Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Controlling Depression the Spiritual Way

Did you know that in the West as much as 68% of women, and 42% of men, find themselves dealing with mental depression at some point in their lives? What causes depression, and how can it be dealt with? Most people are able to continue with their duties in life, and learn to bear this feeling without having it completely take them over, yet a percentage find it absolutely necessary to seek some form of help, from counseling to actually being institutionalized. Why do we get depressed for no reason sometimes? Of course we all have to deal with sadness and disappointments in life, but oftentimes depression occurs without any particular happenstance. It can start with just a general feeling of unhappiness, unfulfillment, and lead in extreme cases to utter hopelessness, and even thoughts of suicide. In today's modern world it is becoming more and more of a problem for many people, especially in the Western world. What is so wrong with the way we live that mental health seems to be prevalent in so many of us?

The United States and Western Europe have the most burgeoning mental health businesses in the world. Virtually tens of thousands of people, seemingly successful in their lives, are regularly visiting psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and the like. And this is in countries that have the highest standards of living in the world. As a matter of fact those that have the highest instances of depression have no lacking in the necessities of life. Yet if you go to countries in Asia, even to economically deprived places, you find that people are not so troubled mentally, and clinical depression, neurosis, and psychosis are relatively rare. Why in the places where the greatest strides have been made scientifically are there the greatest amount of mental health problems?

The reason is the difference in philosophical outlooks on life. We are an almost fatalistic society putting all our concentration on success in this life materially. Death and what occurs during and after this transition is rarely spoken of, generally, in the West. Most people don't want to think about it, let alone make some effort to learn how to prepare for it while we are alive in these bodies. All concentration is put on material success and power. The fact is, that no matter how much money, possessions friends and lovers you accumulate, there is always a nagging feeling of "is this it"? Most people have ideas of what it would take to make us happy in life, and generally it centers on financial independence or wealth building, and relationships. Yet once achieved there's an almost immediate letdown. We thought we'd experience some form of bliss from the attainment of material goals, and then find out it is short-lived. So what is the missing link, the key to being able to gain happiness in life?

It lies in understanding our true nature as spirit and making spiritual advancement, as well as material advancement, while we are here. There must be a balance of physical, mental, and spiritual health. One must ask himself questions like "who am I, really?" "Who is God?" and "what is the goal of human life?" "Where have I come from, and where am I going after this life"? With spiritual recognition there comes hopefulness, rather than hopelessness. We are born into these bodies carrying our karma from previous incarnations with us. When you die, or leave this body, that is all you will take with you. In Eastern philosophy it is said that all of your possessions, and relationships based on bodily identification, will be finished at the time of death. Therefore it is useless to make plans to stay here forever. Although Westerners don't like to discuss this, no one can deny that he or she will grow old and die. Therefore one must find out how to gain knowledge of the soul, and what is our true desire above and beyond our bodily identifications. Fear is born of ignorance, and it is said that knowledge is the torchlight, which dispels the darkness of ignorance. Because in India, and many other eastern countries, there is at least some understanding of karma, and reincarnation, or transmigration of the soul, there is much less mental sickness among the populace. People understand that this life is not the all in all, and that only self-realization can bring happiness and peace of mind. We must give greater concentration to that which is our eternal position in life, not just concentrating on things based on our bodies, which are temporary.

The science of Vedic or Hindu astrology is a great tool for helping us to understand ourselves as spiritual entities that have taken these bodies due to our own previous actions. Whatever one does, good or bad, creates karma. Good actions will allow one to take a nice body, and be granted material pleasures, and harmful actions will insure one a more miserable birth in the next life. From one's horoscope we can tell so much about ourselves, and therefore make proper decisions in life to make advancement not only to insure material happiness, but also to gain some degree of spiritual happiness, building and advancing in spiritual consciousness from birth to birth. Only then can we successfully deal with depression and it's debilitating effects on human life.

One cannot just imagine how to gain spiritual happiness, or to gain spiritual knowledge. To do so requires a bona-fide teacher, or guru as is often termed, that is sufficiently advanced to be able to impart spiritual knowledge to others. Having an astrological analysis is also extremely useful as it gives some indication of where one has come from previous to this particular body. It shows our strengths, and weaknesses in different areas of life that are resultant from actions performed in previous lives. It will show how we can best conduct ourselves to be successful in this world, and also how to act for spiritual success. This will give one the ability to deal with mental inebriety, as for those who realize that this lifetime is not the end-all there is much less instance of serious depression. Whatever your beliefs or particular inclinations in philosophy and religion, give them more importance in your life. Seek answers from a higher source. In countries where simple living and high thinking are prevalent there is a more pervasive atmosphere of satisfaction in life, whereas in countries where advanced material living takes precedence there is more dissatisfaction among the populations than ever before. Think about it. Then do something about it. We are "piloting our own planes" in this lifetime. We are born into this life with nothing material, and we leave with nothing material. If you seek truth, you will find it. Your action shapes your destiny, so it's up to you.

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