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Chapter 4: Darkness: The Substance Existence Is Made Of

I always see light as a disturbance, and darkness as silence. But centuries of continuously fearing darkness.because it became associated with the time when man was living in jungles. The night was the most dangerous time. In the day somehow he managed to protect himself from the wild animals; he managed to kill them for his own food. But in the night he was absolutely helpless. Darkness all around, he was a victim. Any animal was capable of destroying him. In the day he could have managed to escape, to climb a tree or do something, but in darkness he was simply in the hands of wild death. So it was very easy to get a deep association between darkness and death.

All the religions depict death as darkness and life as light. It is simply the experience of man in the past when he lived in the jungles. That experience has molded his language, given it meanings. And he has not yet been able to clean those words again - because now he is not living in jungles, but still there is a certain reason why he continues to be afraid of darkness.

When there is light you are not alone, you can see everybody else. If suddenly the light goes off, the others may be there still, may not be; one thing is certain, you feel lonely. You are no more associated with the crowd. The crowd gives you a certain security, safety, a certain warmth, and you feel that you are not alone. Any danger - so many people are with you. But in darkness suddenly you are lonely, nobody is with you.

And man has not learned yet to know the beauties of his loneliness. He is always hankering for some relationship, to be with someone - with a friend, with a father, with a wife, with a husband, with a child.with someone.

He has created societies, he has created clubs - the Lion’s Club, the Rotary Club. He has created parties - political, ideological. He has created religions, churches. But the basic need of all is to forget somehow that you are alone. Being associated with so many crowds, you are trying to forget something which in darkness suddenly is remembered - that you were born alone, that you will die alone, that whatever you do, you live alone. Aloneness is something so essential to your being, there is no way to avoid it.

You can befool yourself and deceive yourself; you can pretend that you are not alone - you have a wife, you have children, you have friends - but it is all pretension. You know and everybody knows that the wife is alone as much as you are alone, and two alonenesses joined together do not change the situation; instead they make it worse.

As I see it, why lovers are continuously fighting - there may be thousand other reasons, but those reasons are superficial. The basic reason is that they had chosen the other as a beloved, as a lover, to destroy their loneliness - and it has not happened. On the contrary, the presence of the other makes them more aware of their loneliness.

I used to have a very rich friend - he had a beautiful wife, children.all that one needs, perfectly comfortable, so much so that when I asked him, “Now you are fifty, and you have enough money - retire from the businesses,” he did not hesitate for a single moment. He just informed people that he is no more an active participant in any businesses, he has retired.

I was going to Mount Abu; I told him, “It is a beautiful place - “sometime you and your wife should go there. And now you are retired, you have enough time. Be there for a few weeks or months.”

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