Tag Archives: loneliness

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You see, you are not educated to be alone. Do you ever go out for a walk by yourself? It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – This Matter of Culture

Being alone with nature

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What a strange thing is loneliness, and how frightening it is! We never allow ourselves to get too close to it; and if by chance we do, we quickly run away from it. We will do anything to escape from loneliness, to cover it up. Our conscious and unconscious preoccupation seems to be to avoid it or to overcome it. Avoiding and overcoming loneliness are equally futile; though suppressed or neglected, the pain, the problem, is still there. You may lose yourself in a crowd, and yet be utterly lonely; you may be intensely active, but loneliness silently creeps upon you; put the book down, and it is there. Amusements and drinks cannot drown loneliness; you may temporarily evade it, but when the laughter and the effects of alcohol are over, the fear of loneliness returns. You may be ambitious and successful, you may have vast power over others, you may be rich in knowledge, you may worship and forget yourself in the rigmarole of rituals; but do what you will, the ache of loneliness continues. You may exist only for your son, for the Master, for the expression of your talent; but like the darkness, loneliness covers you. You may love or hate, escape from it according to your temperament and psychological demands; but loneliness is there, waiting and watching, withdrawing only to approach again.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Commentaries on Living – Loneliness

Loneliness

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A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle, and get out!

To the one who understands the value and the delectable flavor of solitary freedom (for no one is free who is not alone) leaving is the bravest and finest act of all.

An egotistical happiness, possibly. But for him who relishes the flavor, happiness.

To be alone, to be poor in needs, to be ignored, to be an outsider who is at home everywhere, and to walk, great and by oneself, toward the conquest of the world.

The healthy wayfarer sitting beside the road scanning the horizon open before him, is he not the absolute master of the earth, the waters, and even the sky? What housedweller can vie with him in power and wealth? His estate has no limits, his empire no law. No work bends him toward the ground, for the bounty and beauty of the earth are already his.

In our modern society the nomad is a pariah “without known domicile or residence.” By adding these few words to the name of anyone whose appearance they consider irregular, those who make and enforce the laws can decide a man’s fate.

To have a home, a family, a property or a public function, to have a definite means of livelihood and to be a useful cog in the social machine, all these things seem necessary, even indispensable, to the vast majority of men, including intellectuals, and including even those who think of themselves as wholly liberated. And yet such things are only a different form of the slavery that comes of contact with others, especially regulated and continued contact.

I have always listened with admiration, if not envy, to the declarations of citizens who tell how they have lived for twenty or thirty years in the same section of town, or even the same house, and who have never been out of their native city.

Not to feel the torturing need to know and see for oneself what is there, beyond the mysterious blue wall of the horizon, not to find the arrangements of life monotonous and depressing, to look at the white road leading off into the unknown distance without feeling the imperious necessity of giving in to it and following it obediently across mountains and valleys! The cowardly belief that a man must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness.

There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the nonexistent horizon, and his empire is an intangible one, for his domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit.

— Isabelle Eberhardt – Pencilled Notes – The Oblivion Seekers

About Vagrancy

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Beauty is not something put together by man. Beauty is when there is complete self-abandonment, a total relinquishing of the self, the “me”, with all its aches and loneliness, with all its despairs, anxieties, and fears. Then you will live in this world as a human being.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks in Europe

Self-Abandonment

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Please listen quietly: we know that thought creates fear. One of the functions of thought is to be occupied, to be thinking about something all the time. Like a housewife who thinks about the food, the children, the washing up – that is all her occupation; remove that occupation, and she will be lost, she will feel totally uncomfortable, lonely, miserable. Or take away the God from the man who worships God, who is occupied with God; he will be totally lost. So thought must be occupied with something or the other, either about itself or about politics, or about how to bring about a different world, a different ideology and so on; the mind must be occupied. And most of us want to be occupied; otherwise we shall feel lost, otherwise we do not know what to do, we will be lonely, we will be confronted with what we actually are. You understand? So, you are occupied, thought is occupied – which prevents you from looking at yourself, at what you actually are.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Bombay 1st Public Talk 19th February 1967

Dancing thoughts

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So how does the observer come into being? When you look at this flower, at the moment you observe it closely, there is no observer, there is only a looking. Then you begin to name that flower. Then you say, “I wish I had it in my garden or in my house.” Then you have already begun to build an image about that flower. So the image-maker is the observer. Right? Are you following all this? Watch it in yourself, please. So the image and the image-maker are the observer, and the observer is the past. The “me” as the observer is the past, the “me” is the knowledge which I have accumulated: knowledge of pain, sorrow, suffering, agony, despair, loneliness, jealousy, and the tremendous anxiety that one goes through. That’s all the “me”, which is the accumulated knowledge of the observer, which is the past. Right? So when you observe, the observer looks at that flower with the eyes of the past. And you don’t know how to look without the observer and, therefore, you bring about conflict.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Mind in Meditation – Pages 8 and 9

Dualism, the chasm between “me” and the world

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Have you ever tried to be alone? When you do try, you will feel how extraordinarily difficult it is and how extraordinarily intelligent we must be to be alone, because the mind will not let us be alone. The mind becomes restless, it busies itself with escapes, so what are we doing? We are trying to fill this extraordinary void with the known. We discover how to be active, how to be social; we know how to study, how to turn on the radio. We are filling that thing which we do not know with the things we know. We try to fill that emptiness with various kinds of knowledge, relationship or things. Is that not so? That is our process, that is our existence. Now when you realize what you are doing, do you still think you can fill that void? You have tried every means of filling this void of loneliness. Have you succeeded in filling it? You have tried cinemas and you did not succeed and therefore you go after your gurus and your books or you become very active socially. Have you succeeded in filling it or have you merely covered it up? If you have merely covered it up, it is still there; therefore it will come back. If you are able to escape altogether then you are locked up in an asylum or you become very, very dull. That is what is happening in the world.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The First and Last Freedom

Have you ever tried to be alone?