Darkness Visible: demystifying depression


I feel a great sadness for modern human beings. Most of us are beleaguered by our emotions and over-sensitivity, severely infected by media hype, dominated by prescribed self-images, and have completely receded into fear of using their voices and more. We have sold our souls like lemmings, jumping off the cliff willingly, oblivious to the pain of being smashed on the rocks below. It is because we are intoxicated by the allure of status, fame and wealth, completely estranged to our native nature or our infinite power. It is this oblivion and disconnection that creates a death-wish and makes us so profoundly unhappy and discontent.

Can you imagine for a moment that you are genuinely content exactly as you are, as who you are, right now at this moment as you read? Or are you unable to truly connect with yourself, vague, in a fog, scared to admit you are deeply unhappy and unsatisfied? Until we have the courage to be utterly honest with ourselves, there will always be a duality, a darker hidden side of us, a conflict, or call it ‘friction’ if you like. Until you embrace exactly who you are with all your faults and negative emotions or distortions, at this moment, you will never be whole or integrated into the human experience.

Integration? Not being separate. Being one with all the energies around you so that there is no ‘friction,’ no distinction. It is only our divisive blind mind that spitefully plucks us out of the stream of life, extracts us and forcefully transforms us into a separate being with will and choice, and the resultant limited human power. If we remain integrated into the magnetic field of all existence, then our power is unlimited. When we create friction through this act of auto-isolation, it inevitably has an effect either mentally or physically. Friction causes heat, which eventually burns. Negative human emotions like envy, greed, anger, cause such friction, pulling and tearing at our eyes, our skin and the tender flesh of our hearts. Conversely, positive emotions enable everything to move smoothly like silk on skin, like a breeze along the shore, like the full-eyed gaze of unconditional love.

The epidemic of depression has come about because our magical true nature has faded into the mists. William Styron in ‘Darkness Visible’ describes the onset of his depression in the afternoons….’…when I’d feel the horror, like some poisonous fog bank roll in upon my mind, forcing me into bed.’ But I suggest that this is not the apparition of depression, but rather the monster ego moving in and taking over. The intellectual mind is acquisitive, proud, ruthlessly analytical. When it is not shifting around interminably, obsessing and speculating endlessly, it is barren, detached from the heart, from any links with the miraculous invisible world. It is one-dimensional, and yet our lives in developed countries entirely revolve around its idiosyncrasies.

This ‘mind’ has removed us from our natural state, placing us always at a distance to reality, always at the side, filtering everything we perceive. It is then sorted, classified, and organized until the breathing, functioning, joyful soul of humans is hidden, forgotten, withered. The intellect has distracted us with a cheap trick! The truth is that we make the world with our minds, we sense the world through the mind, and if we do not, then it ceases to exist. It distracts us with endless choices, design/create options, whims and moody selections. There are no whimsical choices in the infinity and eternity of reality. We listen and follow our heart; the central part of our energy invests in the miracle of ‘being.’

Such a mind is driven by the two extremes of achieving and succeeding, and their opposites. Life becomes a series of ends or deadlines we have to meet. We are serial-livers when its comes to end-gaining, finishing one task and moving on to the next, and then counting to see what we have achieved and what we still need to achieve. This is a style of being born of the man-made concept or mirage of time. Time and the linear are all illusions. ‘Time’ is the process of the heart, an endless circle of being, of loving, of energy. We can redesign our lives so that we have this rotundness of heart time, immersing ourselves in the process rather than the end or culmination. Process lodges in the heartbeats of each of us. We only need to measure it to meet the needs of others and the time-and–age-bound systems we have created. Age is another kind of end-gaining and judgments made by these systems.

Allowing awe to flourish in our daily ways is our nature, but we learn to hide it away as we grow into adults. Keeping our sense of awe for the magic of our human beings vital and engaged gives new meaning to our lives. Wide-eyed awe or wonder, devoid of envy or judgment, spiced with humility and acceptance, is also our true nature. All the beings we meet in our daily encounters are magical beings like we are. If we profoundly accept and respect them, even if they are behaving strangely or in some negative way, then there will be no end to our sense of awe, or joy in this human journey. We do not need to fight against the inclinations of our beings which are naturally full of light and blossoms. If we perceive that another being is hurting us, then we have temporarily mislaid our sense of awe for the energy of creation. It is the interference of the intellectual mind which causes this ‘friction,’ but we can easily return to the silken life.

Depression is often defined as a deep sense of loss. But nothing is truly lost if we put aside the synthetic identity generated by the mind to let the true self shine again. It is a loss of all that is good and pure in favour of something that fits in with mediocrity, control, and the expectations of others, not of our precious self. But it is never lost because it is outside the concepts of mind, therefore eternal and infinite.

depression 1

(Inspired by ‘Darkness Visible’ by William Styron, the film ‘Side Effects,’ 2013, Soderbergh S., Jude Law and Rooney Mara, and various professed sufferers among close friends)

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