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On Depression


Clear away the glamour of depression and enter upon the new cycle with joy.



A. Depression & Humanity


The thinking and the emotional reactions of man are so closely interrelated that it is not easy at this stage in evolution to separate feeling and thought, or to say that such or such ills arise in the astral or the mental body, or that certain ills are due to wrong feeling and others to wrong thinking. Speaking in terms of the entire human family, the thinking that is done in the world of today, is relatively speaking done by the few. The rest are occupied with feeling, with sensuous perception and with the many and differing aspects of emotionalism such as irritability, worry, acute anxiety, aspiration towards some desired end or goal, depression, plus the dramatic life of the senses and of the "I in the centre" consciousness. Few live in the world of thought and fewer still in the world of reality. When they do, the result is inevitably a better average of health, because there is better integration, and as a result a freer play of the life forces throughout the vehicles of expression.


Fear of death and depression constitute for man the Dweller on the Threshold in this age and cycle.  Both of them indicate sentient reaction to psychological factors and cannot be dealt with by the use of another factor such as courage. They must be met by the omniscience of the soul, working through the mind - not by its omnipotence.


We recognise the widespread depression, which is so seriously affecting the whole of humanity. The physical vitality of the races is low, or it is being whipped up into a better condition by the imposition of applied thought. Instead of drawing upon the resources of vitality, stored up in the soil, in food, fresh air and outer environing conditions, men are beginning to draw it from the etheric body itself through the galvanising effect of two things: ideas, as they are presented to them, thereby aligning mind and brain and incidentally stimulating the etheric body; mass impetus or contact which swings the unit into line with mass intention and opens up to him therefore the vast resources of mass intention. This enables him to feed his etheric body at the general etheric centre of power. This can be seen happening in its initial stage in practically every country. In the interim, however, between the establishing of the facility to tap at will the inner sources of vital stimulation and the changing of the old conditions, the masses of the people are left with neither source of sustenance available for their helping. They are consequently depleted, full of fear, and unable to do more than stand ready and hope for a better future for the next generation.


It is during this interim state that the full difficulty of depression can be felt, and it is at this time one of the major problems confronting the Hierarchy.


* How can the vitality of the human family be restored?

* How can the ancient joyousness of life, the keenness of spirit and the easy activity which distinguished the ancient races in the earlier phases of civilisation be recovered and humanity lose its depression and its unhappiness?


B. Causes of depression


It is caused by:


1. The world glamour


This sweeps an isolated unit, otherwise free from individual conditions producing depression, into the depths of a world reaction. This world glamour with its devitalising and depressing results has its roots in various factors, which we have only the time to briefly indicate:


a. Astrological factors, either affecting the planetary chart and hence individuals, or primarily racial.  These two factors are oft overlooked.


b. The path of the sun in the heavens. The southern path tends to a lowered vibratory influence and aspirants should bear this in mind in autumn and the early winter months.


c. The dark half of the moon, the period towards the end of the waning moon, and the early new moon. This, as you well know, affects the meditation work.


d. Psychological factors and mass inhibitions due undoubtedly to forces external to the planet and to plans, obscure in their intent to ordinary humanity.


These forces, playing upon the human race, affect the most sensitive; they in their turn affect their environment and gradually a momentum is established which sweeps through a race or a nation, through a period or a cycle of years, and produces conditions of profound depression and of mutual distrust. It causes a sad self-absorption and this we term a panic or a wave of unrest. The fact that the working out may be military, economic, social or political, that it may take the form of a war, of a religious inquisition, of financial stringency or international distrust is incidental. The causes lie back in the blue prints of the evolutionary process and are governed - even if unrealised - by the good Law.


2. Astral polarisation 


Just as long as a man identifies himself with his emotional body, just as long as he interprets life in terms of his moods and feelings, just as long as he reacts to desire, just so long will he have his moments of despair, of darkness, of doubt, of dire distress, and of depression. They are due to delusion, to the glamour of the astral plane, which distorts, reverses and deceives. There is no need to dwell on this. 

It is his astral polarisation which lays a man open to his many emotional reactions and to waves of mass feeling of any kind. This is the cause of his being swept into that vortex of uncontrolled energy and misdirected emotional force, which eventuates in a world war, a financial panic, a religious revival, or a lynching. It is this also that raises him to the heights of hilarity and of spurious happiness in which the "light deceptive" of the astral plane uncovers to him false sources of amusement, or the mass hilarity - owing to his sensitivity - sweeps him into that hysterical condition which finds its vent in unrestrained merriment and which is the opposite pole of unrestrained weeping. We refer not here to true merriment nor the proper sense of humour, but to those hysterical outbreaks of hilarity, which are so common among the rank and file of humanity and lead to reactions of fatigue.


3. A devitalised condition of the physical body


This is due to various causes, such as:


a. A depleted etheric or vital body.


b. Physical disease, either inherent or brought over from another life, accidental, or due to wrong emotional reactions, or produced as the result of group karma, such as an epidemic.


c. Atmospheric. This is sometimes overlooked, but the condition of the atmosphere, the nature of the climate, the density, humidity or dryness, the heat or cold have a definite effect upon the psychological outlook.


You will find, if you study, that all subsidiary and temporary causes of depression and its opposite can be grouped under one of these three heads, and when one has ascertained the cause, the cures will become apparent.


C. Depressions and disciples


The troubles connected with the nervous system are more frequent than those attacking the brain, such as insanity and disruption of the brain tissue. Almost all who undertake meditation are conscious of an effect in the nervous system. It may takes the form of:


- sleeplessness, of excitability;

- a strained energy and restlessness that permit of no relaxation;

- an irritability that has been foreign perhaps to the disposition until meditation was pursued;

- a nervous reaction - such as a twitching of the limbs, the fingers or the eyes;

- depression or a lowering of the vitality,


and of many individual modes of showing tension and nervousness, differing according to nature and temperament.


This display of nervousness may be either severe or slight, but we seek earnestly to point out it is quite needless, provided the student adheres to the rules of common-sense, that he studies wisely his own temperament, and that he does not blindly proceed with forms and methods but insists on knowing the raison d'etre of instituted action. If occult students disciplined the life more wisely, if they studied the food problem more carefully, if they took the needed hours of sleep with more determination, and if they worked with cautious slowness and not so much from impulse (no matter how high the aspiration) greater results would be seen and the Great Ones would have more efficient helpers in the work of serving the world.


D. The disciple overcomes depression by becoming sensitive to his soul


The first requirement (for the training of disciples) is sensitivity. What exactly is this? It does not mean primarily that you are a "sensitive soul" - the connotation of which usually means that you are thin-skinned, self-centred and always on the defensive! Rather do we refer to the capacity whereby you are enabled to expand your consciousness so that you become aware of ever-widening ranges of contact. We refer to the ability to be alive, alert, keen to recognise relationships, quick to react to need, mentally, emotionally and physically attentive to life and rapidly developing the power to observe upon all three planes in the three worlds simultaneously. We are not interested in your personal relations where they concern your wrong personality sensitivity to depression, to self-pity, your defenses, your so-called sensitivity to slights, to misunderstandings, your dislike of your environing conditions, your hurt pride and qualities of this kind. These all cause you bewilderment and let loose in you the floodgates of compassion for yourself. But you do not need me to deal with them. Of them you are well aware and can handle them if you choose. These faults are interesting only in so far as they affect the life of your group. They must be handled by you with care and with the open eye that senses danger from afar and seeks to avoid it. The sensitivity which we want to see developed is alertness to soul contact, impressionability to the "voice of the Teacher," an aliveness to the impact of new ideas and to the delicacy of intuitional responsiveness. These are ever the hallmark of the true disciple. It is spiritual sensitivity, which must be cultivated; this is only truly possible when you learn to work through the centres above the diaphragm and to transmute solar plexus activity (which is so dominant in the average person), turning it into heart activity and the service of your fellowmen.


The Aquarian can experience the depths of depression and of self-depreciation or he can know and pass through the exaltation of the soul and the sense of spiritual power which soul control gives, and know them to be the interplay and the action and reaction, which are necessary for growth and comprehension. The law of such action and reaction is the law with which he works.


E. Esoteric rules to overcome depression and doubt


If there is one factor, which aspirants recognise, it is the need of freeing themselves from the Great Illusion. Arjuna knew this, yet succumbed to despair. Yet in his hour of need, Krishna failed him not, but laid down in the Gita the simple rules whereby depression and doubt can be overcome. They may be briefly summarised as follows:


a. Know thyself to be the undoing One.

b. Control thy mind, for through that mind the undying One can be known.

c. Learn that the form is but the veil, which hides the splendour of Divinity.

d. Realise that the One Life pervades all forms, so there is no death, no distress, no separation.

e. Detach thyself therefore from the form side and come to me, so dwelling in the place where Light and Life are found. Thus illusion ends.