A Lesson from Loneliness

I live alone, and I’ve generally been comforatable with that. I had roommates in my college and grad school years, and for a couple of years after I dropped out, as well. But for more than a decade, I’ve lived alone.

Suddenly, this year, I’m lonely. And it was this year that I got a glimpse behind the curtain, and saw that there’s no one else here. Before, I had largely thought of God as my invisible Companion, with me whereever I go. How could I be lonely? Since that experience, I’ve known that there is nothing to seek, nothing and no one is “with” me… I am part of This and This is noThing. That peek at non-duality changed my comfort with being alone.

But I’m here, and there is a world. The Bible and the Upanishads both teach that God created mankind for fellowship. (Heaven must be boring, eh?) So after one wish for a universe, voilá! There’s a universe. (In Sunday School, I never thought to ask what God made it of when there’s nothing but God.) So now, one part of it is feeling alone. The cure is obvious. Relate more to the world where God is hidden in every form.

The catch is to do it as a giver, not as a taker. To be God’s light shining love. To see myself in everyone. My teacher called this the zazen of being in public.

8 thoughts on “A Lesson from Loneliness

  1. Thought provoking, Jon. It occurs to me we have an either-or re Eastern mysticism and Christian faith.

    I grew up in the latter, and have adherred to it always, since 1956, when I was awakened to God’s love.

    The least you can say about it is that it was given for those who can’t deal with loneliness.

    The other thing is that it is completely social: God, self, and neighbor. Gandhi had it just right, and the Quakers do, too: “there is that of God in everyone”.

    Some day I may experience only the All, but meanwhile personal relationships are the all for me.

    I’ve always felt sorry for people who live alone- perhaps or perhaps not warranted.

  2. Loneliness is a tender feeling. Though similar, there is quite a different feel to alone-ness. Perhaps loneliness is a longing for connection, and alone-ness is recognizing existing inherent connection or non-separation.

    Either way, I extend and ejoy our connection. Jon, you are held in the mind of my heart.

  3. Mark: You said it, brother!
    Larry: I still don’t think it’s as much as a divide as it seems. But you are definitely right about the social aspect, and that, I believe is why there is a world. Just as you can’t see yourself, God can only know Herself through the Creation. Paul often talks about theosis as becoming a perfect mirror, and becoming the light which we reflect.

    So, this chunk of All needs to spend more time getting to know the other reflections, and shine the light.

    Meredith: Thanks.

  4. same feeling i was victimized by after reading ur comments about the lesson from loneliness i also came to the same conclusion that some one is always arround me. He is in my heart n my soul he is al arround me where ever i see where ever i go God lives in me He is arround me He is every thing n im nothing just nothing he is to start me from nothingness n he is to end me to nothingness despite i breath but im not alive i see but im blind i listen but im dead n im sure who has started me , named me He will bring me to re-existance for the sake of my Lord JESUS n for the sake of Lord MUHMMADpray for my rehabiliation

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