Psyche has the ability to create suffering in any aspect of behavior or experience, deforming or afflicting our perspective. Beyond will and reason, such symptoms arise spontaneously. Suffering is central to the human experience, a way soul becomes conscious of itself. Genealogy can offer some unique symbolic solutions or channels of expression for certain syndromes.
Some people suffer a profound sense of absence and ardent longing for something transcendent. In German it is called sehnsucht -- “thoughts and feelings about all facets of life that are unfinished or imperfect, paired with a yearning for ideal alternative experiences. Almost of us have felt ‘life’s longings’ that cannot be resolved by what the world has to offer.
Such feelings can be positive, negative, or ambivalent. Our individual search for happiness proceeds while we cope with the reality of the unattainable. Psychologists identify Sehnsucht by six core characteristics: “(a) utopian conceptions of ideal development; (b) sense of incompleteness and imperfection of life; (c) conjoint time focus on the past, present, and future; (d) ambivalent (bittersweet) emotions; (e) reflection and evaluation of one's life; and (f) symbolic richness.”
There are other ways we try to make sense of existence. Saudade is Portuguese and Galician for soulful ephemeral memories of the miseries of life and the already dead, lost or missing. We miss all the physical elements that shaped our early experience. What calls to our memory that inspires such yearning and melancholy nostalgia, such longing mixed with desire? Or more importantly, how does this initiate communicating across boundaries?
This is a deep emotional state of nostalgia or profound melancholic longing for an absent loved one, likely never to return. For a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing, moved away, separated, or died, saudade is "the love that remains." The loss can be in the past or in future potential, roads not taken, blocked paths. Extreme feelings can lead to sickness unto death.
“The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.” (In Portugal, by AFG Bell, 1912)