“Alone” would be the most awful word in the English language, to those who even consider it a possibility to be alone. However, if you had even the faintest glimmer of awareness as the ultimate truth of existence, you would realize how utterly impossible it is to be what we call “alone.” This is the trickery of the ego, the part of us that holds an entrenched belief in separateness. If you really knew the inner workings of things, you would entirely eradicate the word “alone” from your vocabulary. You are an integral part of the jaw-dropping immensity of things. You should remind yourself of this fact on a daily basis. You are one with the stars, the planets, the very galaxy itself. Your kindred soul is the dewy blade grass at your feet, as well as the individual you saw yesterday picking through the trash and wearing tattered clothing, who just happens to be homeless.
The universe is your body writ large. How could you even be alone for a nanosecond if you truly understood this? Because, as so many wise mystics have intuited throughout the untold centuries, we are all part of the one consciousness. And, this is a knowing that transcends religious belief. If you really dive deep enough into the infinite oceanic depths that comprise your being, suffering and the horrific dysfunction that is over-identification with form will all fade away into nothingness. You will see yourself as part of the oneness of things, with all that entails. So, you should go deep within and know how utterly impossible it is to be alone. If you were truly alone, you would have to utterly reject the transcendent dimension that you are an inextricable part of.
At this dimension, you cease to exist as a separate person, and that is the most empowering feeling you will ever encounter in this lifetime. We get glimpses of this interconnected during meditation. If we truly knew this, we would no longer need to incarnate on the physical plane. We could utterly dispense with these physical encumbrances we call bodies. Whenever you are tempted to feel alone, bring forth a remembrance of your oneness with the totality by meditating, walking out in nature, or by engaging in selfless service to others. Finding a way to feel connected to universal love is the way to vanquish loneliness. If you forget who you really are at the deepest level of reality, you will cut yourself from the love that not only pervades the universe, but who you are stripped of the trappings of ego. And, you will cut yourself off from joy, because this transcendent dimension is the origin of all earthly joy. All this takes is the slightest leap of faith – the ability to take one breath, and then another…and then one more, in a state of complete and utter mindfulness, and a willingness to let all thoughts slip away. It is a devotion to the simplicity of this routine that will ultimately liberate you.
This was originally posted in response to a story about a different individual. This person was suffering a nightmarish existence because of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Change a word or two, and it could apply to the person in the story linked below, unfortunately. Such is the sorry state of the treatment of those with psychiatric disorders and the homeless:
Sad. I have worked in the mental health field for thirty years. Currently, I work as the Program Director for a homeless shelter. Yes, heartbreaking stories like this are way too common. We are the repository for the failures in all the other programs and systems, as shelters are the last stop before the gutter. Yet, shelters are among the most chronically underfunded of all social programs. And social services are being slashed left and right. Far too many people are either unwilling or unable to see the warning signs in those succumbing to mental illness.
These factors conspire to make tragic stories like the one in the article even more prevalent. I too was in such a dark place not too many years ago, so I can empathize. Constantly, I hear of people getting caught in a vicious downward spiral, stuck in the horror of the perseverative loop of a dysfunctional thought process, or the insidious trap of destructive behaviors. Like the gentleman who was making lots of money in New York City working for a construction company, albeit in a very stressful job. He went through his daily routine, with perfunctory dedication until one day, his mind suddenly blindsided him and it became his worst enemy. Like some sort of nightmarish ouroboros mindlessly swallowing its own tail. Anhedonia, the horrible inability to experience pleasure even in the slightest thing, set in. His world became increasingly darker and more suffocating, until he ceased working, and he just withdrew into his apartment, waiting for the money to run out. The world became for him an alien and sinister place. His ability to reason things out was severely compromised by his dark thoughts. He felt totally cut off from all that he knew and loved, and a crushing loneliness was his constant companion.
A few weeks before he exhausted his financial resources, he was somehow able to muster up some energy to see me about getting on our waiting list. He told me that he knew he should seek out psychiatric help, but he was so hopelessy stuck in his psychological pain he did not even know where to begin. Eckhart Tolle would say that individuals like the man in this story are not responsible for their behaviors because they are so mired in unconsciousness that they they are incapable of conscious choice. I believe that.This man needs to know that love still exists in the world, that other people still care. I hope that he can get the help that he needs and restore his life to a semblance of what it once was.