Why do you use the word ‘fear’ with regard to inner solitude? Outwardly you don’t mind being alone, but from inner solitude you turn away. Why? Fear is not an abstraction, it exists only in relationship to something. Fear does not exist by itself; it exists as a word, but it is felt only in contact with something else. What is it that you are afraid of? “Of this inner solitude.”
There is fear of inner solitude only in relation to something else. You cannot be afraid of inner solitude, because you have never looked at it; you are measuring it now with what you already know. You know your worth, if one may put it that way, as a social worker, as a mother, as a capable and efficient person, and so on; you know the worth of your outer solitude. So it is in relation to all this that you measure or approach inner solitude; you know what has been, but you don’t know what is. The known looking at the unknown brings about fear; it is this activity that causes, fear.
“Yes, that is perfectly true. I am comparing the inner solitude with the things I know through experience. It is these experiences that are causing fear of something I have really not experienced at all.”So your fear is really not of the inner solitude, but the past is afraid of something it does not know, has not experienced. The past wants to absorb the new, make of it an experience. But can the past, which is you, experience the new, the unknown? The known can experience only that which is of itself, it can never experience the new, the unknown. By giving the unknown a name, by calling it inner solitude, you have only recognized it verbally, and the word is taking the place of experiencing; for the word is the screen of fear. The term ‘inner solitude’ is covering the fact, the what is, and the very word is creating fear.
“But somehow I don’t seem to be able to look at it.”
Let us first understand why we are not capable of looking at the fact, and what is preventing our being passively watchful of it. Don’t attempt to look at it now, but please listen quietly to what is being said.
The known, past experience, is trying to absorb what it calls the inner solitude; but it cannot experience it, for it does not know what it is; it knows the term, but not what is behind the term. The unknown cannot be experienced. You may think or speculate about the unknown, or be afraid of it; but thought cannot comprehend it, for thought is the outcome of the known, of experience. As thought cannot know the unknown, it is afraid of it. There will be fear as long as thought desires to experience, to understand the unknown.
“Then what... ?”
Please listen. If you listen rightly, the truth of all this will be seen, and then truth will be the only action. Whatever thought does with regard to inner solitude is an escape, an avoidance of what is. In avoiding what is, thought creates its own conditioning which prevents the experiencing of the new, the unknown. Fear is the only response of thought to the unknown.