Chapter 2: The Greatest Miracle
To be alone is really the greatest miracle. That means now you don’t belong to any church, you don’t belong to any organization, you don’t belong to any theology, you don’t belong to any ideology - socialist, communist, fascist, Hindu, Christian, Jaina, Buddhist - you don’t belong, you simply are. And you have learnt how to love your indefinable, ineffable reality. You have come to know how to be with yourself.
Your needs for the other have disappeared. You don’t have any loopholes, you don’t have any holes, you are not missing anything, you don’t have any flaws - you are simply happy by being yourself. You don’t need anything, your bliss is unconditional. Yes, it is the greatest miracle in the world.
But remember, the master says, “I am here alone with myself.” When you are alone you are not alone, you are simply lonely - and there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. When you are lonely you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other was there - your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband. It would have been good if the other was there, but the other is not.
Loneliness is absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.
If the whole world disappears this Zen master will not miss anything. If suddenly by some magic the whole world disappears and this Zen master is left alone, he will be as happy as ever, he will not miss anything. He will love that tremendous emptiness, this pure infinity. He will not miss anything because he has arrived home. He knows that he himself is enough unto himself.
This does not mean that a man who has become enlightened and has come home does not live with others. In fact only he is capable of being with others. Because he is capable of being with himself he becomes capable of being with others. If you are not capable of being with yourself, how can you be capable of being with others? You are at the closest quarters. Even with yourself you are not capable of being in deep love, in delight - how can you be with others? Others are far away.
A man who loves his aloneness is capable of love, and a man who feels loneliness is incapable of love. A man who is happy with himself is full of love, flowing. He does not need anybody’s love, hence he can give. When you are in need how can you give? You are a beggar. And when you can give, much love comes towards you. It is a response, a natural response. The first lesson of love is to learn how to be alone.
It is a very significant statement. It has nothing like a parable in it. It is immediate, direct. It is like a roseflower encountering you. You never ask about a roseflower, “What is the parable of this roseflower?” You don’t ask, “What is the meaning of this roseflower?”