(an excerpt from the chapter on DEPRESSION )

last updated 3.3.23

The term "depression" is being misused far too oftern in our culture so I want you to consider the circumstances a "depressed" person finds themself in. However, instead of seeing these circumstances and how they relate to a person, I want you to imagine how they would affect an entire planet. Imagine if planet Earth didn't find itself at the exact distance from the sun that it is at this very moment and then, once it found this exact distance, what if it didn't fall into orbit around the sun like it does. Life as we know it would not exist. Earth wouldn't even be Earth. It would just be a cold barren rock floating through space somewhere. Despite the fact that there are more people alive on the planet than there ever has been, chronic loneliness is surprisingly increasing, especially in First World countries. The only thing that cures this type of loneliness is consistency because consistency is what created it. Again, it is simple math. If a person endures the same thing over and over, especially when they are young or have gone through a traumatic experience, this becomes their reality. It becomes familiar, i.e. normal, to them. The only way to correct the situation and allow the person to recover is for one set of consistent circumstances to be replaced by another set of more positive consistent circumstances over time. The more the positive outcome accumulates, the less significance the negative experience will have until it is completely replaced. This is how consistency works. This is what being in orbit provides, not trying to "fix" someone, not giving advice and not providing medication. Simple consistency is all most people need. Around and around the Sun our planet Earth went and over time this beautiful ecosystem was created.

It wouldn't be enough for Earth to simply pass by the sun at the perfect distance just once and then continue on its way for life to exist here. Nothing would be able to grow in that short amount of time. The earth needs the sun everyday. Our planet needed to remain close enough to this life-giving warmth on a regular basis for life to be created. Without it, life could not exist. This is what other human beings are for us in our lives. Seeing someone, or a group of people, once randomly or only once in a while is nice, but it's not consistent enough to have an impact on our "normal" reality. These experiences fade into the recesses of a person's life and the more consistent experience of being alone takes the forefront as parts of themselves wither from the lack of light social interaction brings. If a person experiences being alone more and more then they will eventually find themselves in an orbitless universe drifting without purpose. Their life will not grow, but instead become cold, dark and stagnant. The natural instincts that we all possess will fail to be triggered without other humans to bring it out of us and we will eventually lose the will to live. It can happen to anyone even to those who believe that it could never happen to them. This is exactly why solitary confinement is considered the worst type of imprisonment.

The deceptive part of this type of situation is that the conditions can develop without a person even realizing it. It doesn't only happen to a homeless person sleeping in an alley. All it takes is for a certain set of circumstances to exist in any person's life and these circumstances do not discriminate according to race, sex or financial resources. The fact that doctors and social workers, people trained in mental health, don't recognize this simple fact is unacceptable. A doctor who's never had a broken arm can still successfully treat someone with a broken arm because they've been trained in the physical medicines, but a doctor who's never experienced this type of "depression" will not be able to recognize the circumstances that create such a problem because it's not caused within the person. They'd have to ask the question "How did the arm get broken?" which is not a medical question. How can they successfully treat a problem if they will not acknowledge what caused it? You can't fix a problem until you recognize it exists. It's a social problem. It reflects the mental health of our society, not of one person.

However if a person likes people, or loves them, they as an individual will take the initiative to combat these circumstances even if they don't actually realize what is causing them. They will do everything they can to stay in the orbit of others consciously or subconsciously. It is simply in our nature to need this type of contact on a regular basis. This happens naturally in a village. The amount someone needs varies from person to person, but we, all, need a minimal amount. However, if the person has no one to orbit around them, the day may come, for some reason, when they are unable to take the initiative to seek out others because of a sickness or injury and this is when the loneliness can take hold of them representing to their minds that they don't matter to anyone. If this happens in conjunction with a life altering event, what the person experiences is like floating through outer space orbitless and alone. They may kick and fight unaware that without a healthy form of resistance, like gravity or another person, they will drain themselves of whatever vital energy they have left. When there is no one in a person's life to ground them, it can feel like falling into an empty abyss which they can't get out of, the worse part being that no one even knows it's happening to them. To experience this once can be pretty scary, but to experience it over and over, it is no longer an isolated event. It becomes reality for some people and no amount of individual initiative can overcome it, no more than flailing one's arms and legs while drifting through space can help them. Nonetheless, those with a lot of energy will still try.

Not all resistance is bad. If there was a 100 pound weight sitting at the bottom of a pool and you dove down to retrieve it, there's no way you could pick it up unless you, first, planted your feet on the bottom of the pool. This is healthy resistance. If you tried picking it up without planting your feet, you'd only accomplish in keeping yourself anchored to the bottom causing you to eventually drown. No matter how strong your arms are, without resistance there's no way to use this strength. Living in an orbitless universe is like trying to pick up the weight when there is no bottom to plant your feet on. Even a strong person needs people in their life, not to do things for them or even to lean on, but simply to give their life relativity, i.e. resistance. Knowing they matter to someone by being consistently reminded of this fact, they can use their strength and abilities to propel themselves through life. Otherwise, they're just drifting which eventually turns into sinking with the weight of their life holding them down. The only option then is to let go of the weight which to many people feels too much like quitting or not caring so they refuse to thus keeping themselves trapped in the situation drowning.