The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things.
All things have their back to the female
and stand facing the male.
When male and female combine,
all things achieve harmony.
Ordinary men hate solitude.
But the Master makes use of it,
embracing his aloneness, realizing
he is one with the whole universe.
From: The Tao Te Ching (Adapted by S Mitchell)
I thought of this verse when a friend asked me yesterday, if I had any idea as to what a person is supposed to be learning when they are alone, but don’t want to be. Many things have happened that left my friend living on her own, bringing her attention acutely to the issue of being alone – and her resistance about it.
She said she could not find the answer and that she cannot let go without knowing more.
There are two aspects to this question. One is that doing this work requires solitude, real aloneness to turn to ourself and discover what is beneath all our feelings of loneliness and the fear of being left alone. I can relate to this, because I too, found myself retreating for quite a while, and even tough that felt strange at first, I know now, I had never found, what I was supposed to find, if I had been distracted by another person.
I do see the same happening with many other people. Aloneness seems to be a fa real necessity for a while.
The second aspect is that life may want to show her something. When confronted with issues of abandonment, we tend to panic and either throw ourselves in activity – or relationships. Fear is the barrier we have to pass – in aloneness. Nobody can come with us, we have to enter the territory of our greatest fear all by ourselves.
Because beyond the biggest no, is the YES.
Don’t just do something, sit there
I too am reminded of a quote, a thomas merton quote : “Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it