Depression can be an extremely crushing condition, which can take a lot to come out of. It’s often treated as a medical condition and cures are sought for it. These include taking medical or psychiatric advice and often lead to treatment with drugs and counseling.
Many people are satisfied with that approach, but this is a different way of looking at it, which is from a spiritual viewpoint. This view is not intended as a substitute for conventional medical advice, and may not be suitable for everyone; some may be so affected by depression that they are unable to tackle it from a spiritual viewpoint, as the spiritual work takes a healthy psychology to perform.
Conventional psychology is extremely limited when it comes to understanding the human psyche. That’s because the human being is multi-dimensional (7 dimensions) and this multi-dimensional nature has to be included to understand it. Conventional psychology ignores and even ridicules the multi-dimensional reality of life, which severely curtails its ability to understand the psyche.
Because it is thought of as a medical condition, people seek a cure for depression, but from a spiritual viewpoint this is a mistaken way of looking at it, which can prolong the condition. I don’t see that there is a “cure” for depression any more than there is a “cure” for any other emotional state such as anger or fear. You can gradually reduce the state and eventually remove it, but that’s different. From an esoteric viewpoint, depression is not an illness—it’s an emotional state, an ego state, and like any emotion, it potentially comes and goes and can be ended.
Depression is part of nature’s survival mechanism, which is also found in animals. When things go wrong for them animals can get depressed too; some even go into grief when a member of their family is killed or dies. In nature it helps a creature to get out of a situation, it tells them something is wrong and needs changing. This is true for human beings too, but for the average person it becomes a real menace, because it’s such a weakening state to be in, and due to the complexity of the human mind, depression can take a firm hold. It works particularly when desires are thwarted and a person feels trapped.
Knowing the desires that exist within the psyche is important in understanding depression. Some desires can be of a higher nature such as the yearning for spiritual awakening, which is not really a desire as its nature is of a different source. Some desires are fundamental to ordinary human functioning, such as the desire for freedom or to mate, while others can be superficial such as the desire for surplus material goods, and there are many ego based desires. Therefore it is important to have a realistic perspective of life—the further from reality one’s ideas are, the more likely they are to be thwarted, leading to feeling down.
Reality is not that simple to perceive. It requires knowledge from personal experience of the esoteric multidimensional nature of life, and an understanding of one’s own true purpose within it. Even when there is a degree of understanding of this, it is only when one’s individual will matches that of the spirit, of the being, that there is true happiness.
For this reason, fundamentally understanding and tackling depression is a long and slow process. However, there is much that can be done to reduce it, or keep it away fairly quickly, if it is sufficiently studied. I wouldn’t think of an immediate “cure” for depression, but of an ongoing work to see it, study it, and gradually get rid of it, in just the way any other emotional state is tackled in the esoteric work.
Studying Your Own Low Feelings
Properly understanding depression requires an understanding of the esoteric principles governing creation and the human being. These can be studied by reading about them, but to actually know requires personal study and experience of the actual thing. That means observing depression in yourself, seeing how it works, and getting information from dreams and out-of-body experiences to discover the esoteric influences that form the low state.
Thoughts are very affected by depression and can also trigger it off, and should be observed carefully. They can fall into a pattern. Seeing this pattern can be particularly useful in learning not to go along with the thoughts arising from a depressive state, as they are almost inevitably destructive.
To understand depression you have to be able to observe it within yourself, even if it’s in a small aspect. Sometimes in spotting those small aspects you see the thoughts and feelings that lead to depression. For example, if you plan to do something and it doesn’t happen you might feel down. If you look carefully at that feeling you might discover not only disappointment, but underneath, the feeling and thoughts of depression. You may also look further to understand what kinds of goals you have and whether they are realistic, how dependent you are on outcomes, how attached you are to results, to what other people think, etc. By spotting these little things you’ll discover the triggers of it.
Depression is a feeling, and every feeling feeds off psychic energy. Once depression starts, like every ego or inner state, it wants to feed and keeps returning for more food, using any opportunity it can. And because depression works on such an underlying basis, it’s hard to spot that feeding happening. Very often it gets into a vicious cycle because you can’t see events which triggered it off, so then you have to look at that low energy and see where it’s coming up in your life. If you can do that then you get to see the things which give you the clues about what’s going on.
The Mood Swings of Pleasure and Pain
In depression the state of the psychic energies is very low, and to tackle that, you’ve got to work to get your energies clean and to balance the psychic centers (see my book Self-Knowledge for Spiritual Awakening for more on this). Inner states move from pleasure to pain and back again like the moving of a pendulum. The further that someone goes into one side, the more they gravitate towards the other. When someone looks for pleasure, the psychic energies go into feeding pleasurable things. But there is an opposite to every ego state and the pendulum swings the other way, so the more into pleasure someone goes, the more the pendulum swings to the other side, which is depression and pain.
So the more that pleasure is fed, the more inevitably pain is also going to feed. And once in pain, there is a great desire to seek for pleasure. By looking for pleasure a person gets psychologically weakened, which can lead to problems, which in turn create feelings of entrapment and depression. By feeding pleasure when driven by depression, productive activities are sacrificed for unproductive ones and a person is less likely to do the things in their life which could really benefit them. Instead it usually leads to unfulfilled desires, which lead subconsciously to depression. When an elevated or pleasurable emotion (even negative states such as hatred or aggressiveness can be a pleasure in a sense) is not being fulfilled, then there is a plunge into misery as the ego subconsciously wants to keep progressively feeding ever-more pleasures, which is impossible. So then, as it’s thwarted, misery and depression arises.
Being in depression is a feeling which is very hard to give up, and takes much effort to do so. There is a feeling that drags you down into itself, and that is to be resisted in order to combat depression. To break a depressive state, if you can, be active, and if you need to, talk to a person you can confide in about it, as thoughts can become so set on an illusory trail that talking to another person can help to put things into a more realistic perspective.
To Participate in the Struggle for Light Against Darkness is to Live a Fulfilling Life
It helps to meet people and be active, if you can, doing the things that you know you should be doing, especially participating in the struggle for light against darkness, in a sense fighting for good in the world and combating evil—the spiritual work being the highest good. What depression makes you want to do is nothing at all, or just to feed pleasure and indulge in the low state, as depression is also a kind of pleasure, which is very hard to give up.
The best kind of activity is to participate in is to be part of the struggle of light against darkness; there are good cosmic principles for this, which are illustrated in the symbolic story of the Churning of the Milky Ocean found in the ancient Hindu text called the Mahabharata. Those that don’t, just do their own thing, often following their own whims and become as the creatures swimming in the milky ocean of life, victims of the currents to be thrown about in all directions. Whereas those that pull against darkness are the ones whose action of pulling churns the ocean. These people are the instigators of action in a higher sense, rather than being the victims of life. They also become strong from the action and, as they work for the higher purpose which is to fight for light in the struggle with darkness, they fulfill life’s purpose and live fulfilling lives.
Trying to overcome depression because you want to follow your whims and indulge pleasures is only patching things up, and is inevitably going to be superficial or fail; selfish people who only think of themselves can never be spiritually happy.
A Depressive State Results in Negative Actions
A state of depression takes over thoughts which become negative. And so you should try not to make a decision while you’re depressed. Wait if you can and make a decision when you’re clear, because whatever comes out of depression is caused and fed by negativity. And that negativity is a blinding force that often can’t be seen through, so you’ll just be thinking according to that depression and negativity. That’s how some people dangerously can’t see a way out, either of the state or the situation they are in, because depression puts a veil over circumstances in which it seems as though nothing is going to work out—but when the negative state is removed, you will be able to separate illusion from reality.
Sometimes an actual event can thwart desires or actions; a negative response can prevent a deeper understanding of circumstances and prevent the ability to see and create new opportunities that could lead to right and effective action. A thwarting of what someone wants to do, and a thwarting of pleasures, leads to the state of depression, which becomes a vicious circle. Sometimes events are actually terrible, such as illness, or wrongful imprisonment, or injustice, and then the more someone understands the greater purpose of life, sees objectively what they can and cannot do, and acts in the best way without attachment to results, the better.
Low States Can Harm Other People
Depression can harm others, as low states can contaminate and pass onto others as well. If one person is depressed in a household, or at work, they can bring down the inner state of others, as the low vibration passes from one to another unseen beyond the physical world in the astral and mental planes. So then one person can trigger off another’s depression and low states, and it can spread around. This is especially difficult when a member of a family is depressed, as it can ruin the happiness of the whole family.
Some enjoy these low states and take pleasure in infecting others with them, living their home life in low vibrations. Some use all kinds of excuses to justify and defend low states, creating arguments and robbing themselves and others of happiness. Many don’t know how to appreciate what they have or lack the understanding to learn from life’s difficulties and lessons always thinking of the time things will work out, while ignoring the present moment and not valuing action or opposition. Many see the satisfaction of pleasure and desire as the fulfillment of a happy life, without realizing that everything passes, the moments of life are fleeting, and at life’s end they have no more than they did at its beginning. Those with understanding use life for the benefit of the spirit and create and acquire what lasts beyond the body and the physical world.
You’ve got to watch the whole process that is taking place to really get to the root of feeling low. And remember that thoughts won’t be your friend in depression. You have to become active in order to get out of it, to sometimes do things that are contrary to what you feel like doing, which may not be the things of pleasure, but those which you know are good for you and right to do.
To see what leads into depression, you need to be aware of the whole process which is taking place. It goes right to the root of energies. Important in it is wanting to do something and being deprived of the ability to do so. And then, once you’re in depression, you’re immersed in a horrendous feeling that appears as though would never ever go away, but as long as someone is of sound mind it does—it’s like any other feeling, it has its cause, and if you understand the causes, you can potentially fix it.
Q. It seems that the expectation of feeding a pleasure in the future is one of the main triggers for depression to come in. I find that if I am hoping for some event to happen where I would get some pleasure, and that event is stopped or doesn’t turn out the way I had hoped, a whole program comes into play: I get frustrated for it not happening, which then leads on to beating myself up a bit, “I’m no good, nothing ever goes right, etc.,” until I’m so messed up inside and it gets to a stage where I just give up and can’t be bothered to do anything anymore. I find that if I catch those frustrated negative thoughts before I start beating myself up, I can prevent the slide down into depression. I guess it would be better to get those expectations first? To break free of this is it a matter of getting into the details of all of these programs, or is it learning about the energies, how the energies are messed up, or is it one and the same?
As you’ve said, pleasures that are stopped and are unable to be fed can lead to depression. But you can be trying to figure this out intellectually and not really get it; you’ll be caught in a complex maze of thought. It’s much more effective to observe yourself and see the miserable thoughts and feelings as they are arising – to actually see what’s happening.
You can work out what expectations you have, but there are so many expectations that go on in the subconscious that you need to observe, along with other thoughts and the feeling of depression itself, observing the pleasure and the pain too.
It generally helps to become active and do what you need to do, rather than what you feel like doing, as what you feel like doing will be governed by depressive feelings, and they will maintain the low feeling itself.
Low feelings make a person wallow in them, but observe them and if its practical, replace the activities the low feelings want you to do with ones which you think will help to bring you out of depression a bit.
Going into pleasure is a temporary lift—it will be replaced by pain later on as the whole process hasn’t been understood, and the energies haven’t been changed. Those who work with alchemy have an extra help to fight this because it fundamentally transforms the energies and enables the reintegration with divinity.
With no job or money, still living with parents, and with a diagnosis of severe anxiety and social phobia preventing me from obtaining work, while all of my peers start to make something of their lives, what is the best thing that one can do in order to gain the confidence needed to step outside of these comfortable boundaries and into the unknown? Doctors frequently recommend antidepressants, but these do not seem like a good option to me, nor the answer. Depression, often created by these circumstances, seems to be resulting in a lack of continuity and lack of motivation.
Should any medical condition be related to or part of depression, it should be treated medically. This is a spiritual view of depression only. Anything medical needs to be treated medically. That aside, in the longer term the best thing to do to tackle depression is to participate fully in the struggle for light against darkness – this will lead to a fulfilling life. If you’re just wanting to indulge in whatever you like doing, your life’s purpose will be unclear, and that can in itself lead to depression.
Here anxiety and fear form a huge obstacle; you have two egos working together. Fear is very inhibiting; it cuts things off in life. Being cut off desires are thwarted and the scope of opportunity available in life becomes much smaller, and you function in a vastly decreased circle of action. Being thwarted like this gives the opportunity for depression to arise. Feeling depressed, then you’ll want to do less things, apart from looking for pleasure and feeding stronger egos—and then you’ll get caught in a vicious cycle of inactivity and feeling low. And when feeling low, you’ll feel quite unable to do things. In that state you can suffer from an unfulfilled wanting for a better life, and suffer when you compare yourself with others who are doing well. In this kind of comparison is a feeling of deficiency, which then brings about further depression.
To tackle this requires an understanding of life’s purpose and your own role in it, an understanding of how depression works, your own personal action to overcome it including observing yourself, getting more active, doing things that matter and transforming your energies with alchemy. In your case you will also need to tackle fear and the likely triggers for that for you, much of which in this case is pride. At the root of many kinds of fear is pride, so to tackle your fears you’ve got to look into the different ways that pride works; egos working in combination together can be very difficult to see and understand. Study how pride works and observe it within yourself, and see precisely what kinds of fears you have, see how they manifest and what triggers them off. There could for example be a fear of not being liked, or a fear of saying the wrong thing in case you get hurt, or are put down, and so on. If you have those kinds of fears you become psychologically dependent upon other people, yet at the root of it is pride. And the presence of pride reveals a lack of an understanding of a human being’s actual situation in life itself.
The vicious circle here is amplified, because by being depressed you’ll think about yourself even more, which then feeds pride even more. And then this whole weak psychology meets other people, and other people see this weakness and you can feel even more vulnerable, as you depend more on their responses and reactions towards you.
It will also help to become active and do things, even though your feelings and thoughts could say otherwise. Depression gets a person into a vicious circle in which they can see no way out because they close their options, and the mind presents options and scenarios which are awful, and the energies get so low they feel painful and seem to have no end. A person gets immersed in this and can see no way out and that’s very dangerous. In this way people can end up committing suicide because they see no way out and they just want to escape from the terrible feelings within, or from the thoughts of disaster and there seems to be no way out of it. They need to look for help and start talking to someone. They can’t understand that what they are thinking and feeling is a creation of the mind, underneath which in the subconscious are the ego states. They need to understand that depression and the subjective, even self-hallucinatory state they are in, can be beaten and broken.
When you talked about the contamination that can sometimes happen, like when you are depressed somebody else can get depressed as well. It has happened to me many times that when I’ve been at home and in very low state, my girlfriend can get in a very low state as well. It’s a very common thing. And then when we are both very low, many insecurities are fed from both sides, a vicious circle develops between us and the relationship becomes very difficult. When you are in a very difficult state which you are having difficulty getting out of, and on top of that you have another person that you are living with, and you are bringing each other down, is it sensible at this point to just sit down and have a talk, and say, “We should work on this together,” and, “Let’s do some things that might lift us up a little bit,” and, “Let’s just have a talk about it,” and see if you can do certain simple things to help it work out?
Yes, that’s a good way to approach it as long as you don’t get into arguments and resort to blaming each other while overlooking you own faults. You both need to understand the way that negative feelings work and how contagious they are, and that each of you has a responsibility to keep your inner state as good as you can get it, because if you bring it down inside yourself, you know that you can affect your partner, and she should also understand that she affects you with her negative states.
But it’s a good thing to get together and talk about it, and to have a plan to work at it, to get into its causes and to understand low states, because these states tend to break things apart and smash them up. It’s almost certain that nothing good will come out of them. Even though the solutions that arise out of negative states might seem to be the right ones at the time, they are usually not, as they are born out of negativity, which is a blinding, subjective force, and usually leads to negative solutions. That’s not the way to make effective decisions in life.
So you’ve got a really good idea there of getting together and having a chat about it, but you need to both be exploring the causes of what’s making you feel down, trying to change them inwardly and externally and looking into the bigger picture of depression and how it works.
My question is about passivity and indifference, because it seems like a lot of times when I go to do spiritual things there’s a feeling of passivity which comes on, which feels different to me than depression does, but it still seems to have the effect of dragging me down and stopping me from doing things which would help me to lift it up. So I was just wondering if you could talk a bit about the relationship between the two?
When one’s priorities are elsewhere than living a spiritual life, and when someone feeds energies, emotions, and thoughts that are low in nature, even though they may be pleasurable, then spiritual feelings get suppressed. When they are suppressed there is inevitably spiritual passivity, because the essence itself is passive and needs to be made active with awareness and other exercises. And if someone is feeding negativity, there won’t be the strength or the willingness to feed spiritual things—in fact they will feel like something you don’t want to do.
It’s also worth understanding the processes of sacrifice, entropy and awakening consciousness. When something begins it usually starts at a high octave with lots of enthusiasm. As time goes by the octave and enthusiasm drops, which is due to the force of entropy, and an extra input or effort has to be made. This extra effort needs to be made whenever the octave drops, to lift it up and send it to even higher levels. With sacrifice, to create something higher within oneself, and even to move from one inner level to another, requires the sacrifice of the inner state that is present, and so an inferior state is sacrificed for a superior one. By removing low states, by removing egos, they are sacrificed for consciousness to be present instead, and for consciousness to grow and be developed. In consciousness is found all spiritual faculties, abilities, and spiritual growth. Consciousness needs to be increased to the detriment of ego states, which are the subconscious, where misery itself arises from.
My question is about the egos of regret and their connection to depression. I’ve just noticed inside of me that something that can really drag me down that, maybe it’s a memory of something from the past, or maybe it’s even something that happened more recently that can really hook me in and start to drag me down. Even if it’s something that I feel like I’ve studied, it’s clearly something that’s still really there. And I guess I was wondering if you have any advice or tips on where it’s something from the past that’s already happened, and how to break through the grip and influence it can have?
In this case, at the time, an event brought about a series of psychological impacts (ego states) within, and the mind now looks back in order to solve things, but also, underneath in the subconscious there are psychological states that are still present and which bring their repercussions, so those states are what you need to look at. They can trigger off various feelings such as frustration, regret, etc. As you’ve said, these are low feelings which can cause repercussions in the psyche, which can bring down your inner state, causing it to vibrate in lower octaves, and making you feel miserable.
You should understand that the past is over. If there are things to correct, then you can try to correct them if it’s possible; if it’s not, then move on and take the challenges as they arise. The past emotions and events exist in the mind. They are not here anymore, unless the emotional states and mental images keep retuning and need to be dealt with, in which case, the best state of mind to deal with them is to be objective, aware and clear. Sometimes wrong actions are made, and even though they may be done with the best of intentions, their repercussions or effects aren’t often seen at the time. Sometimes it’s only when looking back that we can see how things worked out and can wish that things were different. But no one has perfect judgment and knowledge, there is usually little or no foreknowledge, and anyone can only do their best at the time. So knowing that, you have to accept what you cannot change and move on from where you are right now.
But always try to see the triggers to the inner states you had when you’re looking back to try to understand how you felt in the past, because the ego states you had then will keep repeating throughout your life. They use any opportunity that arises to feed from the energy of the psyche. And so low states that were vibrating within can keep coming back even in underlying subconscious ways, and that’s what you need to spot when you look back at how you were feeling. It’s possible to have an intellectual understanding of what’s going on, but you’ll still have those low feelings going underneath. So you need to observe those feelings which the ego is trying to feed from, both when you look back at what happened and when those low states are appearing in the present moment, and then you can really begin to uncover them. But looking back and feeling down about what happened is feeding low states and is likely to make everyone else feel down too.
As far as trying to repair something that’s happened, I think, for the most part it seems like it’s best just to look forward, like you were saying, and move forward, and if a similar circumstance comes up to act in the best way and with awareness and clarity. But should we seek out the opportunity to repair any damage done, if it’s to apologize or to try to make a different decision? Is it that we maybe should just wait and see if it naturally comes up, like if we see a person and we are able to apologize to them, otherwise we just let the past be the past and move forward?
Yes, it can be good to repair damage, like you’ve said, but we always have to have as much intelligence in the decision as possible. Sometimes we can try to go back and it will make things worse. At other times, we do need to fix things if we can. So you just need to use your judgment as to how to react in those situations, and how to respond to them. The freer anyone is from ego states, the less influence those states have upon decisions and upon someone’s judgment and the more clear and objective are the actions that can be taken.
Every single event carries its relationship to other events, which are part of a mechanism of cause and effect, and there is a series of events which take place following anything. And even though something has happened in the past, that chain of events may still be continuing and you may have to deal with the repercussions of it. Sometimes by getting into these events we actually increase them and make things worse. Sometimes by acting we can solve them, but each situation has its own momentum, which is in time, which eventually works its way through; the chain of events reaches to other things or recedes.
So everything in the past has its repercussions, and you’ll need to work as intelligently as possible to solve and deal with all of the different repercussions which arise from it. Act and do your best, but don’t rely upon the outcome. Learn to simply be in the action, which is what you can do, and don’t be attached to an outcome, which is beyond your control.