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Thursday, August 26, 2010

To continue a little while longer on the theme of loneliness... Loneliness could be the voice of death, calling us home. Loneliness may reflect an estrangement from the self. We don't always know what we want or what matters most in life. We may mistakenly believe that what we're missing is praise or love, approval, acceptance, attention from the outside world. I may want to be popular and part of a particular circle or crowd and feel terrible because I am not. Such suffering could be due to overvaluing the ego's longings, which are a substitute for being grounded in truth. Praise and approval are not existentially valid aspirations; our suffering is a reflection of this, not proof of unworthiness.

Again, death shines a light on what is most precious in life; it may do this through the language of suffering. Loneliness is part of that language of suffering, and it's important to know what it communicates. Feeling lonely could mean that we have strayed from the path of what really matters in life; if we return to the path, loneliness fades away, like a fellow traveler who takes leave when he or she has provided directions. Our task, then, is to listen to what loneliness has to say about what matters in life, knowing it has been sent by death, one of life's dearest siblings.

stopping to sit
I recognize this rock
from somewhere

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