The Inner Struggle

Contemplating The Transcendental … 4th part…

Shakuhachi Flute Music, from the album Chinese & Japanese Koto Harp & Shakuhachi Flute Music, 2008

DP130155, 2/7/06, 11:18 AM, 16C, 6856x8852 (180+693), 100%, Rona Copywork, 1/30 s, R93.8, G57.6, B56.4 Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji)Department: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33 photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11Have you ever had an acute feeling of loneliness in the midst of a family get-together or a wedding reception in which you felt the presence of your family and friends in a joyful and positive way? … You are aware that you are feeling lonely but you don’t know for whom. You try to enter more fully into conversations, connect with certain family members and friends, but to no avail; the feeling of “missing someone important” persists.” (Robert Spitzer commenting on Jewish existentialist Martin Buber’s “interpersonal personhood”)

Spitzer goes on to say “The Catholic philosopher and theologian, Karl Rahner, provides some insight into this peculiar experience. He contends that God creates us in relationship to himself from the first moment of our existence. If we enter into this relationship with Him we will feel normal (though sometimes “supernormal”). However, if we ignore our relationship to the Creator, we will feel what is termed “cosmic loneliness”. … no human relationship will be able to take the place of this transcendent one. Continuing to ignore it makes the loneliness more acute.

Solo Shakuhachi Flute Music, from the album Chinese & Japanese Koto Harp & Shakuhachi Flute Music, 2008

Fra_angelico_-_conversion_de_saint_augustin… the autobiographies of many holy people recount how their encounters with the transcendent in prayer or in a church community brought them out of this state of loneliness into a reality they had not even imagined. St. Augustine’s prayer as he crosses this threshold expresses the moment well:

“Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within, and I outside seeking there for you, and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong — I , misshapen.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

They held me back far from you, those things which would have no being were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness; you flared, blazed, banished my blindness; you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst; you touched me and I burned for your peace. (Augustine, “Confessions”)”

Yea, much to think about, just looking around, the experience of loneliness …

next post … “cosmic guilt”


“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

All music tracks on this site are drawn from my personal music library on iTunes. I bought every one of them and reference them accordingly.  Sometimes I link to YouTube recordings and reference them as such.