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.

Loneliness in the dark night

Heartache and loneliness has come up for me, off and on, over the last few years.

My sense is that it’s from early in life, perhaps even infancy or before. I have an image of my mother seeming preoccupied and absent, and longing for love and a deeper connection. I also have an image of before incarnation where it’s been conveyed to me that it’s time to incarnate, not really wanting to, not speaking up for that part of me, and feeling deeply wounded in the incarnation. A deep sense of loss, loneliness, and heartache, of having (apparently) “lost” the heavenly realm, the divine, and God.

Anything in us that’s not met with love, or recognized as love, will surface at some point in the process of reality waking up to itself. Much of it comes up during the dark nights, and perhaps especially the dark night of the soul. (Following illumination.) What’s surfacing are typically emotions and parts of ourselves we are trained to think of as undesirable, or perhaps even signifying that something is wrong. And it’s not surprising that among these are loneliness, heartache and longing.

These may also be triggered by things happening during a dark night of the soul. We may lose friends. (Who are afraid of what they see happening for us, or try to fix and then give up and retreat, or we “push them away” through our own reactiveness to our pain.) We may lose other things too, such as identities, capabilities and health, and even our earlier and apparently solid and easy connection with the divine. If there is fatigue, we may not be drawn or able to socialize as much as before. And our old ways of socializing may not feel as meaningful as they used to.

Whatever is happening, the “solution” is very simple although not always so easy:

Find love for what’s here, and recognize it as love. (Emotional pain, physical pain, grief, loneliness, heartache, hope, fear and more.)

Notice the stories (a) about what’s happening, and (b) triggering it, and explore these with curiosity. (Inquiry.)

Feel sensations as sensations. Inquire into stories about them (labels, what they mean), and other stories associated with them.

Release tension through shaking. (Neurogenic tremors, TRE etc.)

Find support by others who have gone through it, and other like minded people.

Spend time in nature, and doing simple physical activities.

Also, practically, what was my part in the situations that trigger grief, loneliness and heartache?

For instance, with my first girlfriend, we had a deep soul connection and amazing alignment at all levels. I was deeply committed to the relationship, and saw us getting married and having children together. She already had a son, and understandably wanted us to get married as quickly as possible. I was young and wanted to slow it down, and – perhaps more importantly – I felt paralyzed when she gave me an ultimatum, unable to do or say what I really wanted. So it fell apart. Similar things has happened many times in my life, and much of it is because of getting paralyzed at important moments.

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I listened to Adyashanti talk about aloneness in a Radio Adyashanti episode from December. As he said, aloneness happens on a spectrum.

At one end, it’s aloneness as what we are, as that which has no I or other, as that which is beyond and embraces all polarities including that of I and other.

At the other end, as who we are, as this human self, there is also aloneness.

During an awakening process, there may be very human aloneness of not knowing anyone who understands. That was the case with me for a while. The only people I felt would understand where a few I found in books – the first one was Meister Eckhart. Later on, and especially over the last few years, I have met many I feel understands, and either are or have been going through a very similar process.

Another layer of this sense of aloneness is an aloneness that comes from very early wounds and hurts, an aloneness that comes from beliefs that may sit at a deep and sometimes primal emotional level.

More generally, any belief – any image or thought held as true at any level – seems to come with a sense of isolation, separation and aloneness.

And that’s what it comes down to: images and thoughts either held as true at some level, or seen and felt for what they are. If there is a sense of aloneness, and some uneasiness around it, what images are behind it? What fears are there? What do these fears say? What do I find when I take a closer look at these images and thoughts? What’s more true for me? What does my innate sanity say about it? How is it to meet these beliefs and fears with tender love, with this knowing?

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Bentinho Massaro: The fear of aloneness

Ironically, the way to free oneself from the fear of ‘being alone’ is to let go of the idea of ‘others’ fully, and re-awaken in one’s aloneness. Accept the notion that you, consciousness, will forever be alone… Sink into that sense of aloneness, deeper and deeper, without coming to any conclusions about what it is.

If you wish to realize what Aloneness truly is, and the freedom on the other side of that black hole, you need to let go of the idea that there are others in a world out there that will love you and be with you.

As you let go of that world-view and the fear of eternal aloneness dawns on you – because you are about to let go of the hope that others are a source of love… – let the fear for aloneness come, invite it in, knowing that it is a good sign for it means you are about to break free from it and dispel the illusions from your soul.

Let the fear in as much as you can. Don’t take it serious at all, but sincerely embrace it, invite it, see it, shine your light on it fearlessly, courageously…

And as this fear grabs you by the throat and reaches it boiling point within your embrace of it, within the light of awareness… It will start to disappear…

Suddenly, there is that timeless nothingness left… but the more one stays tuned to that timeless ‘aloneness’, the more one sees that it is this aloneness that contains all the potentials and all the manifestations of all the universes, all beings and all dimensions within it. Thus, this aloneness you feared turns out not to be aloneness, but All-One-Ness.

The only thing that caused fear, was the illusory thought that there even is such a thing as aloneness. That’s why you kept yourself so occupied with hope for ‘others’ to fulfill you.

But now you see, that all others out there, are but a few possibilities projected at any given time, out of this infinite pool of possibilities that lie within this Oneness.

You ARE the One that contains ALL THAT IS.

Everyone you ever met is a portion of you. In the heart of Self, no being is ever separate from another. Only the physical focus of consciousness allows for the illusion of separation to exist.

That’s why it’s such a wanted place. It offers catalyst for quantum leaps like no other dimension can. Suffer while you can. 🙂 Seeing it in this light, the suffering is embraced and as such, becomes sweet and unifying and healing, instead of separating and victimizing.

– Bentinho Massaro