"The Fallacy of Togetherness" by Osho
—Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Make friends with those who are on the path at least as much as you are. If they do not take you forward, at least they do not become a reason to move you backward on your quest. If this is not possible, just walk alone. The companionship of fools is not good. Remember one thing, you have come alone in this world and will leave this world alone. The togetherness ideal is just a way to make you feel better. That is why it is important to learn the art of solitude. In the company of a person who has gone deeper into themselves, you will feel their company as well as solitude.
Crowds are formed by people who are focused on the external. It’s a miracle to see that there are no crowds to be seen when you are with people who are focused in and within themselves. If ten internally focused individuals are sitting in a room, it is not that there are ten internally focused individuals sitting. It is each individual sitting by themselves, thereby not forming a crowd.
Internally focused people don’t make bridges to the outside. If there are ten externally focused people sitting, there not a crowd of ten people – it is a crowd of ten thousand. This is because each individual is connecting with the other ten and so on. Thousands of relationships are been forged. Even if internally focused people are together, they leave each other alone. The best company is offered from people who allow you to be alone even while you are with them. The people worth developing company with are people who let your solitude retain its purity. Reflection can only happen in solitude.
The naturalness and nakedness of your solitude maintains its pristine state. Your aloneness, your silence remains untouched and pure. They respect your boundaries and do not become a reason for disturbing your solitude. They provide company, one which does not invade your space. When you call them, they come near to you. Only as near as you call them and no more.
They leave you alone when you want to go inside of yourself.