Aloneness - We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone
Question: You said the other day
that we are born alone, we live Alone and we die alone. Yet it
seems as if from the day we Are born, whatever we are doing,
whoever we are, we Seek to relate to others; in addition, we are
Attracted to being intimate with one person in Particular. Would
you please comment?
Osho: The question that you have
asked is the question of every human being. We are born alone,
we live alone, and we die alone. Aloneness is our very nature,
but we are not aware of it. Because we are not aware of it, we
remain strangers to ourselves, and instead of seeing our
aloneness as a tremendous beauty and bliss, silence and peace,
at-easeness with existence, we misunderstand it as loneliness.
Loneliness is a misunderstood aloneness. Once you misunderstand
your aloneness as loneliness, the whole context changes.
Aloneness has a beauty and grandeur, a positivity; loneliness is
poor, negative, dark, dismal. Everybody is running away from
loneliness. It is like a wound; it hurts. To escape from it, the
only way is to be in a crowd, to become part of a society, to
have friends, to create a family, to have husbands and wives, to
have children. In this crowd, the basic effort is that you will
be able to forget your loneliness. But nobody has ever succeeded
in forgetting it. That which is natural to you, you can try to
ignore -- but you cannot forget it; it will assert again and
And the problem becomes more complex because you have never seen
it as it is; you have taken it for granted that you are born
lonely. The dictionary meaning is the same; that shows the mind
of the people who create dictionaries. They don't understand at
all the vast difference between loneliness and aloneness.
Loneliness is a gap. Something is missing, something is needed
to fill it, and nothing can ever fill it because it is a
misunderstanding in the first place. As you grow older, the gap
also grows bigger.
People are so afraid to be by themselves that they do any kind
of stupid thing. I have seen people playing cards alone; the
other party is not there. They have invented games in which the
same person plays cards from both sides. Somehow one wants to
remain engaged. That engagement may be with people, may be with
work.... There are workaholics; they are afraid when the weekend
comes close -- what are they going to do? And if they don't do
anything, they are left to themselves, and that is the most
You will be surprised to know that it is on the weekends that
most of the accidents in the world happen. People are rushing in
their cars to resort places, to sea beaches, to hill stations,
bumper to bumper. It may take eight hours, ten hours to reach,
and there is nothing for them to do because the whole crowd has
come with them. Now their house, their neighborhood, their city
is more peaceful than this sea resort. Everybody has come. But
People are playing cards, chess; people are watching television
for hours. The average American watches television five hours a
day; people are listening to the radio... just to avoid
themselves. For all these activities, the only reason is -- not
to be left alone; it is very fearful. And this idea is taken
from others. Who has told you that to be alone is a fearful
Those who have known aloneness say
something absolutely different. They say there is nothing more
beautiful, more peaceful, more joyful than being alone.
But you listen to the crowd. The people who live in
misunderstanding are in such a majority, that who bothers about
a Zarathustra, or a Gautam Buddha? These single individuals can
be wrong, can be hallucinating, can be deceiving themselves or
deceiving you, but millions of people cannot be wrong. And
millions of people agree that to be left to oneself is the worst
experience in life; it is hell.
But any relationship that is created because of the fear,
because of the inner hell of being left alone, cannot be
satisfying. Its very root is poisoned. You don't love your
woman, you are simply using her not to be lonely; neither does
she love you. She is also in the same paranoia; she is using you
not to be left alone. Naturally, in the name of love anything
may happen -- except love. Fights may happen, arguments may
happen, but even they are preferred to being lonely: at least
somebody is there and you are engaged, you can forget your
But love is not possible, because there is no basic foundation
for love. Love never grows out of fear. You are asking, "You
said the other day that we are born alone, we live alone and we
die alone. Yet it seems as if from the day we are born, whatever
we are doing, whoever we are, we seek to relate to others."
This seeking to relate to others is nothing but escapism. Even
the smallest baby tries to find something to do; if nothing
else, then he will suck his own big toes on his feet. It is an
absolutely futile activity, nothing can come out of it, but it
is engagement. He is doing something. You will see in the
stations, in the airports, small boys and girls carrying their
teddy bears; they cannot sleep without them. Darkness makes
their loneliness even more dangerous. The teddy bear is a great
protection; somebody is with them.
And your God is nothing but a teddy bear for grown-ups. You
cannot live as you are. Your relationships are not
relationships. They are ugly. You are using the other person,
and you know perfectly well the other person is using you. And
to use anybody is to reduce him into a thing, into a commodity.
You don't have any respect for the person.
"In addition," you are asking, "we are usually attracted to
being intimate with one person in particular."
It has a psychological reason. You are brought up by a mother,
by a father; if you are a boy, you start loving your mother and
you start being jealous of your father because he is a
competitor; if you are a girl, you start loving your father and
you hate your mother because she is a competitor. These are now
established facts, not hypotheses, and the result of it turns
your whole life into a misery.
The boy carries the image of his mother as the model of a woman.
He becomes conditioned continuously; he knows only one woman so
closely, so intimately. Her face, her hair, her warmth --
everything becomes an imprint. That's exactly the scientific
word used: it becomes an imprint in his psychology. And the same
happens to the girl about the father. When you grow up, you fall
in love with some woman or with some man and you think, "Perhaps
we are made for each other." Nobody is made for anyone.
But why do you feel attracted towards one certain person? It is
because of your imprint. He must resemble your father in some
way; she must resemble your mother in some way. Of course no
other woman can be exactly a replica of your mother, and anyway
you are not in search of a mother, you are in search of a wife.
But the imprint inside you decides who is the right woman for
you. The moment you see that woman, there is no question of
reasoning. You immediately feel attraction; your imprint
immediately starts functioning - - this is the woman for you, or
this is the man for you.
It is good as far as meeting once in a while on the sea beach,
in the movie hall, in the garden is concerned, because you don't
come to know each other totally. But you are both hankering to
live together; you want to be married, and that is one of the
most dangerous steps that lovers can take. The moment you are
married, you start becoming aware of the totality of the other
person, and you are surprised on every single aspect --
"Something went wrong; this is not the woman, this is not the
man" -- because they don't fit with the ideal that you are
carrying within you.
And the trouble is multiplied because the woman is carrying an
ideal of her father -- you don't fit with it. You are carrying
the ideal of your mother -- she does not fit with it. That's why
all marriages are failures. Only very rare marriages are not
failures -- and I hope God should save you from those marriages
which are not failures, because they are psychologically sick.
There are people who are sadists, who enjoy torturing others,
and there are people who are masochists, who enjoy torturing
If a husband and wife belong to these two categories, that
marriage will be a successful marriage. One is a masochist and
one is a sadist -- it is a perfect marriage, because one enjoys
being tortured and one enjoys torturing. But ordinarily it is
very difficult to find out in the first place whether you are a
masochist or a sadist, and then to look for your other
polarity.... If you are wise enough you should go to the
psychologist and enquire who you are, a masochist or a sadist?
and ask if he can give you some references which can fit with
Sometimes, just by accident, it happens that a sadist and
masochist become married. They are the happiest people in the
world; they are fulfilling each other's needs. But what kind of
need is this? -- they are both psychopaths, and they are living
a life of torture. But otherwise, every marriage is going to
fail, for one simple reason: the imprint is the problem. Even in
marriage, the basic reason for which you wanted to have the
relationship is not fulfilled. You are more alone when you are
with your wife than when you are alone.
To leave husband and wife in a room by themselves is to make
them both utterly miserable. his whole effort -- whether of
relationships or remaining busy in a thousand and one things --
is just to escape from the idea that you are lonely. And I want
it to be emphatically clear to you that this is where the
meditator and the ordinary man part. The ordinary man goes on
trying to forget his loneliness, and the meditator starts
getting more and more acquainted with his aloneness.
He has left the world; he has gone to the caves, to the
mountains, to the forest, just for the sake of being alone. He
wants to know who he is. In the crowd, it is difficult; there
are so many disturbances. And those who have known their
aloneness have known the greatest blissfulness possible to human
beings -- because your very being is blissful. After being in
tune with your aloneness, you can relate; then your relationship
will bring great joys to you, because it is not out of fear.
Finding your aloneness you can create, you can be involved in as
many things as you want, because this involvement will not
anymore be running away from yourself. Now it will be your
expression; now it will be the manifestation of all that is your
potential. Only such a man -- whether he lives alone or lives in
the society, whether he marries or lives unmarried makes no
difference -- is always blissful, peaceful, silent. His life is
a dance, is a song, is a flowering, is a fragrance. Whatever he
does, he brings his fragrance to it.
But the first basic thing is to know your aloneness absolutely.
This escape from yourself you have learned from the crowd.
Because everybody is escaping, you start escaping. Every child
is born in a crowd and starts imitating people; what others are
doing, he starts doing. He falls into the same miserable
situations as others are in, and he starts thinking that this is
what life is all about. And he has missed life completely.
So I remind you, don't misunderstand
aloneness as loneliness. Loneliness is certainly sick; aloneness
is perfect health.
Ginsberg visits Doctor Goldberg. "Ja, you are sick."
"Not good enough. I want another opinion."
"Okay," said Doctor Goldberg, "you are ugly too."
We are all committing the same kinds of misunderstandings
I would like my people to know that your first and most primary
step towards finding the meaning and significance of life is to
enter into your aloneness. It is your temple; it is where your
God lives, and you cannot find this temple anywhere else. You
can go on to the moon, to Mars....
Once you have entered your innermost core of being, you cannot
believe your own eyes: you were carrying so much joy, so many
blessings, so much love... and you were escaping from your own
treasures. Knowing these treasures and their inexhaustibility,
you can move now into relationships, into creativity. You will
help people by sharing your love, not by using them. You will
give dignity to people by your love; you will not destroy their
respect. And you will, without any effort, become a source for
them to find their own treasures too.
Whatever you make, whatever you do, you will spread your
silence, your peace, your blessings into everything possible.
But this basic thing is not taught by any family, by any
society, by any university. People go on living in misery, and
it is taken for granted. Everybody is miserable, so it is
nothing much if you are miserable; you cannot be an exception.
But I say unto you: You can be an exception. You just have not
made the right effort.
Related Osho Article:
Osho on what is Love
Marriage and Friendship
discourse on Love - Am I in Love
What is Jealousy and why does it Hurt so much
I very much doubt my wife. What should I do
Relationships and learn how to Relate
on Commitment and Non-Attachment in Love
Relationship between Living Partners and Growth
Problems of Love - In my relationship I often
lose my Self
relating with people, Relationship is not relating
Osho - Before
you can Love Yourself you have to know yourself
First come to
terms with one's Loneliness before entering into Relationship
Osho on hell of
living with a woman and the hell of living without a woman
love is destroyed in Marriage, how are we to Live if we wish to share
Back to Counseling