Our ego, our psyche, our identity, who we think we are, it’s made up of a whole bunch of value and belief systems which have been formed by the totality of our life experiences and culturalisation. It makes up a framework through which we see the world. It is what we believe the world is and should be. It is represented in our brains as an intricate web of neural connections called a neural network.
What that framework really is, is a whole bunch of expectations that we place on ourselves and everyone else we interact with. It’s lots of rules that we think people and the world as a whole should adhere to in order to meet our expectations and to fit within our framework of how we think the world should be and how it should act.
We effectively go through life trying to control everything possible, people, places, times and events in order to bend them and force them into our framework and to meet our expectations. We judge everyone according to their performance against our unique criteria and expectations. We don’t look the other way when it comes to ourselves either, we judge ourselves in the same light.
Now because everyone has a unique set of life experiences and culturalisation, everyone has a different framework upon which they see the world. Can you already see what a disaster this set up is? A world filled with people all playing by different sets of rules trying to force everyone else to play by theirs.
We have created an absolute plethora of fears attached to our framework of expectations. As an example let’s look at a few things that might be included within our egoic framework:
- In order to be of value you must be successful.
- Successful means being rich.
- Being popular is a sign of individual value.
- Being beautiful and a size 8 makes me valuable.
So then based on these example expectations we then attach fears to the failure of meeting those expectations, for example:
- Fear of not being good enough because of poverty
- Fear of not being liked and approved of by everyone
- Fear of being rejected as a result of being overweight or ugly
Obviously the list of expectations we place on ourselves and others is very long, as is the list of fears which spawn from it.
So as a result of our egoic expectations we assign our ego the impossible task – control all people, places, times and events so as to avoid these fears being stimulated; that becomes our life; we are slaves to fear.
Most of us live life in variable degrees of neurosis as a result of internally analysing by way of the little voice in our head all of these fears. It’s ultimately ‘the human condition’, suffering. Most of us tolerate it because we feel there is no alternative, we don’t talk about it and we just get on with the impossible task of trying to avoid the fears and meet the expectations.
When we find ourselves falling further and further short of our own rules and expectations, being ever more engrossed in our fears, they accumulate to a certain level and reach a critical mass, we reach a point of overwhelm or what’s now been given the label ‘depression’.
Depression is the realisation we’re playing a game we can’t win.
Now a key part of the human condition is the fact that we live in the past. We re-live past suffering as well as anticipate the future to surely be more of the same which leads to anxiety which is simply suffering in advance. Therefore we don’t spend any time living freely in the only point of existence there ever is and that’s now, this very moment.
The reason we live in the past is because we don’t let it go. If we have an experience, let’s say a partner betrays our trust. We then form a new neural connection in our brain that says, ‘people aren’t trust worthy’, and as we look through that framework we will make it so. That neural network then gets reinforced and becomes harder to break, what it also does is keep us connected to that past experience, it is literally a mental pollutant that we subconsciously drag around with us and re-live that pain constantly as we look to reinforce that neural pathway, otherwise known as emotional baggage. As we believe the world to be, so it shall be.
We accumulate many of these painful links to the past and become addicted to their reinforcement. Everyday repeats the past because that is what we are determined to see and create. Our mind becomes a polluted cesspool of all our fears and past emotions. This is a self-induced limited state called ‘social consciousness’.
Depression is but the highlighting of the human condition to which we are all suffering. It is that human condition that needs correction.
So while the accepted treatment of depression, things like drinking more water, talking to your friends and exercising are without doubt genuinely intended, they are by themselves for the most part frivolous. It is like giving your house some new carpet and paint when the entire house is built on sand. While you may enjoy some added moments of pleasure sitting in your newly painted room, as soon as the next storm comes and of course it will, the entire house is washed away. Don’t settle for what is simply socially acceptable levels of suffering.
Now if you are suffering from ‘depression’, take a moment and rejoice, because therein lies the birthplace of greatness. Rejoice in the fact that from depression you will hopefully be, as I was, forced to ask the big questions, you will look at life and say ‘what the fuck?! There must be a better way.’ And indeed my brothers, there is.
Let us awaken to the truth that we are a boundless, limitless enigma of divine radiance and beauty, we have the power within us to create literally anything our mind could possibly conjure. Our bandwidth to the infinite intelligence that so effortless binds this universe together is limited only by the pollution that you know as your egoic mind.
Happiness and joy are not emotions, they are the absence of emotion, they are your God given natural state of being. We’ve just got lost in our own drama.
Take from a man all his jealousy, regret, judgement, anxiety, hatred, fear, and all the rest of it and what are you left with? Joy.
If you are interested, I would like to humbly share with you what I have found to be real steps towards correcting the human condition and an end to suffering…