So if being here, you feel more and more alone, it is perfectly good. But I know you have used a wrong word, you wanted to say, “more and more lonely.” If you were feeling alone, you would also have felt a tremendous joy arising in you – the joy that only freedom can bring, a blissfulness that comes to you from your own inner core. And because you are knowing yourself, you know there is no death; hence, there is no need of any security, no need of any protection.
Out of this aloneness arises love – you will be surprised when you hear it – because only a man who is full of joy can be loving. Only a man who is so overflowing with bliss can share, can give it to someone as a present. Love is nothing but sharing your joy – but first you have to find your center of being.
You are asking, “What can I do? Is aloneness my way?”
It is certainly your way too, but it is everybody’s way. It is the only way. But remember to distinguish between loneliness and aloneness: loneliness is a sickness and has to be destroyed; aloneness is a tremendous revolution – freedom from all, no dependence on anything, no fixation. You are enough unto yourself; nothing else is needed.
I am reminded of Alexander the Great meeting Diogenes. Diogenes used to live naked. Outside India, perhaps he is the only one who can be compared with Mahavira.
In India, there have been many great masters who have lived naked, but the West knows only one man, Diogenes. And they have been ignoring him, ignoring his philosophy. But he was such a rare man that even Alexander the Great wanted to meet him, because he had heard so many beautiful stories about the man.
He had heard that he carried a lantern in the daylight, a lighted lantern. And whenever he is asked, “What kind of nonsense is this? First, you are naked; second, in full daylight you are carrying a lighted lantern?” Diogenes used to say, “I am naked because clothes were a dependence. I had to ask somebody, and that I don’t like. And it took me only a few years to become seasoned, just like animals. Now I don’t feel the summer, I don’t feel the rain, I don’t feel the winter; on the contrary, I enjoy the changes of the seasons. And I carry the lighted lantern because I am searching for an authentic man. I want to see everybody’s face to see whether there is a mask or not.”
And people used to ask him, “Have you found anybody with his original face?”
He said, “Not yet.”
Alexander had heard that in the beginning, he used to carry a begging bowl – just like Gautam Buddha. One day he was going to the river because he was feeling thirsty – immensely thirsty. It was a hot summer day, and as he was reaching close to the river, a dog came running by, passed him, jumped into the river and started drinking the water.
Diogenes thought, “This is great! No begging bowl, nothing. He was behind me and he jumps ahead of me. If a dog can manage without a begging bowl, it is beneath my dignity to carry a begging bowl.” First he threw the begging bowl into the river, and then he jumped in, just like the dog, and drank the water. He said, “It was such a joy.”