May. 7th, 2014

vostoklake: (Default)
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1iZ61Zl at May 08, 2014 at 02:57PM
Gift

In English, a present or donation; in German, poison. Is there a way in
which the poison of clinical depression can be seen as a gift? Or, at
least, can we radically accept it, if all the pills, thrills, and
therapist’s bills in the universe won’t get rid of it?

"There’s nothing so dangerous as a man with nothing to lose", as I think
Dead Can Dance said at one point, and if there’s no hope or light or love
in the universe, you have nothing to lose. Think on it - everyone in the
universe, to the best or worst of their ability, acts in the way that
might bring them happiness, pleasure, or what the economists call
“utility”. And if nothing brings you pleasure, if your life is
meaningless… you can do what you like.

Of course, this means you can kill yourself right now. Or you can make the
rest of your life mean something by devoting it to something better than
feeding your face or your genitals or playing some other game that offers
the prize of being Better Than Others.

Of course, you have no way of known that the subject of your devotion (in
Sanskrit, bhakti) is worthwhile. You might end up in a mind-control cult.
But - if you can’t feel pleasure anyway - is that worse than lying in bed
all day, eating chocolates and posting to Tumblr? Really? Devotion is a
superset of romantic love - it’s not rational, it’s blind, and no-one and
nothing in this physical universe is really worth it. And yet, without it,
there is absolutely no point to anything except a monkey masturbating in a
cage after eating its full of bananas.

Christian mystics call this “the dark night of the soul”, but for you
atheists, I think that Jean-Paul Sartre got to someplace very similar in
his philosophy. Me, I just think it’s helpful to think that depression
makes you stronger and capable of more - if it’s not misdirected into
self-destruction, which is just a waste of… everything.

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