The Aloneness of the Long-Distance Mystic

tortoise and hare


From time to time one reads the half-hearted and veiled recalcitrant attacks on mystics by those who are still trapped within their pseudo-intellectualism. They claim that mystics are somehow alien to scientific methodologies, like some form of isolated dharma-freaks. In reality, they are far from the truth. Sisirkumar Ghose has written eloquently in his book, “Mystics as a Force for Change”, that such unwarranted attacks are far off the mark:

“The mystic belongs to the Family of Man, and more than man, he has his comrades and is at home everywhere and nowhere. He alone has truly conquered alienation and has looked into the heart of the human situation…it is a challenge rather than a comfort, an adventure rather than a hide-out.”

“As Thomas Merton saw it, the spiritual anguish of man has no cure but mysticism. Here is the only Reality-therapy that will endure, the truth that liberates.”

“Simply, the mystic is the sane or mature person. Though he will not allow anything, any inferior attachment, to come between him and the Real, he does not abjure all relations and responsibilities…the Way of the Bodhisattva remains the highest achievement of a civilized consciousness. “

“ Dionysius the Areopagite advised the seekers to “strip off all questions in order that we may attain a naked knowledge of that Unknowing and that we may begin to see the superessential Darkness that is hidden by the Light…”

As relayed in an earlier blog, Einstein the Mystic/Scientist wrote:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

As can be discerned, rather than being an isolated aberration, the Mystic is actually at the Heart of the All. Many times people can confuse seclusion and inner-contemplative-solitude from the madness of Samsara as being somewhat of a lonely existence. What they do, of course, is to misconstrue loneliness for Aloneness. It is Aloneness that defines the very heart of the Authentic-Mystic.

Aloneness is quite the opposite of being lonely. When one feels lonely there is a desperate cry to make sure that somebody else is always nearby to dispel the loneliness. Yet it’s all truly an effort in futility. Because if someone is no longer there, then the crippling cycle of loneliness happens all over again; many times married couples can experience this, acutely so when one spouse dies and the other is left feeling the terrible absence of their love—crying out from their deep and empty chasm, “what’s the use of living anymore?” Aloneness is quite altogether different. Aloneness is when separation truly comes to an end as one is United, not with the passing phases of some-thing phenomenal, but rather with the very Core of the Noumenal. It’s when the Real looks at the Real and no-thing else. Aloneness is the best remedy from samsara as one discovers just how close the Unborn actually is…forever revealing something new and vibrantly beyond what the dull sensate realm could ever hope to offer.  Again from Ghose’s book:

“The Eternal Now releases us from the temporal tyranny, virtually from all limits of causation…Assured of the deep secret of self-finding through self-loss, the mystics have heard the inner-voice aright: “Annhilate yourself gloriously and joyously in Me, and in Me you shall find yourself; so long as you do not realize your no-thing-ness, (emphasis mine) you will never reach the delights of immortality.”

Far from the herd-mentality the Mystic ascends to all that is best in man and all that Transcends mankind. The Divine-Milieu, as Teilhard de Chardin once foretold. Feeling comfortable with Aloneness is the active agent that propels the Mystic to climb those unimaginable heights. It is the steady and equipoise, solitude-like tortoise, and not the harried hare who sustains the long-distance that is required for the quest of the ineffable.

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