A radio talk show I listened to a few years ago featured a female sociologist being interviewed on the subject of depression. She said that, according to recent studies, married women are more likely to suffer from depression than married men, that some two-thirds of all married women do experience depression, and that employment outside of the home doesn’t reduce a woman’s susceptibility. Later it was brought out that men intent on suicide are generally more efficient in disposing of themselves than suicidal women; the latter quite often botch the job and can be pumped out, dug out or fished out.
While these may be interesting facts to some, they probably have little relevance to a consideration of depression for our purposes. Probably many people reading this article have yet to commit marriage or suicide. But how many would claim that they never experience periods of depression? Can anyone on Earth make such a claim? I doubt it. Depression is a fact of existence (notice I didn’t say life) in the mixed-up, messed-up world in which we find ourselves. And pockets of depression will remain until the mess is completely cleaned up.
Psychologists distinguish between two different kinds of depression: that which is related to external factors and that which doesn’t seem to have an external cause but is just there. In the first instance, things like failure in school, rejection in a relationship, loss of a job, slumping stock prices or deterioration in the world situation can trigger periods of depression. In the second instance, the depression cannot be directly linked to anything external but manifests nevertheless in deep and persisting feelings of boredom, loneliness, emptiness, futility and disintegration. It has been described as a vibrational void or vacuum in which nothing seems to give pleasure anymore. As it was put in Ecclesiastes, “All is vanity … . There is no new thing under the sun.”
In some circles, depression, like alcoholism, is considered to be a disease. It has been related to chemical imbalances in the body, a situation that can presumably be corrected with certain drugs such as Paxil or Prozac. Other forms of depression have been traced to low blood sugar and specific vitamin deficiencies; in these cases, high-protein and vitamin-rich diets are often recommended. And of course, psychiatrists have a field day connecting depression to the deprivations and traumas of early childhood.
One can go on at great length describing and analyzing depression, classifying and sub-classifying its causes, symptoms and supposed treatments, applying high-sounding scientific terminology to all these things and thereby making it quite respectable and even worth talking about at your next bridge party. But what is the value of any of this beyond providing the sufferer with a handy excuse and the false assurance that depression is normal? Does any of it get at the root cause of personal and collective depression? Does it help me to deal with the immediate effects of depression in my own consciousness? No to all of the above.
I am pretty sure that nothing resembling depression existed in the original, pristine garden state of humanity. It follows that all depression, whether triggered by external events or not, is nothing but an effect of fallen human consciousness—in other words, the self-induced separation of human beings from the original divine state—and won’t be eliminated until human consciousness is universally restored to correct polarity with the creative process of life.
OK, so how in the meantime do we handle this effect? By fighting it with antidepressant drugs, megavitamins and other substances? By seeking to erase childhood conditioning through psychoanalysis? By taking a long vacation or moving to another city? By getting married? Or divorced? While these procedures may provide momentary relief for some people, nothing is done about the underlying cause, nor is any real inner strength built; and so the depression, though temporarily driven underground, will inevitably surface again, perhaps in a more insidious form.
To handle depression, the first thing to remember is not to fight or resist it in any way, since resistance simply gives power to what is resisted. Traced back to its origins, depression is found to be nothing but an emptiness, a void. So unless you enjoy chasing shadows … . What I’m getting at, of course, is to do what nature does whenever there is a vacuum—fill it; express life!
A few years ago I asked a trusted mentor and health professional what to do about depression, and he simply told me to go dig a ditch! In other words, get the capacities of body and mind moving, release something, give something. Don’t withdraw or withhold. Don’t sit around and sulk. Nothing is more devastating. Blast through the void with a solid surge of spirit, thereby declaring that no feeling, however painful, can prevent you from smiling, laughing and otherwise revealing the strong and radiant being that, in truth, you are.
And nothing is gained by heaping guilt upon your head for feeling depressed. There has been a tendency to think that depression is God’s way of punishing a person for wrongdoing. Nonsense. Everyone, even the nicest people, experience at least mild forms of depression. Indeed there are downward pulsations or lows in the creative cycle of life itself! So there is nothing sinful, immoral or personal about feeling a low. It is what is expressed during these periods that counts. And if this expression springs from the serene and positive center of being, then depression may become just another of the interesting circumstances that can be used to advantage in sounding the true tone of life on Earth.
To Be or to Perform? That is the Question
From ‘I Want’ to ‘I AM’
Global Warming: Unification or Extinction?
Courage: The Virtue that Unlocks All the Others
Discovering My Gift
As Consciousness Evolves, Religion Dissolves
A Radical and Sudden Change of Plans
David Karchere’s book, Becoming a Sun, is an Amazon No. 1 bestseller!
Unleash your Creativity March 5-9
My Observations on Life, 76 Years In–Part 3
Starting with Spirit First
Discover your Destiny 5-Day Workshop
My Observations on Life, 76 Years In–Part 2
Creating a Culture Based on the Highest Love
The Principle of Nullification
My Observations on Life, 76 Years In
Safety, Transparency and Co-Creation
A Question of Incentive
Crutches: A Parable of Humanity
I Was OK
Using the Media to Enlarge and Bless Your World
The Weather We Take is the Weather We Make
Stepping Way Out of My Comfort Zone
Sunrise Ranch: A Thriving Community with a Planetary Mission
The Substance Behind Money
Laughter and Tears in Community
I’m Imagining This is the Best Blog Post Ever
Human Beings Were Created to Be LIVING SYMBOLS of the Divine Reality
How to Listen to Your Intuition in Relationships with Primal Spirituality
How to Become a Spiritual Healer with Primal Spirituality
Confessions, Leadership and Sharing our Message
OVER THE TOPULATION: Reassessing our Identity to Overcome the No. 1 Issue of Today
Pray Without Ceasing
Radiating Love into the World
All War on the Planet
There is a Trail
Of Sin and Taxes
It’s Time to Turn the Page
We are Designed to Create
From Victims of Iconolatry to Masters of Iconography
What Bee in a Name?
Shall We Dance?
Reconnecting Humanity: Moving Beyond Treating Symptoms to Working at Cause
A Typical Day in an Enchanted Land
Generic is Good
Layers are Falling Off
Being Thankful for How You Feel
Keys to Emotional Intelligence
Have I Fully Emerged?
The Voice of Being
Prayer: Directed versus Nondirected
What is This Place?
A Bee Steward Story
Sorry, No Opinion
The Silent Life of Mushrooms
Generosity of Spirit
The Process of Your Emergence
Eye of the Storm – Journey through Meditation
What Is Your SIQ?
When All of Life Becomes a Meditation
Let All Things Be Made New
Awaken, Arise, Activate
Spiritual Politics: Oxymoron or Real Possibility?
The Grandfatherly Presence
Bring It On! Confrontation as an Essential Spiritual Practice
The Spirit of Quotation
Awakening the Creative Spirit
Born To Be Wild
The Finest Character
Wisdom From the Back of a Car
The Spirit Nation
Lead Them … Live Them
Opportunity in Extremity
How to Create Space for Introspection