96. Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills, habitations. thence comes the end of mind pressures.
97. Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss.
Man is born alone and dies alone, but between these two points he lives in society, he lives with others.
Aloneness is his basic reality; society is just accidental. And unless man can live alone, can know his aloneness in its total depth, he cannot be acquainted with himself. All that happens in society is just outer: it is not you, it is just your relations with others. You remain unknown. From the outside you cannot be revealed.
But we live with others. Because of this, self-knowledge is completely forgotten. You know something about yourself, but indirectly — it is said to you by others. It is strange, absurd, that others should tell you about yourself. Whatsoever identity you carry is given to you by others; it is not real, it is just a labelling. A name is given to you. That name is given as a label because it will be difficult for society to be related to a nameless person. Not only is the name given, the very image that you think yourself to be is given by society: that you are good, that you are bad, that you are beautiful, that you are intelligent, that you are moral, a saint, or whatsoever. The image, the form, is also given by society, and you don’t know what you are. Neither your name reveals anything, nor the form that society has given to you. You remain unknown to yourself.
This is the basic anxiety. You are there, but you are unknown to yourself. This lack of knowledge about oneself is the ignorance, and this ignorance cannot be destroyed by any knowledge which others can give to you. They can say to you that you are not this name, you are not this form, you are `soul eternal’, but that too, is given by others, that too is not immediate. Unless you come to yourself directly, you will remain in ignorance. And ignorance creates anxiety. You are not only afraid of others, you are afraid of yourself — because you don’t know who you are and what is hidden in you. What is possible, what will erupt out of you the next moment, you don’t know. You go on trembling and life becomes a deep anxiety. There are many problems which create anxiety, but those problems are secondary. If you penetrate deeply, then every problem will ultimately reveal that the basic anxiety, the basic anguish, is that you are ignorant of yourself — of the source from where you come, of the end to where you are moving, of the being whom you are right now.
Hence every religion says to move into solitude, into aloneness, so that you can for a time leave society and all that society has given to you, and face yourself directly.
Mahavir lived for twelve years alone in the forest. He would not speak during those days, because the moment you speak you have moved into society. Language is society. He remained completely silent, he would not speak. The basic bridge had been cut so that he would be alone. When you don’t speak you are alone, deeply alone. There is no way to move to the other. For twelve long years he lived alone without speaking. What was he doing? He was trying to find out who he was. It is better to put away all labels, it is better to move away from others so that there is no need for the social image. He was destroying the social image. He was throwing away all the garbage that society had given; he was trying to be totally naked, without any name, without any form. That’s what Mahavir’s nakedness means. It was not just throwing away the clothes. It was deeper. It was the nudity of being totally alone. You also use clothes for society: they are to hide your body, or they are to cover you in the eyes of others, because society doesn’t approve of your whole body. So whatsoever society doesn’t approve of, you have to hide. Only particular parts of the body are allowed to be in the open. The society chooses you in parts. Your totality is not approved of, not accepted.
The same is happening with the mind — not only with the body. Your face is approved of, your hands are approved of, but your whole body is not approved of, particularly the parts of the body that can give any hint of sex. They are disapproved of, not accepted. Hence the importance of clothes. And this is happening with the mind also: your total mind is not accepted, only parts of it. So you have to hide the mind and suppress it. You cannot open your mind. You cannot open your mind to your deepest friend because he will judge. He will say, “This is what you think? This is what goes on in your mind?” So you have to give him only that which can be accepted — a very minute part — and all else that is in you has to be hidden completely. That hidden part creates many diseases. The whole psychoanalysis of Freud consists only of bringing the hidden part out. It takes years before the person is healed. But the psychoanalyst is not doing anything, he is simply bringing the suppressed part out. Just to bring it out becomes a healing force.
What does it mean? It means the suppression is the illness. It is a burden, a heavy burden. You wanted to confess to someone; you wanted to tell, to express; you wanted someone to accept you in totality. That is what love means — you will not be rejected. Whatsoever you are — good, bad, saint, sinner — someone will accept you in your totalness, he will not reject any part of you. That;s why love is the greatest healing force, it is the oldest psychoanalysis. Whenever you love a person you are open to him, and just by being open, your cut, divided parts are brought together. You become one.
But even love has become impossible. Even with your wife you cannot tell the truth. Even with your lover you cannot be totally authentic, because even his or her eyes are judging. He or she also wants an image to be followed, an ideal — your reality is not important, the ideal is important. You know that if you express your totality you will be rejected, you will not be loved. You are afraid, and because of this fear love becomes impossible. Psychoanalysis brings the hidden part out, but the psychoanalyst is not doing anything, he is simply sitting there listening to you. No one has listened to you it seems. That is why you now need professional help. No one is ready to listen to you. No one has the time. No one has much interest in you. So professional help has come into being — you are paying someone to listen. And then year in, year out, he will listen to you every day, or twice a week, or thrice a week, and you will be healed. This is miraculous! Why should you be healed just by listening? It is because someone pays attention to you without any judgement and you can tell anything that is in you. And just by telling, it comes up and becomes a part of the conscious. When you cut off something, deny something, prohibit something, suppress something, you are creating a division between the conscious and the unconscious, the accepted and the rejected. This division has to be thrown.
Mahavir moved into aloneness so that he could be as he was with no fear of anybody. Because he didn’t have to show a face to anybody he could throw away all the masks, all the faces. Then he could be alone, totally naked, as he is under the stars, by the river and in the forest. No one would judge him and no one would say, :You are not allowed to be like this. You should behave. You should be like this.” Leaving society means leaving the situation where suppression has become inevitable. So nudity means to be as one is, with no barriers, no withholding. Mahavir moved into silence, into loneliness, and he said, “Unless I find myself — not the self that others have given to me, that is false, but the self that I am born with — I will not return to society. Unless I know who I am I will not return to society. Unless I have come directly face to face with my reality, unless I have encountered the essential in men, not the accidental, I will not speak, because it is useless to speak.”
You are the accidental. Whatsoever you think you are is the accidental part. For example, you are born in India. You could have been born in England or in France or in Japan. That is the accidental part. But just by being born in India, you have a different identity. You are a Hindu. You think yourself a Hindu — but you would have thought yourself a Buddhist in Japan, or a Christian in England, or a communist in Russia. You have not done anything to be a Hindu, it is just an accident. Wherever you were you would have joined yourself with the situation. You think yourself religious but your religion is just accidental. `If you have been born in a communist country, you would not have been religious, you would have been as irreligious there as you are religious here. You are born into a Jain family so you don’t believe in God without your having discovered that there is no God. But just by the side of your house another child is born on the same day, and he is a Hindu. He believes in God and you don’t. This is accidental, it is not essential. It depends on circumstances. You speak Hindi, someone speaks Gujarati, someone speaks French — these are accidents. Language is accidental. Silence is essential; language is accidental. Your soul is essential; your self is accidental. And to find the essential is the search, the only search.
How to find the essential? Buddha moved in silence for six years. Jesus also moved into a deep forest. His followers, the apostles wanted to go with him. They followed him and at a certain moment, at a certain point, he said, “Stop. You should not come with me. Now I must be alone with my God.” He moved into the wilderness. When he came back he was a totally different man; he had faced himself.
Loneliness becomes the mirror. Society is the deception. That is why you are always afraid of being alone — because you will have to know yourself, and you will have to know yourself in your nudity, in your nakedness. You are afraid. To be alone is difficult. Whenever you are alone, you immediately start doing something so you are not alone. You may start reading the newspaper, or you may put on the T.V., or you may go to some club to meet some friends, or you may go to visit some family — but you must do something. Why? Because the moment you are alone your identity melts, and all that you know about yourself becomes false and all that is real starts bubbling up.
All religions say that man must move into solitariness to know himself. One need not be there forever, that is futile, but one has to be in solitude for a time, for a period. And the length of the period will depend on each individual. Mohammed was in solitude for a few months; Jesus for only a few days; Mahavir for twelve years and Buddha for six years. It depends. But unless you come to the point where you can say, “Now I have know the essential,” it is a must to be alone.
This technique is concerned with loneliness.