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Re: Is depression like a society's phase?

Posted by ron1953 on May 9, 2012, at 1:49:39

In reply to Is depression like a society's phase?, posted by ralphrogers on April 30, 2012, at 20:25:54

In our consumerist society, those who aren't on the bandwagon but want to be, are often depressed, or at least unhappy to be missing out on the good life. Many "successful" folks are miserable, too, despite all the stuff they have. But even if you can't have the lifestyle, they tell you there's medicine that'll make you feel OK about it. In any case the message is that we all can be happy if we do the right things, buy the right things, etc.. Yet look at all the suffering, and the meds only work a small percentage of the time, and often only temporarily at that. But the side-effects have a much better success rate. To me the desires and expectations are quite often unreleastic.

I'm not a Buddhist, but the four noble truths of Buddhism tell a very different story than ours.

1) Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering/uneasiness (dukkha) in one way or another.
2) Suffering is caused by craving. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or phenomena that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness. Craving also has its negative aspect, i.e. one craves that a certain state of affairs not exist.
3) Suffering ends when craving ends. This is achieved by eliminating delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment (bodhi);
4) Reaching this liberated state is achieved by following the path laid out by the Buddha.

Note that suffering is considered simply a real part of life, not something to be judged. Our society consider suffering an unwanted disease that must be eradicated. Good luck with that, along with the War on Drugs, and The War on Terror.

Maybe our society is simply effed up, and is unhealthy for more and more individuals.

Like I said, I'm not Buddhist, but I'm learning to accept suffering as a basic reality and not spend all of my energy trying to eradicate it. I may be suffering, but minus the drugs, side-effects, clueless yet arrogant doctors, etc., I suffer a little bit less, and I don't waste my limited energy and funds chasing the impossible.

Our parents and teachers rarely told us the truth, instead doing all they could to hide or sugarcoat the truth, under the approved umbrella of protecting the children. Father Knows Best was a TV show dammit, but the US is still trying to make us in that image.

What if we'd all been armed with the truth from the get-go? We would have had truly useful tools to navigate the BS, maybe even change some of it.




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poster:ron1953 thread:1016788