Letting Go of Depression for Good
Letting Go of Depression (and Moods)
The long and short of it: we all have ups and downs in how we feel – our “mood” if you will. This is “normal”, in the sense of being average. It’s also “normal” to have occasional lower moods, depending on one’s baseline level of happiness. What is of concern here is when one gets stuck, so to speak, in a really deep dark place, more or less, or for a long long time, such that you feel you will always be there, or there's no way out. And if it happen often... That is not fun, and in fact can lead to serious consequences, such as suicide, or even harming others (if one is harboring anger, self-destructiveness – all destructiveness is Self-destructiveness).
The good news it that, over time, one’s “baseline” level of happiness and peace – what is experienced day to day – can get higher and higher. If you think of it as a graph, like the edge of the contour of a mountain slope, the overall trend may head upward, even though valleys and plateaus occur.
Whether this trend is upwards or downwards is what this article is about. The author saw relatives and friends head on a downward path over time, yet, spurred by his own deep dark mood, he found an upward way, towards more harmony, happiness, inner peace and love. What is the difference that made a difference? I've wondered about that: how to explain it, in a meaningful or useful way. This is the topic of this article.
The Long and Short of It
Not to put it off too long, since you may be impatient and irritable if you're depressed:
To put it simply or crudely, it’s an outlook on life, an “understanding” if you will — non-intellectual, intuitive — that gets deeper and deeper or more “established” over time. It colonizes one’s life, replacing the old “infection” with a newer, truer, realistic outlook. It's an outlook in tune with a bigger reality – one that is not apparent through the fog of this mis-understanding – on that leaves the old, tired, re-hashed, the sticky, mean one behind in the dust, forgotten and forgiven. It’s a breath of fresh air. Fresh new life, ever-present.
It’s light let into a room of dark furniture one has been stumbling around and knocking onto hard dark corners, where one was trying to rearrange and fight against the old furniture. Or purify oneself, fix oneself, find a way out of a dark maze, a dark world, in which one probably felt like a victim of it ... as a person. But where, or who, or what is this person? Who do you think you are, being so miserable? God?
Why are you playing God?
And I beg to differ with a psychology that claims one is (merely) putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses, and that is the goal and outcome of good therapy. Far from it: you are taking the fucking glasses off.
All these metaphors are meant to point one inwards, not towards some details or a picture, but in order to simply see the whole thing, in an instant: to really feel what you feel, not as a stuck person or ego, but as a whole being, one of light and awareness, free of it. Light as a bird.
Why are you free? Because you are seeing it. You are the seeing of it, not the seen. How could you See if you were only the dark goo? You could not. You, the true "you", is inherently free. Get used to it my friend. It's not just words.
How I Let Go of Depression (for Good)
Modern psychology, psychiatry and medicine tells us this story:
Here’s your label, of what you have and what you are... "clinical depression", "clinically depressed", "I am depressed", "I am a depressive", "I have this".... whatever... I claim this, for me, for myself, this label, this condition, this identity. So don't take it away from me. (OK, fine, do whatever you want – it's a free country. But what's the story they are telling you, and you are telling yourself? Are you taking it seriously?).
The story is, you are broken, your brain is broken. Victims of chemistry, nature and nurture, at the end of chain: a chain of cause and effect. They may not say it explicitly, but the assumption, the implicit worldview is that we are material objects, some kind of biological robots – and not only that, but we are in an insane competition, no way to win in the end, and we are merely bags of chemicals, and we need to make the right chemical soup to survive and compete, or die. But you can alter your brain with their chemicals so that things looks rosy through temporary rose-colored glasses... well, if they are approved chemicals from pharmaceutical companies, distributed by, and profited by them.
You can try and treat it with these chemicals that affect the whole body, mostly in undesirable ways (the molecules don't know the difference between an "effect" and a "side-effect"), but we don’t really know what’s going on, and you will be stuck with being broken the rest of your life, because of your family, your genes and circumstances ... a serious flaw may be implied – perhaps a moral flaw? Perhaps what you did? Maybe in a past life? A karmic burden?
You may feel you bad, wrong, fundamentally, like the ol’ Original Sin… we in medicine and psychiatry are not sure… but are well-trained at least, to treat the symptoms…good luck to you. See you next time, in the office.
We may not have said this explicitly, but the message is: you are vulnerable and fragile – maybe weak, maybe not good enough, partial, un-whole.. but at minimum, unwell. You are like glass, like a diabetic and will be dependent on us and our drugs for life.
That’s their story. A depressing picture, is it not? And a bit of a racket, if I may be so bold as to say so, too.
(And there may be partial truth, if you have a genuine physical condition – such as diabetes or brain cancer – causing an imbalance, rather than the temporary mental one... but that is rare).
The truth is, they got the story all wrong. Here’s my story, which is not a story, but a discovery if you will. Let's stick with facts, as best we can.
There is a power beyond your comprehension that runs everything, so to speak. The old Zen monk Bankei put it as “All is perfectly managed in the Unborn” – which may sound a little obscure, unless you already get it, or have an insight.
It’s not a matter of focusing, but of un-focusing as it were. It can feel like relaxing.
It takes energy, effort and fight to maintain an illusion. It takes no effort to be who, or what you are. Listen to a sound. See something. Taste something, smell something, feel something on your body…Was that hard? Perceiving happens by itself. So does everything. Digestion happen. Thoughts happen. Breathing happens, sighing happens...
It’s a matter of knowing what you are, which is not what they said you are, not what you learned you are, not what you assume you are. Uncovering this “original spirit” is the whole game. By seeing what you are not.
And – this is fairly key, if not central – is not a spirit inside a body, not spirits in a material world, but in truth, an apparent separate entity in “original spirit”, or consciousness, whatever you want to call the Source. In other words, the whole thing gets flipped inside-out.
The cart that was in front of the horse, gets put behind it. How? By seeing rightly.
You can call it spiritual if you want, but I don’t see it as spiritual or separate, just basic facts of actual experience and common sense, seen directly, rather than the crazy story we are told and absorb and take to heart, unwittingly, innocently, like children. In fact, you can build stories around it all and call it a religion or a teaching, if you want. Forms and organization, institutions …
The bodies and the things appearing all have their ups and downs, but you don’t. The thoughts and images and sensations we call feelings, the perceptions… all that is always changing and doing what it does, doing it's thing. No matter. Let it play, have it's fun. It's not front page news. Your feelings are not front page news. No one cares. That great. That's wonderful.
You are what you are, observing as it were. Aware. Simple. You could say you are “pure”. Untouched.
You don’t know how you got here. Or what this is. That is fine.
Freedom is Free. No Entry Card Needed
There are no conditions to or on your happiness. Or to be loved. You may have been trained otherwise, but it is time to stop holding on to that.
How to describe freedom to the unfree? … it may imply "superior" to the mind. It’s not. It is not relative to anything, since it is the only thing. It's not innate to a person to a human, to a body – it is innate to the whole of reality being created right now. It's so free that it decided to create something called "depression" just for fun, then forget it was for fun ,and come to totally believe what it created, and a "who" that is experiencing it. But you are not that body, that person, that human misery. You are far, far more, INfinitely more.
It’s what you already are. Some call it “true nature”, or the “natural state”. But that implies a somebody who has that, experiences it, claims it, is in a state.
Some think it’s something to attain. But it’s not a state – since states are by nature changing – though it can seem like that when you seem to go in and out of it.
How can you grab a hold of something that seems to come and go, like a slippery fish? Well, the secret is, it’s the water, not the fish. The fish was trying to tell you, “You’re all wet.”
Soak in that for a while … maybe have a good laugh, if it happens…
It’s nothing personal, OK?
That’s a hard pill to swallow, for many. For example:
They don’t appear to love you.
They don’t appear to care.
“They” … appear to be the problem (not the “me”).
They only care about themselves (may be true, but why do you care?).
They want something from me (could be … is that a problem? For who?)
They have a big problem (Is it big? Is it your problem?)
Why do they keep annoying me, pestering me, doing XX to me (you tell me - maybe you love it, secretly?)
Why does this keep happening to me (see above, get the memo about the "me"?)
The They and the Me…
…keep playing out their drama. Some say it’s what makes the world go ‘round. And it's most beautiful.
Makes one wonder what it’s all going ‘round for, or in.
Answer: Check with the fish.
Oh, and put these Post-It Notes above your desk:
IF IT'S NOT FUN, DON'T DO IT.
LOVE & FORGET.
YOU ARE LOVED.