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Ages and Ages of Loneliness

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Nothing to hold onto, and nothing to let go, the river in the heart of the sage overflows

— Libation

Photo · Chad Madden · Unsplash

ॐWhy are you still buying water — when you — you are the river?ॐ

Who has not experienced the incredible depths of loneliness of the spiritual seeker encountered on the journey to awakening and healing?

It’s not all about love and light.

When you experience a powerful spiritual awakening, it’s rare to not also experience the crushing dark night of the soul, and even many dark nights.

This experience of deep despair and grief is about what you can now see, and who and what you’ve lost in the awakening. The losses can be almost unbearable. Your soul is sensitive and feels it all. The state of the world cannot be denied, the suffering and the battles of life and death are both within and external.

Then the loneliness. Ahhh, the loneliness.

Sometimes it’s enough to you, just to know you’re there.

But the ache of deep spiritual loneliness is not always assuaged by relationship with others. It can go both ways, causing both advantage and problems, where you feel you cannot easily communicate what’s happening for you with others — but you’re walking the great path to spiritual liberation on which there’s no turning back.


Of this wrenching spiritual loneliness, Buddha said:

“If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It’s better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.”

And yet it’s also mentioned in Samyutta Nikaya that once Ven. Ananda approached the Buddha, remarking that:

“Half of the dispensation is based on friendship, companionship and association with the good”.

To which the Buddha replied

Ven. Ananda, do not say so. Not half, but man’s entire life is established on friendship, companionship and association with the good.”

Don't you love the spiritual contradictions?

The way we marry duality?


This is one lonely planet

And never more so than now.

This is a new phenomenon for humanity due to our past tribal identity needed for our very survival, where death was the likely outcome of disconnection from community.

Often only a shaman could tolerate and survive the harsh solitude of fringe-dwelling in their world. To survive such a life, both psychological and physical strength were needed.

But it was the lonely ones — the outsiders, the outcasts and outlaws — who often had the spiritual breakthroughs. Becoming wounded healers within their own healing.

Forced into the depths in their seclusion, the utter pain of loneliness became a simultaneous experience of the beauty of solitude.

Such is the duality of this reality, of this world. But can you handle being alone?

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Can you shift your relationship with your loneliness to fully feel your soul? Can you come home? Come home to yourself, and know peace in your solitude?

We all know too well the deep disconnect and the deep divide that can be experienced with another or in a crowd.

When you stay centred in your world, live there, in the very heart of your experience, you’ll find that ‘though the centre is everywhere, the centre is your home.

Loneliness is the disease of our times, but even more so is the disconnect from ourself. Connected to the hivemind through technology and media, we lose touch with our own knowing. Our own inner flow.

Staying seemingly connected to others and the world is one of the greatest illusions of our times. And creates a powerful disconnect from self.

Try not to lose yourself in your loneliness.

My invitation is for you to come home to yourself once more.


Krishnamurti wrote of the agony and the awakening within solitude.

Of the solitude we cannot bypass, but must confront.

And allow to course through us as a vast river of pain, ultimately releasing, like an overflowing dam, into another state of being.

His Notebook is a vast chronicle of his spiritual wanderings across both rich and desolate landscapes:

“Yesterday afternoon it was pretty bad, almost unbearable; it went on for several hours. Walking, surrounded by these violet, bare, rocky mountains, suddenly there was solitude. Complete solitude.
Everywhere, there was solitude; it had great, unfathomable richness; it had that beauty which is beyond thought and feeling. It was not still; it was living, moving, filling every nook and corner.
The high rocky mountain top was aglow with the setting sun and that very light and colour filled the heavens with solitude.
It was uniquely alone, not isolated but alone, like a drop of rain which holds all the waters of the earth. It was neither joyous nor sad but alone. It had no quality, shape or colour; these would make it something recognizable, measurable.
It came like a flash and took seed. It did not germinate but it was there in its entirety. There was no time to mature; time has roots in the past. This was a rootless, causeless state.
So it is totally “new”, a state that has not been and never will be, for it is living. Isolation is known and so is loneliness; they are recognizable for they have often been experienced, actually or in imagination.
The very familiarity of these breeds certain self-righteous contempt and fear from which arises cynicism and gods.
But self-isolation and loneliness do not lead to aloneness; they must be finished with, not in order to gain something, but they must die as naturally as the withering away of a gentle flower.
Resistance breeds fear but also acceptance. The brain must wash itself clean of all these cunning devices.”

“Tears of the Angels” · Release the Sadness, Let Your Spirit Soar (healing meditation) · Taos Winds Spirit Music

You’ve been walking for such a long time now

Always alert and looking for signs you’re on the right path.

You know now you’re not broken, you never were, you were always whole.

You were simply needing to embrace yourself and see yourself with loving eyes. Everything you could possibly need already lives within you.

And as you learn to believe in yourself again, your destiny re-emerges strong and true.

Believe this my friend and remember — you are the guardian of your own soul, and you’re on the path to freedom.

The freedom to truly be your Self.


Existing in a separate reality with a new vision

Floating through mystical energy fields, vast and unlimited, clothed in light, you’re everywhere in the world at once.

Listening in silence. And as you slow right down your vision becomes clear.

Emptied by doubts and uncertainty, depleted by past letdowns and heartbreaks — many of the difficulties have passed, but you haven’t yet let this in.

When you grasp the greatness of changes coming in, you can begin to let go, and let your cup be filled.

Be patient with yourself my child and listen to your heart — it’s a vibrant flame dancing and alive in all things.

All the life and light within you calls on you to love thy manifold self.


And now you ask :

How can you move the river and clear the way and let her flow?

I say love her as she is, her fierce heart visions and deepest dreams.

Just let her loose, in her true nature, to wander far and wander wild. Let her creations surge and stream, intense and turbulent.

To rise and to shine natural and free.

Only then the rains will come and the river she will flow ~

And yet again you ask yourself — why are you still buying water — when you — you are the river? ॐ

Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside of you

- Rumi

Photo · Ahmad Odeh · Unsplash

Copyright 2019/2020 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.

I first published this in MEDIUM on Sep 22, 2019

None of my messages are about other people (ie 'celebrities' and so on) - no matter what they might think - these come from me, to you my friend, for your soul upliftment

Love. You.

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