• T Clark
    3k
    I know I'm fairly new here, but in my experience this has been pretty commonplace.JustSomeGuy

    That's certainly true, but there were people in that discussion who I am used to being very willing to discuss others ideas who shut things down. And those who are often cantankerous seemed more so to me.

    I take it you're being facetious here? Or did I read that wrong?JustSomeGuy

    Yes. I have a phobia against using emojis to signal my irony.

    This is all a product of my study and love for Stoicism and Taoism, but in practice I have found these things to be extremely helpful and they have contributed to my overall happiness and well-being. I also do believe that, barring severe chemical imbalances (aka clinical depression or other real mental illnesses), everybody can benefit from these concepts just as I have.JustSomeGuy

    The Tao Te Ching has meant a lot to me and it has helped me intellectually and spiritually. It has a way of bringing me back to solid ground. It takes me to a place where I can balance. I have always been a pretty grounded person. I've always known where I fit in the world. The fact that I can feel that and still be very anxious and sometimes depressed makes it feel like two differently processes are battling it out inside me. It's like the cartoons with the devil and angel sitting on my soldier except with me it's the Buddha and Woody Allen.
  • dog
    89
    Both lack any authentic relationship with the external world, that bond formed through genuine love.TimeLine

    I do think it's a lack of love. A person in love with a another person or a cause has pep in their step and purpose. That's why it's hard to empathize with someone in this state. They are gloomy and self-absorbed. Nothing fascinates or deeply pleases them. Maybe half-consciously they are fascinated by death. I remember feeling torn between life and death.

    But this doesn't mean they don't have significant relationships. They can have girlfriends, wives, great friendships. In cases like these it's probably a dangerous mix of brain chemistry (related perhaps to lifestyle and/or genetics) and corrosive critical thinking (excluding religious comforts and constrains on suicide as a genuine option).

    Most of what people form is really an infantile dependency that superficially attempts to covert this alienation by keeping them preoccupied, following and trying to be close to others and yet no matter how close they try to get, they always feel this sense of insecurity and a deep sense of anxiety because they feel - which is a form of knowing - that this alienation is not overcome. They become jaded, mechanical, and the continuity of their existence is almost entirely based on routine amusements as they passively consume to pass the time.TimeLine

    Interesting line of thought. I suspect it applies to someone, but I can't relate it to my own darker stretches. Or maybe it applies to the young version.

    We've seen a few rock stars kill themselves. Chris Cornell comes to mind. This was someone who seemingly lived the dream. He would be roughly my age, and his music meant something to me. I relate to him as the same type of guy as myself, though he was hugely successful as an artist and I turned to less glamorous moneymaking. Does it make sense to call him insecure? I can only guess, but I think aging played a role. We can run out of frontier, become annoyed/bored at/with all the cautious and conscientious maintenance in a respectable age-appropriate life. It's easy to think that things will only get worse. Decay is of course a fact. Death becomes an exciting frontier. One is tempted to run at what one has been tediously and anxiously fleeing.
  • dog
    89
    If a person finds something that she's passionate about then that's all she needs to live a fulfilling life.TheMadFool

    Good point.
  • dog
    89
    Depression is the result of inability or willfulness not to change.Rich

    A depression can come and go for no apparent reason. A person can have the same worldview and the same lifestyle afterward. The gloom just clears like fog. They can speak about what happened abstractly, no longer oppressed by the terrible feeling.

    It's comforting to think that there's some correct button to push. Our depressed fool must be doing something wrong. Lots of times they probably are. But what can we really be sure of? And how? An otherwise high-functioning and confident person comes away with a new humility. It's not clear afterward that our happiness is something we can take total credit for. That's why I don't focus on the good advice in threads like these. There's nothing wrong with good advice, but it's easy to be complacent and shallow on this issue. I'm not accusing you of that, just adding to your point.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    I am authentically inauthentic :DAgustino

    Are you saying you are untrustworthy?
  • Agustino
    11k
    Sure, but unfortunately, one cannot sleep 24 hours a day 7 days a week.Lone Wolf
    Yeah, you don't need that much sleep to be well rested.

    So what reason do I have to live?Lone Wolf
    You don't need a reason. It happens naturally.

    If death is coming anyway, why not hasten it with a little work?Lone Wolf
    Why hasten it?! That is so futile! What will you achieve? Will you achieve something different than by waiting? No. So what's the point?

    And if how should one identify what is missing?Lone Wolf
    Depends on the individual.

    Being attached to outcomes is human nature. If one puts in effort in a relationship, then that demonstrates an attachment.Lone Wolf
    I don't think that demonstrates an attachment. We do a lot of things without being attached to them. For example, maybe I enjoy playing football, but I'm not attached to it. I will play it for as long as it is possible.

    You will be hurt if the other person suddenly decides to leave without explanation unless you are not human.Lone Wolf
    Yes, you probably would be, but that would also be your fault because you decided to trust that person, and they weren't the right person to trust.



    Without attachments, one has no reason to work towards anything nor to do anything.Lone Wolf
    I don't need to be attached to something or someone to care about it/them and have an interest in it/them. Attachment is dependency, not love.
  • Agustino
    11k
    Are you saying you are untrustworthy?TimeLine
    Yes, and even when I answer this question I am untrustworthy :D
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    I quit my all my medications since New Year's or as a unconscious resolution for this year and feel great. Planning to move to Las Vegas with a friend running a supplement company in March. Hope things go even better there and will have more money too, haha.
  • Agustino
    11k
    I quit my all my medications since New Year's or as a unconscious resolution for this year and feel great. Planning to move to Las Vegas with a friend running a supplement company in March. Hope things go even better there and will have more money too, haha.Posty McPostface
    So you finally decided to start a business :D . Congrats!
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    Well, he already runs it. I hope to ride along on his wave of success.
  • Noble Dust
    2.9k
    I also do believe that, barring severe chemical imbalances (aka clinical depression or other real mental illnesses), everybody can benefit from these concepts just as I have.JustSomeGuy

    So where is the line drawn between "real" mental illness, and...?
  • Agustino
    11k
    Well, he already runs it. I hope to ride along on his wave of success.Posty McPostface
    Supplements sell like hot bread in the US. Why is it that many supplement companies are from Cali?
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    I do think it's a lack of love. A person in love with a another person or a cause has pep in their step and purpose. That's why it's hard to empathize with someone in this state. They are gloomy and self-absorbed. Nothing fascinates or deeply pleases them. Maybe half-consciously they are fascinated by death. I remember feeling torn between life and death.dog

    You cannot correctly love others neither find any purpose without first learning to love yourself, only what we understand of love is problematic. We attempt to achieve unity in others, fuse with the group, silence consciousness by inducing a mindless state and sometimes through the help of drugs or alcohol, but these rituals eventually fall short as the anxiety only engenders further isolation until we grow anxious for more as a refuge to avoid the feelings reality produces. Conformity and obedience, this active indulgence to make oneself physically attractive, or successful and powerful, or to be popular only objectifies a desire to be loved under the illusion that one has their own ideas or that they have independent opinions. It fosters a faux unity in the hope that it will relieve the anxiety, but automatons cannot love and so we work so hard at selling ourselves to an audience that is never satisfied.

    "Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardised and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience - yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim."

    This self-destructiveness is an unconscious frustration against this reality, a desire to destroy or end the bullshit but turned in on itself because the way that we have been trained, the way that the world functions is distinct from this actual reality that we are unable to confront consciously. We somehow think that we have the problem. For example, if you are raised in a culture entrenched with the idea that your parents are absolutely and unequivocally right in everything that they say or do and if you think otherwise you are a bad person, whenever you are confronted with the possibility that this reality may not be true, you feel bad, you feel like there is something wrong with you, and the self-destructiveness is really your anger at this confusion; what you really want to destroy is the lie, but you don't know how to because you don't realise that it is a lie. Your feelings are really the voice of your unconscious that you are unable to articulate and so all you are left with are the feelings and these feelings hurt, they are a form of pain that you want to end.

    You cannot genuinely love or enjoy anything until you respect yourself enough to confront the actuality of your situation rather than attempt to save yourself with self-sacrifical illusions.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    Supplements sell like hot bread in the US. Why is it that many supplement companies are from Cali?Agustino

    Cali is full of health nuts, haha. You know, more disposable income and all that.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    I have noticed two types of love, the first being a neediness, a possessiveness, something filled with expectation and obligation, something that is measured, scored, and constantly being tested and evaluated. It's critical, demanding, and corrected by retaliation, manipulation, and withholding of affection. It is a type of love that seems to me to bring nothing but misery to both parties, yet I see people cling tightly to such relationships, I guess for fear that they might have to eat their lunch all by themselves.Hanover

    (Y) Perfectly said. The individual self disappears and such people can often be controlled without ever knowing why, as though there is some sort of a terminal danger to non-conformity. Yet an unconscious frustration can build to a point that they may even take pleasure in misbehaving behind the scenes while advertising a completely different person, pretending to independence when their thoughts and ideas just so happens to be what everyone else thinks. Existence is merely a set of rules that they follow.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. — Thoreau

    The exact opposite to this is not correct either, this self-sacrificial, so-called 'unselfish' attitude that is favourably looked upon by dogmatic influences as a redeeming character trait that nevertheless also contains a hidden resentment. But this attitude still desires others since they apparently live for others at the expense of themselves.

    It is about striking that balance because there is love and it can correctly be expressed; to be altruistic without being self-sacrificial, to have empathy and be righteous. It is responsibility that does not deteriorate into possessiveness, respect without domination, to want someone to be happy not for my sake or at my expense, to not serve me because I care or expect anything in return for my concern, this is love in the absence of any type of exploitation. It is the authenticity of my motivation that matters; I do not act because I am needy, I do not love you only because I am lonely or anxious, but I want you to be in my life because I love you, the person that you are, the choices that you make.

    I stated in another post that I believe a significant amount of unhappiness is caused by bad parenting, and I really believe that. I think we have kids out there who really don't know what real love is, having never experienced it, but instead being bounced between mom and dad and watching and hearing their hatred towards one another.Hanover

    I actually do to; a dominating mother can make a young man do what he is told even as an adult so that he does not displease her and this can spread to others. The only way one can ever recover is to realise that parents are just people and that wisdom can be sourced from other places.

    Should I feel my contributions were significantly greater than my spouse's, it wouldn't be anger that I felt in having the excessive workload, but it would be concern of her lack of concern over me and our child, which would be a signal of her lack of love, or perhaps worse, that she is of the former type I described that does not know what love is.Hanover

    There is no love in such a scenario (I take it you are pretending here), and it becomes nothing but consumption or exchange where each adapt by learning to treat one another with tolerance, counselled to ignore the unhappiness by promising happiness will eventually result.

    "The commodity market determines the conditions under which commodities are exchanged, the labour market regulates the acquisition and sale of labour... What is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature. He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions. Human relations are essential those of alienated automatons."
  • Agustino
    11k
    There is another serious error you make oysteroid in idealising the top of the hierarchy, and thinking that the one at the top rules over the others, or controls them, etc. This is a very myopic view. The truth is that the one at the top is both master and sacrificial victim - both lord and outcast.

    Let's say you have a Hitler at the top. Everyone immediately below is happy - Hitler gets the blame for everything, and they are protected to get their policies implemented without getting blamed for them. Imagine if Hitler went to his inner circle and suddenly told them: "You know, I want to step down" - they would tell him that he cannot step down! They will not let him step down. Because they are very happy to have an idiot like him there, while they can conveniently pull the strings from behind the scenes.

    You are much more likely to die a violent death if you are at the very top, than if you are your average citizen. Take other examples like Muammar El Gaddafi - he was at the very top. Well, the time came when the winds changed, and who got blamed? Gadafi. His generals turned against him, and the people who supported him now eliminated him. And who is in charge now? The very same people who were under him.

    International reactions to Gaddafi's death were divided. U.S. President Barack Obama stated that it meant that "the shadow of tyranny over Libya has been lifted,"[447] while UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he was "proud" of his country's role in overthrowing "this brutal dictator".[448] Contrastingly, former Cuban President Fidel Castro commented that in defying the rebels, Gaddafi would "enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations",[449] while Venezuela's Chávez described him as "a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr."[450] Former South African President Nelson Mandela expressed sadness at the news, praising Gaddafi for his anti-apartheid stance, remarking that he backed the African National Congress during "the darkest moments of our struggle".[451] Gaddafi was mourned as a hero by many across Sub-Saharan Africa;[452] The Daily Times of Nigeria for instance stated that while undeniably a dictator, Gaddafi was the most benevolent in a region that only knew dictatorship, and that he was "a great man that looked out for his people and made them the envy of all of Africa."[453] The Nigerian newspaper Leadership reported that while many Libyans and Africans would mourn Gaddafi, this would be ignored by Western media and that as such it would take 50 years before historians decided whether he was "martyr or villain."
    And keep in mind that many of those people who condemned him, used to be best friends with him a couple of years before.

    So I really think that you are just idealising. The demons and the gods of mythology aren't very different from each other. The gods are often the same as the demons. I recommend you read René Girard's anthropological work. Jordan Peterson type of anthropology is just the poor man's Girard ;)

    You might start with his student, billionaire Peter Thiel, here:
    http://blakemasters.com/post/24578683805/peter-thiels-cs183-startup-class-18-notes

    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/the-scapegoat-the-ideas-of-ren%C3%A9-girard-part-1-1.3474195
  • Lone Wolf
    723
    Yeah, you don't need that much sleep to be well rested.Agustino

    It doesn't really matter about rest anymore, one just doesn't want to interact with anyone and desires to get away from reality.

    Why hasten it?! That is so futile! What will you achieve? Will you achieve something different than by waiting? No. So what's the point?Agustino

    The point would be to make other people stop feeling miserable by being around you.

    I don't think that demonstrates an attachment. We do a lot of things without being attached to them. For example, maybe I enjoy playing football, but I'm not attached to it. I will play it for as long as it is possible.Agustino

    Sure, and that's why you like to win...
    I don't need to be attached to something or someone to care about it/them and have an interest in it/them. Attachment is dependency, not love.Agustino
    Love is not about being independent, but rather working together with those you love. Else you might as well be alone, and that is not healthy.
  • Coldlight
    52
    The Tao Te Ching has meant a lot to me and it has helped me intellectually and spiritually. It has a way of bringing me back to solid ground. It takes me to a place where I can balance. I have always been a pretty grounded person. I've always known where I fit in the world. The fact that I can feel that and still be very anxious and sometimes depressed makes it feel like two differently processes are battling it out inside me. It's like the cartoons with the devil and angel sitting on my soldier except with me it's the Buddha and Woody Allen.T Clark

    Would you mind expanding a bit on that? I've read Tao Te Ching quite a long time ago, but recently I got into reading a book on differences between Western and Eastern traditions.

    It struck me that there are such notable differences in context-based and object-based thinking. That, in itself, felt very liberating to me, the realisation that there likely isn't just one right way to see things. On one hand, the Western atomism that claims that you are either right or wrong, that your argument is either correct or incorrect. On the other hand, the Eastern fluidity in which opposites co-exist, and even have to.

    Anyway, was just wondering if the context, and/or object orientation played any role in how you view Tao Te Ching, and if it relates in any way to how you view depression.
  • JustSomeGuy
    307


    I don't know enough about the science of it to comment on that. I assume there are specific criteria necessary in order to diagnose a mental illness, otherwise it wouldn't be a science. But I don't know what those criteria are.
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