Loneliness hurts, so you go and seek somebody’s company. That somebody might be pleasant for a few minutes and then he also pricks you, hurts you. Immediately the self wakes up. And immediately the self wakes up there is unhappiness. Even if this is an extraordinarily beautiful relationship, it has to come to an end. When that comes to an end the self wakes up again and there is misery until there is another dimension and another direction in which the awareness can be made to flow, and that is within.
Here there is self-transcendence – awareness seems to pierce the self and go beyond it. But here there is movement of awareness towards the centre, there is no movement away from the centre, and the self is asleep again because it is left behind – therefore there is centring of consciousness. This could last forever if you want, because there it is yourself – there is nothing to gain, nothing to lose, nothing was gained and so there is no loss. Loneliness is already a projection of the self. How? This self, this wall, creates the image of an ideal condition which it calls happiness. No-one has so far really defined ‘happiness’ and even if somebody has tried, that definition is not accepted by everyone – which means that happiness is a myth created by the self in order to make itself miserable! I have an image of happiness, and since I do not measure up to that or I do not have that which constitutes happiness, I must be unhappy – I am not unhappy! Having created this unhappy situation, the self tries to project itself, tries to grasp something in order to fill this void, this loneliness. This loneliness is self-created, it is not there – I am always lonely, alone.
Now, all that the yogi asks is stop there and look – look at what the self is doing. When you are enjoying something, the self is fast asleep, but the moment you investigate this, the self wakes up because you are ‘pouring’ awareness into it. The awareness was distracted, the self was asleep and the awareness was flowing towards something else, and because the self was asleep, you thought there was happiness.
When this awareness strikes, the self is withdrawn into it – that is called pratyahara. That is, you do not project anything anymore. Everything in the world is exactly as it is.
This is the other form of self-forgetfulness, which is marvellous when you go right down to the core of your centre, you pierce the thing called ‘self’ and enter into yourself. There you are completely centred but ‘self-forgetful’.