Loneliness is when you hanker for something, some occupation; when you hanker for the other and you miss the other, that is loneliness. And when you have started enjoying it, the beauty, the austere beauty of being alone, the silence, the stillness, the joy of just being, breathing in the sun, just sitting under a tree doing nothing, listening to the birds, just being utterly herenow, and a great joy arises…aloneness.
But before that joy, there is going to be much pain. It happens only when you have passed through your pain. The pain is just like when somebody wants to leave alcohol; he will feel much pain because he has become addicted to alcohol. Now he will go through withdrawal symptoms. The body will ask, the mind will ask, because they always become settled with routines: the mind will say “I need alcohol”; the body will say “I need alcohol”. There is great thirst, great urge – “What are you doing?” And you will feel great pain.
If you can persist and remain patient and watching, withdrawal symptoms will disappear sooner or later. It depends on you. If you are really determined to go into it, those withdrawal symptoms will disappear.
You are feeling withdrawal symptoms. You have become addicted to the other. Now for the first time you are taking a courageous step of being lonely: the pain will be there. It is a birth pain, pain of growth. It will disappear, nothing to be worried about. It is good, because it is not going to harm you. Escapes harm, encounters never. Facing a truth is always maturing, helps you to become integrated. Escaping from the truth is living a lie. You can deceive, but you are simply deceiving yourself and nobody else, and you will be the loser in the end.
If one starts allowing this pain…Let it be. Note that there is pain, but don’t do anything about it. Let it be. An old habit is disappearing…it hurts. Slowly, slowly you will see your inner sky changing – from darkness to light, from loneliness to aloneness. Aloneness is the joy of being yourself. Loneliness is the misery of missing the other. Aloneness is positive, loneliness is negative.
And the man who can be alone, blissfully alone, becomes a buddha. The man who can be utterly alone has arrived home. His is the great benediction. He is a Sufi.
The third question:
Can you please give me your car?
The question is from Hans Conard Zander. He is a reporter from Germany; he represents the famous magazine Stern.
Coming from Germany and asking for an ordinary Mercedes-Benz? – it is like carrying coal to Newcastle. And this is the only question he has asked. Coming from Germany, from so far away, representing a very reputable, famous magazine, and only this question to ask? It shows much.