Author Topic: Depression  (Read 7698 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2010, 10:38:16 PM »
Greetings All!  The following is from emails to a coupla buddies, hope they don't mind.  Been on a new jag lately, this sort of explains it:

Joy, intuition, spontaneity, clarity, satisfaction are polar opposites to fear, worry, fixation, depression, guilt  --  right?  More or less?

Denial, most certainly, has proved totally worthless in solving problems after scores of failed attempts.  So, my latest goal is not to stuff, bury, eliminate or even transform 'hyperactive' 'naughty' emotions.  Instead of trying to smother emotions when they misbehave, I seek to balance my emotions and let them breathe.  Instead of trying to cleave uncomfortable feelings, I seek to harmonize all my feelings and use them to energize my thoughts and actions.

I seek to use joy to balance fear, spontaneity to cure worry.  Clarity lifts depression; guilt is relieved by satisfaction.

'Tis a pity that "Techniques for Handling Emotions" wasn't taught along with Readin', Ritin' & 'Rithmatic.  I have spent too much time under the illusion that thoughts can be controlled, emotions can't.  While emotions can be theatrically 'manufactured' on the surface, deep-down they rule, nothing to do about it  --  I reject that notion.

When all is in balance: peace, joy and clarity reign.

Some tests might be:  Am I truly enjoying my emotions?  Are they my friends? Are they helpful? Do I associate them with spending Saturday night in jail?

"Easy there, big guy!  I know you're angry, and maybe rightly so.  Just try to keep it down, I mean come on, the dogs are starting to bark!  People are trying to sleep, for chrissakes.  I'm not suggesting that you forget about it, just try to get a grip..."

Would Lao Tzu smile?  Would Chuang Tzu bust a gut?

As a card-carrying member of the male species, the only emotions I was allowed were anger and lust (AKA aggression and greed).  Now that I have torn up my membership card and burned my jock, I am finding that I have lots of feelings.  Sometimes they blend together, like colors.  Sometimes they modify or cancel each other.  And while a particular train of thought can/will engender specific emotions, emotions also lead to predictable patterns of thought.

So, when 'depressed', I have patterns of thought that are pessimistic and fixated on obstacles, plus my body/gut feels heavy, weak and lethargic.  The thought patterns and feelings evoke and support one another  --  my own personal co-dependents.  To alleviate depression effectively, I need to address both thoughts and feelings.

This is something no real man should ever have to do!  (hehe)

While I could relate to Taoist/Buddhist mindfulness and control my rational/verbal thought processes, I had never applied such techniques to my feelings.  Hence, my emotions were free to intrude and run wild.  Recently, I have applied those techniques to my emotions, and HOLY COW, the same techniques work on them, too.

It is best, for both thoughts and emotions, to apply control ASAP, before they have a chance to gain 'momentum'.  By hitting the brakes as soon as anxiety is observed, a state of panic is never reached.  By halting thoughts of gloom and doom, feelings of depression are avoided.

Nothing wrong with controlling thoughts and emotions.  I ignore them at my own risk.  Let them run wild and they control me.

So, what is it?  Am I crazy or just nuts?       ~ET
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 10:56:43 PM by Eon T McKnight »

Offline Calaquendi

  • cosmic elf
  • Donating Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2010, 10:42:12 PM »
Great post, McKnight!

So these 'techniques' - the Eastern philosophies, could you elaborate on some specifics that work best for you?

I find I am able to relate to much of what you describe...the heavy and dense physical feelings, sapping energy, etc. I know that I lack discipline in my daily doings, something I have recently become keenly aware of - I am thinking some of the ideas you have could work for me too. Breaking away from old habits and little tedious shit always held great menace for me, because I have always started - and never (yet) continued- with any real, substantial, and continuous process...and I guess that's what all this is anyway right? A process...

good to see you around man  ;D
" I am you and what I see is me..."

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 12:10:00 PM »
Brother Cal,

I am truly glad that you found something useful in what I wrote.  I have been using the Forum as a personal tool to help me learn about myself and help myself.  You could say that:  "I'm writing myself to health."  (I could have used "sanity" instead of "health", but that word has such mixed connotations for me.)  So, I write both for Forum members and for the benefits it gives me.

I have to run, now.  But, I will reply to your questions soon.

Later, gator    ~ET

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2010, 06:45:26 PM »
Most interesting!  There's an article in the March Scientific American that relates neuroimaging findings about the Default Mode Network (DMN) in the brain.  I think that they have 'discovered', measured and mapped what could be called the 'base meditative state'.

It is unfortunate that there is not one word about people who have trained themselves to enter the 'Default Mode' at will and what their neural images might look like.

Back to the subject at hand...

Had a productive night, last evening, working with the I Ching.  Seems I was only partially correct in my understanding with regards to balancing and harmonizing my emotions, according to Dr. Ching.  While it is true that beneficial, helpful, healthy, useful, positive emotions should be balanced and harmonized, others should not.

Negative, harmful, hurtful, evil, wicked, depraved, sinful emotions should not.  They should be terminated with extreme prejudice.  They should be made to walk the plank, be fed to the worms/pigs/fish, whacked, offed or nuked, as the case warrants.  And it should be done post haste, immediately, ASAP and P-fookin'-DQ, if not sooner.

Yes, just last night I became a proponent of the Death Penalty for emotions and thoughts convicted of Crimes Against Nature.

I used to be like you, a namby-pamby, weak-tit, bleeding-heart wuss who believed that insane, incorrigible, criminal thoughts and emotions could be redeemed.  Now, however, I know that pathological mental states are the bane of society and must be eliminated.

That's right, don't deny, stuff, bury, repress or hide those sick emotions  --  give 'em the chair!  Let 'em suck cyanide!  Stretch their evil, no good, rotten necks!

Phew!  That was even more fun and cathartic than writing about puking!

But, please do not mistake my glee in treating those diseased emotions in the manner which they so richly deserve, I am totally, 100% serious here.  Sure, more than a wee bit out there, but SERIOUS!

Using images and logic considerably less colorful than mine, Dr. Ching enabled me to see that bad emotions are bad.  Sick thoughts are sick.  No one would seek to balance and harmonize their colon cancer or brain tumor, right?  Cut it out!  Right now!

I guess that's what I like about Taoism  --  no religious BS, no dogma, none of that "God told me and I'm telling you" CRAP.  They are the original (and IMHO still the best) technicians of awareness, the master mechanics of the mind.

Yesterday, a man walked into Dr. Ching's office.  "Doctor, please help me.  I'm in great pain.  It hurts whenever I do this" he said as he raised his arm.

Dr. Ching:  "Don't do that."

Wishing you a happy, healthy tomorrow.    ~ET
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 07:00:35 PM by Eon T McKnight »

Offline x

  • Donating Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2010, 07:26:40 PM »
unchecked growth is cancer. ;)

anger is protective, fear is instructive, so is guilt. for me, (on a good day!) I see them come, figure why they are there, and either release or utilize the energy of them. on a bad day, I ride 'em like a cowgirl.

t

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2010, 07:44:24 PM »
Yipee!  Ride-em!!!

BTW, do you use spurs?  Sharp spurs?  And a whip?   ~e

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2010, 11:57:10 PM »
Eliminate confusion without extinguishing perception; maintain calmness without sticking to emptiness.   Practice this consistently, and you will naturally attain true vision.

Whether the mind is ordinarily hyperactive or calm is a matter of long-term habit; it is very hard to have the discipline to stop the mind.

Do not give up your practice because of temporary failure to collect the mind.

Whether there is something to attend to or nothing to attend to, always be as if unminding;  whether in quietude or clamor, let your mind remain unified.

If you clean the pollution from the mind and open up consciousness of the root of the spirit, that is called practicing the Way.

When the mind no longer wanders vagrant but merges with the Way and rests calmly in the Way, that is called return to the root.

I call these passages "How to use 100% of the sweet breads inside your skull,"  but I could be wrong...
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 12:19:30 AM by Eon T McKnight »

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2010, 12:17:57 AM »
If you want to cultivate reality, first get rid of warped behaviors.

Eliminate thoughts as they arise, in order to bring about peaceful calmness.

... just extinguish the stirring mind, do not extinguish the shining mind; just accord with the open mind, not with the possessive mind.

Above the stabilized mind is vast openness, with no covering; beneath the stabilized mind is open vastness, with no dependency.

When the mind does not take in externals, it is called the empty mind;  when the mind does not pursue externals, it is called the peaceful mind.  When the mind is naturally peaceful and empty, the Way will naturally come to abide in it.


I call these passages "How to use the 1/10 of 1% we somehow previously missed," and I could be right...

Offline Calaquendi

  • cosmic elf
  • Donating Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2010, 12:13:51 PM »
That's great stuff, Eon...now all I have to do is practice...
" I am you and what I see is me..."

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2010, 05:31:38 PM »
You and me both, brother Cal!

The 'colorful' quotes above were from "Practical Taoism" translated by Thomas Cleary.  The original is attributed to a seventh generation master, Preserver of Truth, of the Northern Branch of the Complete Reality School of Taoism.

While I have long been an admirer of Taoism, it wasn't until last summer that I began to study it in depth and to practice it daily.  While my progress would have been swifter and surer with a teacher, I have been able to use the basic precepts to establish some control over my thoughts and emotions.  If for no other reason, my recent bout of anxiety and depression were beneficial in that they were so uncomfortable that I was driven to help myself.

Some Taoist writings are way off-the-wall, with alchemical symbolism that can get really strange.  Zen is an equivalent and parallel path that is much more 'clean' and direct, and is the offspring of the meeting between Taoism and Buddhism.  While finding a genuine Taoist teacher in the West is difficult, most population centers will have a Zen school.

I am really sour on religion these days, and I find the latest Holy War in Iraq and Afghanistan appalling.  Instead of dogma, moral codes and bigotry, Taoism seeks to train and rectify the mind so that the practitioners may discover complete reality for themselves.

Sorta like 'teach a man to fish', not a list of commandments.

May the Big Bird of enlightenment roost in you tree!     :D     ~Eon

PS  --  I just had to post a little 'real Taoism' lest someone mistake my manic, twisted inspirations as representations of Taoist thought or practice.  You will NEVER see the phrase "Let 'em suck cyanide" in ANY Taoist writings.   ~e
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 05:39:33 PM by Eon T McKnight »

Offline x

  • Donating Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2010, 11:32:10 PM »
eon,
i'm so still figuring all this out for myself, and am enjoying the heck out of this thread. on spurs and whip, no way. more flies with sugar, you know? something very interesting post iboga flood, the part of me that used to like to incorporate pain with whips and such is gone. I used to just think it was me being open-kinky, but it was more related to issues not healed.

fallout, im super duper interested in any more you want to share on your experiences with precursors and adaptogens for depression. did you get off all other anti-d's?

forgive me for days, all. i'm typing on a phone. slow, no spell check, one letter at a time.

xo
t

Offline Eon T McKnight

  • Banzi
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: Depression
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2010, 11:38:30 PM »
Fallout?  What's up, my virtual friend?  I am missing you, too!   ~eon
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 11:40:07 PM by Eon T McKnight »