Rumi: Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you

Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you

– attributed to Rumi, although I can’t find the exact source

Some folks (drama queens like Ken Wilber) say awakening is lonely because there is no “other”.

I have never quite understood it, perhaps because it hasn’t really been my experience.

What I have experienced is loneliness in a very ordinary human sense. I have experienced loneliness because the awakening happened when I was sixteen and, at a human level, there were nobody in my life who understood or could relate to it. And I have experienced loneliness from a belief and emotional issue, rooted in childhood.

But the “lonely because there is no other” doesn’t quite fit my experience. When I notice what I am, and the center of gravity shifts more into that, there is no other and also no I here. It’s all just happening. That’s not lonely.

And what the quote points to is equally valid. When I find myself as capacity for the world, the world happens within me. Whatever is here – people, animals, plants, things – happen within me. And any ideas about the world as a whole and the universe as a whole (which are ideas since they are not here in immediate experience) happens within me. That’s not lonely.

So, yes, I sometimes have a feeling of loneliness – in a very ordinary human sense and for ordinary human reasons. As what I am, it’s really neither lonely or not. And any sense of loneliness happens within and as what I am, just like anything else.

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