There is something special about this time of year, I really enjoy walking in the heavy rain, with an umbrella and warm coat.
Why is this? Maybe it’s something to do with the enhanced feeling of separation. Somehow the veil of heavy rain makes me feel even more separated, isolated and alone than usual. The rain intensifies these feelings.
Most of my early life was spent earnestly trying to escape such feelings. School years can be seen as one big attempt at gaining acceptance from our peer group, to belong to a group of friends. The loners, outcasts are bullied, shunned and hurt. It is unconsciously drilled into us; we must avoid this type of experience at all cost. Throughout human evolution we have formed groups, the caveman hunting pack. It is easier to survive with help.
Adolescence can be seen as the struggle to find a mate, a partner. We leave school and our school friends go in different directions. This separation from our stable group can be quite a shock. We may go to college or start a job, we make new friends, new groups. Then we start a career and form new groups. Some people stay with their childhood sweetheart all their lives. You cannot really see this whilst you are living it, only hindsight can clarify what was. I see my daughter going through what I went through not that long ago. The whole of the organisms energy spent on appearance, styling, grooming.
To avoid being alone.
So what is so bad about being alone?
Do we really need regular human contact?
Can being alone be good for us on some level?
This time of year brings these thoughts and feelings to the surface to explore. Winter is on its way. As Cavemen we may have frozen to death alone in winter. A strong primordial urge to find a mate looms.
Shamans, medicine men/women, healers have traditionally lived alone, apart from the tribe.
Why is this?
Does living alone hone the senses somehow?
Maybe one has more time to think and to explore lifes questions without a partner constantly interrupting?
I read somewhere recently that being alone is the most damaging form of torture inflicted in prisons. Solitary confinement.
The strange thing about all this, and what the heavy rain brought up for me is the fact that we are alone constantly anyway, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop this natural human state of aloneness. We can postpone it for a while, sharing thoughts and feelings with others, but it is always there. Even in a loving relationship there are always periods of aloneness.
And of course we must all die, face the next stage, alone.
The human condition.
Or is it?
Yoga means union.
Is there a secret, hidden in the word?
I think so.
Union with whom? What?
The sages answer: