Caspar David Friedrich was—as some like to call him—the first horizontal painter. What he examined in his landscapes was an instant of sublimity, a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature. The Rückenfigur—a person seen from behind contemplating the view, encouraged the spectator to place himself in the position of this Rückenfigur, by which means he experiences the sublime potential of nature, understanding that the scene is as perceived and idealized by man.

But72 [...] For after all what is man in nature? Blaise Pascal’s reply on this question in his Pensées (thoughts), section II, The Misery of man without God, First part: Misery of man without God, Second Part: Happiness of man with God. Or, First Part: That nature is corrupt, proved by nature itself, Second Part: That there is a Redeemer, proved by Scripture., is: ‘A Nothing in relation to Infinity, All in relation to Nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.’

The apparent insignificance of human existence Pascal addresses and the experience of being dominated by political and natural forces that far exceed our limited powers strike a chord of recognition with some of the existentialists. But rather than speculate about matters that transcend the limited capacity of the human intellect, he invites his readers to recognize the description of his personal experiences as resonating with their own. While emphasizing the natural insignificance of individual human lives, he did not conclude that human existence was absurd. He pointed instead to a source of meaning that would transcend the limitations of our thought. Access, however, was strictly limited to those to whom God freely gave the gift of religious faith, without any merit on the part of the recipient.

With Albert Camus and other existentialist bastards human existence became absurd. Friedrich Nietzsche got rid of God and humanity must live in a world that is and will forever be hostile or indifferent towards them. The universe will never truly care for humanity the way we seem to want it to. The atheist view of this statement is that people create stories, or gods, which in their minds transcend reality to fill this void and attempt to satisfy their needs. This might happen to you...