Day 579: The Dichotomy of Man

Robin Williams was not the first person to take his own life, nor was he the first comedian to do so. It is not often that you can take something at face value in this world, especially where people are involved. The face we show to the world is often not our real face, which seems in itself to be a tragedy.

There are a myriad of reasons why we are the way we are, but it basically boils down to the fact that we just don't know ourselves that well. We don't take the time to find out why we are the way we are, but rather make ourselves out to be the victims of our nature.

What is depression? It is the presence of certain kinds of thoughts and moods (or feelings) that seem to be out of the control of the person having them. I have been fortunate enough to have had the life I have had and to have known the people I have known - this has led me to this point where I can say that we are capable of changing ourselves, including our thoughts and feelings. I have seen and experienced that it is possible to be the master of yourself, to make the choice to not participate in a thought and then to follow through with that choice until the thought no longer has power over you. A thought can only have power over you if you give it that power - if you believe that it has that power over you.

It's a funny thing. It's a sad thing. We do not know ourselves. It's not our fault and yet we are still responsible for changing the nature of our minds. Our parents did not teach us how our minds work because their parents did not teach them, and their parents did not teach them and on and on. Whatever self awareness our ancestors had has been lost in the glitz and glamour of modern day living where every picture on every surface tells you what to think and who to be. Obviously if you do not have to tools to remain aware and in control of yourself then bits and pieces of the world will seep into your mind and change a little bit of who you are.

Are you in control of your own mind? Do you decide who you are in every moment? Is your every word and action a deliberate and fully considered choice that you make? Did you even know that it was possible to live this way?

How does depression work? You have to firstly participate in certain types of thoughts, primarily negative and oriented in the direction of "what's the point?", "my life sucks", "I suck", "the world sucks" etc. Those thoughts also need to generate a specific experience within you, also primarily negative. Obviously it's not as simple as saying that depression exists because of a lack of self discipline - but it also is that simple. Those thoughts exist within you because you allow them to, you are a willing participant and the more you think them the more power you are giving to them. The rub is that these thoughts are not some evil separate entity - they are YOU. It is a vicious cycle which you perpetuate.

Unfortunately every so called "expert" is telling you that you are the victim of some disease, which immediately disempowers you and puts you in a position where you now believe even more firmly that you have no control over these thoughts. Rehabilitation centers give you lots and lots of time to sit and do nothing, which makes it even easier to fall back into the habit of depressive thoughts. Another factor that is not often discussed is that poor people are more likely to have mental disorders. They are under more psychological stress and are not likely to be any more aware of themselves than any other person in the world, which immediately places them in a position of being more likely to go a little nutty. No one should have to live like that.