The Loneliness of Being Human
Linda George, Contributor
“No one can escape from their individuality” ~Arthur Schopenhauer
“We cannot escape from the essential loneliness of our individual nature.” ~Paul Brunton
We are both human and divine. The perennial philosophy, the spiritual and ancient wisdom traditions inform us of this truth. In our humanness we are separate individuals, with our unique egoic consciousness contained within our equally unique physicality. In our divine nature we are multi-dimensional, spiritual beings and we are connected, at that level with everyone and all of life in fact, on our blue planet.
Our individuality and our universality exist side by side. We ‘skin-encapsulated egos’ living in this physical world of objects and things that seem apart from us, are in actuality divine players of unfathomable spiritual depths dancing on a cosmic stage that teems with invisible forms of energy. Our bodies unknowingly (to us) react and respond to this energy. There are over 300 million actions and reactions going on in our bodies every second; an incredibly complex world lies beneath our skin. And at the same time as it coordinates the chemical activities required to keep us alive, our body’s intelligence is also monitoring the energetic fluctuations of the stars and planets. Incredible, but true. We are truly walking miracles and we are totally unique, just like every other life form here.
We are players and we are being played. We have free will but we are subject to natural laws over which we have no control. We cannot escape either our individuality or our participation in the big picture, the cosmic drama that is occurring both within and without. But why is it that our individuality creates, as Paul Brunton says above, this ‘essential loneliness’. Can we escape it? And if we are so intricately connected (and it is apparent that we are) with the wider universe, why do we feel this way? Is it the in-built protective mechanism called fear, designed to keep us alive as long as possible in these flesh bodies that is responsible for the pain we might call loneliness? We know there is nothing like pain to intensify our feelings of separateness. When struck by disaster (dis-aster = against the stars), trauma, tragedy, or we are confronted by the stark reality of our inevitable decline into old age (should we have escaped fatal accidents and illnesses) and death, it is natural to lose our sense (if we had any) of our interconnectedness; it is natural to feel fear, panic even. Why is this so? That it is, surely, calls for a solution.
As we know from the perennial philosophy, coming down to us from the enigmatic Hermes Trismegistus (the reincarnated Thoth of the ancient Egyptians), everything in life must find its balance. The pendulum, having swung in one direction, must swing back in the other. All of life in this realm must be balanced – whether an action, an emotion or a thought. Our karma is as much a natural law as gravity is. For everything we set in motion will be returned to us; everything will be balanced – whether consciously or unconsciously. Every effect is the consequence of a pre-existing cause.
“Beyond all creatures on the earth man is twofold; mortal because of body, but because of the essential Man immortal. Though deathless and possessed of sway o’er all, yet doth he suffer as a mortal doth, subject to Fate.” ~Hermes
Which leads me to this: our loneliness – symptomatic of our separateness, must be balanced by the experience of its opposite. Its ‘opposite’ is of course our spirituality or in other words our interconnectedness with the One. The All. It is this we need to experience. As Hermes informs us, we are twofold and therefore two forces dictate our fate. The force of our freewill must be called upon, if we are to ameliorate the pain of our separation.
How so? It is far easier for me to write this than for you, or me, to action it. From far back into pre-history, fragments of the esoteric wisdom trickle down. We know that the resolution of our pain is only to be found in the quest to realize the unshakeable truth of our divinity. Enlightenment is the goal. It is one that lies beyond this lifetime for most of us perhaps. But I believe, even if we never arrive at that one moment where life finally appears as it really is, where the veil is lifted – just for a moment, we may still find resolution and relief from our loneliness – in the quest itself.
Free will then, is the conscious decision to embark on the quest. Moreover, to stay with it – to be disciplined and steadfast. In regular meditation, in constant and conscious self-reminders to be present, to be in this moment, in the effort to keep ones’ heart open, to be loving, to be kind, to be gentle with self and others, to feel (and act on) compassion, to respect all life forms, to treat all as one. In these, we bring balance and equanimity to our personal and global chaos. Old fashioned values maybe – yet they comprise the essence of spirituality and of religious feeling. We must carve out time in our busy lives to simply be with ourselves. We need to journey on a daily basis, inward. The kingdom of heaven is within, after all. And in truth, if we hope for change in the world, we must begin with ourselves.
We suffer as mortals. Hermes was quite right and nothing has changed in thousands of years since. Yet, in recognition of universal laws, we realize we do have the power to alleviate our suffering. We acknowledge the pendulum has swung too far into the mortal realm when we feel the ache of grief and loneliness, the panic of fear, the dread of the future – however separation manifests at any one time. And we decide to make a deliberate effort to swing it back the other way – back to the truth of our divine heritage – where we are never separate and alone. We are immortal beings. We are here on this planet for a moment in time. Our lives seem long but they are a fragment. Just as particles buzz in and out of the waveform world into the particle one – we too will disappear back out of these particles we call bodies and merge again with the All. We will reconnect. Let us do the best we can, for the sake of our own peace of mind as much as for the wellbeing of our planet, while we are here.
“The man who hath Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself [is deathless].” ~Hermes
I leave you with some predictions, attributed to Hermes. In these times in which we live, we must hope and believe the pendulum will swing and order, and nature, will be restored.
Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good. As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you, all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.
And so the gods will depart from mankind, a grievous thing!, and only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven; all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb; the fruits of the earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation. After this manner will old age come upon the world. Religion will be no more; all things will be disordered and awry; all good will disappear.
But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that god who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counter-working of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.
Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God. For God’s will has no beginning; it is ever the same, and as it now is, even so it has ever been, without beginning. For it is the very being of God to purpose good.
About the Author
Linda George lives in New Zealand, where she is actively engaged in finding the balance between effort and ease in a chaotic world. She teaches yoga and shares her insights from four decades of involvement in the worlds of metaphysics, philosophy, astrology, alternative healing, comparative religions and yoga, through writing. Her book, Sun Signs & Soulmates, (Llewellyn USA) is available on Amazon. Her award-winning manuscript, Living in the Big Picture, is awaiting publication.
She may be contacted by email: Lindastrologer@gmail.com