Chapter 69: You Are Unknown to Yourself
Loneliness becomes the mirror. Society is the deception. That’s why you are always afraid of being alone - because you will have to know yourself, and you will have to know yourself in your nudity, in your nakedness. You are afraid. To be alone is difficult. Whenever you are alone, you immediately start doing something so you are not alone. You may start reading the newspaper, or you may put on the TV, or you may go to some club to meet some friends, or you may go to visit some family - but you must do something. Why? Because the moment you are alone your identity melts, and all that you know about yourself becomes false and all that is real starts bubbling up.
All religions say that man must move into solitariness to know himself. One need not be there forever, that is futile, but one has to be in solitude for a time, for a period. And the length of the period will depend on each individual. Mohammed was in solitude for a few months; Jesus for only a few days; Mahavira for twelve years and Buddha for six years. It depends. But unless you come to the point where you can say, “Now I have know the essential,” it is a must to be alone.
This technique is concerned with loneliness.
Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills, habitations. Thence comes the end of mind pressures.
Before we enter this technique three other points about loneliness must be understood. One: to be alone is basic, foundational - that is how your being is. In the mother’s womb you are alone, totally alone, and psychologists say that the hankering for nirvana, for enlightenment, for salvation, for paradise, is really a deep imprinted memory of the experience of the mother’s womb. You have known it - the total aloneness - and the bliss of it. You were alone, you were God. No one else was there. No one disturbed you, no one interfered. Alone, you were the master. With no conflict the peace was intrinsic. Silence was there, no language. You were deep in yourself. You are not consciously aware of the fact but it is deeply imprinted, it is there hidden in the unconscious.
Because of this, psychologists say that everyone thinks that life in childhood was beautiful. And ever country and every race thinks that somewhere in the past was the Golden Age - somewhere in the past, life was blissful. Hindus call it satyuga, age of truth. In the past, somewhere, the very, very past, before history began, everything was beautiful and blissful. There was no conflict, no strife, no violence. Only love prevailed. That was the Golden Age. Christians say that Adam and Eve lived in Eden, in the garden, in absolute innocence and blissfulness. Then came the fall. So the Golden Age is before the fall. Every country, every race, every religion, believes that the Golden Age was somewhere in the past. And the strangeness is that howsoever deeply into the past you move, this was always believed to be so, always.