I am reading a short conversation thread about life in outer space and one of the posting peoples writes:
I think that more than anything we want ET to be there to observe us, to witness our existence, to tell us who we are.
This is striking. Is this thought much removed from our lonliness and search for significant others? A cold winter day, perhaps last January or the year prior (I cannot remember which) I was staring out over the calm image of a cold pond and observing not only the world around me, but my observing of the world. As least as much as it is possible to observe one’s own thoughts objectively (which is the Behaviorists rants against Wundt). I was feeling particularly lonely that day and longed for another person. So while one part of me sighed deeply at the scene before me, another part of me tried to figure out why I felt the way that I did. What I realized was that I didn’t long for a person, special, intelligent, and loveable… but that I longed for a person who would bear witness to my own unique existence. And as a person of uniqueness (don’t we all believe such?) the witness had to be as creative and intelligent and witty as I tell myself that I am. As I stared out over the lake, longing for a person, what I realized was that I really wanted a person to stand next to me and say “gee, you’re a swell guy for standing here looking out over this pond. You must be a wonderful person.” That was an important moment for me, it helped me to start a new chapter in my life because until then I’ve been perpetually lonely and believing that it all resolved around finding the right person, which entailed myself being the right person.
Now I view it as part of the existentialist dilemna. I still hold a romantic fondness and perhaps a deep faith that true love exists. And every now and then, particularly on scenic walks and moving musical passages I’ll pay homage to the goddess of lonliness and desire, my long time mistress. But the most important thing for me is to be who I am and to live my own existential dilemna.