Profound Loneliness

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rachel100639
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Profound Loneliness

Post by rachel100639 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:01 am

I find it really interesting and quite wonderful that we can talk about such life altering, personal topics on this forum -- topics that we would not likely discuss with strangers in another environment. It is so important. And it helps to clarify what is happening internally. I get such stunning insights from the people on here that have helped change my life in profound ways. So, here I go sharing a personal thing and I want to see if others experience this and what they have found helpful.

Lately I have become very aware of how profoundly lonely I have felt so often in my life. Is extremely painful. I am more aware of it because I'm not resisting it like I used to for so many years. For most of my life up until the past year or so, the feeling was just there, in my body, and I suffered simultaneously with very insecure, punishing thoughts surrounding the feeling, unconsciously. I sometimes still have those thoughts but I'm becoming more and more aware that the thoughts are not true and that they are absurd. I wake up at night and just feel, it is difficult to put into words, a very, very deep loneliness that pierces my soul, as if someone is sticking a knife in my heart and twisting it. (See Bertrand Russell’s description in second paragraph below my post here – his description is close to the feeling.)

It seems as if I have been alone way too much in my life and I am not sure why. I am intelligent, empathic, attractive, educated and all that crap so I do not know why I have been alone so much. Could be because people have in the past caused me so much pain.

The deeper thought that I have been working on using Byron Katie’s work is: “I am alone because there is something wrong with me.” Of course, intellectually and on a deep level I know that is ridiculous, but there is another part of me that goes way back to when I was a kid who believes that thought as that is the message I got from my family. It is old!

Do other people feel this kind of aloneness??? Do they experience this and no one talks about it??

I know ET has a video on loneliness on UTube which I’ve listened to again and again and again. When I am with someone I love such as my last boyfriend the loneliness goes away. It also goes away when I am with people I enjoy being with and have a connection to and when I am helping others. But it comes back. It is mind-boggling and very painful.

Rachel


The Prologue to Bertrand Russell's Autobiography
What I Have Lived For
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
Last edited by rachel100639 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by hanss » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:00 am

Do other people feel this kind of aloneness??? Do they experience this and no one talks about it??
Yes. I have met many people who expressed the same thing. I have felt it to some extent myself now and then. Maybe I still do, I don't know. So much is happening inside me theses days and I have tried to leave the past behind. It works well. Or it would be "Little me and my story - I' often feel alone and there is something wrong with me". I have found that people don't understand me though. I can sit alone on a Saturday night and just feel good. But if I say that to someone else, they think I'm a strange man. And ego don't like that :) I have found that I think a lot (or used to) what people and community wants me to think. Or how I should be or act. Well, to get out of this feeling of loneliness it helps to be honest. For example, when someone ask me how I feel today I can reply "It's crap. The car broke down and I lost my girlfriend last week" or "Great, I woke up this morning and it was raining. I love rain". To be open and honest to strangers in real life (not on Internet) really opens up things and dissolve the feeling of being alone. Because often they notice/recognize the honesty and weakness/strength/loneliness/joy and become honest and open themselves. The roles and masks are dropped and so is the feeling of being separated.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by karmarider » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:02 pm

This profound loneliness may be the call to awakening. Certainly, many of us who are alone feel it; but many who have boyfriends/gf/spouses also feel it. Possibly, women feel loneliness more profoundly than men (just a hunch, not a given).

The Sedona method says that our beliefs and fears come from the need for control, security, approval, and completeness. It's hard to directly release the feeling of loneliness because there are a lot of patterns and beliefs and fears tangled up with it. To help release this feeling of loneliness, we can try to see which one or combination of the four it comes from, and then release those needs.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by Mouse » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:10 pm

Do other people feel this kind of aloneness??? Do they experience this and no one talks about it??
You use the word aloneness here where previously you used loneliness.

If it is aloneness that you experience then I am that too. That is the truth. I can't feel any one else here in this perception. I am alone.

Loneliness comes from a lack in the moment now. That must be a lack of love. The way to be love is to give up my self. That is all I can ever do really. I can give it up for the sensational body below. There in the sensational body is all the good I attribute to outside. I am alone in the good.
Last edited by Mouse on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by Kutso » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:14 pm

I hear you Rachel, and I have that feeling sometimes too. However, since I've been able to understand it better, the feeling just seem to come when I'm too entangled in worldly matters. But as soon as I turn inwards and contemplate it goes away. As I understand it, that feeling comes from thinking you are a separate individual. The only way for this feeling to disappear is the realization that nothing is separate.
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by mmy » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:23 pm

Hi Rachel,
rachel100639 wrote:I am intelligent, empathic, attractive, educated and all that crap so I do not know why I have been alone so much.

I used to say the same sort of thing for a long time, then I realized that I may never have an answer so is it important to know why?
rachel100639 wrote:The deeper thought that I have been working on using Byron Katie’s work is: “I am alone because there is something wrong with me.” Of course, intellectually and on a deep level I know that is ridiculous, but there is another part of me that goes way back to when I was a kid who believes that thought as that is the message I got from my family. It is old!
I can relate, I used the work with this too but I also came to a point where I asked myself what if I am alone for the rest of this life? So what? Does the reality of what I am change based on alone versus not alone. The source of my loneliness was based a lot on other people's fears that they projected and I somehow took on. When I could really see this, the loneliness became not an identifier but a feeling that came and went with no substance to give it validity.

Right now, my experience is being alone but I am not truly alone or forgotten. I experience connection in ways that are rarely spoken of, such as when I hike in nature. I can hike with a friend of mine and feel the most amazing relationship with what is around me and it points me to what is real. I don't connect like that with my hiking friend but that does not make my friendship with him meaningless or a problem.

Thanks for this post Rachel. Peace.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by kiki » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:37 pm

I agree with kutso. The sense of being separate creates the sense of loneliness, and when that's all that is sensed loneliness can be a terrible burden that weighs on you. But ask yourself, what is it that is separate, what You truly are or what you believe yourself to be?

Doesn't it come when you are "in the mind"? Is what You truly are separate from anything? Even in the midst of loneliness what You truly are is fully present, is it not? And if it's present it can be felt. So, with one foot in reality go ahead and feel/experience what it is to be "lonely". It's only a feeling, so soak in it a while and get to know it fully and intimately; don't be afraid of it it or resist it. Since it is an experience only it is a temporary guest, a guest that will leave after a while. But every guest can teach us something, and maybe that's its reason for coming around. Maybe we just really need to learn what it is trying to teach us.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:08 pm

Rachel wrote;
... but there is another part of me that goes way back to when I was a kid who believes that thought as that is the message I got from my family. It is old!
Memories that are buried alive never die. It will show up somewhere. Until you make peace with it, it will continue to be a major force in your life.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by SirNikalot » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:00 am

I feel that my loneliness comes from a real inability to connect with different people with whom I engage in. I come into contact with a lot of different personalities, sometimes I mesh with those people, sometimes I don't. For me, I never really got the same attention that my older sibling received, he knew how to speak Japanese, so he was more able to communicate with my mother who was a native Japanese speaker. I remember as a kid I would sit in the car and while my 3 other family member would be engaged in some kind of conversation I would be left out and thus a thought form would come up telling me that I was somehow different from these people and I think it must have been from there where I learned to be distant towards most people, unless they shared a similar thought process as me, in which case I would feel a connection with them.
I can hike with a friend of mine and feel the most amazing relationship with what is around me and it points me to what is real. I don't connect like that with my hiking friend but that does not make my friendship with him meaningless or a problem.
Yeah, I experience this too and my problem here is that I tend to judge these experiences when I don't connect with someone "as well as I could have" and so I walk away feeling alone and with shame. Sometimes someone will be enthusiastic about certain worldly forms that I have will have no interest in at that moment, and so I feel it a bear to match their enthusiasm when I'm simply not feeling it.

I just wanted to share with you that your not the only person here who experiences loneliness on a relatively powerful level. And that I too have been dealing with it in a process by doing things that may be out of my "comfort zone" all the while realizing that I am life itself.

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by rachel100639 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:55 am

Thank you all for your very helpful posts.

Karmarider, intuitively, this does feel like a call to awakening. All of these things are dropping away in my life right now, major changes in relationship, career, finances, housing, health. I am having to re-examine how I have lived my life up until now and how I want to live the rest of my life. The answers are coming slowly but they are not clear. They are diffuse and chaotic. It's as if I have one foot on one side of a deep crevice which I can't see the bottom and, the other foot on the other side, but I can't get to the other side yet because I am still stuck in my past life, in a sense. I don't know what will be on the other side. I can't jump yet.

I do believe we have a physiological and psychological need as human beings to be physically close to others. I think it is extremely healing on many levels. That intense physical closeness and companionship is something I didn't realize I missed on a profoundly deep level until my last relationship ended.

Kiki,

I believe this loneliness I've had most of my life has stayed with me because I have resisted it. It has not been temporary, due to my resistance up until recently. It is strange. I don't have thoughts about loneliness and then the feeling comes up; rather, the feeling seems to be all pervasive at first, then the thoughts surround it. Then when I start working on it, it is usually the focus in one area of my body as an energy field. I'm beginning to separate myself from the feeling with my mind yet allow my body to feel it at the same time. Yes, my feelings of loneliness have been trying to communicate with me for a long time -- for years. There are messages underneath I am beginning to discover.

I found this truly brilliant and beautiful article on loneliness. It is right in line with ET’s teachings. Here is the link: http://www.spiritualitytoday.org/spir2d ... elsey.html

Here are a few paragraphs from the article:

“If we can recognize and accept the real loneliness of the human condition -- that, ultimately, we are each alone -- we can then begin to free ourselves from the fear of loneliness that chews away at our human potential. "Each of us travels alone. No one else can always keep us safe."(2) If we can accept the pain of being human, of being self-aware, then perhaps we, like Jacob, might claim a blessing from our struggle. We will not then squander precious human resources trying to evade and escape the loneliness which has in it the seed of new life. In the pain of all human experience there is the call to conversion. The grandest schemes for avoidance and escape will not make us unalone, but they will distract us from our grandest human task: cooperation with the ongoing process of conversion.”

“Some of the greatest literature, art, and music that the world has known has been conceived in moments of profound loneliness, loneliness that has been accepted and allowed to speak. Such creation cannot happen through denial. And such creation is usually a lonely and solitary experience. It is like birthing -- we have to go with the labor pains; no one else can do it for us. The creation that might result from our bearing the tension of our pain may bring delight to many, but the process of bringing it forth is a lonely one. Out of loneliness grows the contented aloneness that opens up to us our own creative depths. It is not in driven busyness that we find that "more" that we long for. It is in the recollection of aloneness that we discover deep within ourselves that which supports us when we have nothing or no one to take away our loneliness. It is here that we come in touch with the life that connects us with ourselves, with others, and with God.”
“The fear of loneliness can keep us from coming in touch with the life beyond loneliness, the life of aloneness and solitude. It is indeed easy to be seduced by the temper of our time, which is to stay constantly busy and on the move. By staying busy, by taking on more and more jobs, we can avoid the confrontation of loneliness; we look to our jobs and roles to tell us who we are and to provide us with self-validation. But the affirmation and approval of the world cannot provide us with self-validation. This comes from beyond ourselves, and yet it is located in our own depths. Our true identity is known only by the One who created us. Self-validation can come only from getting in touch with that truth which we are.”

“It is not surprising that we have a fear of loneliness; the self that most of us are with when we are alone is indeed not very good company -- a self impoverished and without holy joy. The great void that confronts us when we are cut off from those things which help to shore up a flagging sense of self speaks to us of missing parts of our self, areas which we have not yet discovered and appropriated. Our loneliness speaks to us of unlived life, potential within us that we are not living out. The responsibility to become more fully the person our loneliness invites us to be is a sacred one. The pain in our loneliness is transformed when we become aware that we are invited to be partners with God in the completion of our own creation. God asks our cooperation in our own completion, and our "attentiveness to the shape of this inbuilt task"(7) is nothing short of prayer.”

Rachel

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by great2be » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:23 pm

Whilst we have an idea about ourselves and project that into the future, there will always be loneliness, fear and suffering.

The fact that loneliness is so common, and the wordsmith so lauded, doesn't validate the complaint.

There is no loneliness when the illusion of 'me in the future' ends.
And until that illusion ends, there will never be true freedom from suffering, no matter how full one tries to make one's life.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by kiki » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:17 pm

I believe this loneliness I've had most of my life has stayed with me because I have resisted it. It has not been temporary, due to my resistance up until recently.
Anything that can come can go again - that's what I mean by temporary. And yes, resistance will keep it in place.
It is strange. I don't have thoughts about loneliness and then the feeling comes up; rather, the feeling seems to be all pervasive at first,
Feelings have very subtle thoughts attached to them, so subtle that they are no longer consciously perceived because they have dug themselves down deep within the psyche and turned into beliefs. If you examine a belief you will see just how subtle the thought structure is that comprises the belief. In other words, with a belief in place you no longer consciously think the thoughts that make up the belief, you simply feel the belief in some way.

then the thoughts surround it.
This is part of the cycle - the feeling comes and thoughts feed it and so the feeling grows even more which then brings in more thoughts. But deep down where you no longer notice them there are unconscious beliefs/ideas/thoughts that the feelings are built upon. But it's not necessary to know what those thoughts are - it's enough to feel the feelings that come up without resistance.
Then when I start working on it, it is usually the focus in one area of my body as an energy field. I'm beginning to separate myself from the feeling with my mind yet allow my body to feel it at the same time. Yes, my feelings of loneliness have been trying to communicate with me for a long time -- for years. There are messages underneath I am beginning to discover.
Feel them fully - sit down and close your eyes and invite them in, allowing them to play out their energy without resisting them in any way. They will discharge their energy and leave eventually. Maybe it will take some clock time for them to go completely, but whenever you can just let them be without indulging in any story about them.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by rachel100639 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:10 am

Feelings have very subtle thoughts attached to them, so subtle that they are no longer consciously perceived because they have dug themselves down deep within the psyche and turned into beliefs. If you examine a belief you will see just how subtle the thought structure is that comprises the belief. In other words, with a belief in place you no longer consciously think the thoughts that make up the belief, you simply feel the belief in some way.
This is part of the cycle - the feeling comes and thoughts feed it and so the feeling grows even more which then brings in more thoughts. But deep down where you no longer notice them there are unconscious beliefs/ideas/thoughts that the feelings are built upon. But it's not necessary to know what those thoughts are - it's enough to feel the feelings that come up without resistance.
Kiki,

Your above quotes bring much clarity to what appears to be my entangled thoughts/feelings most of the time and it feels true. I wonder though, I actually wake up out of a sound sleep late at night and have this intense feeling of loneliness/pain or I just wake up feeling it. How can that be? I was asleep!
Maybe it will take some clock time for them to go completely, but whenever you can just let them be without indulging in any story about them.
Unconsciously, of course,
I’ve maintained this illusory and what seemed to be inextricable attachment of my painful thoughts (story) and the associated feelings. What ET calls the painbody, of course. I only knew them as one. Well, I did not know them as separate from each other or separate from “me” I just suffered with the feelings and thoughts.
The only way for me to do this is to actually go into my body and become aware. One can intellectualize all of this but it HAS to be experienced to know it.

Thanks,
Rachel

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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by kiki » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:21 pm

The only way for me to do this is to actually go into my body and become aware. One can intellectualize all of this but it HAS to be experienced to know it.
That's right. None of this is about thinking - it's about feeling what's present with an openness to it. The fact that it's there tells you that it too is something to be accepted and not resisted. You may find it helpful if you avoid labeling it as "loneliness" - instead, if you want to attach thoughts to it, think of it as an energy charge. Better yet is to not put any kind of label on it, but if you do make the label as neutral as you can. There are too many associated thoughts with "loneliness" that can easily become stories to get entangled in.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: Profound Loneliness

Post by Sighclone » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:27 pm

No one has yet mentioned the flipside of lonliness -- solitude. I treasure solitude. This is not to say that I have not felt lonely also.

It seems there are, within the "both/and" paradox of nonduality (both separate self and Absolute Self) twin paths. One, which we spend much time on here in this forum almost seems to dismiss the other -- we are all about the path of spiritual development/enlightenment. But the other path is easy to overlook, and doing so, forever, finally limits our full capacity to express the Big Love which is part of awakening. John Welwood, a wonderful, awake psychotherapist, speaks eloquently about the folly of "spiritual bypassing," also known as "Zen sickness." Adya speaks of it as well. Fundamentally it means allowing our experiences of transcendental bliss, the compelling immensity of a satori, and the deep and intimate experience of pure silent awareness to lure us away from the lives we lead as people, and attendant responsibilities to ourselves and others. The ego may dissolve, but the cry of the body/mind/personality is not stilled. Nonduality is about "being," but psychological honesty about one’s felt desire for companionship, intimacy and love is about "becoming." Maslow and Perls are not wrong. Needs are real. (Had lunch yet???) The suffering from unmet needs may be released, yes. But the need may continue to be unmet, and that lack will continue to surface. Even if the need is for the simple caring touch of another’s hand. In fact, the act of repressing and trying to circumvent the need is quite counterproductive, and ultimately phony.

So rachel, let me take another tack: yes, own your lonliness, use techniques to release the accompanying suffering etc... and even perhaps consider its arising now is a kind of last desperate gasp of your ego. (" _____ is a lonely person" is a common script line in the structure of some egos.) Considered as a collection of identity pieces, and feeling attacked, it is bringing out the "big guns" to hold onto the driver's seat. ("You can't awaken, Rachel, because You Are Lonely and This Will Make IT WORSE.") Illusions can be powerful controllers. But this labeling and watching and concept-building and deconstruction may not stop the chronic ache – they may simply be effective, helpful band-aids.

What if what the universe is planning for you is a life-partner? And that your spiritual growth is the seedbed for that event. What if not only will you wake up, but also find someone to be with!! Why not also own the fact that you don't know about that possible eventuality. I mention this only to restate great2be -- the illusion of the "future you" is not only an illusion in the present moment, but a complete unkown. It is reasonably certain that there will be a “future you,” however…and not unreasonable to take some action, even a vision to optimize the joy during those future “present moments.” During one of the Oprah webinars, a caller asked Eckhart how to be a great actress someday. He said essentially “be that person now.” Of course he meant that she should live as though she were the actress she wanted to be…

Eckhart discounts hope, in my opinion, excessively. He is a one-trick pony – how to wake up in the present moment. And, of course, hand-wringing and wishing and grieving won’t get you there. But living in denial of a powerful need is artificial, too. What if that need is simply an opportunity to express and manifest, in the highest intimate form, the kind of “emanation of love and joy, complete presence toward all beings” (PON p. 162) he says are a requirement of enlightenment. Wishing and hoping about lonliness and feeling sad are projections based on "who you were" last year, and yesterday. Eckhart's three modalities of enlightened living are Acceptance, Joy and Enthusiasm...two of those sound pretty good.

I don't remember if you sent me to John Welwood's "Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships," but his comments there might shed a little light. I guess what I am saying is that you know you are changing in large ways -- many of us here have done that and can report that the changes are immense and that they are subtle, too. Life in form is defined by constant change...but don't buy any diapers just yet... :) Why continue to expect that you will be lonely forever?


Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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