Many people talk about experiencing a deep and oppressive depression, either just prior to or after spiritual awakening. Are enlightenment and depression connected?
I’ve read many accounts of spiritual awakening over the past decade, and noticed a common thread of severe depression, even to the point of being suicidal. Quite a few people have asked me about depression and sudden spiritual awakening, so much so that I’ll be writing several articles about it. Let’s investigate the kinds of depression a person might experience prior to awakening.
If you suddenly fall off the treadmill of so-called normal life, people may label you as depressed. There are so many cracks in this flimsy, false reality that it’s easy to fall through one if you’re not careful. Suddenly you can’t find meaning or value in the life you’ve created for yourself. It may be that the life you’re living truly sucks, but you can just as easily have everything you ever wanted and find that it has absolutely no meaning. You may feel tidal waves of sadness, emptiness, meaninglessness, alienation and terror. You might look around and wonder what you’re doing here. You suddenly don’t feel a connection to anything. Nothing gives you pleasure. There is nothing to strive for, nothing you can get or experience to fix it. The pointlessness of it all is crushing, inescapable.
People spend a great deal of effort maintaining the illusion of their lives. They work very hard to make it as solid as possible and never venture too close to the rough edges. Otherwise they would fall right through one of those gaping holes and find themselves looking into the illusion from the outside.
Everyone around you will work very hard to pull you back into investing in the illusion. They will get you counseling, feed you medications, take you to the movies, whisk you away on an exciting holiday, take you shopping. Everyone will do all they can to help you return to being well-adjusted. As you know, in an insane world of people sleep walking through an illusory life, being well-adjusted means you have to be insane. You have to go back to being hypnotized.
This is a really painful and confusing place to be. What happens if you don’t patch it up? What happens if you can’t return to normal programming?
Severe depression caused by brain chemistry
If you’ve read my post on how pervasive mental illness is, you know I’m not impressed with the “mental illness” labels we use today. However, I have observed a kind of depression that is definitely caused by brain chemistry and is entirely different from the existential kind. For instance, bipolar depression is awesome to witness. First of all, it’s cyclical and seasonal. By that I mean that many people suffer from this in the summer. It creeps up on them in the spring and then takes them down in the summer. You can set your clock by it. If they haven’t killed themselves by autumn, they are out of the woods, at least, until next summer.
Another characteristic is incessant looping thoughts. The thoughts are very simple in nature, and very mechanical, but also totally overwhelming. One person I know spent pretty much her entire summer with a single looping thought of killing herself. If she was holding a spoon, she would immediately imagine killing herself with it. When she got in the car, she would imagine using it to kill herself. If she was taking a shower, she would imagine how she might use that environment to kill herself. Every object or situation was brought into this looping pattern of suicide. There wasn’t even any feeling behind it, she was emotionally pretty flat. It’s simply amazing, and very fortunate, that she is somehow able to get through the summer at all.
There were summers when she wasn’t so lucky, of course. There were failed suicide attempts. And there was that one time when she took Depakote, and was absolutely stunned to have the thoughts simply vanish the next morning without a trace. While taking the Depakote, she couldn’t even imagine having those thoughts, that’s how foreign they were. If you ask her in July how many times a day she thinks of killing herself, she would say it was constant, too many to count. If asked the same question in December, she would tell you she never thinks about killing herself.
I’ve known several people who exhibit a similar pattern. Some are suicidal, some spend their summers nearly paralyzed, barely able to to move through the thick fog of despair and hopelessness to take care of necessary things. The way this pattern is expressed varies, but the pattern itself is the same.
Everyone has a different take on medication, and that’s a good thing. It’s a very personal decision.
From my perspective, which is not an opinion so much as what I am able to see with expanded awareness, is that people suffering from this pattern have mental antennae that get entrained to a certain frequency, a certain channel, if you will. There is an entity complex that uses this frequency to basically enter a person’s consciousness and take over to some degree. It’s similar to a parasitic possession. Taking the medication seems to lessen the strength of the frequency transmission by blocking a person’s ability to pick up that frequency. The medication doesn’t block it 100%, but it blocks enough to give a person the upper hand. If they choose to then watch for prodromal symptoms, modify their diet and personal habits, they can keep themselves from full blown parasitic possession.
Yeah, that sounds far out, doesn’t it? But it’s what I see and hear when dealing with people who are fully possessed.
Is it darkest just before the dawn?
Plenty of people say they were in the grips of a horrible dark depression when they awakened.
These are just a few awakened people whose narratives fit this pattern:
My system isn’t inclined to depression, so it was not part of my experience. You don’t have to be in existential despair in order to awaken. But it seems that this condition is not uncommon in people who have suddenly popped out of the dream.
Here is an interesting article that talks about psychological impairment due to meditation.
image: Annie Spratt
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