Most of us are never alone. You may withdraw into the mountains and live as a recluse, but when you are physically by yourself, you will have with you all your ideas, your experiences, your traditions, your knowledge of what has been. the Christian monk in a monastery cell is not alone; he is with his conceptual Jesus, with his theology, with the beliefs and dogmas of his particular conditioning. Similarly, the sannyasi in India who withdraws from the world and lives in isolation is not alone, for he too lives with his memories.
I am talking of an aloneness in which the mind is totally free from the past, and only such a mind is virtuous, for only in this aloneness is there innocence. Perhaps you will say, "That is too much to ask. One cannot live like that in this chaotic world, where one has to go to the office every day, earn a livelihood, bear children, endure the nagging of one's wife or husband, and all the rest of it." But I think what is being said is directly related to everyday life and action; otherwise, it has no value at all. You see, out of this aloneness comes a virtue which is virile and which brings an extraordinary sense of purity and gentleness. It doesn't matter if one makes mistakes; that is of very little importance. What matters is to have this feeling of being completely alone, uncontaminated, for it is only such a mind that can know or be aware of that which is beyond the word, beyond the name, beyond all the projections of imagination.
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