Depression is a protective system

printed-circuit-board

The psyche is like a dynamic living structure/circuit.
Its physical correlate might be the ‘nervous system’.
There is a variable amount of electricity/spirit that can be passed through the nervous system.
The self (ego/self structure) is the determiner of how much spirit (dynamic energy) should be received.
The brain is a reducing value rather than the creator of reality.
The brain is more of a focusing instrument.
The RAS(Reticular activating system) in the brain determines how much power/electricity/spirit must be passed through the nervous system – and this also correspondingly activates the psyche structure.
We could say the ego/self controls this RAS and uses this like a volume control to optimize output based on its goals.

The psyche structure has a circuit.
– If the wiring is very chaotic and silo like(i.e. there are multiple contradictions, conflicts, incompatible compartments, lot of split-selves(locus-es, clusters)), then there the self turns down the RAS to maintain circuit integrity and limit circuit connectivity.
– On the other hand, if the wiring is sound, well integrated, without any incompatible wiring, then the RAS can be comfortably turned up and the system can work more powerfully and efficiently without a short circuit and the parts can function coherently, harmoniously with minimum interference.

An important thing is remember is that, PAIN in essence is from conflict.
So depression is a protective mechanism against PURE PAIN.
Opiates are released in response to pain.
That is why depression and high opiate release are highly connected (which also explains why the depressed person feels a flat AFFECT and loss of memory access).

A depressed person has a lot of internal chaos and conflict.
[Conflicting values, conflicting drives, conflicting ideologies and so on]
This chaos and conflict creates pain.
Now, if greater energy is passed from the RAS through the conflicting circuits, then there could easily be a short circuit and something may blow up.
Whereas if the energy passed through the circuits is lowered, then only the critical circuits receive power, and large areas of potential conflict could be kept low-key and relatively dormant.
So depression kicks in, to make chaos manageable, to mitigate pain, and it is an attempt of the organizing system to handle one thing at a time starting from the most critical.

That is why sometimes LSD and Ayahuasca can cause violent reactions, because it would increase the circuit power and connectivity reach via. RAS, forcing disconnected, compartmentalized, and dormant parts to interact with each other, which could potentially cause a lot of conflict/chaos = pain.
But however if one wants to function as ONE integrated personality, then such a pain could be a good learning experience in terms of facing this chaos so that one could see through the transcendent principle behind it.
These transcendent principles thus seen can be used to integrate the disconnected parts.

The final rites of letting go

letting-go-hazel-billingsley

I have relinquished almost all investments with others.
Now, I stand alone with only my parents around me.
As I let go more and more, I am falling into an energy space that has no overlap with my parents.
My parents are my final investment, and I am getting desperate in trying to connect with them in some way.
This is because if I don’t achieve some connection/structure/basis then I will fall into no-self, chaos, the dream, and emptiness.
This is scary to me, and that part of me is driving my efforts for desperate connection.
Even if it means finding fault with others(parents), and infusing urgency into the fact that they MUST solve their problems, and I will help them, and so on.
I can see through this though, and I have compassion for that part of me.

In fact I see that there is no overlap between my energy and ANYBODY else.
I see the part of me that is freaking out
That part which seeks out support/connection/bolstering for my identity.
That part is actually my identity/ego/social-self itself.
Without this bolstering one falls into the unknown, into the dream, and into emptiness, without a story, continuity, identity, or a structure.
That is how it appears.

The illusion of continuity and structure is maintained by others.
Without others, there is nothing to UPHOLD the self/ego.
Our self/ego is only a social-construct thriving on continual reinforcement.
The grief is in dropping this mega-project of the hope of securing validation of my value and worth from an other, and of contact with an other who would give me the respect of fully seeing me.
I have never received the “seeing/validation of worth and value” in any consistent way all through my life.
It has come in bits and pieces and has created so many fragmented selves.
Maybe that is what drove me towards the project of freedom, because the chaos and a lack of a stable pov was getting painful.

But now, I want to be emptied of all these dependent coagulations/structures/identities and give up everything that is not upheld inherently by existence itself.
The price to pay feels like everything, but I can also sense that nothing of true value is ever lost and all I am losing is my burdens.

Hate crimes are the tip of the iceberg

iceberg

We all have our unique points of view (from long causal chains) and it may happen that the system around you (which has its own causal chain) might get seriously hostile to you (it’s relative, like an unfolding drama).
The hostility may be a direct abuse or even through utter neglect of you or whatever you are offering.

THERE ARE 2 BROAD BRANCHES:
Blaming of self/self is responsible —————- Blaming of other/other is responsible
The 2 are not water tight compartments though, they are oscillate.
Also at a broader level the basic emotion is the same, but the center of gravity of the individual may differ widely based on the conditioning he/she received. The arrow of it points to the self or the other and accordingly has consequences.
We usually do not look into self-destructive types much and usually a lot of them stay totally invisible, however the other-destructive types usually hit the limelight.
So the phenomenon itself is much broader, we only see the tip of the iceberg which is the people who commit really prominent hate crimes against others.

INNER FEELINGS:

* So the first feelings to arise are: SADNESS/HURT which comes from THWARTED DESIRE or FAILURE.
* You then re-examine, re-evaluate, try again with a new strategy and if you either fail to break through or you realize the situation is quite hopeless from your analysis you fall into GRIEF/DEPRESSION.

So depression is the lower part of the iceberg while hurt is the tiny upper part.
Similarly grief is the lower part of the iceberg while sadness is the tiny upper part.
Sadness is the ‘pain of loss’ or ‘failure’ or ‘realization of the impossibility of achievement’ of a quick immediate goal.
Grief is the failure/loss/’impossibility…’ of the entire context/ground on which you are standing.
“FUTILITY” then arises, which is when you cannot conceive of a way out no matter how hard you try.

FEELINGS TOWARDS THE OUTER: “Which mirror the inner states in an attempt to amend”

* In the first encounter with ‘hurt/sadness’, the outer feelings could be:
– ‘ANGER'(if you think the other was unfair or you were unfair, which implies you have a firm fairness structure in you) = translates into you projecting the anger into suppressing yourself or suppressing the other – violence to self or violence to the other.
– ‘CONFUSION’ (if you cannot figure out what happened/no structure in which to understand) = Here you invest all your energy in a hyper-vigilant state of other-awareness and most of the time, you behave like a zombie when in this confusion.

* Then secondary outward feelings develop on repeated failures and pain:
– Anger turns into HOSTILITY/HATE/CONTEMPT = directed to the self or the other.
– Confusion turns into RESENTMENT/FRUSTRATION/RUMINATION = directed to the self or the other.

* Then tertiary feelings happen when the previous step once again fails with intensification of pain:
– The hostility turns into BLIND RAGE/AGGRESSION/MURDER – towards self (self mutilation, suicide) or the other (hate crimes, murder, mass killing)
– The endless frustration turns into TOTAL NIHILISM/PSYCHOSIS – here it is only to self because he/she barely has the strength and structure to affect others who may just desert him/her.

So to sum it up, I have laid out a model here. It isn’t complete but I wanted to demonstrate the complexity of these phenomena. What we call serial killings etc. are the tip of the tip of the iceberg of some of the dynamics and mechanics I have described here.

The self is endless morphing

I read this great analogy in one of the essays from Nagarjuna:

shipathorizon

“When you go to the shore and look out, you see the edge of the world, six miles out. You see a ship get too close to the edge of the world; it falls off. That’s terrible; all those people die. It happens far too often. If you go to the beach, you’ve probably seen it once or twice. You are trapped in an illusion!

So let’s say someone sticks you in the space shuttle, blasts you into orbit. You look down, you see it’s a sphere. They explain gravity. You go back to the beach. It looks just like it did before, but you no longer can see to the edge of the world. You no longer get engaged in discussions about “when you fall off the edge of the world, does it hurt immediately, or does it hurt only when you hit the bottom?” That doesn’t make any sense; you understand the illusion.

This is what the Buddha’s saying about the self. Don’t get caught in discussions about the self–does the self exist, does the self not exist. That’s like trying to decide if it hurts when you fall off the edge of the world or not. Look at the world in terms of dependently originated phenomena. That’s all that’s happening.”

This analogy was so deep, it got me thinking.
I started to see other related metaphors that demonstrate a similar point.
I’ll cover two of them below.

Mountain climbing analogy:

conquer-mountain-winter-climbing-aolne-hd-wallpaper

Suppose you decide to climb a mountain.
As you gaze at it from a distance, it stands like a large mysterious awe inspiring object in front of you.
It beckons you to explore, tread and conquer it by reaching its peak.
The peak is usually covered in snow with a foggy haze around it, which stimulates the feeling of mystery and attainment even more.
From this point of view, you resolve to reach the peak and keep walking.
Now as you walk through all the various camps, at each place you see different worlds.
Initially, there is the forest portion, then there are the grasslands, then there is the harsh hostile terrain, and then finally you hit the tall patch of snow as you race to the top.
Various realms/worlds/points of view are traversed as you move along.
Finally when you do reach the peak, doesn’t it look quite different from your conception of it which you had when you were far off on the ground?
You are seeing from a brand new point of view, but at the same time, you are still there, and this feeling of you was not different when you were on the ground, nor was it different as you passed through all the intermediate terrain.
My experience of life has been that way since my earliest memory.
At one level I am moving through stages, goals, progressing, but at another level I am still the same innocence moving from place and place.
The innocence stays untouched, but the scenery keeps morphing.

Staring at a fractal:

Mandel_zoom_08_satellite_antenna

Have you ever played a video of a fractal zoom on YouTube and just stared at it for a while?
Notice how you see a destination, and you see the fractal moving towards it, but at the same time, as the destination becomes larger and clearer, your whole view is replaced by that, and the earlier view fades.
And in this way, there is a kind of endless renewal and an endless movement at the same time.
I think this clearly illustrates the symbol ‘Ouroboros’.
It also reveals the paradox of there being ‘change’ and yet ‘no change’ at the same time.

What is dissociation metaphysically?

dali fall apart
I see a spectrum here:
[Your true position] —<—<[fear[for survival/for acceptance],guilt[the should dos/sacrifices for respect]]—- Disassociation is when you see your social-self/ego as an object.
When looking from the shadow position, you look at yourself as content like a dissociated observer from far away.
When one is born, one comes straight from the source and is connected to the full vital dimension.
Then the ego is given by the parents, it can survive throughout life more or less if it is close enough to the child's truth(vital supply), but if it is too far away, there will be a depression and collapse.
This happens via an internalization of an others' judgment and identification with that position/vantage-pt/pov.
That creates the distance from source, distance from happiness, distance from god.

Judgment of everything is always from different povs(point of views).
It is ‘one pole pov’ judging the ‘other pole pov’.
Like say ‘washing vessels’ -> it can be judged as a miserable job or a really loved wonderful job.
OR even things like masculinity, femininity, the world system right now.
If you are against everything, then you are hanging out in the shadow pole of everything.
To doubt is to be estranged and in the shadow.
The person who doubts everything is in the shadow of everything.

That is why a lot of spirituality involves increasing levels of dissociation.
Now dissociation means dissociation from your dominant structure, and association with a fringe structure.
So technically dissociation refers to disconnection with your survivalist socially programmed ego (in common parlance).
But what happens in dissociation is that you associate with another structure which can see your social self as an object.
All dissociative states give you a vantage point to view your social/conventional/regular self.
But insight does not imply full control.
Because it is like seeing the ecology of a forest from a helicopter. You may see patterns you never saw, but full control only comes from total understanding/mastery of the whole machine/system.
Now dissociative states are all ASCs(Altered states of consciousness) compared to the D-Soc(Default state of consciousness) which is your sober state.
[I have borrowed these terms from the book ‘States of Consciousness’ by Charles Tart]
So altered states(ASCs/Dissociated states) could take you further from or closer to source.
This can be known from direct feeling.
When you feel much better and feel much power, freedom, riches -> then you are getting closer to source of light.
When you feel much worse, tired, depleted, narrowed etc. -> you have moved away from the source of light.
Often however, the tiredness results from you trying to hold onto your d-soc as you explore altered states, like a bird tied to a pole by an elastic rope. So this constant pressure to come back can be responsible for wearing you out too.

Spectrum:
Source ———[ASC +](closer to source)———-enriching/empowering——- D-Soc———-disempowering/depleting————[ASC -](farther from source)

An ego/D-Soc performs spiritual inquiry[which is basically exploration] when there is not enough energy to power its own full structure. When the D-Soc/ego/socially programmed self is fully powered, it becomes transparent and the person shines through and beyond that structure as working on the structure/forwarding it in the world/the person who goes OUT IN THE WORLD etc.
When the D-Soc is under-powered, then the structure starts struggling to maintain itself, and this struggle/resistance REVEALS the structure [remember all consciousness is from resistance, a structure reveals itself only in disease/lack of energy. If it is imbued with energy, it becomes transparent].
So in such a condition one goes into spiritual inquiry and exploration.
More the suffering/lack of spirit sustenance energy for the D-Soc, greater the exploration impulse.

To give an analogy, if a civilization is in a utopian geographical location, with abundant resources inc. water and food etc. then there is no reason to explore other regions.
Whereas say in another region people are starving thirsty etc. then those people would go out of their way to find a way out, it would heighten all of their creativity [there definitely seem to be a connection between deprivation and creativity].

In truth, all of us as egos are fundamentally DISSOCIATED from god, which is why god appears as an object to us (i.e. god appears as an other to us).

Memory = Continuity = Time = Self = Thought frame

oceanwaveswallpapercollection07

Memory = Continuity = Time = Apparent Self = Thought frame
Flows:
—-[Memory appearance 1]—-[Memory appearance 2]—-[Memory appearance 3]—-
—-Discontinuity 1—-[Continuity 1]—-Discontinuity 2—-[Continuity 2]—-Discontinuity 3—-[Continuity 3]—-
—-[Timeline 1]—-[Timeline 2]—-[Timeline 3]—-
—-[Context Self 1]—-[Context Self 2]—-[Context Self 3]—-
—-[Thought frame 1]—-[Thought frame 2]—-[Thought frame 3]—-

From the bed of chaos/creation/ocean of all possibility – arises an ordered linear temporal self(verb), like an ocean generating a temporal wave – and the wave rises to its peak and then falls back into the ocean.

Contemplation on the unity of opposites

Structuring vs. De-structuring Forces
Good vs. Evil
Right vs. Wrong
Positive vs. Negative
Day vs. Night
Solid vs. Emptiness
Something vs. Nothing
White vs. Black
Improving vs. Degenerating
Existence vs. Non-existence
Birth vs. Death
Known vs. Unknown
Past vs. Future
Voluntary vs. Involuntary
Doing vs. Happening
Inbreath vs. Outbreath
Self vs. Other

End of self image and self esteem

Do not save/help/rescue people as self-esteem points.
Do not achieve/conquer/surmount as self-esteem points
Do not suffer/endure pain/face fear as self-esteem points
Do not develop skills as self-esteem points
Do not build social status/power/prestige/material accumulation as self-esteem points
Do not live up to any image of nice person/kind person/spiritual person etc. as self-esteem points
Do not count your “monetary assets(liquid/solid)” as self-esteem points
Do not accumulate memories/experiences/adventures as self-esteem points
Do not create works of art/music/writing as self-esteem points

Drop the burden of all notion of a “substance” self.
BE bereft of any form or substance.
Make self-esteem 0, dissolve the accumulated self.
Rather live as the “Empty of Substance – NOW – direct truth”.
Live in the utter obviousness of direct perception/direct experience.

Passing through various selves

Earth is a realm, not a defined place. It is like a particular dream-scape.
I also see that all enjoyment comes from the desire of the soul.
This desire then mobilizes us -> towards its actualization in this plane.
The desires of the soul themselves are given to the soul by a subtler higher power.
Without desires, a soul is dry. The soul (individualized consciousness) then dies into the larger self.
Awareness fades, along with fading desires.
Awareness/focus is maintained by desire only.
The greatest focus/memory/power is available when one is conduiting one’s highest desire.
This greatest desire present mobilizes/utilizes all resources (memory, intelligence, action) towards its actualization.
There is always a highest desire present at every moment (notice it).
This highest desire keeps changing/evolving too, at every moment.
The very very subtle desires tend to stay more constant, just like the scenery at horizon slowly moving as you look out of the window of a fast train.
To find your truest self is to find the subtlest/deepest/most pervasive self that is almost (tends to ->) unchanging.
Is there such an unchanging self? It is a journey of [tends to] -> infinity.
So as we delve into what is unchanging relatively in the spectrum present in the screen of consciousness:
(gross) Changing ————–|self 4|———|self 3|—–|self 2|——|self 1|—- Unchanging (subtle)
Self 1 might be the self that is the oversoul
Self 2 might be your spirit force (spanning many realms)
Self 3 might be your individualized soul
Self 4 might be your ego identity structure in this earth realm
And so on…
The point to note here is that, all selves exist and operate together, one superimposed on the other.
The gross selves superimpose themselves over the subtle selves and are more limited and coarser than the subtler ones.
So we go through varying degrees of dissolution to reach higher selves/higher realities.
For example: If self 4(ego) dissolutes, we reach self 3(individualized soul)….and so on.
So we can assume that after every death of a grosser self, a subtler self is present behind it.
It might also be the case that we are veiled from the subtler selves.
Which means, it would not be possible to even feel the presence of the subtler self in your grosser self state.
So if you dissolute self 4, you may encounter a blank nothing/wall/abyss in the veil until you fully pass through it and only then will the awareness of self 3 be available to you.

There is no point fighting anything in the world.

There is no point fighting anything in the world.
A small little me thrashing around with my energy is useless.
Force is useless and empowering force is useless.
Empowering force only increases the reactivity, thrashing around, struggle against a much larger reality anyways controlled by much larger forces and outside my control.
Rather, I can empower understanding, awareness, the existing flow, and the harnessing the power that is already present.
Everything is already there, one just needs to know how to tap into it and then modulate it using the power/momentum already present.
All attainment is something that can slip away, just like you can only push so hard against an existing condition with your force until you exhaust your power.
You will come back to homeostasis/default/base.
So its much better to practice attuning and flowing with already existing flows, like swimming along river currents to get where you want to.
Frontal opposition against an opponent force or against any force is useless.
It is highly inefficient and wastes colossal amounts of energy.
Rather I would prefer to use flows that are already available.
In fact that is mastery, mastery is about being a perfect conduit and channel for a certain influence that is already present, which you simply fully tap into and modify yourself to take it in fully.
The sign of mastery is when you can do something so effortlessly by perfectly conduiting an influence without using any of your own force.