PARAMAHAMSA SRI NITHYANANDA on the Joy of Discovering Individuality OUR mind dies when we are alone. Mind needs relationships to survive. Mind, ego and personality are norms of a society. They thrive only in relationship with society. Our true nature is aloneness. However, our mind starves when we are alone and makes us feel uncomfortable as it is not conditioned to it. Our personality has a social basis of comparison with others. However, when we think of ourselves in terms of our personality, we are isolating ourselves from others. We are setting ourselves up for loneliness. Again, we feel uncomfortable as a result of this comparison. Personality is a status given to us by society. What others think about us, what we have earned, what comforts we have accumulated are all part of our personality. Personality is like an external covering. Personality thrives on attention. Personality makes no distinction between good or bad kinds of attention. For a personality to thrive, any kind of attention is sufficient. In all our social roles, whether positive or negative, we are constantly seeking attention. We act to seek attention. We beg for attention. However, sooner or later, we seek our true nature or it seeks us. There will be no one to praise us or blame us. Our ego and our personality are shaken with this lack of attention. We then start realizing that we are not merely the personality or the status we project to the outside world. We then realize that we are more than a spouse, much more than our professional label, and even more than a citizen of a nation. These are parts of us and we are more than the sum of all these. Individuality is our natural state. On most occasions, we nurture our personality ignoring our individuality. Individuality is internal. The cry of individuality can be heard above the clamor of our personality if we dare to be alone. Our life is filled with parties, shopping, or watching TV. Why? It is because we are afraid of being alone. We don’t know how to be with ourselves. Old people who have married grandchildren read matrimonial columns in newspapers for vicarious pleasure! Entertainment is to run away from individuality. For how long can we run? We always believe we will be joyful at some point or other. By the time we are about forty years old, we may get everything we want. But, we still don’t understand why we wanted all this. We are still unhappy. We have reached the depression of success. Take time to be with yourself. Get comfortable with aloneness. This is the state of meditation. It leads to bliss, Nithyananda.