I am always afraid of being alone, because when I am alone I start to wonder who I am. It feels that if I inquire deeper, I will find out that I am not the person who I have believed I was for the past twenty-six years, but a being, present at the moment of birth and maybe also the moment before.
For some reason, this scares me completely. It feels like a kind of insanity, and makes me lose myself in outside things in order to feel safer.
Osho, who am I, and why the fear?
It is not only your fear, it is everybody’s fear – because nobody is what he was supposed to be by existence. Society, culture, religion, education have all been conspiring against innocent children. They have all the power – the child is helpless and dependent. So whatsoever they want to make out of him, they manage to do it. They don’t allow any child to grow to his natural destiny. Their every effort is to make human beings into utilities.
Who knows, if a child is left on his own to grow, whether he will be of any use to the vested interests or not? The society is not prepared to take the risk. It grabs the child and starts molding him into something that is needed by the society. In a certain sense, it kills the soul of the child and gives him a false identity, so that he never misses his soul, his being. The false identity is a substitute. But that substitute is useful only in the same crowd which has given it to you. The moment you are alone, the false starts falling apart and the repressed real starts expressing itself; hence the fear of being lonely.
Nobody wants to be lonely. Everybody wants to belong to a crowd – not only one crowd but many crowds. A person belongs to a religious crowd, a political party, a rotary club, and there are many other small groups to belong to. One wants to be supported twenty-four hours a day because the false, without support, cannot stand. The moment one is alone, one starts feeling a strange craziness.
That’s what you have been asking about – because for twenty-six years you believed yourself to be somebody, and then suddenly in a moment of loneliness you start feeling you are not that. It creates fear: then who are you? And twenty-six years of suppression… It will take some time for the real to express itself. The gap between the two has been called by the mystics “the dark night of the soul” – a very appropriate expression. You are no longer the false, and you are not yet the real. You are in a limbo, you don’t know who you are.
Particularly in the West the problem is even more complicated because they have not developed any methodology to discover the real as soon as possible, so that the dark night of the soul can be shortened. The West knows nothing as far as meditation is concerned. And meditation is only a name for being alone, silent, waiting for the real to assert itself. It is not an act; it is a silent relaxation – because whatever you do will come out of your false personality. All your doing for twenty-six years has come out of it; it is an old habit and habits die hard.