The Inner Struggle

Contemplating the Transcendental … part deux

A Place Called Morning, Bill Douglas, 2001

Albert_Chevallier_Tayler_-_The_Christmas_Tree_1911Continuing in my visit to “Finding True Happiness” by Robert Spitzer, PhD.  The last post ended on the feeling of “cosmic emptiness”. We continue with “cosmic alienation”.

” …We may now consider cosmic alienation. Alienation from the vantage point of this world generally signifies “not having a place in” or not  being “at home  in”  family, friends, workplace, community, or the culture. This sense of being an outsider not only brings with it “loneliness” but also an absence of worth or respectability — a sense of “not  being welcome”.

41-christmas-shopping-getCosmic alienation has many of the same attendant feelings but does not arise out of “this worldly” contexts.

It is not unusual for people to feel perfectly at home with family, friends, community and culture yet still feel a pervading sense of not being at home or not being welcome, or being an outsider.

If they are reflective, they are likely to ask “Why do I feel a lack of acceptance or welcome, a sense of being left out in my own home, when I have a wonderful family and friends as well as an agreeable community and culture?”

They might notice that their feeling has a much more general context than the specific context of family and friends. “I feel out of sorts with everything, not at home with the totality of things, an outsider in the whole cosmos … they are at home in small and intimate contexts but not at home in the biggest context of all.

Atheistic existentialists would interpret this as yet another sign of the absurdity of life and the inevitably of despair… religious existentialists see this as God’s invitation to move more closely to our ultimate home — the transcendent, perfect and eternal home.

If we do not respond to this invitation,the feelings will persist and they can produce a sense of purposelessness, malaise, and cynicism about life. Yet these feelings need not do this, for they can incite us to search for the ultimate and the transcendent, which can lead us to our ultimate home.

Homeland, Bill Douglas, 2002

Hope you had a peaceful and happy New Years Eve and on into the coming year.  Next post we look at cosmic loneliness …

Cheers

Joe

Hobbiton, near Matamata, North Island, New Zealand

Hobbiton, near Matamata, North Island, New Zealand

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