Monday, October 19, 2009
(The Intricate Web of Depression)
I have to confess I have no idea what the term ‘depression’ actually might mean in the jargon of medical establishment. But I’m not a medical know how anyway, I’m just another regular layman who happens to be perennially depressed and have discovered to my own astonishment what a study of self discovery depression can be, with a bit of self amusement thrown in.
Most of my life I have been enveloped in or clouded by various kinds and shades of depression, and depression seem to come in stages and phases of my life, depending on innumerable causes, factors and surroundings, of a nature that is at once complex and yet simple. I have come to recognize my own at the level and drama of the physical biological self, the emotional chemical turmoil at the level of the heart, the confounding neurosis of the mind and the existentialism of the soul.
What the heck am I talking about? That’s another depression symptom. You just have an abundance of non-clarity. But to continue babbling, here are the rest of the examinations;
At the level of the physical self, I have been fairly depressed at the many attributes of life I was born into and not born with. Among the many things I was born with and depressed about were the look on my face, the pimples that kept popping out when I was a hormoned teen, the non-co-operative movement of my hair, the absence of Schawarzeneggeric muscles, towering heights and the strength of Hercules.
I pretty much wanted to be superman and when I found out I was everyman, the shock and the depression were pretty intense.
These were purely at the personal superficial level. Next came the depression of many things I never had, the right shoes, the fitting blue jeans, the cool black leather wears, the motorcycle I never had, the girlfriend I dreamed about, the non existent life of glamor and gloss and the like. Time goes by and you are older. The Nike shoes are now affordable, the blue jeans become a way of life, there are products to keep your hair gelled in one place for an eternity, and girlfriends have come and gone.
And you are still depressed, and the depression is now focused on the ego of who you are and more importantly who you are not. The physical biological depressions have become way too old and have to give way to the new dominant issue of who you are and of your place in the sun. You discover slowly but painfully, gradually but wisely, that you are not superman, first and foremost, and then you realize Al Pacino is just another illusion, Tom Cruise is just another allusion, and who the hell is Mel Gibson?
They are not you, you are still not you, and that is driving you mad and furious, confused and dazed, and in a moment of vulnerability, all pretenses are dropped, all defenses are down, all aggressiveness absent, and there's a marvelous feeling of peace and completeness. But you are still not aware you are feeling a state of artificial bliss and harmony produced by the illusions in your mind of the books you have read about enlightened mind, of enlightened beings who lived the perfect life of harmony and accordance with oneself and with nature. You are now officially a member of the drugged world, a dimension where earlier imitations of life lived through the pages of romance and sentimentality come alive.
The stories of the Buddha and the Christ come alive. And in their example you try and live the life of the sage with a good dosage of help from all the pharmaceutical artificiality that now induce and seduce you in a strangle for survival. It’s a fatal attraction for the mind, and now living the high life dependent on a multitude of drugs mass produced for the benefit of people with a high degree of mental acceleration is pretty satisfying in the beginning, a bit troublesome down the road, and a wretched existence at the sad end of it.
The visions of Buddha and the Christ become deathly hallucinations, and every breath is a struggle for painful physical survival.
The ecstasy is long gone, the laundry of memories drift by in fragmented bits and pieces, and your life is not worth a blade of grass in the fields.
The realization brings about the darkest depression you have ever sunk into, and you keep falling, deeper and deeper,
The landing is often fatal. You lose friends, you lose family, you lose your personal foundations of goodness and self-esteem, confidence and virtue. Right and wrong are though just a decision away, and optimistically a potential life at the end of it.
And so you awake, after what seemed like a long silent comatose of consciousness, to venture out into the world again.
You hear the calls of the birds outside and the cries of the babies in your family. You wake up to the apparent business of life surviving and evolving all round you, and you realize you are but a part of this huge complex web of life that is evolving at all times, learning from bitter experiences and memories, of what not to do, and when to give in, to the stream and strength of life.
This is the birth of the heart of the warrior, the fighter trying everything in his disposal to contain the invading armies of the treacherous mighty mind. And yet peace is just a recognition and a compromise away. Harmonium of the soul is not such an accidental task; though accidents might help bring it closer to the absorbing view of the heart, which might feel it and dissolve it away.
The mind might take another route, but recognizing it as such might ease the bumps on the road for the journey of the heart and of the soul. Eventually there's still depression left in the heart, the soul and in the mind. And the depression carries on infinitely until there's a recognition of the heart, the mind and the soul as being one in nature; ultimately, the ultimate depression is caused by the duality of one's own sense of self. And that is then the birth of the depression of the soul. Which one might say is the most refined form of depression in existence.
And why is that refined? I don’t know. I just know writing a story’s not my cup of coffee.
Maybe babbling in lines none can follow is.
Ps: What in the world am I talking about up there?
U see it’s a real thin line. The mind is one crazy son of a bitch.
It has more personality disorders then, well, use your imagination there.
As the days roll by, my minds’ a hollow blankness staring at clearly blurred pictures and raging thoughts of fearsome falls seeming to land on nothing at all.
Everyday ushers in a refreshed brand new day that was the same as yesterday and no different from all the tomorrows to come dissolving back in the millions of yesterdays.
How do I go figure?
Roaring savannah coated lions shatter the quiet grasslands, primates shriek from hanging branches on high tropical trees, nosey hyenas laughing their way to the carcass and the kill, vultures at the ready to snatch someone’s’ hard earned meal.
The wilder beast keep stampeding in numbers you couldn't count and elephants laze about in the cool waters of sun drained Africa, and a Thompson’s gazelle keeps wiggling its tail without a pause.
Is it chasing a fly or a fear?
Hippos wallowing in the mud with jaws the size of a hut with cheetahs chasing their prey with a speed that spells the wind.
As I watch this scenario unfold dramatically on Discovery, my eyes are wide shut, my mind's a feast for thoughts, my ears just barely attentive to the sounds of the world enveloping me in layers of routine boredom, as I’m welcomed to the mechanized kingdom.
Fragile shells of an egg gone cracked, charging gongs of a high raised bell, gardens of flowers, lakes that wash away sins, and in the midst of all that, a beautiful butterfly entangled in a spider's web.
Is the fate of my karma written in a nutshell? My questions are answered by an eerie silence, my thundering thoughts have no sound, mindful minds of an unmindful soul, lost in a sea of seas, a forest of trees, a bird singing a haunting melody in the middle of a barren desert, why do I need someone to confirm my presence here?