In my life often I came upon people that suffer from
depression. Naturally they try to resolve their own problems with chemical drugs, recommended by
doctors and I don't doubt that in
a serious situation these medicines have a necessity. But there will be no guarantees of not-relapse. Rather, really the use of these medicines provokes badly a sense of
no-responsability in comparison to their own state. "Give me a pill, so I
will not have to fight the causes."
In these days (I write in middle-October , with the days that are becoming short
quickly) I particularly felt a sense of loneliness that, while I was making some
works in the fields, pushed me to a reflection: My life turns toward the sunset as this day. This solitary life that I do... " (and mentally I have
recollected here my loneliness in the middle of the impassive nature,) I don't know well if I can consider
it like an irresponsible person choice, a heroic choice or simply as the drifting of a
being thrown by the life-sea to strand on some shoal". I have concluded that perhaps all three
things were contemporarily valid but while, respect to the third one, I felt particularly a surge of self-pity rise, my attention, always
vigilant, gathered the sense of interpretation that I was giving to a
true-reality that came, at that time darkened by the constructions of the mind.
A note : I tell this episode as others, not because I want to boast of it (I
feel rather a certain embarrassment) but because it can be of help for all those people who are found to reflect on
their own existence. Also the solution that I introduce doesn't have anything of mine (there is not after all any reality of mine) but it originates from an impersonal reality, the Dharma, the vision of the things as
they are and the consequent appeasement of our own mental predispositions.
Returning to the moment in which I have realized the rising of self-pity and
the work of mental construction that I had done, I have acknowledged the job of
"substantialization" / reification that I superbly (the sense is ironic) completed. You
can notice the third solution: "... the drifting of a being thrown by the life-sea
to strand on some shoal"". Here an impersonal entity has been created ("the
life-sea ") that would have made me run into this situation of loneliness...,
mutatis mutandis a metaphysical entity (as the Fate, God etc.) that it would be responsible of everything (> from which the to rise of self-pity and resentment: there is
something else that is responsible of my situation and I complain against this
something else). Simply this conception blinds, it removes the personal responsibility in what we are, the karma that ourselves create. This
appeared clear to my mind: I am as I created myself, there is not any other person responsible of this, if
I am in this situation it is because my tendencies turned towards this direction.
Understanding this, my predispositions suddenly calmed. There was acceptance of that
it is. There is nobody against whom to be able to complain. End. Quiet, calm.
This is revealing about the fact that the reality-analytical meditation (Vipassanaa)
can help to defeat the suffering and this is not only worth for this case but
for others too. Some years agom I had a short episode of depression. I remained amazed of it. I passed
to the analysis of the phenomenon and I realized: causes were the obsessions, for how much "spiritual" they
could be. End. End of the depression, at the moment. I was very stricken from the speed of the "recovery". I had simply gathered the existence of some obsessions. Reality didn't correspond to these obsessions and
this created the depression. Therefore every time that we feel in us this sense of sadness, of melancholy, of dissatisfaction, let's look
inside us. We don't look for elsewhere, let's look us: we could see how much of I-my there is at work at that time, I-mine that doesn't want to flow with the things as
they are ; or also, simply, as the self feels himself inadequate (always in base to its desires) in the comparison with the reality. If we succeed in accepting our inadequacy, to see us as we are... end. But
we have to do this soon, not to wait that this process goes on (also provoking chemical-biological breakdowns in us). For this it is so important the attitude to the
insight that cannot be developed with a superficial observation. For this it needs
"to sit and meditate". It's simply necessary.
Therefore, and here I return to the premise, it is necessary to stop to delegate
to others our mental health. For these "others" we only are some
cases, abstract people, not real, that provide them with bread and food. Not all
of them will be so, sure, but this is the tendency. And it happened to a person that I know, sick seriously; while more
there was need, the doctor that took care of her went on vacation. Nothing of badly in this... but if this doctor had been the daughter of the ill
one madam, would he have gone on holydays?
Therefore health is in our hands. The path of Meditation is a path to
Liberation, to Happiness ... but it doesn't postpone it to one X-day ("to love
Him and to serve Him in this life and to enjoy then Him in the other life in Heaven" it
was said in the catechism when I was a child). This same Reality is the destination... all it
needs is to change our viewpoint.
Certainly it is not so easy as to say it. But meanwhile we enjoy some mental health and more and more often of the joy that gives us this dry and thin practice (no altars,
no incenses, a religiousness without religion - as adult and free people). And
it is the ego that hurts us , is our auto-importance, the importance that we give
to the concept of "self", to this forgery, it is the dualism that we create among "us" and the world. If we succeed in seeing this and to accept what is, to accept us as we are also in the optics of the change, there will be no motive to fall into
Against The Depression
(2),To free from the Roles
I have had to carry out a duty and after I carried it out, returning home, the thought
went to the fact that I was finally free from that weight. I felt the sense of satisfaction, the lightness of the liberty that came
to me by the remotion of that weight. The analogy has struck then me with what is the
Liberation: to be removed by a weight, the weight of suffering, of
anguish and of fear, the space free from every fear. And then it also come
to the mind the ancient texts that speak of it. I don't remember the precise words obviously, neither in this moment I am able to track down
them, but the sense was that of "to have allowed to let go a burden", "to have freed from a debt" or also of "
to jump out of a pit of ardent coals". What could we feel in these cases? A great relief
surely, especially in the last case (that symbolizes the ardent coals of life).
Be certain of it. If you only want to imagine the taste of the total liberty of the awakening with an approximation, alas for defect, you
bring to your mind the last time that you have drawn a sigh of relief to be freed
by a weight , from a debt or from some ugly situation.
As I said above, it will be only for defect, but it will perhaps give you a push to continue on the path of the meditative practice as a
road to reach this state of comfort.
While so I reflected, a connection is created with the preceding number of this newsletter, entitled "Liberty from the
depression". This because I had a discussion on this matter in which the other part sustained that the depression is
anything but a chemical fact , that is a lack of certain substances that then it would also provoke the mental suffering. Without willing to be absolutist and therefore also admitting exceptions, I sustained the contrary one. According to
my view the depression it is mainly a psychological fact that instigates also
some biochemical change. And it is clear that, if allowed to go, if not
seen in time in its mental aspect, it increases the lack of certain substances,
lack that once more goes to worsen the mental states and so on, in a continuous feedback.
In the cases that I know, the depressed person bumped himself against a reality that or
it was not as desired, (and here importance is seen to recognize the desire) or it crushed
the person in some crystallized role that in the beginning had perhaps been happy but that with the
passing of the time and with the relative changes, became oppressive. It also come
to my mind the solutions that have historically appeared among the people: the
"possessed-ones", "madness" etc., these were almost always astute (even if often
unaware) ways of escape, we could tell of liberation when family or social reality become extremely oppressive. The people literally
" went crazy" and went out of the schemes: suddenly they realized more awarely the spaces of liberty that opened
in front of them: in this new condition it was allowed them to do unthinkable things
, to upset their own situation of frustration and to escape the social oppression of the forced job or the compulsory relationships. The passage to this new state of
freedom certainly needed a great courage but since this courage consciously they
didn't succeed in having it, the great mental stress that accompanied this strong desire of liberation was expressed as mental illness
( so to say) that could produce however in turn great suffering (above all when it bumped
against an extremely rigid environment) or state of grace (it is the case of the artist, the
person freed from the schemes and submitted on one side to the social blame and from the other to a secret envy).
I have known people this way: an elderly woman for instance, she always lived in a dark muteness and
at service of others in family. Suddenly,maybe due to an ischemic attack
, discovered the freedom from the roles, became pleasant and amusing, saying amazing things for
her... but then she was "treated" and returned in the norm of the sad muteness and enslaved to its role. Not by chance in some archaic societies the crazy persons were classified as carriers of flashes of divinity and some outcasts and some respected: it
was recognized in them that ability to freedom that was denied to
The suffering of the depression often comes out of this sticking to the roles: father, mother,
married, wife, worker...., as it is difficult to be free! When more than fifteen years ago I started to go out of one of the roles
in wich I was, what a labor and what a fear! The fear to break the schemes, not to be more approved, not to be anymore "recognized"...
This brings us to one of the "usual"things of my writings: instead of flowing with the things and with the change, we create a
substantial self, something that should anchor us and to hold locks and sure against the
destructive flow of life but really this ghost-construction , taking substance,
creates opposition to flow with life and with change, it prevents us from recognizing us in the change, it produces attrition and suffering.
Without vision we are not able to recognize these processes. Why do we suffer from things that to the beginning
made we be good, as the marriage, the relationship, our role in the job and so
We created something static, a thing that there really is not but to which
we attach with all our strength. We continually create people as we would like
them, situations as we would like them, worlds as we would like. But really this creative activity of the mind produces
attrition suffering. Simply those things don't exist, not as we conceive them. Rather, really in the
world they don't exist at all "Things" Or Entities' of any type: PROCESSES
To know how to recognize the feelings as feelings and the ideas as ideas, that is simply as a
thinking, whose content it is necessarily neither valid neither sure, it is the base of the awareness and the vision of the things
as they are.
That's why the Liberation has so much to do with the destruction of the idea of
substantiality (a thing that not many people understand).
The roles are imaginary substance that take us imprisoned: to go out of them, to free
ourselves from them, to recognize ourselves and them as unreal in an absolute sense (and real in
a relative sense) it has to do with a shiny madness that makes however happy. The fool of the village and the freed one are at the same time extremely distant and extremely near.