too alone to feel alone


I feel that in the company of something true, a sadness could arise for all the time and energy spent — not only by one’s self, but by the multitudes — pursuing something false. Yet because it arises in the company of truth, it is sweetened by compassion, the seeing of which evokes another level of tears, and other qualities of sadness as well. In Zen, the term loneliness is used more often than sadness; they seem equivalent to some degree. You can look up sadness and Zen or loneliness and Zen and find different kinds of writings. Some of the writings refer to personal psychological sadness. However, I’m talking sadness that involves existence. I have not considered all the possible shades of sadness, so please offer your own in a comment.

7 thoughts on “too alone to feel alone

  1. Cecilia Weiss

    The aloness of God…

    On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 4:11 PM, Confessions from the Beach wrote:

    > Nonduality posted: “” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. la luna

    ‘Existential sadness’ is generally defined as a sadness associated with a desire for meaning or purpose, as opposed to a situational sadness such as divorce or loss of a job. A sense of meaning or purpose is at once both universal and personal as it is impossible to separate our individual lives from the historial and social contexts in which we find ourselves living in yet each of us have a different set of personal circumstances and character that set the template for interpretation and response.

    In a recent class that I took on Happiness and Positive Psychology we looked at some of the ideas written by Viktor Frankl in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’:

    “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

    “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

    When I read his writing and consider both his personal history and world history, I get a deep sense of a man who has spent a lot of his life examining the idea of a basic human need for purpose and meaning. These aren’t easy ideas like ‘live in the moment’ or ‘have fewer expectations’ but they are an invitation for honesty and courage.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. bevabyrnes

    “…because it arises in the company of truth, it is sweetened by compassion..” i have experienced just such a vast and all-encompassing compassion, arising from the greatest sadness. Such a sweetness that has no words, but tears indeed. In my case it seemed the other way around — in the space of great sadness, allowing it and holding mental overlays only lightly with just noticing, a non-personal and all-encompassing compassion arose. Though there came with it a sweetness, the word ‘sweetness’ itself seems a dim pointer to the actual experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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