Does being alone worry you? Well, perhaps not worry you so much as wishing perhaps that you were not on your own? I have spoken about being on our retreat for 10 years here in Spain, but I’m thinking more of the daily task type of solitude.
The solitude that I enjoyed, apart from the singular company of my partner was really as far as the rest of the community’s effect when I was on my own in the crowd and not being able to speak a word of the language! The lessons were hard but worth every moment to me spiritually especially as we did not move from the two bases we chose, one after the other as our homes, to refurbish and make liveable.
Nevertheless even when we were home together we spent most of our time apart divided between the outside garden and workshop or the inside library. That was to begin with which slowly began to change as I was convinced to start the blog and he was elected as the best responder to spiritual questions many times on the Internet and became spiritual Grandfather to many. (Now mainly in French)
Nowadays we both spend many hours communicating with people all over the world on many subjects of current interest.
But what I’m really getting at here is the amazing difference between working alone and in the company of another. You know we affect one another just by being there and more so by looking at each another, you know, catching the eye as they say. Even if one of us is an animal like a cat or a dog! Did you know that we actually affect one another when we look at each other? When you catch a dog’s eye have you noticed the shiver of expectation, the brightening of the eye and the perking of the ears that happens? When you look at someone you may sometimes get the response, ‘What?’ When you look at your own image what do you think?
I admit I concentrate, with an intense focus, and therefore work better in silence on my own, but there is a subtle difference between loneliness and working alone, perhaps not so subtle for some, but there need be no change at all in the feelings that come to us when we observe a simple but often and seemingly more and more often ignored or disbelieved fact these days.
Baba puts it like this:
Devotion (Bhakthi) is the continuous flow of love which is unchanging, sincere and pure (Nithya, Sathya, Nirmalam). There is no one who is devoid of devotion; deep within the core, everyone has the feeling of kinship with all creatures. If you have no love, you are like the lamp without the flame. The presence or absence of the feeling makes a lonely man miserable or makes one likeable to many. Love of the pure type is like a bright light. It is not polluted by hate nor is contaminated with greed. Faith in God and faith in doing good is very essential. Also you must have faith in the concept of merit and sin (punya and papa). This will help you examine each act and consider its consequences before taking the action. Devotion makes you aware of the Lord, who sustains and supports every being and brings you nearer and dearer to Him.
– Divine Discourse, Oct 12, 1964.
If you can look carefully at what Baba said all those years ago, in 1964, the same applies today. The phrase:
The presence or absence of the feeling makes a lonely man miserable or makes one likeable to many.
But the one thing that Baba leaves out is that: with devotion the lonely man will make himself more likeable to himself! (Look in the mirror again).
So often the experience of loneliness and being alone leads to other more desperate feelings within, but the knowledge and the love of devotion brings with it the utter conviction that you are never alone. In fact you are watched and loved with a love greater than any human experience can bring.
Also with devotion loneliness changes its face and becomes freedom, a special kind of freedom enveloped in love!
Be free, exercise your gift of Free-will in the knowledge and Love of the Lord.
Become Devoted, Love, David