Existential Clash

Information about depression and other related health issues (includes medications).

Moderators: windsong, cj-, BlueGobi, Moderators, Frame

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Existential Clash

Postby Frame » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:11 am

Rollo May (an American psychologist) once said "Depression is the inability to construct the future". But eastern philosophers (too many to mention) speak of living in the present or the "wisdom of insecurity" . The past is but a memory and the future a fantasy.

I heard May's quote for the first time last night. It resonated like the church bell at midnight. Because, although I can link my stress to crumbling expectations, my present remains fairly stable. If only I could live in the present... My sadness emanates like that bell, from my inability to plot a course, construct a likely future; to feel some stability and security. And throughout the manuals on meditation are warnings about proper preparation. It is well know in eastern practice that seeing the emptiness of life (an advanced goal in the Buddhist practice) with an unprepared mind can lead to depression.

On the Oriental side of wisdom is an embrace of insecurity as only truth (yet this truth must be fully contemplated and understood). On the Occidental side is societal need for order and continuity, not so much need for contemplation or understanding. Just believe. "Just Do It".

So, my questions of the hour, my kernels of thought are:

With the perceptive shrinking of the planet, resources, space between philosophical loci is the prospect of Emptiness crashing in to our unprepared minds and depressing Western society as a whole?

Is our frenetic mindless "Just Do It" attitude crashing in on the East and making them crazy (manic)?

OK, discuss...

fallen
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:04 am

Postby fallen » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:38 pm

letting be
all your thinking is conceptual mind,
so give up the doings of this mind and rest.
and as " rest" is also just a word,
give up holding on to words and let be,

Songtsen Gampo, The First Dharma, King of Tibet

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby Frame » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:59 am

"Give up holding on"; we all have to in the end don't we?
What a struggle. I sometimes think of myself as enlightened; then I look around. I can't get rid of anything. Yet, I so often seem to be loosing what is really important.

fallen
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:04 am

Postby fallen » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:08 pm

i view life like a river, i see people holding onto rocks in the middle of the river exhausted.
others try and swim across the current to the nearest river bank.
some swim against the current it self trying to get back to a point in the river where they are recapturing a moment of happiness or safety.
but if you just let go the current will take you where you are meant to be, not necessarily where you want to be.
take care

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby Frame » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:39 am

That's a wonderful metaphor fallen. And it totally relates to my life. Swimming to the river bank because we don't like where the river is taking us; that doesn't seem to work, we all need to get back to the water sooner or later.

The other river metaphor I'd like to add (fits in well with yours) is the rainy season. Usually, you can see a way down the river, at least to the next turn. I guess sometimes it's the seeing that's the scary part. Eventually, though, many of us get used to the flow; start to think that's what life will be. But all too often for me, the rainy season comes. The river overflows it's banks, ox bows break, the river course changes, and I find myself on another course; one I never imagined. The terrain becomes totally different.

I don't by any means feel omnipotent, but I feel like somehow I bring the rain, like I can't stay within my banks, like I'm the river, and I summon the weather and wreak havoc on my life. Or maybe I'm a fish who can't stop the weather and blame I'm self for low tide. Alright, enough.

fallen
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:04 am

Postby fallen » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:52 pm

there are higher beings [not god as i do not believe in one person, but let us say a 'oneness ' ] that looks after the river .
there fore looks after you ,and through rainy season or drought you are loved by this ' oneness ' .they try to guide you to remain on course, the only thing you have to do ' is let go ' . i do not mean possessions but let go of control and forcing ones will , and trusting that they are always there looking over you and guiding and having unconditional love for you .
they love you like a brother or son, all you have to do is ' let go and trust '.
they will always make sure that you have what you need not what you want.
take care

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Gestures

Postby Frame » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:30 am

Gestures: not subtleties or inflections but isolated reactions; people make gestures as signs, substitutes for real actions. (I thought about starting a new post as this a bit non-sequitous. But it's part of the metaphorical fabric.) Parts of a well choreographed dance or play might have gestures which punctuate or transition narrative movements. It occurs to me that some people live there lives as gestures, a string of disconnected reactions to the moments impressed on them.

Not a river but an island or a rock jutting out of the ocean; their gestures are reactions to the waves bouncing off of them. Neither the frequency, or direction, or resulting gesture are connected to those of the last wave or those of the next. They take no consideration of the rise and fall of the waves or the tide or the arc of the moon. No containing shoreline boundaries give there lives structure. No meaningful direction comes from the rivers flow. No drifting obstacles or rapids are encountered; they prefer to be the obstacle. The word, petrified, comes to mind.

fallen
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:04 am

Postby fallen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:56 pm

life is very simple.
we are born and we die.
some where between those two points we breath a lot
oh yes we have to make choices, to be good or bad, to be evil or peaceful,
to be kind or the opposite of that.
life is very simple.
enlightenment is not giving up ones house, becoming a buddhist priest and living on a mountain in Tibet.
it is simply having no ego, and being kind,
there is no fear in enlightenment.
you are always loved forever.

you are more intelligent than me
you are wiser than me
you can do greater and kinder things than i will ever be able to do
you just have to be

take care

no_answer
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:24 pm
Location: usa

Re: Existential Clash

Postby no_answer » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:59 pm

Frame wrote:Rollo May (an American psychologist) once said "Depression is the inability to construct the future".


Frame, thank you for starting the discussion that will feed my newly aquired forum addiction. I wonder if constructing future has more to do with the past. How do you know what will happen other than by projecting your experience from your personal history plus everything you read and learned from experiences and research of others into the future?

Then, depression is just about a particular way to project into the future, eg. if cataclysmic catastrophes took place before, then they will take place in the future. On the other hand, if you have learned in your past that the Saviour will bring the paradise to the righteous (provided you believe in it, too), then your projection into the future is determined and undisputedly happy. Between these two extreme examples there is the Seligman's "Learned Optimism" strategy that can make one a very upbeat successful person and/or an insufferable sociopath or both (in image of most successful CEOs of corporate world).

Also, besides the notion of "suffering" is there really the notion of "depression" in Buddhism? Is anxiety a "suffering" in Buddhism? Do they make a difference? I didn't find any. Did you?

Also, doesn't anxiety also have much to do with constructing the future?
I don't expect answers (although I'd be interested to see the perspective of others), but I'm just indicating the extent to which your post stirred my mind.
The passage of time leaves more and more answers left unquestioned.

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby Frame » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:12 am

A broken limb
torn from the family tree by
thunderstorms of technology

tossed into the river
floating toward the rapids
I see the mist
I hear the roar

I put this in expressions too, but I thought maybe to continue the metaphor...

Frame
Moderator
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

And if what if

Postby Frame » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:24 am

It occurred to me this morning that, perhaps GOD needs ME.
I've been knocking for quite some time and he(she) doesn't answer.
What if he's(she's) fallen and he(she) can't get up? He's(she's) pretty old.
What if God needs my help and I'm just down here working, waiting, and praying?

(Hope I don't get smacked for that.)

4EverMe
Posts: 927
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50 am
Location: Washington State

Postby 4EverMe » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:08 pm

Smack!! Lol!
No_answer brought up our Saviour, though, so I thought I'd comment about the He/She, as it pertains to the Saviour. I've always understood that Christ came in the flesh and walked amongst us. Christ also stated that if we've seen him, we've seen the Father--which leaves me to conclude that God is male. There are feminists who wouldn't appreciate this, but it is what it is. (I'm female, by the way). But this truth doesn't bother me.
I believe that there is a heaven for God's children, and although this knowledge does bring me joy and hope, it's still not an easy feat to live/survive in this world. Chaos still thrives. Hardships are unceasing, and therefore anxiety and depression digs it ugly claws in. Yes, I have hope for eternity, but it doesn't make life's hurdles an easy task to leap over; At times, they seem unsurmountable!
I'm curious as to what Chinese medicine would have to say about chemical imbalances, and what a cure for that might be...or what the view would be on people being genetically predisposed to depression.
Any thoughts on this?
When life throws UA lemon, throw the dang thing back.

no_answer
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:24 pm
Location: usa

Postby no_answer » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:04 pm

Thank you, 4EverMe, for a perspective on human condition of the believers. Myself, rarely a believer, frequently a nihilist, always jelous of the comforts and easy appearance of life of a religious person: the temple gatherings provide the discipline that they like and believe in almost compulsively, the community to socialize, the answers to unanswerable questions. I forgot to be skeptical of appearances...cannot even be a consistent nihilist here:)
I don't know much about the chinese medicine, but did read up a bit on feng-shui and remember the warnings about the hidden energy lines in our environment. Now, before I read it I bought a nice place right across the cemetery thinking it to be a smart choice for the reasons of safety for jogging (never seen someone driving at more than 10 mph on the grounds), quiet neighbours (never much construction after someone new moves in), but after years of struggle with low motivation and lack of energy I should've started being more superstitious.
The passage of time leaves more and more answers left unquestioned.

100footpole
Posts: 477
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:26 pm

Postby 100footpole » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:33 am

I've decided to look for old posts that reflect what I'm currently thinking.

I like this post because it seems to emphasize self-empowerment. Not "Just Do It" so much as "Just Do Something ... and Watch".

I love the ending of this thread because the person seems to have solved their problems ... only to find new and worse ones ... returning to the original thread:

"Depression is the inability to construct the future".

I like to put the smackable part of this post:

It occurred to me this morning that, perhaps GOD needs ME.
I've been knocking for quite some time and he(she) doesn't answer.
What if he's(she's) fallen and he(she) can't get up? He's(she's) pretty old.
What if God needs my help and I'm just down here working, waiting, and praying?

Into the context of the flowing water: The ocean or the river. To me there can only be tiny actions, and the idea of helping God is appealing, since at least you are oriented towards goodness, regardless if God is in the river with you or is the river herself.


Return to “Articles and Essays | Medications: Experiences and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest