A Spiritual View of Depression, Part I: The Teacher
Though we can desire to make ourselves more comfortable and more functional through the application of physical forms of treatment to physical problems, the underlying cause of depression will not be addressed this way; only the symptoms will be temporarily suspended.
There are many views today regarding the source of depression, those that involve an understanding of brain chemistry and of neuro-transmitters being among the more popular. Yet, there remains a vast gap between the current way of treating depression as an entity — clinically, chemically, and in terms of the body — and the way of treating depression as an energy related to consciousness. This energy moves from the energy bodies that each human being contains into the physical layer of our being, thus affecting our brain chemistry. The energy of our larger, spiritual self significantly influences the way in which brain chemistry and neuro-transmitters work, and when changes are made to the flow or current, these can selectively improve the situation so that a new balance within the brain is achieved.
To see depression as related to consciousness (that is, to the multi-level awareness of different parts of our being), is not as simple as saying if one thinks thoughts that are positive, then depression will vanish. It is more of a way of saying that the vital energy that surrounds the body and that infuses the body at all times is itself infused by the higher vibrations of light that sustain the physical level of who we are. When these higher vibrations are depleted, or when energy is blocked along channels that transfer fuel and sustenance to the cells of our body and to the brain cells in particular, then depression or any one of a number of other ‘syndromes’ can result.
In order to investigate this line of healing further, it is necessary to have an openness to understanding the spiritual dimensions of life and of our individual construction as spiritual beings. The fundamental premise of this perspective is that the physical layer of our being which gives rise to symptoms is itself governed by energy, and energy is governed by consciousness. To put it slightly differently: consciousness gives rise to energy, and energy gives rise to physical functioning and patterning within the human body.
Why is it important to know this? Because all of suffering has a purpose, including the pain of depression. Every pain that we feel, every heartache that we are familiar with, is here as a teacher. For this reason, though we can desire to make ourselves more comfortable and more functional through the application of physical forms of treatment to physical problems, the underlying cause of depression will not be addressed this way; only the symptoms will be temporarily suspended or removed. This does not mean that these symptoms will return within a given lifetime. But without an alteration in consciousness they will eventually return, because the need for learning on a soul-level is the primary need, and because the symptoms of depression are purposeful and are meant to lead us in a new direction.
Though addressing depression physically will more likely have a quicker, more noticeable effect than holding depressive thoughts, feelings, and bodily experiences within a spiritual perspective, it is the latter which can create more permanent healing. This is not a reason to avoid physical forms of intervention, for these are needed and useful in many cases. But it is a reason to see beyond these forms to the broader issues involved, even while appreciating the holding and stabilizing process that modern and traditional medicine both make available — allowing us to regain enough balance, strength, and stability so that we can pursue the deeper question of what depression is really about.