Ultimate Privation (7/5/13)

What if the ultimate—and, therefore, the most potentially creative—privation is the absence of God or the divine (transcendent) dimension from our life? I suspect that in order to fully launch the questioning, the probing, the deep inner exploration, and the disciplined study of spiritual scriptures, this privation of God must become acutely, painfully conscious. The pain of this absence must be so intense, in fact, that it plainly exposes the comparative frivolity and unimportance of most of what the mundane/consumerist, the socio-political, and the conventionally religious ‘worlds’ have to offer. We are driven from within to pursue most avidly that which we feel the absence of most stingingly: sexual activity, prestige, the feeling of power, moral-intellectual superiority over others, to be affectionately loved by those around us, money, aesthetic pleasure, God, peace, centeredness. We are, in a deep sense, defined by our driving and compelling privations. In other words, we are most positively identified by our ‘negative’—what we are most fearful of lacking—since it is the dogged or relentless pursuit of that particular object or state of being that reveals our trajectory—our daimon—our fate. What we want most—what matters above all else—is what we are known by and for, whether that is wisdom or orgasms, offspring or celebrity, honesty or knavery.

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