• leo
    30
    According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people suffer from depression, and there is on average one suicide every 40 seconds. People hurt each other, fight each other, kill each other. People suffer and make others suffer. There is definitely something wrong. The easy cop-out is to say that it is human nature to suffer and to kill. But some people in remote regions seem happy, at peace, living in harmony with each other and their environment. So whence all this suffering?

    I have pondered about this extensively, and I have come to the conclusion that most suffering stems from fear and false beliefs. A belief is only seen as false when what it entails contradicts what is experienced, but until it is seen as false what we do and think and feel depends on it.

    We hold false beliefs about the world, others, ourselves, what is and what is not possible, what will and what will not happen, many of which we are not aware of. We hold false beliefs in the ways we act to get what we want, in the ways we use language to communicate, in the ways we carry out science to understand the world, in the ways we carry out psychiatry to reduce suffering, in the ways we carry out justice to prevent suffering caused by people, in the ways we carry out education to make the next generations happy and at peace.

    I want to show that uncovering the false beliefs we hold can alleviate a lot of suffering. I have written a text to start doing just that. It would be quite long to paste here, so I have posted it at this address: https://rethinkthe.world

    Your feedback will be appreciated
  • Lif3r
    118
    I'm glad someone is concerned and making an effort to form solutions.
  • Jake
    781
    The easy cop-out is to say that it is human nature to suffer and to kill.leo

    It is human nature to be divided within oneself, which sets the stage for conflict within ourselves, which is then mirrored out in to the world.

    I have pondered about this extensively, and I have come to the conclusion that most suffering stems from fear and false beliefs.leo

    Fear and false beliefs are a symptom of the underlying condition, the divisive nature of thought. If suffering could be remedied by editing our beliefs we would have long ago stumbled upon the correct beliefs and would now be living in a utopia.

    The human condition arises out of the nature of what we're made of psychologically, thought, and everything else is a symptom.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people suffer from depression,leo

    Not that it's good for those 300 million people, but if that number is correct, then less than 5% of people in the world suffer from depression. I would have actually guessed the number was higher than that. "95% of the people in the world do not suffer from depression" sounds like we're doing pretty good.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    In any event, are there any psych or other medical professionals who believe that depression is caused by particular beliefs rather than being a brain structural/electro-chemical issue that's not correlated to particular beliefs a la religious, political, philosophical, scienctific etc. views the individual might hold?
  • Tzeentch
    50
    But some people in remote regions seem happy, at peace, living in harmony with each other and their environment. So whence all this suffering?leo

    The real problem is people do not want to lead a simple, peaceful life. Perhaps it is ambition, greed, ignorance, but in the end it's a choice. How many people would like to leave all they have behind in order to live happy and in harmony? Very few. Then there's those, who have put up the bars and walls of their own prison, who would like to, but think they can't.

    In truth, most do not want to leave the comfort and luxury behind, and they will be unhappy as a consequence. They want careers, expensive cars and clothing, a big house, and preferably a little bit bigger and better than the neighbors.

    So whence all this suffering? Because we choose to.

    And how do we changes someone who really doesn't want to change?
  • leo
    30
    Fear and false beliefs are a symptom of the underlying condition, the divisive nature of thought. If suffering could be remedied by editing our beliefs we would have long ago stumbled upon the correct beliefs and would now be living in a utopia.

    The human condition arises out of the nature of what we're made of psychologically, thought, and everything else is a symptom.
    Jake

    I didn't say editing our beliefs was an easy process, it isn't precisely because beliefs determine how we think, what we do and how we feel. When you hold a false belief you don't see it is false. There are beliefs you hold you aren't aware of, that you may later on realize that you hold. It's not just a matter of picking new beliefs that make you feel good, even if they make you feel good that doesn't mean they won't hurt others through how they make you act, and that how you act won't end up making others hurt you through their own beliefs. It's really not easy at all.

    You're saying suffering stems from the nature of thought itself, I would say that yes the act of thinking is responsible in itself for a lot of suffering, but I don't see it as the underlying cause, on the contrary through thinking you can come to make some sufferings disappear. We have desires, which implies to be somewhere we aren't, to experience things we are not experiencing, which requires the ability to differentiate between some experiences and others, and I wouldn't say there is thought involved in that, it's just something we do, and some sufferings stem from not experiencing what we desire, so I would say not all suffering stems from thought.


    Not that it's good for those 300 million people, but if that number is correct, then less than 5% of people in the world suffer from depression. I would have actually guessed the number was higher than that. "95% of the people in the world do not suffer from depression" sounds like we're doing pretty good.Terrapin Station

    I haven't looked at how they came up with that figure, but I would say that probably many more people than that feel like shit on a regular basis. In any case if you have ever suffered from depression you know how terrible that is, so even if it was just a few people it would be something to address, and if it is 300 million people well that's a huge lot of suffering. The one suicide every 40 seconds isn't too good either, to get into the position of wanting to kill yourself and actually carrying it through, you have to be in a pretty intense state of despair and suffering.

    In any event, are there any psych or other medical professionals who believe that depression is caused by particular beliefs rather than being a brain structural/electro-chemical issue that's not correlated to particular beliefs a la religious, political, philosophical, scienctific etc. views the individual might hold?Terrapin Station

    I think if you really don't want to die and you believe that you're about to die, you're going to be suffering, even if that's a false belief, and that the moment you realize you actually aren't about to die you would quickly feel much better. The beliefs we hold are correlated with how we feel. Many psychiatrists and medical professionals ascribe to the mainstream view that mental sufferings are due to disorders within the brain of the individual, but at this point I like to take the example of an encaged wild animal: is it stressed and does it suffer because it has a mental disorder, or because it is somewhere it doesn't want to be, because it wants to be somewhere it is not and doesn't know how to get out of its predicament? They look for disorders within the individual as if to say that their sufferings have nothing to do with the environment they are subjected to, but I would argue that a lot of our sufferings stem from our environment interacting with our desires and beliefs rather than simply from within ourselves. We try to find an issue within the brain but maybe that's not where the root issue lies.


    The real problem is people do not want to lead a simple, peaceful life. Perhaps it is ambition, greed, ignorance, but in the end it's a choice. How many people would like to leave all they have behind in order to live happy and in harmony? Very few. Then there's those, who have put up the bars and walls of their own prison, who would like to, but think they can't.

    In truth, most do not want to leave the comfort and luxury behind, and they will be unhappy as a consequence. They want careers, expensive cars and clothing, a big house, and preferably a little bit bigger and better than the neighbors.
    Tzeentch

    To me, the desire for luxury stems from the desire of having power over others, and the desire for power stems from an underlying fear, their fear of what will happen to them if they don't have this power over others. They see others as a threat, they fear them, and how they cope is by trying to be 'better than' through some standard, so as to feel better, more safe. But deep down these people isolated inside their ivory tower aren't happier, they still carry with them their fears at every moment.

    And how do we changes someone who really doesn't want to change?Tzeentch

    If they don't want to change because they fear, then by helping them overcoming their fears, rather than forcing them to be something else. Feeling the need to force others stems from fear too, the fear not to succeed without forcing them. We won't change things by telling people how to be and what to do, but by eliciting in them the desire to change. To say this isn't possible would be a belief, and my belief is that it is possible.
  • Jake
    781
    I didn't say editing our beliefs was an easy process, it isn't precisely because beliefs determine how we think, what we do and how we feel.leo

    Agreed.

    You're saying suffering stems from the nature of thought itself,leo

    Yes.

    I would say that yes the act of thinking is responsible in itself for a lot of suffering, but I don't see it as the underlying cause, on the contrary through thinking you can come to make some sufferings disappear.leo

    Through thinking, I discovered that I am very happy on a sunny day in the woods, which is great, but...

    Now I use those awesome beautiful peaceful days in the woods filled with glorious silence as a basis of comparison in evaluating my experience of the suburban neighborhood where I live, which I'm finding increasingly problematic.

    We are the richest people ever to walk the Earth, thanks to thinking. And we're dissatisfied because we're comparing that to something even better, thanks to thinking. We have everything, and nothing, thanks to thinking.
  • LD Saunders
    314
    I'm not sure how accurate the forecasts are, but there is a video from Stanford neurobiologist, Robert Sapolsky, where he claims that depression is going to be something like the number one killer. I think it already outranks a number of other diseases. If the projection is based on a linear regression analysis, then the prediction is almost certainly wrong, as the projection into the future is likely going to be curved, not a straight line at all. But, still, it is a very destructive problem.

    I'm not sure what causes depression, but would be surprised if there was a single source as opposed to multiple causes. I think it's also fairly well documented that it is associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain, but is the chemical imbalance what causes the emotional depression or is it that the emotional depression causes the chemical imbalance?
  • leo
    30
    Through thinking, I discovered that I am very happy on a sunny day in the woods, which is great, but...

    Now I use those awesome beautiful peaceful days in the woods filled with glorious silence as a basis of comparison in evaluating my experience of the suburban neighborhood where I live, which I'm finding increasingly problematic.

    We are the richest people ever to walk the Earth, thanks to thinking. And we're dissatisfied because we're comparing that to something even better, thanks to thinking. We have everything, and nothing, thanks to thinking.
    Jake

    Yes thinking is responsible for some suffering. But is it merely the comparison between the sunny day in the woods and your suburban neighborhood that makes you suffer, or is it the belief that you can't escape this suburban neighborhood to experience on a regular basis these beautiful days in the woods filled with silence?

    I would say that it isn't the act of thinking that's responsible for this suffering, but the belief that you can't change how things are, that you can't get what you want, and I would argue that's a false belief. Maybe you believe that you can't escape this suburban neighborhood, and that belief is based on a bunch of other beliefs, but some of them are false and you haven't realized it yet.
  • Jake
    781
    I would say that it isn't the act of thinking that's responsible for this suffering, but the belief that you can't change how things are, that you can't get what you want, and I would argue that's a false belief.leo

    Ok, fair enough, but....

    About an hour after I get what I want...

    I'll start wanting something more. A new basis for comparison will be created, but the same old process will remain in tact.
  • leo
    30
    Ok, fair enough, but....

    About an hour after I get what I want...

    I'll start wanting something more. A new basis for comparison will be created, but the same old process will remain in tact.
    Jake

    Yes, probably, but it isn't wanting something that causes suffering, it is wanting something and believing you can't have it.

    In the long text in the link I've posted at one point I argue that it is desire that gives meaning, having something you want and believing you can attain it. If you didn't want anything you wouldn't do anything, you wouldn't live. I argue also that change is the root of existence, for the absence of change is the absence of existence. So it doesn't have to be a problem to always want something, it is through wanting that we live and exist, experience all kinds of things. Many yearn for constancy, because they suffer or fear often and would like to feel good and safe once and for all, but absolute constancy is death. It's nice to have some constancy though, to be able to anticipate what's next to some extent.

    But change doesn't have to be suffering, it is through change that we can experience all the beauty in the world, the amazing that makes life worth living when you see and feel it. But there is a whole bunch of suffering in the world too and that's what I'm working on solving.
  • ssu
    712
    there is a video from Stanford neurobiologist, Robert Sapolsky, where he claims that depression is going to be something like the number one killer. I think it already outranks a number of other diseases.LD Saunders
    I'm sure that people who commit suicide are depressed. There's nothing suprising what Sapolsky says, especially if you focus on younger people. Yet I think the number one killer is heart disease, which isn't caused by depression (bad habits because of depression might have an effect, but still).
  • WhiteNightScales
    9

    What philosophy does this fall into aesthetic epistemology ethic logic
  • Nort Fragrant
    4
    We are fundamentally underdeveloped in our thought control, we are products of this tortured world.
    My understanding is we evolved from the soup, and have had to eat our way to this point in time. The world we inhabit has been for the most part been dangerous. Giving rise to fear.
    I am disappointed at how humans treat each other, and other animals.
    Observing nature is quite upsetting, it's a cauldron of consumption.
    Plant life, insect life, animal life, are all competing to survive. We are the same!
    This will continue unless a change happens, and that will not happen unless forced to do so.
    We as humans are intelligent enough to know that a saturation level is upon us, yet have not the strength to do anything about what is soon to hit us.
    Do we wait for nature to cull us, or have we the spine to recognize the time for change is now.
    Depression is the product of over saturation, too many humans.
    Our trouble's are Mirrors Media and Money!
    I have long recognized our society is flawed, unfair, and cruel. Kept encapsulated by finical restriction we struggle to survive, yet there is more than enough to go around if dealt out evenly. (not money, but essential, food, water)

    First: get rid of the ill, ( nature would if allowed to)
    Second: dramatically reduce baby output.
    Third: remove the need for money! ( this is our nemesis)
  • leo
    30


    Thanks for the reply. I would say depression and overpopulation are both the product of fear, because of fear we only care about ourselves and not others, we don't think about our impact on others and on the world but solely focus on getting what we want. So in a sense most of us act like parasites.

    Fear helps us survive, helps us avoid situations that would threaten our survival, but it can also be our downfall. A society bound on fear leads us to suck the life out of our environment to protect ourselves from one another. We spend so much effort on protecting ourselves from one another, on putting up barriers between each other, rather than spending all this effort in helping each other which would be much more effective. As you say we struggle to survive while we could survive much more effortlessly if we were focused on others and not just on ourselves.

    Money is the epitome of fear. When we do something for someone to get money in exchange, what we are effectively doing is helping someone and fearing he won't return the favor, so we force him to return the favor through money. Through money we don't help others because we want to help them, we help others to force them to help us back. It's a system based on fear and oppression, and since most of our relationships in society go through money that fear and oppression reflects on the whole of society and the whole of our lives.

    Many people through history were onto something when they said the solution is to love one another. Fear leads us to dismiss love as something cheesy, but it's much more profound than it appears.
  • Lif3r
    118
    Dude I'm not here to answer pop quiz questions. If you have a point, make it. If you have a question for me, ask. If you want a definition... Google it.

    Love to you internet friend, but alas I am not a scholar. So I don't know the answer to your question.
  • Lif3r
    118
    Leo I actually agree with you a lot. I have been trying to dictate how to remove parts of fear from human consciousness but alas I have only a few ideas on ways to do it and I don't know how to implement them at all.
  • leo
    30

    Fear isn't easy to overcome at all, it often creeps in insidious ways. If you try to help people by telling them how to act to overcome their fears, they might start fearing that if they don't act that way they will fear, and so they fear. If you have good intentions and believe you know the solution to overcome fear and force people to listen to you, they will feel oppressed and fear you rather than listen to you.

    I think the first step is to know that we will succeed in overcoming fear. If we fear that we won't succeed then we fear. But there is a difference between knowing that you will succeed, and pretending that you will succeed while fearing that you won't. Often we fear but pretend not to to appear strong, and lie to ourselves, and that just causes suffering down the line.

    It's already not easy to get into the state where you truly believe that you will succeed in overcoming fear. Then once you're there, overcoming your other fears is not just a matter of blindly believing that you have nothing to fear and being totally oblivious to your surroundings, maybe it would work but then you might die within 10 minutes. We don't just want to not fear, we want to live and not fear, live and not suffer.

    My own error might be in trying to help others overcome their fears before I have succeeded in overcoming all of my fears myself. I have overcome a lot of fears but I still have a lingering fear of people, of being judged negatively and rejected. Even though I know the act of rejecting stems from a fear and a need to protect oneself, I haven't overcome my fear of rejection. Maybe that's what I need to find how to overcome to succeed.
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