Saturday, 9 July 2016

Materialism and depression

Materialism is thinking that something outside of me will fix me. Job. Wealth. Circumstances. Social circle. Appearance. Even living in a society constructed according to the model I think best. Self-reliance is reliance on my own design for the universe to supply me with happiness from the outside in.

This naturally brings depression. When you play God, you are full of plans. When you are full of plans, the world will constantly fail to fulfil those plans. This gives rise to resentment when the plans do not come off and its corollary, fear, which is anticipation that the plans will not come off. There may be occasional successes, tantalising in their ability to fuel continued loyalty to this approach to life. More often than not, though, frustration of plans results, emotionally, in denial (a refusal to accept the failure of the plan), anger, bargaining ('If only X, Y, and Z would ...' plus manipulation), and finally depression. Depression is where you are facing, head-on, the failure of the planning, and you're on the cusp of acceptance, but somehow you just can't swallow the lump.

Depression is great! It is the realisation that the whole structure of one's life is wrong. If you can stare the truth down for long enough, the depression turns into acceptance and peace, provided that an alternative to the failed plan is provided.

What really helps is having that alternative, namely God, to rely on. What does that even mean? Well, it certainly does not mean that God will help you get your way. It does mean a recognition that, as spirit, you cannot be harmed. Take a walnut of dough from a rising loaf and the walnut of dough has all of the same characteristics as the loaf. What do you think you even are? A ten-dollar bag of chemicals? Rubbish. You're the very substance of the live and constantly changing universe. You were never born and you can never die. Right now you're living inside a body, but that's no more you than the shirt the body is wearing. The only job is to wake up to this and to wake others up to this.

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