On Beyond Depression
I was diagnosed with “clinical depression” 30 years ago or so, and told I’d be on Prozac (a popular SSRI antidepressant at the time) for the rest of my life, akin to how a diabetic needs to take insulin.
Over the years I learned how what the doctors said was a lie, and the society we live in promotes the lie, and I eventually saw how to be free of the lie. Today I am 100% free of any “anti-depressants” (other than a cup of English Breakfast tea 😉 ), and have been for decades.
The lie is that we are separate entities, and that core un-truth spawns countless others — such as that we are basically just meat robots, deficient in chemicals or whatever — and places an enormous chip on our shoulders, a burden, telling us we are unloved and unworthy, without the infinite esteem of God as it were. The “God” is really our self (or “the Self”), our real existence, Nature, the real perceiver behind all perception, universal intelligence, the Totality, non-objective Reality, whatever you want to call “It”, despite appearances to the contrary… despite what we think we need from the drugstore to be happy, or need from a lover or a bank account or some other object, condition, accomplishment, activity, or state of affairs. (To be clear I’m not anti-drug at all, and take aspirin and ibuprofen for example to help with the occasional headache or toothache, and trying various mind-altering substances such as psychedelics or anti-depressants, for some is a worthy experiment to see their effects and limitations).
Choosing Freedom or Choosing Misery
If what what we are is pure or absolute freedom, and we have ultimate choice, then it follows that anxiety and depression, at some “level” is a choice. Just as some people love to complain, some people secretly love to be miserable, and share that misery!
See clearly that it’s not a person getting what they want, it’s recognition (direct) that one is already experiencing exactly everything and only what they want, whether seen or not, and making that whole “dynamic” as it were, conscious, and seeing where “giving the order” to get what supposedly doesn’t want (according to the mind), is also getting what one wants. Therefore why not make it what one wants.
It’s so simple it’s difficult to express.
True and lasting self-love and self-esteem have nothing to do with what we’ve been told they are about. There is so much love and esteem available already, you wouldn’t believe it. Yes you can build up certain skills and abilities in the body-mind over time, and this is all well and good for doing things in the world, but what you are doesn’t need anything to be purely what it is, and always is, already. The heart knows what the mind is barely catching up to.
These comments, or observations, applies to anxiety as well, since they have the same root in misguidance. We take a simple misguidance and blow it up into a huge deal, a drama worthy of a novel and a movie. We use a microscope when we should be opening the aperture of the camera lens full scope.
What you are is infinite openness, infinite love, pure happiness, complete peace. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t able to feel it all, experience it now totally. What matters is that in your journey you are taking steps upward, overall, over time. You can look back and see (honestly) that it’s been an upward path, and have gratitude, Now, for life. Anything else is the aberrant, wayward mind – like a child that needs to be reigned in a little. Or a lot. 🙂
Behind the noise of the mind is a Great Silence. A beautiful, wonder-full, incomprehensible, infinite Presence, that is indescribable. It’s what you Are, before anything else (like a human being).
It’s remarkable how utterly insignificant we are, and so magnificent at the same time. What an extraordinary life.
(You can also reference an article about an experience of minor depression from a few years ago Dialogue With A Sage: Don’t Hold On – you can skip the long preamble in it and go directly to the dialogue if you want…).
The following recent dialogues are worthy of conveying here – how a seemingly tiny switch in outlook, if you will, has enormous power to change one’s view of life and how it’s feeling, is experienced. It switches us from some unnatural learned tendencies, to seeing life as it is, more and more, naturally, the effortless giving-ness of the totality:
Dialogue 1: A Depressed Friend In Western Europe
Am in a bit of a hole currently
– break up with the girlfriend?
Kind of unhappy
Break up with yourSelf then
Just a bit depressed
I’m not enjoying
while it lasts…
Seems like it will go on forever doesn’t it.
I know it won’t last but… It keeps on returning apparently.
Even though I can see that all is well, I am unchanged etc.
There is no energy, not much I feel I have to give right now.
And if it doesn’t, see if when you are in the mood to see if you could be with it forever.
Like really see it, as a thing… like a dark warm blanket, really feel it, comfort it.
I’ve already overslept within this blanket the past days.
See then that it’s appearing in you instead of seemingly in it.
Today at least I’m cleaning up and doing chores again.
Not sleep but meditate.
Yeah activity, getting out of yourself, doing shit for others is good too.
It’s a very self-involved pattern.
Wrapped around the head
It is stupid I mean
Be gentle, loving, see the harshness of thinking.
Release the grip
if you want
Yes it’s harsh.
If and when you want
Why on earth did I ever fall for this?
I know it feels like it grips you.
And then over again
Game we play with ourselves
until we’re over it
a little indulgence
Thank you Eric
Stressed and depressed are related in that they are both a form of stress except that depression has more negativity in it and more a feeling sorry for oneself, and critical thinking about oneself or others or the world or whatever, whereas stress is more fear-based; but they both have fear since they are predicated on the separate self sense.
From what I’ve seen…
But yeah, both ultimately lies or based therein, the body obediently marching to the tune of the mind, and releasing chemicals or doing whatever.
So you can approach it from the mind or the body. But of course ultimately as you know you have to transcend both.
I was writing a little and after we talked, as well as talking to mom, somehow rediscovered the truth behind all of this.
And it was a beautiful moment and a shift back to this neutrality.
Have been chipping away at a book or article about depression for years. Made some progress today, thanks to our dialogue.
Wanted to make sure I was on solid ground would actually be helpful rather than describing it (even if it’s from my experience) and getting the reader more involved in that thinking, or talking about it theoretically…
Oh that’s great to hear!
Yes, depression is very widespread, and misunderstood, and so many cultural assumptions about it (and behind it of course) and what to do about it.
It’s a phantom I’ve known since early childhood.
Or rather never really known.
Had lots of first hand experience when I was younger – “clinical” depression they called it – and many explorations of pathways to “cure”…
Yeah. My mom was depressed when I was very young and I didn’t know what it even meant.
She was just acting incredibly odd
And later they said I have it too. Great. Now I’m odd too? 🙂
I didn’t know what it was until a therapists told me in college it was “depression”. This was a little while after I’d had broken up with a girlfriend, and felt horrible, empty, confused, like navigating through black molasses… all I knew how to do was problem-solve and analyze lol.
Tried so many things – psychotherapists, drugs, lifestyle things, so many ideas out there… over the years…Zen was a good start, and my own deep intuitions, and a dream about innate peace and false imagination, and then finding spiritual psychology was the first handle I started to get on it… many years to get to non-duality. But “depression” is just label for one mood level pattern, and the happiness and root of unhappiness is totally universal.
Anxiety is closely related.
Yes I realized my father was depressed, and he didn’t know it. Escaped through work and other addictions. And my mother had extreme anxiety when she got older.
I remember a spiritual teacher, after I was talking about something to do with happiness and society, saying “most people are depressed” haha.
The medical model looks for causes like genes and chemicals and family and circumstances, and places people “at effect”. Then the only thing one can do is “manage” or “cope”. Not a real solution in the long run.
Yes that’s it.
The root is deeper of course.
It’s a mistake in the thinking structure, that has invented a complete false idea of a self.
Well we know that now.
Yup, it’s just another surface spinoff of thinking and feeling to be separate, at root. Not being established or “knowing” the Self takes many forms. Some beings seem to pick depression…
Being as you are which is pre-verbal, pre-concept… just is, free, manifesting all that is, flowing. And few talk about that.
I had a glimpse and a deep understanding of this as a young child and talked to teachers, therapists etc. hinting at this.
People hated it.
It seems to threaten this sense of security in society.
Threatens the jobs, the whole thing…
I had these huge pre-verbal experiences, some shattering in a way, and it didn’t fit into any models – took so long to get a handle on what was going on, real. But art-making and writing were, are, really great ways, for some of us.
Yes. All great art communicates this actually… and when we don’t understand we actually completely miss it.
And today’s society, I think at large is oblivious to it
At least it appears that way.
Yes, the philosophy department I studied at was absolutely against anything intuitive or spiritual or admitting to Consciousness, except a couple of European philosophy profs that hinted at it occasionally.
Yes same here.
I had one cool teacher! He hinted at it. And he was in high school and really actually an actor, but couldn’t make a living with that.
I had an art teacher at the university that was into yoga and Zen, had that organic sense of artistic expression…. That was very refreshing. She really let me do my thing art-wise.
It’s pretty cool what a big difference that one teacher can make no?
In an ocean of dimwits, haha, pardon me.
An ocean of yeah, stupidity – “ignorance” and jerks (egos). We get experiences and hints of freedom in art-making or from art.
Or yes from special teachers – that there’s something of value above the ordinary, in the transcendent.
Don’t want to be dependent on one thing like art-making or teaching for it. Thus the Art of Living.
Yes. It resonates within us because somehow we recognize this joy… it’s so amazing really. It’s as if it rings an inner bell that pierces through time.
Because we know ourselves more deeply than we think.
Yeah I’m like that too. I don’t focus it on one thing. Who knows where it will lead but at least I feel somehow it has grown.
Suddenly there are teachers like Rupert [Spira] and Francis [Lucille], other people entering my life who are on similar paths, and more of those too!
“Because we know ourselves more deeply than we think” – the game of pretending to be a human-being.
Cool. Nice when those connections happen.
When you get to trust that “aspect” of life more and more, until it becomes the main thing, or the “new normal”.
Oneness is not part time 🙂
Well I am going to go finish some work I was doing, then watch the sunset…
Good talking to you
You too Eric. Enjoy the sunset. I’m off to sleep. 3AM here!