Feeling homeless in the world

Feeling homeless in the world
Spirituality and psychotherapy are both in part about the search for a deeper meaning in life. It suggests that at some point there was an experience of a certain fullness or well-being from which life is currently somehow removed but removed in such a way that the very sense of distance becomes the energy that empowers the search for this absent abundance. In other words it implies that the person searching already has some sense of what it is that they are looking for. A feeling of homelessness in the world implies a sense of home.
It could be said that contemporary spirituality can be understood broadly as the leading of the searcher to his or her truest home. But which way do you turn towards home? Is this a transcendent country foreign to the land of our present exile? Or is the way home to be found in some turning within to meet there a part of ourselves that has never left and drives us from the depths of our existence to unite ourselves more fully with it? It’s this second way that is the route taken through contemplative prayer and through analytical psychology.
This then is about a divine immanence where God is no longer beyond a natural human being and our human consciousness so that home and the way home becomes truly an inner journey. But it also involves a transcendence that can include analytical psychology because it involves powers transcendent to the ego and that also impact on it with the force of the divine.
In part the search for home is about both the search for the essential self and the search for God both become one and both become central – the ultimate concern. Thomas Merton found this in his writings on the true and false self where he understood that through contemplative prayer it was possible to strip away the false self and to find that the true self and Christ are one.
Despite all the pervading cynicism and secularism the concern for the ultimate is universal and embedded in human consciousness, so to be human is to be concerned with the ultimate because the ultimate is that power in the human driving humanity to itself. I’m reminded of Paul Tillich who wrote that, ‘God is the presupposition of the question of God.’ For Tillich the individual can meet God as a stranger or as one from whom the individual has been estranged. The search for home is the search for self is the search for God.