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May 21st, 2007

Existential Depression and the Yogic Mind

Another good post by fortifiedi where my response simply flowed, so I wanted to keep those words on this journal.  The OP was an essay on existential depression and children.  Love this stuff!:

My tiny wish -- as an Idealist of course -- is that the conversation continues for adults. I didn't like how Webb sounds like a therapist treating something that simply hasn't accepted reality, i.e. as an adult knowing more than the child. One reason why I like working with children as a tutor and coach is the directness or brutality of their questions and statements. Last week, one student who had not met me yelled in front of everyone, "What's your name?"  Webb and other adults might chastise this child for ignoring or being ignorant of social norms but I find their method -- the child's method -- cuts to the heart of our lives. In adult language, the Marque's character said it best in Quills: "I write of the great, eternal truths that bind together all mankind. The whole world over, we eat, we shit, we fuck, we kill and we die." It boggles me how often (my fellow) adults talk about failed loves, insufferable jobs, ... and how little we talk about death, fucking, or even bowel movements. I suppose there are the socially acceptable avenues for discussing these topics, such as obituaries, Internet porn, and diet routines; but I have made a brutally honest effort to talk about these aspects of existence -- tagging the entries "death" or "sex" for example -- because those are all that really matter, fundamentally. Some responses are good; others fall on deaf readers, I suppose; and at worst, someone can superficially label this chitchat about 'all that meaning of life jazz' as an adult stuck in an existential, mid-life crisis, aka. the kid who never grew up. The latter approach means the goal of the dialogue, such as Webb's essay, is to end existential depressions (or "mood disorders" such as bipolar and ADHD) ... and I wonder if that is necessarily a good end. As an observer "suffering" from such a depression, my perspective is like that of an youth's agile body. The more resolute and prescriptive one's choices become in adulthood, the less one's body is able to bend and stretch in other positions. Arthritis of the mind sets in; and other paths for our lives are overgrown with neglect. In this sense I wonder if the yogic mind, so to say, is inevitably prone to depressions.