Monday, January 27, 2020


We know loneliness, don’t we?, the fear, the misery, the antagonism, the real fright of a mind that is aware of its own loneliness. We all know that. Don’t we? That state of loneliness is not foreign to any one of us. You may have all the riches, all the pleasures, you may have great capacity and bliss; but within there is always the lurking shadow of loneliness.

The rich man, the poor man who is struggling, the man who is writing, creating, the worshiper – they all know this loneliness. When it is in that state, what does the mind do? The mind turns on the radio, picks up a book, runs away from `what is’ into something which is not. Sirs, do follow what I am saying – not the words but the application, the observation of your own loneliness.

When the mind is aware of its loneliness, it runs away, escapes. The escape, whether into religious contemplation or going to a cinema, is exactly the same; it is still an escape from `what is’. The man who escapes through drinking is no more immoral than the one who escapes by the worship of God; they are both the same, both are escaping.

When you observe the fact that you are lonely, if there is no escape and therefore no struggle into the opposite, then, generally, the mind tends to condemn it according to the frame of its knowledge; but if there is no condemnation, then the whole attitude of the mind towards the thing it has called lonely, has undergone a complete change, has it not?

After all, loneliness is a state of self-isolation, because the mind encloses itself and cuts itself away from every relationship, from everything. In that state, the mind knows loneliness; and if, without condemning it, the mind be aware and not create the escape, then surely that loneliness undergoes a transformation. The transformation might then be called `aloneness’ – it does not matter what word you use. In that aloneness, there is no fear.

The mind that feels lonely because it has isolated itself through various activities, is afraid of that loneliness. But if there is awareness in which there is no choice – which means no condemnation – then the mind is no longer lonely but it is in a state of aloneness in which there is no corruption, in which there is no process of self-enclosure. One must be alone, there must be that aloneness, in that sense. Loneliness is a state of frustration, aloneness is not; and aloneness is not the opposite of loneliness.

Surely, Sirs, we must be alone, alone from all influences, from all compulsions, from all demands, longings, hopes, so that the mind is no longer in the action of frustration. That aloneness is essential, it is a religious thing. But the mind cannot come to it without understanding the whole problem of loneliness. Most of us are lonely, all our activities are the activities of frustration. The happy man is not a lonely man. Happiness is alone, and the action of aloneness is entirely different from the activities of loneliness.

All this requires, does it not?, awareness, a total awareness of one’s whole being, conscious as well as the unconscious. As most of us only live on the superficial consciousness, on the surface level of our mind, the deep underground forces, loneliness, desperations and hopes are always frustrating the superficial activity. So it is important to understand the total being of the mind; and that understanding is denied when there is awareness in which there is choice, condemnation.

~ J. Krishnamurti
from On Love and Loneliness


Sue said...


erin said...

! i have just been thinking about the difference between loneliness and aloneness since christmas this year. and yes! yes! i understand this. this is much where i arrived, but i allowed myself to be somewhat confused about it in my last photo post, very specifically using the word aloneness instead of loneliness. i am shocked, really, to read this. i laugh. somehow i thought i had arrived at this on my own, telling my lover over the holidays that with him i am more alone than ever, and he understanding and us both rejoicing in this awareness that we share. holy holy, to see it written by someone else's hand is strange and good.


Dean Keller said...

yes, to come to know, to see habitual reaction as the fear rises, to see the grasping and panic for comfort is a fine gift of clarity. To look into the face of longing and see no separation, no boundaries, only being held much closer than skin and bodies allow.

Mystic Meandering said...

Wow! Lots to ponder here...
I don't ever feel "lonely" and I like solitude and alone time...when I can get it. I don't see it as an "escape" *from* - although at times I will admit I feel over stimulated by the "busyness" of the world. And in a sense "aloneness" is a respite from that. I love what you said in your comment "to look into the face of longing and see no separation...only being held much closer than skin and bodies allow" That is quite profound indeed. Thank you... I will hold that for a while...