual living. Instead, he feels an urge to find fulfilment in relation with himself. There is this innate yearning, a silent non-ideational longing to be alone with one’s self, with one’s inner domain. It sometimes becomes strong and pulls him back into himself, leaving him psychologically alone and inward.
Through observation and with understanding, I saw that everyone’s mind is formed differently, not only with its hereditary, genetic predisposition, but also the socio-cultural conditioning, habits, preferences and conclusions heaped on top of them. In any contact between people these ingrained, conditioned structures called minds are trying to mesh, to get along, to know each other. But we see each other as if from behind a heavy screen or veil. Therefore it is virtually impossible to relate with total openness, to establish a harmonious relationship, even with the nearest and dearest people around. The perception of this fact pushed me back upon myself, wondering about the nature of all interpersonal relations.
Seeing this inability of communication and the inherent difficulty of harmonious relationships made me sad and thoughtful. I realised that one cannot really know or help the other, although the mind tries to do it. Our help many times becomes a hindrance. We may have an idea of what the other needs or wants, but it may be our subjective idea only. So we have our constant compromises, hurts, adjustments and amendments, and this becomes our way of living.
Many grown-up people find it difficult to establish a right relationship with people of their own age group. Then they get carried away by the thought of loving pets instead. There is not much real love involved in their behaviour, but sentimental and emotional attachment is predominant, more like a one-sided love affair. It is easier for a mind to love a cat or dog than to love people. Therefore such indulgence and escapist behaviour becomes convenient especially for adults.
The mind mechanism can only work very superficially on an external level. Man finds many things to do in order to indulge this limited and superficial functional ability. Constant activity is very easy and becomes a convenient way to avoid that solitary feeling.
It is difficult for man to face himself, his aloneness, which is the reality of life. Every human being is born and enters this world alone. At the time of death, he even leaves the world alone. Between birth and death, he constantly fills up his aloneness with some mundane superficial activities, calling them pleasure, love, social work or whatever. That is how he begins to think that he is created for helping and loving others all the time. This is only a pattern developed over centuries, in response to the mind’s search for convenient, socially acceptable activities and escapes.
Man is not born for romantic love and sentimental attachments alone. But now he has made it the central issue of his life. His everyday concern is to fulfil the emotional attachments to his wife, children, family and society. His whole activity is concerned with glorifying his emotional reactions and protecting this sentimentality towards the near and dear ones. Man is most of the time obsessed with his family and with having people around. Sentimentality and emotionality are nothing but the mind finding its security through attachment.
Men of genius, those with great intuitive capacity and creative ability, did not indulge much in family associations and involvement with friends and relatives. They were not like lovebirds hovering around their wives, children and friends. Their energies and sensitivities were not scattered wholesale in family entertainments and social excitements.
To discover one’s intuitive capacity and to reach the peak of creativity, one has to remain free from mundane and superficial emotional involvement. Such strong attachments toward near relatives, cats and dogs erode and consume the sensitivity and energy. The energy gets scattered, and one is prevented from peak performance. The arousal of one’s intuitive expression from within is the function of sensitivity, and this happens in the unattached state of aloneness and inwardness.
The purpose of human life is not to be busy with the sentimental activities of so-called love, which is mostly just attachment. Rather it is to discover the hidden, intrinsic state, which will bring balance, peace and fullness. The dormant, non-thought, non-verbal energy of the inner sanctuary is going to bring a new touch to the mental apparatus, which will result in the experience of true love and intelligence.
That touch of the benevolent energy will heal the person from inside out, inviting the inner experience of deep contentment and fulfilment. This will lift up and take man beyond the borders of intellect. The intuitive domain will emerge, and non-conceptual thinking shall become the way of living.
Thinking without thought and feeling without emotion will be the new order of relationship. One needs this touch of new excellence, which lies beyond the barriers of emotionality and mundane love.
To experience this new excellence, our constant occupation and busy-ness must slow down to create an interval or gap, which is psychological solitude. In the inwardness of aloneness lies the ethereal gate to go beyond the thought-infested mind.
Then we will experience what the spirit of universality is. We will receive the cosmic touch, which keeps us free from narrowness and self-centeredness. Only with that touch will we realise what real love, affection and caring are. Impersonal intelligence will establish a new order of relationship and will lend a touch of humility and compassion, even to our personal relationships. The limited and exclusive nature of human sentiment and attachment will flower into all-embracing Love.
- --Dada Gavand, an excerpt from ‘Intelligence Beyond Thought’.