Absence and presence are sisters. The opposite of presence is not absence, the opposite of presence is vacancy. Vacancy is a void, a space which is hungrily empty, whereas absence is a space of spatial emptiness, but there is a trail of connection toward the departed one, the lost one, the absent one. To feel absence is to feel connection with the one who has gone. There is still a huge affective involvement with the person. In exploring compassion and vacancy, vacancy is a sinister pain, because of its hunger, its emptiness. A form of vacancy that is prevalent in post-modern culture is indifference, the inability to imagine or show compassion to others who are in trouble. Absence is different. The feeling of absence can create an incredible feeling of compassion.
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