“So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
and say for you that the sun don’t shine?”
– Ralph McTell, Streets of London
We all live in the same universe, but in different worlds, as Mooji says. In one sense, we are all radically alone. I cannot experience your experience. You cannot experience my experience. Nobody can live for me, or die for me, experience pain for me, or joy for me. Nobody can cry for me, or laugh for me, or dance for me. I go through all of that in radical aloneness.
But to stay with that aloneness, to face it, to sink into the great mystery of it, that is the key, for that is where we discover true compassion. We realise that on the deepest level we are all, every single one of us, in exactly the same situation. And so, even though we are all alone, we are not alone, alone. We are alone, together. Alone, with everything and everyone. Alone, with thoughts, sensations, feelings, sounds, smells, as they arise and dissolve in the vastness. Here, we are alone with all of life, intimate with it, inseparable from it. Aloneness is not loneliness.
Thoughts come to visit, sensations dance for us, feelings surge up, all kinds of sounds and smells appear; even the appearance of others permeates our aloneness, and how beautiful it is to be met so deeply by everything and everyone. Even the sun shines for us here. It is a great love affair. How impossible it is to feel lonely, when you remember this inseparability from all of life. Existence becomes a celebration of our cosmic aloneness, rather than a flight from it or a fight against it.
When we run away from our cosmic aloneness out of fear we start to feel “lonely”. We lose touch with the vastness of all life, and we identify as “The One who is Alone”, a vast limitation of who we are. We become “The Lonely One”, “The Separate One”, and we feel totally disconnected, isolated, shut-off, and then we seek connection in all kinds of ways, through food, money, alcohol, sex, spirituality…
Right at the heart of your feelings of loneliness is a great secret – that you are not lonely, that you can never be lonely, for you are one with life itself, alone with everything, always in the presence of a very dear and old friend. The universe sings and dances for you.
We may be alone, but we are alone, together, always.