SONGS OF ALIENATION

 

( As if a lone wolf upon the steppes )

     

       The last century has witnessed incredibly rapid innovations in technology.  We have had to adjust in countless ways both socially  and psychologically.  Certainly the comforts and the empowerment that these changes have wrought are so ingrained that many feel desperate when they are withdrawn.  An electrical outage quickly reveals how pervasive this dependence has become.  Despite the many benefits of these technical wonders there have been important losses in their wake.  Some of the social bonds and the sense of community that drew people together have withered.  Interaction between people has become more virtual and less real.  For many there has been an insidious tendency toward isolation even though the tools that promote communication have flourished.  Meaningful human contact can be hard to achieve.  It is easy to visit a city and, though being surrounded by milling masses, one might only speak with the people who have provided you services.   Here a peculiar and  poignant loneliness can occur as if drowning in a sea of humanity.  

     More profoundly, such feelings of alienation can induce a sense of self-estrangement with its attendant disorientation and existential distress.   Feelings of not being centered, of being lost and drifting are typical.  One can have a sense of being on the outside looking in, of being a stranger in your own homeland, a wanderer out of town, out of place.  Such experiences can produce a particular type of longing.  One might describe it as a hunger for authentic spiritual connection.  As if seeking shelter from a storm, one searches for just the right door.  An open door that might reveal a kindred spirit, a soul who would bid you welcome.  And as the words and emotions start to flow, you begin to  feel a great relief, the sweet comfort of being home.

 

There is something of a miracle

Some meaning in the mystery that flashes

Something greater than its parts

When like minds intertwine

And consciousness dances.

 

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