Wound/Desire 1: The absence (of God, peace, dwelling, self, truth) and desire for transcendence
Peter Black speaks of eros (desire) as a form of “lack,” and the search for “completion.” (Black, 108-109)
"Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:13-16)
The experience of desire funded by absence, in our context today, seems to be driven most fundamentally by otherness and multiplicity, rather than historical or existential crisis. The experienced absence of God does not come to us so much as an experience of existential separation - modern industrial humanity’s alienated existence estranged from essence. It is not so much the experience of longing for reconciliation, acceptance, and return - existential lack and anxiety that creates a deep need. Neither does it seem driven by despair over the fate of progress within history. Instead, desire (eros) is experienced in the separation implicit in the idea of infinity, difference, or otherness, in all its multiplicity.
Desire, as we will speak of it here, is desire for that which is, by definition, other - that which is unattainable and beyond fully knowing or possessing. According to philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, this infinity “requires separation, requires it unto atheism, so profoundly that the idea of infinity could be forgotten. The forgetting of transcendence is not produced as an accident in a separated being (Tillich); the possibility of this forgetting is necessary for separation.” (Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 181). We see, therefore, in the absence of God, the possibility that is produced by the idea of infinity, or radical otherness itself.
Bill Friskics-Warren, in I'll Take You There: Pop Music and the Urge for Transcendence, asserts that much of popular music is oriented toward various forms of self-transcendence (through beauty, compassion, sex, sheer volume, community, exorcism, etc.)
Paul Tillich says it this way: “each person is locked up within himself, and each desires to transcend himself through the power of eros.” (in Black, 113)
See also Laird on Nyssa, and the “clenched fist of desire” when turned in on itself. (510)
This sounds a lot like the desire that is invoked when the “named” God recedes – is parodied, lampooned, shadow-boxed, exorcized, in postmodernity.
In all of this, the first wound - an absence of God creates a desire for transcendence.