“How can this abyss of life be filled?"

Chapter 2 of Julián Carrón's book The Brilliance in your eyes - What saves us from nothingness?
Julián Carrón

The central question we have asked ourselves is fundamental. “What saves us from nothingness?” In the inevitable drama of life, how can we keep from succumbing to our vulnerability and powerlessness? What can respond to the void of meaning? As the coronavirus pandemic has shaken each of us and made us fear for our lives, we feel the question even more acutely, and this helps us be more clear-sighted as we weigh the attempts at an answer.

1. Insufficient attempts

a) Reasonings that no longer convince anyone

Some think that a mere discourse can meet the challenge of the advance of nothingness, but as our experience shows, this does not suffice. A line of thought, a philosophy, a psychological or intellectual analysis does not enable the human to start afresh, does not give new breath to desire, does not regenerate the “I.” Libraries and internet are full of them, but the nothingness spreads unabated. The more you pay attention to what stirs in the depths of your heart, the more you realize how insufficient they are. “Something is meant by human being which involves more than just being; something is at stake in human being which is obscured, suppressed, disregarded, or distorted. How to penetrate the shell of his adjustments and to inquire whether adjustment is his ultimate vocation? We study human behavior; we must not disregard human bewilderment.”
How many words we hear and say, but they are like a revving motor, with no forward motion! In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, this criticism is voiced by Bassanio, who skewers Gratiano as someone who “speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search.” Reason can rev and rev uselessly with arguments lacking real content. “Intelligence […] is always tempted to deviate towards a game of concepts that it finds fascinating, but it fails to realize that in this way it has broken the bond that unites it to reality.” [...]

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