Many of us – even since the time we were little children – have been feeling disconnected, feeling like we are not completely at home in this world.
Even though we can feel quite secure, happy, and loved within our families, we can also feel a nagging sense of emptiness, loneliness, and alienation (not being at home) in the world – or even the universe – or the totality of everything around us.
Have you ever had the experience – when you are alone in your room or looking in the mirror — of feeling emptiness in the pit of your stomach – a feeling like something was missing in you or missing in your connection to the cosmos?
Similarly, have you ever had the experience of being by yourself in a moment of silence and feeling alone in the universe – like you don’t fit in or belong to the real world – that you are “out of kilter or disconnected from the universe”?
You may have thought to yourself, “This is really weird – because I’m doing ok at school, I have a great family, I feel accepted by my friends, and I think I can get into a pretty good college – I mean – why should I feel this way?”
You might have even thought – “I feel like something is missing – but I don’t know what.” These feelings are not uncommon, but we have to pay attention to them because they can sometimes lead us toward depression or even despair.
Virtually every spiritual writer from St. Augustine to C.S. Lewis has commented on this peculiar sense of emptiness and loneliness. They say it comes from “not being at home in the universe or reality itself.”
Strangely, we can feel at home in our families or even at school, but still feel intensely alone or empty in the larger context of reality itself – in the cosmos.
So where does this feeling of “not being at home in the cosmos” come from? Ironically, it comes from our sense of “perfect home.” How so?
When we are feeling disconnected from “perfect home” or we believe that we can never get there – or that this world is all there is, and so “perfect home” is unreal, we feel a deep sense of anxiety. It is as if we can never be brought to completion, and never be at peace – that we are consigned to partiality, frustration, and turmoil until there is nothing more than darkness.
If we probe more deeply into this feeling, we may see that it is linked to being at home with an ultimate personal being – that the perfect home we anticipate and desire entails companionship with a perfect personal being – who cares for and loves us in a perfect way.
You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t think that I expect or am yearning for a perfect home with a perfectly loving personal being – at least I don’t seem to think about this very often.”
Let’s suppose you really do have an awareness of “perfect home with a perfectly loving personal being,” and you don’t think about this very often – either because you are busy with other things, or because these matters seem idealistic or lofty or because someone told you that they are a fantasy.
Whatever the case, if you really do have an awareness of and desire for this perfect home, and you pay no attention to it, it will call attention to itself by its absence in your life. Unfulfilled desire makes us feel empty, alienated, and unhappy.
You might respond – “But what if there is no real perfect home with a perfect companion? – Then I would be trying to pursue something which doesn’t exist — why would I want to do that even if it does make me happier? I would just be pursuing a fantasy.”
This objection is well taken – the last thing we want to do is pursue a fantasy simply to make us happy – engage in mere wishful thinking. But don’t be too hasty here – because there is a 50% chance to begin with that your sense of perfect home represents reality.
Furthermore, when you consider the interior evidence of God given before, the numinous experience, the awareness of the sacred in the world, the awareness of a cosmic struggle between good and evil, and the awareness of perfect truth, love, justice-goodness, and beauty, you may conclude that a transcendent God who really is perfect truth itself, perfect love itself, perfect justice and goodness itself, and perfect beauty itself is not only present to you, but also inviting you into a relationship with him and a journey that will entail entrance into a cosmic struggle between good and evil — ultimately resulting in your attaining perfect home with him.
Then you will want to consider the rest of this series which explains some of the exterior evidence of God and your transphysical soul – such as,
- the scientific evidence for a beginning and creation of the universe
- the scientific evidence for fine-tuning of our universal constants and initial conditions (indicating supernatural design in our universe)
- the evidence of near death experiences (indicating a transphysical soul capable of surviving bodily death).
After reflecting on both the interior and exterior evidence, you may want to give the benefit of the doubt to your desire for perfect home – that is, you may want to seriously consider it as coming from a perfectly true, loving, good, and beautiful being who is inviting you precisely to this home.
If you do give your desire for perfect home this benefit of the doubt, and you pursue it through prayer, Church community, and commitment, you will likely find that this God is really present to you – protecting you, guiding you, inspiring you – in ways that you could not have anticipated – incessantly trying to lead you to the home he desires to give you.
Keep reading here for Part II of ‘The Awareness of & Desire for Perfect Home’.