I turned my back on religion many years ago, so I’ve been saying no for a very long time.
That’s very good! The religion to which you were saying no is not religion at all, and it is good to say no to it. Only religious people will say no to it.
I’ve been calling myself a humanitarian.
Yes, that is a new name for it, but not as good as religion. Because unless the human mind tries to reach beyond itself, it cannot grow. All growth comes to you only when you try to reach higher than your best. When you try for the impossible, then only the possible happens. Humanitarianism is good, but then only humanity becomes the goal and that is not enough. Good, but not enough.
And godliness does not mean anything else, just an effort to bring your humanity to its total functioning, just a function of the total human being – a quality. When you are functioning at your optimum, at your omega point, then you are godliness. It has been good that you remained a skeptic, that you said no. Now your yes can be total.
I wanted to ask you why you gave me the name Asanga.
Asanga is one of the most beautiful names. Asanga was a Buddhist mystic. Literally the word means unattached, non-attached, or one who is alone; one who doesn’t need the other. But the name belongs to a Buddhist mystic, and something in you is going to fit with it. Two words have to be understood: one is loneliness, the other is aloneness. Loneliness is a negative state, aloneness is very positive. In the dictionary their meanings are the same, but not in life, not in existence.
You feel lonely when you miss the other. You feel alone when you have yourself. You feel lonely when you are bored with yourself. You feel alone when you are delighted in your being.