Are we really wondering why so many of us grow depressed? To me, it doesn’t seem strange at all. Not today, when I happen to have a deep insight into my own emotional and mental condition. I just paid more attention than usual to these things throughout the day.
The predicament of a modern man or woman really isn’t easy OR simple. On one hand, we are still subject to biological mechanisms which make us feel things. Things like the desire of physical closeness with a mate. Or fear, which for thousands of years used to fuel our drive to ameliorate and always chase the state of comfort. Or sadness that, I believe, was designed to naturally connect us to others when we find ourselves alienated.
On the other hand, the modern woman or man is also subordinate to what society deems appropriate. And it is not appropriate for a girl like me to chase men just because I would like a hug. I was already called “a dog” because of that. I am also told to embrace my fear and do things in spite of it. Whenever I feel sad, my mind program tells me to deal with it myself and not burden others with my “low vibes”.
I mean, is it just me, or do you also see endless potential for depression, frustration and anxiety stemming from this eternal-internal conflicts?
The only way out I can possibly imagine is through all of this (credits to Michael Brown who taught me that the way out is though — I shall never forget that). My stubborn insistence on pursuing spiritual growth is also born from the persistence of my discomfort. Since so many emotional/mental difficulties are present even within a relatively “easy” life experience like mine, I can at least try and find meaning in them, right? And this is what I have been doing.
I embraced the belief that any challenging emotion is an opportunity for growth. I also repeat to myself a story heard and read so many times within the “awakening” narrative: that we, as a human species, are on the verge of some kind of consciousness revolution. The Age of Aquarius, entering vibrational awareness — things like that. And I say it with some dose of distance today, as I realize that these are nothing more than beliefs, narratives and stories. These are just the ones I chose for myself.
Did I choose them because my gut knows them to be “true”? Or is it just convenient to interpret the current distress of the human race as a sign of rapid growth? And even this “distress” is very arbitrary — if you read something from Yuval Noah Harari or Steven Pinker, you will get the message that we live in the best epoque human species has ever experienced. My concern is just that the global measurements of well-being still don’t seem to take into account our subjective, internal states. And if we look at how prevalent mental health problems are nowadays (both in the “developed” and “developing” parts of the world), it doesn’t seem like we’re better off than ever.
There is so much confusion in my head when I grasp all of these contradictions, perceived by my mind on the February evening of 2019. On one hand, it seems like so many of us can have virtually any career we can dream up. We have access to all the information in the world within a few clicks. We can learn about any topic we dare to think about. At the same time, we often don’t know how to make use of these opportunities, because our biology still directs our behaviours. Our bodies feel emotions, drives, desires and think thoughts we often suppress because they seem “inappropriate” or “unproductive.”
We are at a point in our history when our Nature and our Culture clash — not only manifesting as the climate crisis but also tearing our individual souls apart. Or at least this is how it feels sometimes. This phenomenon seems so sublime to me, as if I encountered something bigger than life. Because maybe I have —or we have. Maybe we are indeed on the verge of a revolution. Maybe there is a possibility, right in front of us every day, to bring the Culture and Nature together and finally cherish them as one and the same.
This is all just a part of our collective story, I know. But at least we can now write our own story consciously. Shall we come up with a plot that benefits us, rather than destroys us?