NOTE : The following is an excerpt from the talks of Osho. This piece was originally posted in the online magazine “Osho World, March 2010 edition“. (click to see original post)
Question : Should one first come to terms with one’s own loneliness before entering into a relationship?
Answer : Yes, you have to come to terms with your loneliness, so much so that the loneliness is transformed into aloneness. Only then will you be capable of moving into a deep enriching relationship. Only then will you be able to move into love. What do I mean when I say that one has to come to terms with one’s loneliness, so much so that it becomes aloneness?
Loneliness is a negative state of mind. Aloneness is positive, notwithstanding what the dictionaries say. In dictionaries, loneliness and aloneness are synonymous — they are synonyms; in life they are not. Loneliness is a state of mind when you are constantly missing the other, aloneness is the state of mind when you are constantly delighted in yourself. Loneliness is miserable, aloneness is blissful. Loneliness is always worried, missing something, hankering for something, desiring for something; aloneness is a deep fulfillment, not going out, tremendously content, happy, celebrating. In loneliness you are off center, in aloneness you are centered and rooted. Aloneness is beautiful. It has an elegance around it, a grace, a climate of tremendous satisfaction. Loneliness is; beggarly; all around it there is begging and nothing else. It has no grace around it. In fact it is ugly. Loneliness is a dependence, aloneness is SHEER independence. One feels as if one is one’s whole world, one’s whole existence.
Now, if you move into a relationship when you are feeling lonely, then you will exploit the other. The other will become a means to satisfy you. You will use the other, and everybody resents being used because no man is here to become a means for anybody else. Every man is an end unto himself. Nobody is here to be used like a thing, everybody is here to be worshipped like a king. Nobody is here to fulfill anybody else’s expectations, everybody is here just to be himself. So whenever you move into any relationship out of loneliness, the relationship is already on the rocks. Even before it has started, it is already on the rocks. Even before the birth, the child is dead. It is going to create more misery for you. And remember, when you move from your loneliness you will fall in relationship with somebody who is in the same plight, because no man who is really living his aloneness will be attracted towards you. You will be too below him. He can, at the most, sympathize, but cannot love you. One who is on his peak of aloneness can only be attracted towards somebody who is also alone. So whenever you move out of loneliness, you will find a man of the same type; you will find your own reflection somewhere. Two beggars will meet, two miserable people will meet. And remember, when two miserable people meet, it is not an ordinary addition, it is a multiplication. They create much more misery for each other than they could have created in their loneliness.
First become alone. First start enjoying yourself. First love yourself. First become so authentically happy that if nobody comes it doesn’t matter; you are full, overflowing. If nobody knocks at your door it is perfectly okay — You are not missing it. You are not waiting for somebody to come and knock at the door. You are at home. If somebody comes, good, beautiful. If nobody comes, that too is beautiful and good.
Then, move into a relationship. Now you move like a master, not like a beggar. Now you move like an emperor, not like a beggar. And the person who has lived in his aloneness will always be attracted to another person who is also living his aloneness beautifully, because the same attracts the same. When two masters meet — masters of their being, of their aloneness — happiness is not just added, it is multiplied. It becomes a tremendous phenomenon of celebration. And they don’t exploit, they share. They don’t use each other. Rather, on the contrary, they both become one and enjoy the existence that surrounds them.
Two lonely people are always facing each other, confronting. Two people who have known aloneness are together, facing something higher than both. I always give this example: two ordinary lovers who are both lonely always face each other; two real lovers, on a full moon night, will not be facing each other. They may be holding hands, but they will be facing the full moon high in the sky. They will not be facing each other, they will be together facing something else. Sometimes they will be listening to a symphony of Mozart or Beethoven or Wagner together. Sometimes they will be sitting by the side of a tree and enjoying the tremendous being of the tree enveloping them. Sometimes they may be sitting by a waterfall and listening to the wild music that is continuously being created there. Sometimes, by the ocean, they will both be looking to the farthest possibility that the eyes can see. Whenever two lonely persons meet, they look at each other, because they are constantly in search of ways and means to exploit the other: how to use the other, how to be happy through the other. But two persons who are deeply contented within themselves are not trying to use each other. Rather, they become fellow travellers; they move on a pilgrimage. The goal is high, the goal is far away. Their common interest joins them together.
Ordinarily the common interest is sex. Sex can join two persons momentarily and casually, and very superficially. Real lovers have a greater common interest. It is not that sex will not be there; it may be there, but as part of a higher harmony. Listening to Mozart’s or Beethoven’s symphony, they may come so close, so close, so close, that there may be love. They may make love to each other, but it is in the greater harmony of a Beethoven symphony. The symphony was the real thing; the love happens as part of it. And when love happens of its own accord, unsought, unthought, simply happens as part of a higher harmony, it has a totally different quality to it. It is divine, it is no longer human.
The word ‘happiness’ comes from a Scandinavian word ‘hap’. The word ‘happening’ also comes from the same Scandinavian root. Happiness is that which happens. You cannot produce it, you cannot command it, you cannot force it. At the most, you can be available to it. Whenever it happens, it happens.
Two real lovers are always available, but never thinking, never trying to find happiness. Then they are never frustrated, because whenever it happens it happens. They create the situation. In fact, if you are happy with yourself, you are already the situation, and if the other is also happy with himself or herself, she is also the situation. When these two situations come close, a greater situation is created. In that greater situation much happens — nothing is produced.
Man has not to do anything to be happy. Man has just to flow and let go.
So, the question is: should one first come to terms with his own loneliness before entering into relationship? Yes! Yes, absolutely. It has to be so, otherwise you will be frustrated, and in the name of love you will be doing something else which is not love at all.
Come Follow to You, Vol-4, Chapter-6
NOTE : The questions and answers in this series are compilations of discussions during therapeutic sessions with my clients. These are not generic pieces of advice. I am deeply aware that these answers can seem way too simplistic for people actually going through similar situations. Please comment or connect with me if you find yourself grappling with something I have expressed.