Depression – to be pressed down. There are many causes of depression, but whatever the cause, depression is in the body. Chemical and hormonal imbalances can cause depression, and for some people even certain foods will cause it (gluten being a well-known cause in this respect).
The common misunderstanding of depression is that it arises from “depressing thoughts”. Well, thoughts are just a mirror for the state of our bodies, which is why vigorous exercise and physical shocks such as a cold shower can reenergize the body and lift a person temporarily out of their depressed state. But activities of this nature are just palliatives, and do not get down to the root cause.
Many people are depressed because of the way they have been conditioned by life. A bullying parent for example will depress the natural exuberance of a child, and since the body remembers, the resulting oppression will cause a depressed state. In other words the child will grow up in a conditioned state of repressed excitement, and this will be experienced as depression.
It can of course work the other way around. A child can be conditioned by its parents in such a way as to believe that it is entitled, and when encounters with the larger world do not confer this entitlement so the adult will feel a diminishing of power, and possibly depression.
Ultimately it is all about power – the power of our body to express itself naturally. The first impression here might be to assume that acting in a boisterous or aggressive manner is the way out of depression – but not so. Such behavior is then simply an artifice we construct as a response to an environment we are implicitly assuming to be hostile. Real power comes from understanding, but understanding is an expensive commodity and so most people will avoid it.
What we need to understand is our own inner mechanism. This can only come from observation of our internal states, and we have to do this without judgement or the desire to change things. It sounds easy, but it is not. A depressed person will automatically judge their inner state, thus feeding it. This skill can be learned and eventually we get enough data to start understanding.
Ultimately all emotional states derive from our need to be what we truly are. If we are inhibited in some way we may feel a “negative” emotion. On the other hand, if our expression is enhanced we will feel a “positive” emotion. At the most basic level it all relates back to our survival prospects. A bullied child we feel their survival is being threatened to some extent, and experience fear, anger, or possibly depression.
The process of understanding slowly unties all the knots, but it’s a long process. The body slowly assumes more power, and specifically the power to express itself in a way that is natural to it. With this more liberated expression comes a diminishing of “negative” thoughts, since thought is simply the mirror of the state of the body.
Once our mechanism is functioning more freely so we move on with our understanding to penetrate deeper levels of our existence, and we are no longer just dealing with the mundane emotional states but discover new ones that may be quite unfamiliar.
Understanding is the key. In an age when people will seek almost any external remedy (meditation, chakra cleansing, medication, ideology, religion, ambitions etc), the real solution is to be found in understanding – but understanding is way too expensive for most.