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What does Depression mean?

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What does depression mean, spiritually, metaphysically? Is it a signal of something? A symptom? Just trying to gather a deeper understanding. Thanks in advance!

To be clear I'm not talking about clinical depression with chemical imbalances in the brain. Disregard that kind of depression.


"Never held a high regard for Darwin, selection takes too long.
A little kick in the pool shouldn't do us wrong.
Devouring the very last invention man would ever need.
But exponential growth is a frightening thing, indeed.
"

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3rd-jhana, despair, insights into the dukkha nanas.

It's an insight into the nature of suffering of living in duality, and it goes up to suicide being the only way out, just before gods Grace shows up, if it shows up.

That's what Eckhart Tolle went through. For example.

I made just a post about suffering that should be up in the list, where I describe what happened.

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Loss of hope


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Depression is when you bombard yourself with negative thoughts. You do this because you think that reality, and you, should be different from what they are, but you cannot change or accept it.

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8) Knowledge of disenchantment - nibbida-nana

Hence the knowledge of disenchantment, (nibbida-nana). Nibbida, or disenchantment, is simply the opposite of enchantment. Normally we are enchanted by experience. A man sees a beautiful woman and instinctively is drawn into her circle of charm. He is "charmed", enchanted. He feels there is real satisfaction to be gained by possessing her, and so pursues her to gain that satisfaction. This whole movement is based on the notion: if only I possess that, then all my problems will be solved. The essence of the knowledge of disenchantment is that, even in the very fantasy itself, the meditator knows that the object of his desire will not solve his problem. He knows that even if he leaves the meditation centre and attains his most heart-felt desire, this too is unsatisfactory. There is no situation that he can imagine which is satisfactory. All his desires and fantasies are like ashes in his mouth.

Source: Development of Insight: The Insight Knowledges (buddhanet.net)

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I was once depressed for a few weeks because of some personal issues. I was not diagnozed but i am quite sure that i would have been so. It is the most disgusting feeling i can image. The main idea is as Leo said, loss of hope. You feel hopeless, like things are fixed and cannot be changed (whatever it is that you are depressed about). The crazy part is that you actually believe it fully. The mind is quite a tricky thing.

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All mental conditions are tied to the brain, not only clinical depression. On MDMA or many opiates which alter the brain, a person will typically feel euphoric and not depressed at all. With opiates they might not feel depressed even with impending death according to reports from heroin OD survivors.

It's a difficult subject because where are our thoughts before we think them? Do we really control anything at all, including seeking "awakening", or literally just take a backseat as it all unfolds? If the latter, then it's possible there is determination in how the mind's entire lifespan will unfold.

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Depression is when beliefs/desires do not align with our personal experiences.

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A sense of disorientation with motivation. Being confused by the conflation of value/meaning.


The absolute truth of thought dwells in it's own absence.

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I've thought about that too to a point where the boundaries of that definition melt away. It's used so widely in mainstream society and can mean so many different things to different people.

I personally once thought I'm depressed, until I later realized after done work on myself and pulled myself out of it, that to me ''depression'' in the end was just a label I used to justify myself to not be responsible for my own problems. Of course that is just how I see it was with myself, and my view is strongly powered by my own attitude and values. But it really was my attitude that helped me to get out of it.

I don't feel I cured depression by defeating depression. I cured other problems and dysfunctions in my life, and the feeling of depression disappeared. Although even today I sometimes have same sort of ''negative'' feelings and emotions that remind me of those times, but I've learned to frame that stuff differently (mostly through spiritual work I think), so that it's not negative as it was before, instead there is more understanding and grace.

If I had to give a short definition for depression, it would be something like: The more depth and complexity your psychological problems have, the more ''depressed'' you are.

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The most common type of depressed people are empty inside, who try to fill their emptiness with external things, but it is impossible. some seem very positive and active, they are fleeing forward from that void. they cannot understand that it is within themselves that they have to search. their sense of incompleteness is increasing, and in the end they become empty shells without love, in need of many things. the way is the opposite, obviously, but they are too selfish to stop and realize it, always thinking, wishing, remembering, judging

Edited by Breakingthewall

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You are holding narrow, or lower perspectives.

The 'higher' a perspective is, the wider it is, the more truth, well-being, love and unconditionality it "holds".

The 'lower' a perspective is, the narrower it is, the more falsehood, fear, stress, and conditions it "holds".

The smaller the hole is, the less light/love gets through.

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Building on Leo's response, depression is an emotional activity that arises from thinking that the present moment is not enough, and that you are incapable and hopeless regarding the possibility of having a better future.

When you boil depression down to its core, it is actually a manipulation that is meant to draw attention to the self so the other will intervene in the self's life and create a better future for him. You are physically creating a feeling sense of weakness and depressed cognitive-physical abilities so the other will take your "wheel-of-life" to his hands. 

Depression can be overcome by becoming conscious that it is a self-generated emotion that is based on thinking, and not on the truth. This may be very hard because depression is the most debilitating and paralyzing emotion there is. It is like a "last resort" emotion, when thoughts of hopelessness and incapability dominate your feelings. If you sense depression don't resist it, just observe it and try to sense the thought that is behind it. It is indeed possible to engage in activities that suppress the thought, but if it isn't faced directly and seen for what it is, it is very possible that the vortex of depression may return. Depression should be eliminated as an emotion.

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Depression is persistent negative emotion(s). The negative emotions can have any cause, you can be depressed about anything you like. It's hard to be depressed if you're persistently positive or at least neutral.


Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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“There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable, for it means the soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places. This is detachment -- when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may be distressing, but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: Whatever you come across -- go beyond.” -Nisargadatta Maharaj


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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Depression is one of the worst human experiences, ever. But it's still nowhere near the worst.

The number one worst experience is the dark night of the soul. It's hell on steroids.


Have faith.

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Depressed = deep rest

When not judged, it's actually just solitude.

It's awakening.

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It´s a corpse in your chest

looking through your eyes

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18 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

Loss of hope

Depression is not loss of hope. Rather, it's lack thereof.

Loss of hope means giving up, which is another word for surrendering, which leads to liberation. But that's not what depression is.

If hope was a range, with optimism and pessimism on the far ends; depression would be the middle point between the two, exactly at the furthest point away from them. However, and oddly enough, that doesn't mean neutrality, clarity, realism, etc... When you're depressed, you don't have any of that (although you might think that you have them), and instead you have a bunch of delusions that you don't even know are delusions. Depression, in a sense, is a disconnection from both mind and perception. A low state of consciousness, if you will.


Have faith.

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