Question: I am a slave of worldliness. I always need a company. How to get rid of this dependence?
Acharya Prashant: First of all we have to realise that what do we do to the company, and what does that company does to us?
I am feeling lonely, and I get someone to be with. What will I do to that person? I will only use that person. I will use that person to fill up my loneliness. That fellow will become a tool for me, a usable for me and a thing for me. And then if some other person can fill my loneliness better, then the other person would be better.
What is the purpose of this person’s presence in my life? What is the reason? Why has this person come in my life? Because I was feeling lonely. So loneliness is important. The person is really not important. Do you get this? The person is just a means to some end. What is the end? Getting rid of loneliness. Now, will I give freedom to this person?
I use this person. When I use somebody, then can I give him freedom? (Holding a mobile phone kept on the table) I use this, right? At this moment, if it wants to go and take a walk, will I allow it? Why will I not allow it? Because I am using it. Because I am dependent on it. When you are dependent on somebody, then the relationship can never have love. Because, in an environment of dependence, there can be no freedom.
The more you are dependent, the more dangerous you become for the person you are dependent on.
It was in Goa, and there were these lifeguards. One of the lifeguards was telling about their method of operations. He said, “We save people. But even in saving people, we apply discretion. If there is somebody who is in such a desperate, bad and hopeless condition that his mind has totally gone out, then sometimes we decide not to save him at all. We let him sink. Or rather, we prefer to save somebody else.”
That sounded very strange. They were lifeguards, and it was their duty, their work to save. Why were they not saving then? To this one of them said, “The one who becomes desperate, the one whose mind becomes totally captive to fear, will cling to the lifeguard in such a way that even the lifeguard will drown.”
If a fellow is drowning, and while drowning if he has become very afraid, and you give your hand to him, you give him a basic instruction, he will not listen to you. Fear makes the mind go mad. The fellow will drown, and he will also take the lifeguard along with him because he has become totally dependent on the lifeguard. He has seen that he is dying. So the moment he comes in contact with somebody, he takes the other fellow also down with him. This is what dependence does to you.
Loneliness means dependence on somebody else. I have been saying this fundamental thing since long. If you really want to have healthy and loving relationships, kindly put the dependence factor out of the relationship.
You cannot have a healthy relationship when two people miss each other in their loneliness, when two people are financially dependent on each other or when one of them is dependent on the other one or when one person is dependent on the other for reasons of security. If one fellow is providing the basic security, then this is just a relationship of ‘give and take’. There cannot be any love in it. There would be fear in it, and there would be violence in it, but there would be no love in it.
So instead of asking, “I am lonely, what to do?” see what happens when you get along with somebody because of loneliness. See whether you are doing justice to that person. And if that person is with you, is it not just out of a sense of mercy? The fellow may have a soft heart. Do you want somebody’s mercy, or do you want that person’s love? What do you want?
Listener 1: Mercy.
AP: Would you like it? I take pity on you in that case. Somebody comes and says to you, “You are pitiful,” versus, somebody comes and says, “You are lovely”, what would you prefer? Being pitiful or being lovely?
AP: To go to somebody because you are feeling lonely is to become pitiful. Do you want to be an object of pity? “I have nobody in my life. Please help me. You are my only saviour. Please help me. Without you, I will commit suicide. Please help me.” Do you really think all this is healthy?
AP: So pay attention to the relationship. When, you see that a relationship born out of loneliness only causes suffering to all the people involved, then automatically your ways change. Realization is the biggest power.
Once you really understand, then the right action happens on its own. Realisation is the biggest power. Pay attention to your relationships. See what is at work. And then, whatever is rotten, will automatically stop, and drop.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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