• 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
    11.3k
    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
    11.3k
    Are you saying you are untrustworthy?TimeLine
    Yes, and even when I answer this question I am untrustworthy :D
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    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
    11.3k
    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!
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    Well, he already runs it. I hope to ride along on his wave of success.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    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
    11.3k
    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.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    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."
  • Waya
    900
    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
    57
    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.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    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.JustSomeGuy
    There are no criteria. The so-called criteria are merely subjective classifications of mental illness, usually based on symptoms alone. Who decided that people who have those symptoms are ill? Doctors. There are some schools of thought in the field that claim that there are no mental illnesses as such.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k


    http://bjpo.rcpsych.org/content/2/4/247

    There are physiological markers for depression, so although you're absolutely right about the fact that it's only doctors who call it an illness this is exactly the same as any other condition, physical or mental. I don't see it as an unreasonable use of the term illness to describe a physiological change which causes someone significant discomfort.
  • T Clark
    3k
    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.Coldlight

    In my post, I was agreeing with you but.....

    The point I was trying to make is that while the Tao Te Ching has been really important to me intellectually, spiritually, and even emotionally, for the reasons you describe, that didn't change the fact that I was still unhappy, sometimes depressed, and usually anxious. I feel like there are two people in me - the peaceful, centered, one who loves the world and was born to be happy and the anxious, frantic one who is frozen and unable to act. I can love the world I live in deeply and be unbearably anxious at the same time.
  • dog
    89

    I think there's some real insight in your post, but I read it as directed against a particular type of alienation/frustration. Because it's thoughtful, sincere, and well-written, I'll react to a few passages specifically.

    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.TimeLine
    What this misses is the personality type that feels crowded by others. A person can get beyond the need for that abstract audience. I suppose most of us will still want at least a single lover or a single friend. But a few of us could probably be pretty happy alone on a space station for years even, as long as the cultural stain of others was accessible. (Books, movies, etc.)

    Our self-satisfied villain, however, is likely to be economically enmeshed with millions of strangers, most of whom he has no use for, neither as audience or sex partner or conversational partner. For an above average fastidious person (our snobby healthy youngish esthete), the average person is gross, sad, and in the way. Moreover, many of them are threats. If they aren't intentional criminals, they drive badly and carry disease.

    Why doesn't he go off into the woods? Give him the money and he might. Otherwise he has to get the money in the usual ways that have nothing to do with hanging out with his Yoko Ono in the woods. He's also a fragile beast. Even if he gets his time in the woods with ideal companions (hard work or a risky crime footing the bill), that time is finite and ends in accident or decay.

    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.TimeLine

    This is complicated. I'm not advocating suicide here, but an argument from the suicidal perspective would be that others aren't confronting the genuine source of suffering, that being embodiment in human flesh. If there is no afterlife (my belief), then suicide is indeed an effective (if costly) confrontation. We apparently have only a choice of deaths. The suicide takes his 'early' on his own moody terms. The non-suicide leaves it to chance (including the possibility of a future suicide.)

    I wonder if you have politics in mind as the genuine confrontation. That's a reasonable position, but there are arguments against it. A gloomy critic might say that the average citizen has only a vanishing trace of power to change things. Of course a person may make it their project to become more powerful. No doubt 'being on the way' in this manner provides or is the essence of anti-gloom. The disenchanted mind fails to be seduced by the projects he or she considers viable. Even the gloomiest person (and maybe especially the gloomiest person) can imagine a world worth living in. But they think it's too expensive (in terms of effort) or downright impossible to get this world. They might think this world is a dream that taunts them. It haunts this world as a bright light might reveal roaches on the kitchen floor.

    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.TimeLine

    I'm sure this applies to the 'young' version of despair. At least to some cases of it. But the person with the old version of the gloom knows very well that the 'grownups' are full of shit. There are no gurus, no authorities. Just sinners and fools in costumes in the complacent and/or self-righteous moods that tend to fit with their socio-economic status. Our jaded cynic has no doubt been complacent and self-righteous. He's successfully played the guru for others. That's why I mentioned successful rock stars. Plug in any kind of art you like. Someone rich and recognized has probably killed themselves nevertheless. And who doesn't at least contemplate it occasionally? (I don't know how common it is, but mainstream comedy suggests that it common enough.)


    In short, I think you have a point about a certain kind of troubled soul. But (from my perspective) you are ignoring the gloom of the confident, articulate, and popular personality type. To be clear, I don't speak from this gloom just now. I do have mixed feelings about sharing the theory of this gloom. I don't want to depress anyone. Arguably articulating this gloom more fully (capturing what your description leaves out) could help someone feel less alone. I remember Kerouac really nailing the darkness in Desolation Angels. He gets it, I thought. He's stared at it and painted it. That too is a project, arguably one of the least seemingly escapist responses.
  • dog
    89
    I can love the world I live in deeply and be unbearably anxious at the same time.T Clark

    That makes good sense to me. We are anxious about losing what we love (or perhaps about losing our love itself.) Of course we also fear direct pain to some degree, though we can take passing pain. The loss of power or function is a loss of self, a loss of something we love.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    What this misses is the personality type that feels crowded by others. A person can get beyond the need for that abstract audience. I suppose most of us will still want at least a single lover or a single friend. But a few of us could probably be pretty happy alone on a space station for years even, as long as the cultural stain of others was accessible. (Books, movies, etc.)dog

    What is intolerable is the inability to connect with others; you can have a partner, family, friends and still feel unbearably alone because there is no genuine love but rather a behavioural programme that promises eventual happiness if you conform to an ideal. You do what you are told by society and you are told to distrust yourself, to become alienated from yourself as though consciousness is your enemy, that the danger of losing this eventual happiness is you and so you must go. It is like dominating parents that if you do not do what they tell you, you will experience something bad or wrong and they will raise you from birth using guilt and fear until you reach a point where you become automaton; you do not know how to think for yourself.

    Capitalism and our societal norms are like farmers fattening their cows with hormones and rearing them ready for slaughter; you are only worth something if you do what you are told.

    When one experiences anxiety or depression, it is the inner you, the real you trying to call out but it doesn't have a language and so all you have is the feeling that something is wrong. Your identity is not your own and so you will need to form a new language to articulate who you are and that is incredibly difficult because everything that you have been trained to believe is reality is shaken. It is easier to put an end to it either by suicide/shutting down or by conformism than to face the pits of hell trying to begin anew.

    What we fail to understand is that love is a faculty or a state of mind, like reason and it is not something spontaneous or independent of our sensibilities. The moment that you stop expecting or working hard to try and be loved by impressing this system through power or attractiveness or having popular traits, and instead start using the faculty or the inherent mental capacity to give love - charity, kindness, affection to all things and not selectively - that social system breaks down and you start to learn this new language, this very 'you' that never had a chance to know. If everybody wants love and no one gives it, what exactly happens to love? Once you take that responsibility, the gloom disappears, the isolation, because you become a conscious part of this world and not just some automaton.

    But (from my perspective) you are ignoring the gloom of the confident, articulate, and popular personality type.dog

    How one represents themselves is irrelevant; anxiety and depression are both different symptoms to the exact same pathology. One can disassociate as a coping mechanism, another can eat excessively, others can form habits in drink and drugs, and finally the confident and popular personality or the perfect conformist.

    Even if he gets his time in the woods with ideal companions (hard work or a risky crime footing the bill), that time is finite and ends in accident or decay.dog

    You cannot help who you fall in love with (I know that from experience) and all is vanity, but it is about the memories we share and make with one another while it lasts that matters (you should read Darkness Visible).

    I do see love as eternal, but not in the way most people do. For me, a genuine friendship is the basis of real love, because the union is about solidarity and our differences are negligible and where we relate with our core values - "I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself."
    When I fell in love, I loved the real 'him' that I could see but no one else - neither him - could see, but he was all over the place and so I kept my distance intentionally (I never showed him the real me either and so he has no idea how compatible we actually are). I improved as a person, though, because of this love that I felt but I could never share. Improvement never decays.

    So, two people can unite and share in romance and even marriage and those experience can end, but the friendship will never end which is why friendship is a type of love that is eternal. There is nothing greater than finding a true friend to alleviate the emptiness.
  • dog
    89
    What is intolerable is the inability to connect with others; you can have a partner, family, friends and still feel unbearably alone because there is no genuine love but rather a behavioural programme that promises eventual happiness if you conform to an ideal.TimeLine

    I do think that the gloomy person feels a certain loneliness. But this doesn't have to be the absence of real love. It may instead involve the limits of love. The ideal relationship would be simultaneously the ideal sexual relationship and the ideal friendship. But there is a tension here. Sexual love is possessive. Friendship recognizes the freedom and equal status of other.

    I can't relate to the program you speak of. I understand what you mean, but it's not something I wrestle with. For me the 'problem' is the ambivalence of human existence. I want to have my cake and eat it too. I buck against finitude. The passionate imagination is too big for one little life. Or sometimes it is.

    One can know the good advice, have read the gurus. The wicked heart remains. Sometimes it's a good boy. It loves what it has and where it is. At other times it hates what it is from a vision of what ought to be. This is good if the ought-to-be can be enacted. (The situation is mendable and there isn't much ambivalence. )

    You do what you are told by society and you are told to distrust yourself, to become alienated from yourself as though consciousness is your enemy, that the danger of losing this eventual happiness is you and so you must go.TimeLine

    I'm sure it applies to some, but this doesn't cover all cases. Indeed, it's also society that piles on words against the perception of the darker aspects of life. The life-immersed can all agree that the death-voice must be neutralized with scientific or religious terminology. The death-voice is useless to them, unless like me their project involves a description of this dialectic itself.

    Capitalism and our societal norms are like farmers fattening their cows with hormones and rearing them ready for slaughter; you are only worth something if you do what you are told.TimeLine

    I think there's some truth in this. But the dark side of capitalism emanates from our own individual natures. Why do we want others? For sex-love, friendship, and trade. Maybe also as an audience for our personality or as foils for our superiority. So (from another view) we are worth something to particular others in those terms. Sex-appeal, friend-appeal, the indirect appeal of objects and services, and the abstract appeal of audience/foil seem to cover it.

    I think younger people have strong sense of the abstract audience. 'They' are watching and judging. 'They' must be appeased or pleased. So maybe they act out against this 'They.' But that's the young stuff. That's the dramatic suicide 'attempt.' The truly darkened mind is quiet in the futility on speech. The young suicide aims his action at someone or something. The old suicide no longer sees anything worth aiming this action at. He laughs a dark laugh at the complacent stuff he used to say, at the wiseman he used to play on TV.

    The moment that you stop expecting or working hard to try and be loved by impressing this system through power or attractiveness or having popular traits, and instead start using the faculty or the inherent mental capacity to give love - charity, kindness, affection to all things and not selectively - that social system breaks down and you start to learn this new language, this very 'you' that never had a chance to know.TimeLine

    Right. I'm aware of this idea. The gloomy person is self-absorbed. If they just give themselves in a Christian sort of way, then they find new places in their soul. I'm sure there's some truth in it. It works for some people sometimes. But any project works so long as we are truly invested. Your words may be wise and true, but there is a perspective from which they look like grasping. I'm not saying one is correct and the other incorrect. I'm just trying to describe the situation in its fullness with a kind of detachment. That's my project of the moment.

    You cannot help who you fall in love with (I know that from experience) and all is vanity, but it is about the memories we share and make with one another while it lasts that matters (you should read Darkness Visible).TimeLine

    Memories are fine, but I'd stress what's available now. For me the good moments absorb the scheming mind.

    I read Darkness Visible many years ago. It's a beautiful little book. Styron was there. That's an example of a married, successful, respected artist wrestling with this stuff. A great example.

    So, two people can unite and share in romance and even marriage and those experience can end, but the friendship will never end which is why friendship is a type of love that is eternal. There is nothing greater than finding a true friend to alleviate the emptiness.TimeLine

    I agree that true friendship is one of life's best experiences. I've had several that have come and gone. People change. Kids, drugs, careers, etc. I could probably use another one. That or a mistress that my wife magically tolerates. There was a time when I had several intense friendships (including with a woman in a wife-approved manner) and the relationship was going well and I was creative in several media and my health was great and there were new recreational drugs that worked beautifully with all of this. I worked a part-time meaningless job. I spent more time on the drums than at work. I spent more time on philosophy forums than at work. Good times. I'm more successful and respectable now on paper, but I do miss the social wealth. I'm not sure it can be repeated. For things to be so exciting again would require a revolution in my lifestyle. Some eggs would have to be broken to make that omelette. I'm still young enough to start again (another woman, another career). A truly old man might envy that, just as I envy the 18 year old who hasn't half-wasted his youth yet with doubts and hesitations that hindsight shows absurd.
  • Sunshine Sami
    9
    Is depression a momentary (or sustained) giving up of being fascinated and curious in the world around one, and a turning into oneself? Does then come a switch from being painfully aware of this “giving up” to a period when that consciousness disappears and the turned-in-on-oneself becomes a stable state? A good friend of mine reminded me that depression is a strategy of the mind, or brain, to get the person to stop doing something that was causing him or her untold damage, but refusing to acknowledge this. And depression is a way to stop the damaging. Depression forces the person to stop. This might be a neat way to help the person out of depression, but not if the depression has switched into that deeper state. The danger is when the depression has become the norm for the person. That’s the true danger. And this is where oral histories are so beneficial. Oh, how I wish for those community circles where these stories would be shared and one person’s story become ervyone’s story. No judgement, just a cmmunal “om”
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    The ideal relationship would be simultaneously the ideal sexual relationship and the ideal friendship. But there is a tension here. Sexual love is possessive. Friendship recognizes the freedom and equal status of other.dog

    Which is why it is perfect; friendship reduces the possessiveness that is usually formed by an immature attitude toward love and you see the person as an embodiment of an individual who distinctly represents someone that you admire. Hence, through them, you become a better person because you identify with the virtues that they represent. They are an individual, separate to you, that you do not seek to possess or want to change, but equally individual who in mutual return does the same to you, admires you for your qualities and respects you as an individual. You both, being mature enough, share sexual intimacy as a type of celebration for this friendship. It is a mutual choice and not a symbiotic attachment because you are lonely, desperate or because you are told to.

    And even if the sexual intimacy ends, the friendship wont and as such this type of love is eternal. It never ends, they are both 'forever' in their care for one another.

    I read Darkness Visible many years ago. It's a beautiful little book. Styron was there. That's an example of a married, successful, respected artist wrestling with this stuff. A great example.dog

    It is also the ending that is interesting; that life is about those memories we create and nothing more. That is why we need to create them, make an effort. I was once profoundly afraid of being alone that I intentionally sought isolation as a way to overcome this intense feeling, only I came to realise that the fear was actually a fear of abandonment because I had been previously and I was avoiding contact with others to avoid experiencing this again. I came to see that we destroy the prospect of creating, of actually living life, because of fear. Fear of disappointing our family and friends, fear of trying something new, fear of getting hurt, fear of disobeying etc. While most of our fears are imbedded into our psyche from childhood, our failure to overcome it correctly is the cause for most of our grief.
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