Winter comes to us regularly – frozen and white. And if you have never lived in a snowy area, have you ever felt that the world is merely an immense white space, no tree, no grass, not a single street or house, not a single mountain or river, only this immense whiteness, with your sole presence, sitting silently alone in a cold white universe?
That is a loneliness as vast as the universe.
Anyone of us could sometimes find herself lost in that white universe – for emotional or philosophical reasons.
Let’s have the courage to face the truth. Depending on our attitude, our loneliness can be a little or a lot, nonetheless loneliness is a huge problem of humankind. Loneliness or alienation – the feeling of a stranger isolated from the world he is living in – is the essence of debauched pessimistic existentialism of the twentieth century, and also the essence of Karl Marx’s school of thought from a sociological perspective, setting the foundation for dialectic materialism and Marxism.
The truth is that a person can feel lonely in her own world for millions of reasons – losing love, job, wealth, honor…losing faith in people and life. The ultimate result remains, life is meaningless – being born, trying to struggle day by day for a living, like worm or ant searching for food every day, then death. This is a huge problem for humanity. It could be a constant philosophical question for those with a philosophical mind, and a psychological issue for those who are not philosophers but going through a big crisis – love, money, fame…
We have to understand this. When we fall into the state of extreme loneliness, the consequences can be far more tragic than we can imagine. If we think about how often movie or music stars kill themselves, or two years ago (2009) former president of South Korea Roh Moo-Hyun jumped to his death the 20th floor while being investigated of corruption, we can understand how big loneliness, and then desperation, could be. We would think superstars have plenty of money to afford all kinds of psychiatrist and pay for all kinds of recreation to relieve stress, and ex-presidents tend to have enough inner strength to struggle with adversity!
Human psyche is like that. We’re fine if everything is normal, but when being shocked to the core, we are easily pushed to the state of alienation, loneliness and desperation. At such moments we feel that no one can understand us, no one can lift us up.
However, there is one thing that only people who have strong spiritual life know. That is: If you have a strong spiritual life, you are never lonely – you always have your God, your Buddha, your Allah, your Bodhisattva, your Mother… to confide in and lean on.
We often hear: “It’s lonely at the top”. Top leaders are usually very lonely, as there are many difficulties that they have to handle themselves, without the luxury of sharing them with anyone. Because of that, big leaders in the world tend to have strong spiritual life – Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela… not mentioning Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama.
When we humans are desperate, it seems that everything in this whole wide world is meaningless, even our life. Those are the moments that our heart is willing to absorb spiritual enlightenment, because there is no desire left, thus neither greed, nor anger, nor ignorance surrounds our heart anymore. And if we open our heart for spiritual enlightenment, we will enter a completely new world, where there is neither desperation, nor greed, nor anger, nor ignorance. Just a world of love, peace and hope, of saints and spirits.
God is love. Buddha is the peaceful heart.
You will see God or Buddha in your heart. Do not wonder how you are going to meet them. Your heart will tell you.
My friends, the thing that I want you to master is that: If you don’t have a strong spiritual life, you will not be ready to face cruel and sudden storms in your life. The normal reasoning of positive thinking is not strong enough to hold you in extremely difficult and lonely situations. Only your sacred heart is strong enough.
I say “spiritual”, I don’t say “religious”, I don’t say “go to the church” or “go to the pagoda”.
Your sacred heart must be connected with the powers stronger than us human or the material world, the supernatural powers that your eyes cannot see, your ears cannot hear, your mind cannot comprehend, but your heart can feel and know.
This life has many levels deeper than a bow of phở and cup of coffee. Give yourself the strength in order to readily face the most terrible hurricane in your life, if by chance if comes.
Wish you a ready day!
(Translated by Nguyễn Hà Huyền Vân)
Original article: Một mình trong thế giới trắng