Lately, I’ve been noticing more issues around being alone arising. When I say “being alone” I don’t just mean in the obvious way of not being with a partner on a day-to-day basis although that does come into play. I don’t fully know how to describe it but I’m just getting in touch with a more existential aloneness, an aloneness that exists despite all connection, despite connections with friends, nature, society, or lovers. I know that almost all spiritual traditions have as a component of their belief structure a sense of unity, of oneness. Christians, Jews and Muslims have a union with God, Buddhists have a sense of oneness with stillness or emptiness, native Americans and other indigenous peoples often have a full connection with and lack of separation from creation and nature. Even Rastafarians proclaim “One Love.” Yet I don’t feel that. Sure I’ve had many glimpses of that Unity, with experiences of boundlessness, timelessness, even perfect tranquility and emptiness, yet my predominant experience, actually my predominant belief, is that I am alone, that I am not necessarily part of a continuous whole. With my being on more of a spiritual path in my life lately, this kind of realization can be a little disconcerting.
There has been more of a desire in me for contact lately, which could take any of the forms of physical or emotional connection, or even simple companionship or reassurance. While I think this is a natural manifestation of the human condition and is one of our most wonderful and beautiful qualities, there is something in this desire as it is arising that feels like it is misplaced. The desire comes up in me for relationship contact yet I think that is more of a reflection of this greater aloneness I am feeling in relation to my place in or connection to the cosmos (for lack of a better way to say it).
It’s strange how our human lives interact so daringly and carelessly with our spiritual lives. This more spiritual sense of aloneness is supplanted with a desire for contact on the human realm. On the other side of the coin, however, there has developed in me an expectation of aloneness on this human realm, both through early childhood formative experiences and also through a life of feeling that I alone am the only one who is going to attend to my needs. This expectation of aloneness on the human psychological realm then seems to get projected onto the greater universe, precluding me from allowing myself to merge with that oneness/God since I don’t fully trust that if I do so that my needs will be met.
It’s very interesting for me to see this as it hasn’t really been in my field of awareness. How can I allow a oneness with God (or whatever word you want to use here) when psychologically I’ve come to not trust that anything outside of myself is actually going to be there to attend to my needs? And how can I function as a fully balanced and capable emotional being when my separateness from the universe/God is overlain onto my earthly form, causing me to feel an unnatural yearning for contact and connection?
Interesting questions to ponder…..