TO BE IS
TO BE A-LONE-ONE

TO BE ATTACHED
IS NOT TO BE

A-LONE-ONE

When I was born, the cord attaching me to my mother's body was cut. In that instant I became a-lone-one, separate and apart from everyone and everything else in the world. I became an individual, a one, a centered expression of being. From infinite being, via the world through my parents, I became finite being--human being.

I could not become myself as long as I was attached to my mother. Birth, and the severing of the cord, were essential in my becoming one in this universe. Even though I continue to draw my life--breath, food, and inspiration--from that which is beyond me, yet I am separate and unique. I am not the same as any other form which being takes. I am, indeed, a-lone-one.

So it is with all being. Even though other forms of being, such as trees and plants, appear to remain attached, drawing their sustenance more directly from the world which births us all, they too are one. Even as I am, each flower, tree, and plant is unique, a separate individual in this mysterious universe of being.

None of us can be without embracing our essential separation and division from the rest of what is. This isolation is the basis of identity and the door to becoming who we are. So long as I cling or lean, or remain attached to my mother or any symbolic replacements of her, I cannot be myself. Attachment precludes being.

Aloneness unaccepted is a great pain. We call it loneliness. Our common temptation to return to the womb, to escape loneliness through absorption or attachment, is understandable. Yet to fall for it is to miss being.

To be is, first of all, to be a-lone-one.

********

TO BE IS
TO BE A-PART-OF

TO REMAIN SEPARATE
IS TO DIE

A-PART-OF

Paradoxically, I can be a-lone-one without being attached, yet I cannot exist without also being a-part-of all that is. I can only be in being itself. I must both be apart and a-part-of at the same time. Though unattached, I cannot remain isolated without dying.

Just as the body, though not attached to the air it breathes, cannot remain apart from air without dying, neither can one who would be exist apart from being itself. To be is thus to be involved in the world where I am, without attaching myself to it. I must be in the world, but cannot be of the world.

Though an engaged participant, I must always relate in an unattached manner. If I am a-lone-one in the presence of nature, I will participate in each immediate event, such as, the sun setting, as though I am a-part-of the happening. Yet I will be involved in the setting sun without losing myself in it. I will be both a-lone-one and a-part-of whatever occurs.

If I meet a person I will become involved in the encounter, a-part-of the present event; yet I will do so without attaching myself to him. I will be a-lone-one with him, and thus a-part-of the event of our meeting, but I will remain essentially unattached.

Existing in a group of any kind--a family, club, company, organization, religion, community, or nation--I must maintain the same basic stance if I am to be who I am. I cannot remain isolated from the worlds in which I live without dying, nor can I lose myself in either of them without ceasing to be. I must always be a-lone-one who continually chooses to be a-part-of.

(From: HOW IT IS FOR ME)

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