From the beginning there never was a secret, every mystery you have ever wondered about has been hidden in plain sight.

We are the Ātmeśvara Mārga School, and if we took ourselves seriously enough to have an "official" voice, this would be it. We are dedicated to the process of human integration, of moving from the segregated, mechanistic, conditioned state, to the Integrated, unconditioned state of the awake, adult human.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leaving lonely

All is illusion; separation and connection, both.

My teacher recently remarked that he remembered the day he realized he no longer experienced loneliness. How at a certain time, the feeling was no longer there. What does it take to lose loneliness?

To confront the illusion of separation is welcomed. We long for the cozy togetherness of One. Dismantling the illusion of connection is one of the greater challenges of the awakening process. The paradox is that the process of gaining ultimate oneness is a lonely one. In order to achieve it, we must leave the comfort of false camaraderie behind and tread a solitary path strewn with long, lonely stretches of self confrontation.

It takes courage and determination to make this journey. In a sense it is akin to the processes of birth, differentiating and growing up. How painful it is to leave the comfy warm womb and get squished through the dark birth canal. The solitary way to leaving loneliness is a reminder of learning to sleep through the night. A child must learn to comfort herself in order to have a good night's rest. How painful (for us and for others) to begin differentiating in toddlerhood. And growing up - in order to become one with the larger community, we must leave the comfort of family and stand on our own.

How much of the connection we think real, is actually a shared illusion? A common painful story? A way of continuing the false separation? We bond over negative experience....I need you to tell me I'll be alright...I need you to help me feel good about myself...I agree to do the same for you and we'll both feel better about it. Even in the places where we try to make the relationship about accountability rather than co-dependence, we are still dancing in the duality of You and Me.

In the quest for enlightenment, we must learn to recognize false camaraderie when it offers a comforting distraction from the task of learning to be fine with our own company. This loneliness is a temporary condition which will dissolve when we are willing to be with it.