The reason that I am writing to you is that I believe I have the classic symptoms of depression. The symptoms are, pride, extreme fear of goofing up, inferiority complex followed by extreme superiority complex and of course the inevitable "everyone-is-watching-me" paranoia. Jealousy, and envy are also there including taking things a bit too seriously which makes me very tongue-tied. They may be symptoms of social-behaviour disorder but who cares. I refuse to see a psychiatrist, because I simply don't like them. What can they do for me that I myself am not capable of. Medication? Analysis? Talk-sessions? All are temporary except self-help. And that which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Right? I'll try to take it from the top.
Before about 6 months ago, I was a very different person. I was haughty, arrogant, too damn self confident and a regular prick. I could simply not see another person's view. So I remained a loner. With a shell around me the size of a castle. I felt it beneath me to even say a simple thank you. I was the smartest, coolest, most outta this world kinda guy, until 6 months ago. I used to take charas (marijuana) and that simply made me more arrogant. I could do no wrong. What I thought was right, what I said was right, what I did was right. I was a superperson. I took pride in my being different from others. I felt superior that I could live without any support or friendship. Until about 6 months ago. I did love reading books though. I devoured every book and magazine that ever came across my eyes. I had very few friends, went out very little, didn't attend occasions, simply because I was above them all. Until of course about 6 months ago.
About 6 months ago, things started to seem a little wrong to me. They started looking so wrong to me, that I feared doing anything. And the things which I had done right in the past started looking wrong to me. They got to a condition, that I started doubting if I had done anything correctly. It got to a point where I started to think about killing myself. I knew I had cracked. My shell had shattered, and the castle of which I was so proud of, simply crumbled. And I was left naked. But everything has a reason. As Oprah Winfrey, though I don't watch her show, said in Time magazine while at Wellesley College, " Turn your wounds into wisdom. You will be wounded many times in your life. You'll make mistakes. Some...will call them failures, but I have learned, that failure is simply God's way of saying, 'Excuse me, you're moving in the wrong direction." That is positive philosophy and thinking. Everybody knows that ignorance is bliss. And not every wise man is a happy man. A price has to be paid to attain wisdom. Unfortunately, there are few who get peace and tranquility out of attaining wisdom. Those that don't become like Heraclitus. Who yet being the wise of the wise, could not understand human nature and hence fled to live in the mountains in isolation. When the Bible proclaims, that God created man in his own image, he does not, God forbid, mean that He made us looking like Him. It means that God in His wisdom, gave us a few of His qualities. Love, forgiveness, understanding e.t.c., and most important of all creation. We cannot create worlds, but art, like music, sculpting, writing, painting and so on and so on. That is why artists are not too well known for their sunny outlook on life. In the Quran (Koran), Allah made man from the most basest and common material He created. Clay. And after fashioning him, is said to have breathed life into that form of clay. The Breath of God breathed into the most lowliest of matters. How poetic. And man, forever, shall be torn between the Divine soul breathed into him, and the basest of materials as Dr. Ali Shariati says. And only the understanding ones shall view the war within themselves.
There are basically three levels of existence. A lower, a normal, and a higher. The normal is what we see happening around us every day. People laughing, smiling, getting on with their normal daily routines, e.t.c. Then there is a lower level. It is a level, where people who watch the normal level can have a panoramic view of life. Philosophers love this plane. E.g. can be Nietzsche, who went into dementia after 44 years of age, Socrates, who drank poison, Khalil Gibran who led an absolutely miserable life, Descartes, who after 30 years of research, burned all his philosophies, and started anew. He was the one who said," Cogito, ergo sum". I think therefore I am. And the examples are endless, of great men and writers like Khalil Gibran, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, who observed the points and mistakes of the normal level and reported on them through their own philosophies. Artists (Real artists) come from the same plain of thought. Then there is the higher level. The level of sages. The people of this level would be people like, Lao-tze, Buddha, Confucius e.t.c., who build a platform with their philosophies on that level, so that anyone, humble enough to try, can come up to that level and stay. They don't report, they rectify. There is also a fourth level, but that is not for us. That level is for the saints and martyrs, prophets and messiahs. Only God has the power to raise and ordain anybody to that level.
Wasn't it Shakespeare, I don't remember in which play, he goes on to define man? I don't know the exact words, but I heard Jean-Luc-Picard quoting it to "Q". I remember a few words, like "How god-like he is". That's why Shakespeare is considered a great writer. Why? He observed life and reported it with such grace and beauty, that those with a sensitive nature, can truly identify with what he had to say. In the Merchant of Venice, read the very first lines that Antonio utters. I promise you, you'll understand what I mean. And Whenever you feel, that somebody is getting on your case, remember the words of Jonathan Swift who said, " When a true genius appears in this world, know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him." Don't take this for yourself, as this only inflates the ego, but think of those that came before you. Mohammed was pelted with stones and garbage, and they killed Jesus Christ. And many many other prophets, so take it like they did. If they had been born today, they would have been committed as schizophrenics.
As I was talking about Jean-Luc-Picard, of the Star Trek, I can't help but remember how I envied Mr. Spock of the original Star Trek. Man, he was something. I truly truly so much wanted to be like him. A person without emotions. No fear, no hate, no jealousy, no anxiety, no grief, no emotion to tamper with the mind in its search for answers and understanding. Just a mind made up of logic and reason. Wouldn't we like to be like him. I would. But, like it or not, emotions will be there. They are "gifts" that whether we like it or not, we have to live with. I know one thing. That sharing a few of these emotions of mine has made me feel a lot better. And perhaps that's what it's all about. Sharing emotions. From one person to the next. Unlike the 'just-oh-so-much' psychologists. They have been trained and drilled into subduing their emotions, that they simply become colorless. You can always spot a psychologist at a festive occaision. It will be the one who is enjoying himself just-oh-so-much. It will be the one laughing just-oh-so-much, talking just-oh-so-much and drinking just-oh-so-much. I talked to a psychologist one time, and he told me that manic depressives and depressives bored him. So to listen to their "drivel" he gives them some medication, so as not to be bored. Heck, If I wanted to pay for a shoulder to cry on, why not pay some poor deserving person. Who at least can identify with me. And if psychologists were what they are meant to be, they wouldn't have the most highest rate of suicide per occupation. Emotions are the colors of a personality. Learn to live with 'em, as those before you did. Remember, there's no wrong you can do in life. The only mistake you can make, is voluntarily hurt somebody's feelings or trust, apart from that, you can do no mistake. Go through life raising people's spirits. And I leave you with a small poem, that will summarize all that I wrote,
"Curse not that which has ruined your day,
Might be something worse had come your way."
Zulfiqar Ali Khan.Anon
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