Tuesday, November 4, 2020
To the question, is there a different quality of anxiety that is bad and one that is good or whatever, I say, the anxiety itself is indifferent. It’s not a quantity either that is bad or good. It’s that the bad contains a lie. It’s the lie that’s bad, not the anxiety itself. Something like that.
Wednesday, Nov 5, 2020
Any time you talk about the “fine line”, is it not about whether evil is involved? Excess this or that – is it not about whether there’s a lie involved? Self-deception?
There’s a fine line, for example, between taking needed time for yourself and being selfish. “Not killing yourself” at work and being lazy. Talking softly and talking too softly. Talking loud and talking too loud. Being appropriately fearful and being overly so. There’s always a fine line. And anybody will tell you it’s fine – it’s not a sudden, obvious thing, is it? It can be hard to pinpoint. Can it become easy? I’m thinking of the teachings of Mormon, where he says it is as easy as telling the day from the dark night. Hmm.
Anyway we experience it as fine a lot of the time. Excess this or that is on one side of the line and the appropriate amount is on the other. And the line is defined by the lie. Appropriate anxiety and “excess”. (What is depression in these terms?)
Monday, November 9, 2020
Just read a TIME magazine article entitled ‘Depression’s Many Causes’, in a special edition entitled ‘Mental Health – a New Understanding’. First of all, I’m not sure what’s new about the understanding it presents. Seems a little old to me. Quoting from the article – “Depression is a disease influenced by age, gender, genetics, situational loss or an ineffable mix of more than one of those.” It then proceeds to talk about those four factors in turn for the bulk of the article. Something felt missing to me and a little off by that treatment. I never find myself calling depression a disease. I think maybe because I like to make it clear that it’s not just a physical thing. To call it a disease to me emphasizes the physical, unavoidable aspect of it or something. And because I believe it comes in different intensities, whereas most diseases are thought of as being there or not being there, perhaps. Here’s the very next sentence of the article: “Understanding these factors can do a lot to strip the remaining mystery from the disease and make us better able to face and treat it.” So you acknowledge that there is mystery surrounding depression. Mystery. Nobody understands depression, as they say. Can’t we have a common understanding of it, which leaves room for the various factors that influence it? This whole thing to me is missing the heart of depression, which I feel like we’ve talked about in this podcast.
Quoting the conclusion of the article, “If there is one thing that every single case of depression has in common, it’s that it’s unchosen.” Really? That’s the only thing different cases of depression have in common? That they’re unchosen? That’s too broad. They absolutely have something in common and it’s the lie, the self-deception, and everything that goes along with that. I do think it’s important to realize, if you don’t, that it’s unchosen. But that’s certainly not the only thing every single case of depression has in common. So anyway, I found this “new” understanding to be lacking. This should help me see what it is that we have here that is unique to the understanding of depression and anxiety. What’s unique about ours is that there’s a lie involved. And I fear the world with its limited scientific point of view will never be able to accept that. Because a lie implies truth and error, which implies a God, and everything else that comes along with that. Oh well. We have to declare the truth, and offer an explanation for depression and anxiety to those who are willing to accept it.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Talk by Scott D Whiting – “You are good enough, you are loved, but that does not mean you are yet complete.”