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The only state when this does not apply is when we are in the womb. We are an integral part of another being. We live inside her, we grow through her, we feel her feelings. Up till now there are no indications of conscious thought when still in the womb, so the assumption is that there is no individual, separate consciousness. Without such individual separate consciousness, we are one with the mother. The only state of oneness that we ever attain.
Once born, once the umbilical cord Is severed, we start the journey of our aloneness. From then on we go through life and death on our own, and from then on, and until our death, we are trying our best to vanquish this aloneness. For our fear of aloneness is so great we invent ways and means that would give us the illusion of being part of a whole. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are interwoven together. Thus the two people who fall in love, the making of a family, the extended family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Even compatriots and fellow citizens of the same neighbourhood, village, city or country are manifestations of our attempts at conquering aloneness.
We clutch onto the illusion of oneness when we share a joke, have the same thought or idea, when we experience a similar emotion. These are all illusions, for never are these exactly the same. The humour in a joke might be shared, but probably each person perceives the humour differently. Ideas and thoughts might be the same, but they are conceived and perceived differently.
We go through life trying our best to huddle together, to be part of a larger entity, seeking a oneness that would banish our terror of being alone. We make a great deal of noise, we try to drown our aloneness through it, but inevitably we reach a point where we have to face it and deal with it.
One of the terrors many people have of death is the fact that no matter how many people surround you, you still go through it totally alone. We have even heard stories which are forever perpetrated to try to establish them as fact, of people on the brink of death talking to some of their family members or friends who have preceded them. This gives us an illusion that, even in death we are not alone. We are being met and welcomed by people we love who had gone before us.
The concept of aloneness is very frightening, until it is analysed. We are alone. We have lived all our lives alone. The pain, be it physical, mental or emotional, is ours alone. Another being might sympathise, but can never really experience your own pain. All our experiences are gone through alone, except that of childbirth. But even that is perceived differently, from the point of view of the mother and that of the baby.
Aloneness is a normal human state, and the fear of it is something we are born with. Facing it, accepting it and living with it is very rare. We are always trying for the illusion that we are not alone, but we are, each and every one of us is alone. And only when we realise that and accept it, can we have the courage to face, not only life, but death as well.
21 Sept 2015

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