Quinn

Alone, in Fullness

The truth is: you are always alone. You always will be, and there is nothing you can ever do to change that. But do you know what it means to be alone?

As an experience, it can manifest existentially (living in an uncaring universe, being cast-out from the Garden, separation from God) or interpersonally (feeling disconnected, lacking support, social anxiety). These experiences are part of the spectrum of human emotions. But aloneness is actually much richer than advertised. Consider that:

There is no one aside from you, no one outside of you, and nothing except your experience. This “page” and the “typing” on it exist to you as such because you perceive them with your senses. Your senses receive sense information, send it to the central processor where it is cross-referenced against an encyclopedic chain of meanings and definitions, and interpreted as a “page” and “typing,” neither of which (cross-referenced and verified) “is you.” Nevertheless, I challenge you to prove your identity, to prove that this page and the words on it aren’t as much as your hand, eye, or the tip of your nose.

Totally preposterous? Look at this image:

This is Ersnt Mach’s self-portrait, drawn from the actual perspective of his eye, and not as the mirror imagines him. Yet his full portrait is not just of the human elements and body parts, but of the entire scene, from the curvature of his brow to his boots extending into his study and through the picture window (this is the drawing that greatly inspired Douglas Harding).

There is nothing inherent in this picture (or your perception) that dictates or presupposes separation. If “alone” is a “disconnection” or “separation,” well, that idea comes from you. At some point you chose to connect “I-ness” with a human body to the exclusion of all the other possible “I’s.” You may not be conscious of it, but you chose the experience of distinction, to try what it’s like “be-ing” a human (L. homo – “man” / humus “of the earth” + PIE *man- “man-creature”). The implications of this act are called “your life.” You began this paragraph as the sole subject in a vast UNI-verse of yourself and became a tiny world, a human being, subject to elation, excitation, and exhilaration, but prone to feelings of confusion, fear and loneliness.

You are alone because *all this* depends upon you, your perception, and your judgment of that perception. You are always alone because you have no one but yourself to rely on, no one to answer to but yourself. Know that every person on the planet operates out of self-interest, the desire to enrich her or his own self. The people surrounding you are there because it serves them in some way. You are hard at work trying to fulfill your desires.

That isn’t a criticism, just the way things are.

Look around and see the play of motivations.  The most crucial, the most important and mother of all motivations is feeling good. That motivation guides every desire and action, from the most criminal act to the highest act of saintly giving and devotion. Your charity, your volunteering, helping those in need of help – even with your good intentions – you would not act if you received nothing in return (i.e. the satisfaction derived from giving without expecting a return, a reinforced feeling of “goodness”).

The people around you are the same way. You may have an amazing groups of friends or a supportive family, but in the end they wouldn’t be there if it didn’t serve their self-interest. The only person you can count on to remain and always be there is . . . yourself!

The pain you feel in loneliness real. But this is only the partial reality. When you look into the *fullness* of being alone, when you go to the true depth, you find not only the painful aspects, but empowerment as well. That empowerment comes from knowing yourself – knowing that you are the responsible party, you are the designer, the shaper of your experience. Even while operating under the perspective of “human being,” you have this power. When you come into a situation there is no rule, no guide dictating exactly how it affects you. Your power is that of your own subjective nature.

Here is the essence of the New Paradigm. When you go to the depth of experience, you see that it is made of nothing. The bulk of material consists of empty space. And when you go to the depth of that emptiness, you witness the font of creativity, the origin of form, the nothingness from which all things are born (as in the Heart Sutra: “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form”). Stated another way: because you are nothing, you can be anything. The New Paradigm way is in becoming established in this awareness.

So the practical importance of this is that we have to become responsible in our lives. We have to stop shifting blame for our problems, and start relying on yourself for solutions. The pain of being alone becomes the power of being alone: you don’t have to wait for anyone else.

Embrace, head on, fearlessly, the aloneness. Don’t be afraid of it. Meditate on it. See what it is. Sit in that aloneness, get to its depth, and realize: with yourself, you are never alone.

You are never alone. And you never will be. We are all one, nothing becomes everything. If you cannot be at peace with being alone you will never really be alive. In the peace and the harmony with being, divine unity is possible.

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