Loneliness and Revelation: A Study of the Sacred, by Brendan Myers
O-Books, 9781846943553, 165 pp. (incl. bibliography), 2010
Loneliness and Revelation is comprised of forty-five thought provoking meditations on loneliness; Myers takes a close look at what it is and what it means for the individual as an existential condition.
More than just solitude or isolation, loneliness gives rise to the thought that one’s life may be “utterly insignificant and meaningless“.1 We combat this through what Myers calls Revelation, ways of being in the world and asserting our presence here, both for ourselves and those around us.
He explores this theme through various friends, philosophers, world religions both major and minor, referencing myth and literature. In doing so, he surveys the various ways we stave off loneliness, while noting that loneliness is something we return to again and again.
Art plays a central role in combating loneliness. Myers views art as “a greeting, an announcement, a calling out to the world”.2 Art is necessarily “expressive or representative of one’s self” and “activity which takes place in the world”. 3 Like inuksuk, it shows that we were here, and serves as a form of asserting one’s identity and cementing one’s place. Art creates an extended dialogue between artist, the art, and those who encounter it.
Ultimately we learn that, while loneliness may be a permanent part of the human condition which can never be wholly absent, Revelation happens all around us, as everything has “a presence to reveal, and a story to tell,” and by encountering them we become participants in something grander than ourselves.4
Loneliness and Revelation is thought provoking and erudite, yet written with Myers’ easy grace it remains easily accessible and deeply present.