Here are a few pieces I’d like to share with my NDL friends! We’ll start with an amended letter exchange on Depression and Reality, follow that with another (famous) letter on the same subject from Rainer Maria Rilke and finally offer a delightful duet of poems from my NDL friend Wilcox Snellings! Be well! James
Hi P, I’ve read your Course (about Depression) and I find it aligns well with an intellectual and spiritual recognition of reality -The principals seem sound, the words suggest as well as our conditioned words can…
…We do indeed, believe our thoughts about reality, thereby producing our own separate and personal “reality experience”. That conception as a package is the burden we all carry – for some, it’s anger, for others, it’s depression…and it seems that the whole course about depression needs to be presented with deep compassion – with love. That love will do all the heavy lifting.
I’m not inclined to make further comments here (we could Skype?) about your paper, but have a little response to this part to share:
“Depression is a sign of a healthy brain”
For me, a “healthy brain” is simply a fully functioning brain – a very useful tool within its limitations…it labels “reality” and limits our perceptions of it to inherited ideas that are binary (dual) and therefore cannot approach what is, but only contrast and compare data. I call the minds ideas “vaporware!” Or slippery fish! It can be useful to “catch and release” whatever fish flip into awareness, to let them go gently -lovingly- back into the mind/stream where they naturally belong.
“When the mind is full of negative thoughts, the brain responds naturally and you end up feeling depressed and at risk”
Thought is just thought…we do not have to label some thoughts “good” and some “bad”…this labeling reinforces our beliefs…we can dispense with all thought from a place of understanding their nature and limitations, and that they tell us nothing about our self and what is. Our self-nature or natural well-Being is abundant love…the rest is imagination. We need no other truth.
“But because of habits formed in the limbic system, and an urgent feeling of a risk to our survival, any logical reasoning coming from our rational brain is heard but ignored”
As you point out, all thought depends on the identity of a “me” as the thinker…and we are definitely not our mind…”logical reasoning” is only useful for things that require that particular form…for most of us -with or without “depression”, our ideas about what is “logical” using our supposedly “rational brain” are corrupted and conditioned reactions and not even accurate reflections of what is here and now. As you know, these thoughts are harmless in themselves; they distort our sense of reality only if we believe them.
In other words, when we see the mind directly and for our self, we come immediately to realize that it is a sensation like the other five senses; that it has its “territory” like each of them, but that, taken together as Six Senses, we see that our world is not only our senses of it, but is also much more than their limited version or “story” would propose…we are that which sees all this…that which has no limits…that love and goodness is the source and substance of who we are and what this is…we may then, rest in that “peace which surpasses all understanding”
Well, I’ll end now; please let me know if I can clarify a bit!
Be well P,
Rainer Maria Rilke:“Letters to a Young Poet” It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate; and later on, when it "happens" (that is, steps forth out of us to other people), we will feel related and close to it in our innermost being. And that is necessary. It is necessary - and toward this point our development will move, little by little - that nothing alien happen to us, but only what has long been our own. People have already had to rethink so many concepts of motion; and they will also gradually come to realize that what we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us. It is only because so many people have not absorbed and transformed their fates while they were living in them that they have not realized what was emerging from them; it was so alien to them that, in their confusion and fear, they thought it must have entered them at the very moment they became aware of it, for they swore they had never before found anything like that inside them. Just as people for a long time had a wrong idea about the sun's motion, they are even now wrong about the motion of what is to come. The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space. -- Rainer Maria Rilke,
From wilcox snellings:
When all these veils are all lifted,
Just a hint of burned karma remaining,
Devotional portals will open wide.
Eyes resting on boundless beauty,
Ears drenched in the full range of rhythms,
Soul breathing its true nature…
fresh, exquisite movement
The universe is a form of divine law,
your reasonable father.
When you feel ungrateful to him,
the shapes of the world seem mean and ugly.
Make peace with that father, the elegant patterning,
and every experience will fill with immediacy.
Because I love this, I am never bored.
Beauty constantly wells up, a noise of springwater
in my ear and in my inner being.
Tree limbs rise and fall like the ecstatic arms
of those who have submitted to the mystical life.
Leaf sounds talk together like poets
making fresh metaphors. The green felt cover slips,
and we get a flash of the mirror underneath.
Think how it will be when the whole thing
is pulled away! I tell only one-thousandth
of what I see, because there’s so much doubt everywhere.
The conventional opinion of this poetry is,
it shows great optimism for the future.
But Father Reason says,
No need to announce the future!
This now is it. This. Your deepest need and desire
is satisfied by the moment’s energy
here in your hand.