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The Lone Traveller

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For those on the path, aren’t there numerous occasions in our lives when we find ourselves attacked by inexplicably painful bouts of loneliness? If you really think about it, it is but natural for that to happen. The spiritual path while embracing life in general does bring about an inner withdrawal nonetheless, even without our wanting it at times. And while our gregarious nature desperately seeks or craves the security blanket, other parts of the being rebel or repel, trying equally desperately to move along, shunning distractions that may slow down the pace. At such times, the mind, always up to its own tricks, may tell us or even may tell God for that matter, that it sees no harm in combining forces – that it can walk with equal ease in both worlds and thus it sees no harm in being surrounded by others as well as pursue its aim to reach the doors of the Divine. It may go further and say that perhaps the friends would aid that pursuit, perhaps if one was attached to someone one loved, that love would teach and learn at the same time and both would progress, swinging hands happily as they walk towards the golden sun. The mind is so clever, really.

But if you need to snap out of the delusion, here is a parallel thought. When on holiday, you may travel to a place alone or you may travel with another – depending on that, your experience will dramatically change. Why? Because when you travel alone, it is just you and the experience, the destination. It speaks to you alone, and because you have no one else, you are willing and open to hear it, feel it. The moment you have a companion, the experience changes. It may dilute in intensity, it may not say the same things.

Walking on the path alone or with another is exactly the same. When you walk alone, Life speaks to you and you hear and feel and sense and experience everything because you are listening to only that. But the moment you walk with others, one or many, you listen with or through them, you rely on them rather than yourself, you cling for support instead of finding it within, you may still hear the Voice but it comes through filtered through the noise that surrounds you.

It doesn’t mean that one must always be alone but that when one is alone, and the all too familiar cloud of loneliness begins to hover dangerously close, one must simply remember that just as with all clouds, this too will blow away – sometimes by our own will which pushes it aside and when unable, then by the power of Grace. We must remember that we are alone only so that we can hear the Word and act on it. And we must remind ourselves that there can be no better friend than the One for whom we are ready to endure despite our moments of pain and struggle.

  • http://Website Nileen

    I’ve read this thrice. It made me laugh as it reminded me of some of my own thoughts. I was trying hard to see where I could refute it. I do think though that IF God brings together two people who are madly in love with the Lord, the friendship could strengthen both. Each could be more inspired to better serve the Lord and Her / His suffering creation.