Of course, most of us have seemingly innocent alliances that are common to ordinary folks, like our friends and relatives. But is this where the really dangerous alliances lie?

How can a relationship with Auntie Bess and Uncle Bill be harmful for us? They are loving, warm, giving, and have encouraged and guided us throughout our lives. But is there a sinister aspect to their association with us?.

An alliance is when we get together for a common interest. But what makes alliances dangerous? They become dangerous when the people we associate with deceive us.

A wise man once said that if we want to become wise, associate with wise people. It would stand to reason then that if we associate with fools, we become fools ourselves. Anyone in the criminal justice system will tell you about the influence that constant exposure to criminals has on the police force; it‘s only a matter of time before many officers act like criminals themselves.

Let's imagine for a moment that we had no friends, no relations, no social network at all. What would we do? Probably run around and see if we could dredge up someone - anyone - that would pay some attention to us. Because when nobody pays attention to us, we, in a way, cease to exist.

Next, imagine that the world we are familiar with has just come to an end. Everyone had died from a super Swine Flu or something, yet you have miraculously survived. You are the last person on earth.

What would you do? Of course, all the world's riches would be at your disposal, but what worth would gold have now ? Or money? You couldn't acquire any power because power requires controlling other people, and there aren't any. And you couldn't acquire any fame for the same reason. So, all you would have left is survival, which would be easy; one abandoned supermarket would keep you going for a long time.

Next you might turn to religion and pray, which is what we normally do when all our options are gone. You could establish a psychological relationship with a divine entity based on your imagination, just as children have imaginary friends, and this would sustain you for awhile.

But every day, when you would wake up, you would know that no human being is there, there for you, and no human being will ever be there for you. It's just you now.

All the relationships that you have had in the past did not prepare you for this. As a matter of fact, they put you to sleep regarding the question as to whether we go out of this world alone or not. Now you would be faced with the truth, that indeed you go out alone, and because of your dangerous alliances in the past, you would not be prepared for that. And insanity could soon result.

There is a concept and reality about this scenario. Sitting in our media rooms behind a computer we could easily say that we would have little trouble being the last person on earth. It would be fun! Where are the keys to that Ferrari? Yet we cannot even spend a weekend alone on a spiritual retreat. The fact is, when death comes near, all the relatives and friends in the world cannot help us after that last breath is drawn. It's our baby then.

The mind will conjure up helper beings and guardian angels and all sorts of things to allay this pit of aloneness that is soon coming, but that will be of little consolation if, for instance, a mind, full of angels or not, turns off - for eternity.

Maybe it's time to consider an alliance with something else, an alliance that on the surface seems dangerous but when understood, is the only alliance that will make you fearless. But with what would this new alliance be forged?

It would be forged between you and your mind. Yes, your own mind. Not Uncle Bill or Auntie Bess, but your own mind, to be investigated and contemplated until you see who it is that is lonely, who it is that that thinks he or she dies, and who it is that thinks that they are the mover of the mind.

When the mind is investigated and contemplated, eventually it begins to glow like an eternal sun, and all the misconceptions about an imaginary person who exists and is subject to death melt beneath the heat of this sun.

And then mind, itself, finally disappears, and when mind disappears, there is only that which is happening in this very moment, and in this moment, in this tremendous freedom, there can never be loneliness because the one who was lonely never existed. There has always been only "This." This that never began, and This that will eternally be.

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock (anagarika addie) is a meditation teacher at:

http://www.dhammarocksprings.org/ and author of “A Year to Enlightenment:


His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.