Many have settled somewhere. A few have settled in ambition, and have become politicians. They are not worried about love. They say they have great things to do in the world. They are worried about power: they use power as an escape. A few are buried in their monasteries, a few are buried in their families: marriage, children, this and that, but I rarely come across a man who has faced the challenge of love, the greatest storm there is. But one who has faced it, grows. He comes out of it one day, clean, pure, mature.

So you ask, “Cannot one enjoy life alone?”

You can be happy alone, but you cannot enjoy it. You can be happy, in a way, because there will be no disturbance, no turmoil, no conflict. Your happiness will be more like peace, less like enjoyment.

It will not have any ecstasy in it. Joy is very ecstatic; joy is very much like dance. Happiness is like the singing you do in your bathroom – the bathroom singing – it is very lukewarm; you can do it alone. You always do it in your bathroom because you are alone. But singing and dancing with other people, getting completely possessed by it, is joy. Joy is a shared phenomenon; happiness is a non-shared phenomenon.

People who are miserly always look for happiness, not for joy – because joy needs sharing. You cannot be joyful alone. A certain atmosphere is needed, a certain climate is needed: a certain whirlwind of people, persons, consciousness, is needed. Alone you can be happy, at the most.

And remember, happiness is not a very happy thing.

Joy is really moving high. Joy is the climax, like peaks; happiness is a plain ground: one moves comfortably with no fear of any fall anywhere – no valley around, no danger. You can walk with your eyes closed. You know the path. You have been moving on that path, this way and that. You can move completely unconsciously.

Joy needs consciousness. Have you ever moved into the mountains and just by the side, a great valley is yawning? You become alert. That is one of the beauties of mountaineering. It is not really the joy in the mountain; the joy is in moving in danger, constant danger. Always there is death around; the valley is waiting to swallow you at any moment. Once you lose your footing, you are gone forever. Because of that danger one becomes very sharply aware, like a sword. That awareness gives joy.

When you are moving with people, in a relationship, you are always in danger. Life becomes sharp.

Then you have a tone; then your energy is not just rusting, it is flowing. Look at the people who have lived too long in the caves or in the monasteries: you will see that a certain rust has settled on their faces. They will not look alive. They will be dull almost to the point of being stupid. That’s why monks have not created anything beautiful in the world. Nothing has come out of them. They are wastages; they are not fertile soil. They proved impotent.

All escape makes you more of a coward, impotent. And the more you escape, the more you want to escape. All escape is suicidal.

Then what do I mean? Am I saying to you, never be alone? No, not at all. But I am saying, never be lonely. Aloneness comes out of the richness that you have learned through relationships, out of many relationships, of many dimensions, many qualities: being with a mother, being with a father, being with a friend, being with a brother, sister, being with a wife, being with a beloved, lover, with friends, with enemies. ‘Being with’ is the world. And one has to be in as many relationships as possible; then you expand. Each relationship contributes something to your inner enrichment. The more you spread into people, the more you expand. You have a bigger soul, and you have a richer soul. Otherwise, you become impoverished.

Now psychoanalysts have been working hard on children who have not received their first and basic relationship: the relationship between the child and the mother. They shrink. These children are never normal. Somehow, the first urge to expand has not happened. The relationship between a child and the mother is the first entry into the world.

You enter into the world with your mother’s love. You enter into the world because you relate with your mother, and you learn how to relate. The warmth that flows between the child and the mother is the first exchange of energies. It is tremendously sexual, because all energy is sexual. The child smiling, the mother smiling, a tremendous energy is being exchanged. The mother is cuddling the child, hugging the child, kissing the child; a great energy is being given to the child, and the child is getting ready to respond. Sooner or later, the day will come when the child will hug and kiss the mother. Now he’s ripe – not only ready to take, but ready to give also. That is his first learning. Then he will move with brothers and sisters and father and uncles, and the circle will become bigger and bigger and bigger: in school, and in college, and in the university, and then in the universe one goes on.

The more and more you relate, the more and more you are. The being is discovered through being related. Each relationship is a mirror. It shows a fragment of your being to you. It reflects something about yourself. When you have grown so much and expanded to infinity, then the last relationship is with God.

That is the last relationship.

If you escape from a relationship, as these so-called religious people do…. They are doing something very absurd. They will not be able to relate with God because they have not learned how to relate.

They have not learned how to move in a relationship. And remember, to relate with God is the greatest, the most dangerous relationship there is.

Just the other day I was reading a memoir of a Christian, a very beautiful person who had lived in Soviet Russia’s jails for many years. For three years continuously he was in an underground cell, thirty feet into the earth. For three years continuously he never saw any sunlight, any flower, any butterfly, any moon. He didn’t see any human face, except the guard. For three years it was maddening: no book to read, nothing to do. He was not even aware of whether it was day or night, whether the sun had arisen outside in the world or not. There was no newspaper, no news of what was happening in the world, nothing. He was completely unrelated. He started doing one thing – tremendously beautiful: he started talking to God. What to do? What else to do? For three years he talked to God and, by and by, he started giving sermons. God was the only audience. He would stand and he would give a sermon. But those sermons are really beautiful. Now, out of the jail, he has collected those sermons, and he has put them as he had given them to God. He says, “Don’t be offended,” because many times he becomes angry with God. One has to become. What nonsense: for three years! He quotes from scriptures and says to God, “Look at what you have said. In the Bible you say that a man should never be alone. What about me! Have you forgotten all about your scripture and your message that you gave through Jesus? Where are you? Have you changed your rules? A man should never be alone? – Then why have you forced me for three years to be alone?”

And he says, “Remember, on the last day of judgement I am not going to be the only culprit, you are also going to be the culprit. Not only will you tell me about my sins, I am also going to tell you about your sins. Remember! Don’t forget it! It is not going to be one way.”

Really, those sermons are beautiful, those talks with God. He remained sane because of these talks. He came out perfectly sane, saner really than when he had gone in – more sane. Such a beautiful relationship… and God was absolutely silent. It is irritating. You go on talking; he never says yes, no – nothing.

Just think – you go on speaking and your wife keeps quiet. She goes on working in the kitchen. You are going crazy and you are shouting and yelling, and she goes on silently doing her things. How will you feel? The same happens in relationship with God. One has to learn it in life, then you can relate with God. To relate with God is to relate with the whole. Of course, the whole is silent, and great skill is needed in relating – only then. After you have related with God, and you have become merged with Him, then aloneness arises.

Aloneness is the last achievement.

That’s what Patanjali calls kaivalya: absolute aloneness. It is not in the beginning; it is in the end.

That is why we are reading the last chapter. The chapter is about aloneness, Kaivalya Pada. It is the whole effort of the yogi through many lives to reach to aloneness. It is not as cheap as you think: that you just leave the house and you go into a cave, and you are alone. Then there is no need for Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. A simple sutra will do: go to the railway station, purchase a ticket, and go to the Himalayas – finished. Who is preventing you? Who can prevent you? How can you be prevented?

But that way, life would be too cheap, would not be of worth. One has to learn it. Aloneness is the flowering of all your relationships. You have gathered the fragrance out of all your relationships: good and bad, beautiful and ugly; you go on gathering fragrance. Then, a flame arises in you. That aloneness has to be the goal. What you call aloneness right now is not aloneness; it is going just to be loneliness. To be solitary is not to be in solitude. To be solitary is ugly, ill, sad. To be in solitude has a tremendous beauty in it; it is an achievement.

“… because I am not so aware, that moving into water without getting wet, or going through fire without getting burnt can be possible for me.”

Then how are you going to become aware? Move more and more. By escaping you will never become aware. All these situations are needed to make you aware. If you cannot become aware, in the world, you cannot become aware out of the world. Otherwise, why has the world been given to you; why are you in the world? – To learn awareness.

When so many people are criss-crossing your path, so many energies criss-crossing all around you, and it is a puzzle to solve, awareness will arise out of it. Yes, one day you will be able to walk in water and the water will not touch your feet; but before that happens, you will have to walk in many rivers and many oceans of life. Yes, one day you will be capable of walking into fire and the fire will not burn you, but that has to be learned through many fires, and many burnings. Only out of experience is one freed. Truth liberates; experience gives you truth. Never decide for the life of no experience. Always decide for more experience. Howsoever hard and difficult it is but always choose a life of experience. One day, you will transcend, but one transcends only by knowing it.

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