Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Sir, I want to ask regarding loneliness. Today we have all the technology available to connect to each other, we can instantly connect to people even a thousand miles away using zoom, etc. Still, we have become so lonely. Why?
Acharya Prashant (AP): See, it’s not that we become lonely. It’s not as if loneliness has much to do with the ability to zoom, or to video conference. We are born lonely. It’s just that in some specific moments, the loneliness becomes very obvious. And only when it becomes obvious, we start saying, “Oh, I am lonely. Oh, I am lonely.” But every single child is born lonely. It’s not that you are born in a great mental state. The mind, as it is born, already carries a lot of deformities, and problems, and seed potential for many further deformities and problems.
Try leaving even a newborn alone, and you will see that it does not like it. Have you been with a baby, a small one? Have you seen how even they want people to be around? Even they want somebody should be touching them or at least a human face should be visible. And when such a thing does not happen, they start weeping. And when they start weeping, the mother rushes, and sometimes just by looking at the mother’s face, they feel relaxed. Because there was not much wrong. The fellow wept only because it wanted company.
The same thing happens to us throughout our life when we are 3 years old, when we are 13 years old, when we are 30 years old. Because the Ego, this “I” tendency that we are born with, is by definition lonely. It needs something or somebody to get attached to. It needs a finger to hold. It needs a name to associate itself with. Have you ever heard somebody saying just “I”? Rare, very rare. Nobody ever says “I”. We say, “I am this person. I am male. I am Hindu. I am rich. I am a scholar. I am a student. I like songs. I like to travel.”
So, something is always getting associated with the “I”. Have you noticed, this “I” doesn’t want to be by itself? It always wants to be with something. Be it travel. What is the “I” right now? Oh the “I” is traveling so you say “I am traveling. I am married. I am happy.” Even here, the “I” feels the need to associate itself with happiness.