Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Three Theories

Depression hit yesterday, silently, murderously. Like being struck by a huge, hot sandbag. When I got home I didn't have the wherewithal to get out of the van. I laid my hands on the steering wheel and my head on my hands, and breathed. Waited. I don't know how long.

Today is better. Almost back to normal.

This last week has been full of resolutions and thinking about how life really ought to be and how a person really can reach for their dreams.

Here are three theories:

Theory One is that thinking a person can reach for their dreams sets me up for a fall, when I find myself, inevitably, failing in all the old, familiar ways -- so I shouldn't think that way, not only because it's not a Buddhist approach to desire, but also because it's just opening the door to depression.

Theory Two is that I have mistaken depression for Dharma, and that -- while the whole structure of craving and expectation does indeed have to be deconstructed -- replacing large, joyful cravings & expectations with small, dreary ones has nothing to do with Buddhist path. It has to do, instead, with brain chemistry.
Theory Three is the new one, which I find most interesting at the moment. It says that being full of resolutions and thinking about how life ought to be, rather than being the cause of a later depressive episode, is actually just an early symptom, an early sign that mood turbulence is setting in. There may be no causal relation between the two at all.

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