It is beautiful to be alone, it is also beautiful to be in love, to be with people. And they are complementary, not contradictory. When you are enjoying others, enjoy, and enjoy to the full; there is no need to bother about aloneness. And when you are fed up with others, then move into aloneness and enjoy it to the full.
Don't try to choose – if you try to choose you will be in difficulty. Every choice is going to create a division in you, a kind of split in you. Why choose? When you can have both, why have one?
My whole teaching consists of two words, “meditation” and “love.” Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.
The Problem: Choosing Between Aloneness and Relationships
It has been one of the greatest problems down the ages. And down the ages man has suffered much because the problem has not been understood rightly – people have chosen. Those who have chosen relationship are called the worldly, and those who have chosen aloneness are called the monks, the otherworldly. But both suffer, because they remain half, and to be half is to be miserable.
To be whole is to be healthy, happy; to be whole is to be perfect. To remain half is miserable because the other half goes on sabotaging, the other half goes on preparing to take revenge. The other half can never be destroyed because it is your other half! It is an essential part of you; it is not something accidental that you can discard.
In fact, you can enjoy aloneness only if you can enjoy relationship. It is relationship that creates the need for aloneness, it is a rhythm. When you have moved in deep relationship with somebody, a great need arises to be alone. You start feeling spent, exhausted, tired – joyously tired, happily tired, but each excitement is exhausting. It was tremendously beautiful to relate, but now you would like to move into aloneness so that you can again gather yourself together, so that again you can become overflowing, so that again you become rooted in your own being.
In love you moved into the other's being, you lost contact with yourself. You became drowned, drunk. Now you will need to find yourself again. But when you are alone, you are again creating a need for love. Soon you will be so full that you would like to share, you will be so overflowing that you would like somebody to pour yourself into, to whom to give of yourself. And this is a rhythm.
Accepting Life In All Its Dimensions
I say, don't choose. I say, live both in their togetherness. Of course it needs art to live both. It is simple to choose and be attached to one. Any idiot can do it. The man of intelligence would like both. You can have the cake and eat it, too – that is intelligence.
Be alert, aware, intelligent. See the rhythm and move with the rhythm, without any choice. Remain choicelessly aware. See both the extremes. On the surface they look opposite, contradictory, but they are not. Deep down there is a complementariness. It is the same pendulum that goes to the left and to the right. Don't try to fix it at the left or at the right; if you fix it you have destroyed the whole clock. And that's what has been done up to now.
Accept life in all its dimensions.
And I understand the problem; the problem is simple, well known. The problem is that when you start relating, you don't know how to be alone. It is not that relationship is wrong, it simply shows that you are still not intelligent enough, so relationship becomes too much and you don't find any space to be alone and you feel exhausted and tired. Then one day you decide relationship is bad, it is meaningless: “I want to become a monk. I will go to a Himalayan cave and live there alone.” And you will dream great dreams of being alone. How beautiful it will be – nobody encroaching on your freedom, nobody trying to manipulate you; you don't have to think of the other at all.
Understanding How Love and Meditation Complement Each Other
Jean-Paul Sartre says, “The other is hell.” That simply shows that he has not been able to understand the complementariness of love and meditation. “The other is hell” -- yes, the other becomes hell if you don't know how to be alone sometimes.
But you have become attached, and the other has become attached to you. The other is also in misery, because you are her or his hell, just as he or she is your hell. Both are creating hell for each other and both are clinging to each other, afraid to lose because... anything is better than nothing. At least something is there to hold on to, and one can still hope that tomorrow things will be better. One lives in despair and goes on hoping.
Then sooner of later one starts feeling it would be better to be alone. But if you go into aloneness for a few days it will be tremendously beautiful – for a few days. Just as there is a honeymoon in a relationship, there is a honeymoon in meditation, too. For a few days you will feel so free, just to be yourself, nobody there to demand, nobody there to expect anything from you. If you want to get up early in the morning, you can get up; if you don't want to get up early in the morning, you can go on sleeping. If you want to do something, okay; if you don't want to do anything, there is nobody to force you.
For a few days you will feel so tremendously happy – but only for a few days. Soon you will become tired of it. You will be overflowing and have nobody to receive your love. You would like somebody to welcome your energy, to receive your energy. Now, aloneness will look not like aloneness but loneliness. Now there will be a change – the honeymoon is finished. Alone will start turning into loneliness. You will have a great desire to find the other. In your dreams the other will start appearing.
Intelligence: Having Aloneness Together with Relationship
The choice of being alone has created a very sick humanity. And the people who live in the world are not happy, and the monks are not happy – nobody seems to be happy. The whole world is a constant misery, and you can choose – from one misery to another, you can choose this-worldly misery or that-worldly misery, but is is misery all the same. For a few days you will feel good.
I am bringing you a new message. The message is no longer to choose – remain choicelessly alert in your life, and become intelligent rather than changing circumstances. Change your psychology, become more intelligent. More intelligence is needed to be blissful! And then you can have aloneness together with relationship.
People should be taught that nobody can love twenty-four hours a day; rest periods are needed. And nobody can love on order. Love is a spontaneous phenomenon. Whenever it happens, it happens, and whenever it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. Nothing can be done about it. If you do anything, you will create a pseudo phenomenon, an acting.
Real lovers, intelligent lovers, will make each other alert to the phenomenon: “When I want to be alone that does not mean that I am rejecting you.” This is intelligence.
Ordinarily, you think you are rejected. You go to your woman and if she is not willing to be with you, or not very loving to you, you fell great rejection. Your ego is hurt.
Love Gives the Freedom to Be True to Self
This ego is not a very intelligent thing – all egos are idiotic. Intelligence knows no ego; intelligence simply sees the phenomenon, tries to understand why the woman does not want to be with you. Not that she is rejecting you – you know she has loved you so much, she loves you so much, but this is a moment she wants to be alone. And if you love her, you will leave her alone...
And if the man wants to be alone, an intelligent woman will leave the man alone so he can again gather together his being, so that again he has energy to share. And this rhythm is like day and night, summer and winter; it goes on changing.
Love gives freedom and love helps the other to be himself or herself. Love is a very paradoxical phenomenon. In one way it makes you one soul in two bodies; in another way it gives you individuality, uniqueness. It helps you to drop your small selves but it also helps you to attain to the supreme self. Then there is no problem: Love and meditation are two wings, and they balance each other. And between the two you grow, between the two you become whole.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
St. Martin's Press. ©2001. www.stmartinspress.com
Love, Freedom, and Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships
In our post-ideological world, where old moralities are out of date, we have a golden opportunity to redefine and revitalize the very foundations of our lives. We have the chance to start afresh with ourselves, our relationships to others, and to find fulfillment and success for the individual and for society as a whole.
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About the Author
OSHO is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of our time. Beginning in the 1970s he captured the attention of young people in the West who wanted to experience meditation and transformation. More than a decade after his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.