Alone and together

We live alone and together. But our togetherness really hinges on our aloneness. A society, a community, a family is a group of individuals. And each and every one of these people inhabits their own inner world of thoughts, desires, hopes, fears encased in their consciousness.

We encounter ourselves immediately. We encounter each other through a faith in the existence of other minds. Our collective life is, therefore, a network of caves and bridges.

On the one hand, we will always be alone because everything we perceive is really a perception of the world dripped through the filter of our own mindset. So, everywhere we go, everything we do, everything we perceive is, in a way, a perception of ourselves.

But on the other hand, we cannot escape our togetherness for we are inextricably linked together. Every feeling, thought, plan we have ever had has probably existed in a similar form in some other mind. And many of the thoughts we think come from ourselves actually have their origin outside of us.

When we are alone, invisible threads still hang between us. When we are together, we are seated in the prism of our own subjectivity.

We have to straddle these two dimensions. We cannot live in secluded caves because we will just drag the world there with us. We cannot live a life fully immersed in the world either because we will get lost in others’ lives and lose ourselves. We need to learn from others but be ourselves, give to others and to ourselves, serve others and nourish ourselves.

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