The individual exists in society; the individual is the unit of society. Alone you are not an individual, so don’t think that you will become an individual when alone. No, you will not be an individual. If there is no society how can you be an individual? You will be there, and that aloneness will be wholeness. The ego will drop, and it is the ego that gives you the feeling of individuality.
Alone doesn’t mean that you are an individual, alone means that now the dichotomy of society and individual is no longer there. This will give you wholeness. You are not part of anything now. You have become the whole.
This is difficult to express because in language it appears absurd. You cannot imagine how you will not be an individual if you are alone, because if you think and imagine yourself on a hilltop, sitting alone somewhere in a Himalayan cave, you will think of yourself as an individual – because you don’t know what aloneness is. Aloneness means that all thought, all mind, all individuality that was given by society has been left behind. You will become just a space, an emptiness, nobody. Sitting in a Himalayan cave there will be no one who is sitting, just a space.
Buddha was meditating under a tree. It was a full moon night and some young people had come to the forest. They had brought much alcohol with them and a young prostitute. But they took so much alcohol and they became so intoxicated that the prostitute escaped. When they became aware that the girl had left them, they started to search for her. Where did she go?
In their search they reached Buddha who was sitting under a tree meditating. So they said to him, “You must have seen a young, beautiful, nude girl passing by here because this is the only way and it is a full moon night. So you must have seen a beautiful young girl, nude, passing by. Did you see her?”
Buddha opened his eyes and said, “Someone passed by, but I cannot say whether the one who passed was a woman or a man. I cannot say whether the person who passed was beautiful or ugly. And I cannot say whether the person who passed was clothed or naked. Someone did pass – I heard the foot-steps.”
They were amazed and they said, “This is impossible!” Buddha said, “I would not have believed this myself before. When I was a part of society it would have been impossible, but now that I have left society I have left all the conceptions of society as well. Now only nature happens around me. So I heard the sound of someone passing; there was just a sound which reached into my inner space, that is all. Someone passed.”
You become a silent inner space. You are not an individual because you are not a mind. To drop the mind solitude is suggested. And with the mind everything drops. A moment comes when you don’t know who you are – and that is the moment from where real knowledge will start.