Depression & Appreciation

I am struck by what can be seen as the appropriateness and gift of depression.

Really, there is nothing to hold onto. All our ideas, insights, knowledge, is all very limited and of only temporary value. All our accomplishments and skills also has only a temporary and limited value. In everything we do and know, there is someone else – and most likely many – who can do it far better on any criteria we can use. In most of what we do, or maybe everything, we don’t live up to our potential. And nothing that we do lasts, not even for the most famous of us – it will all be forgotten in centuries, and any trace of any human activity will be completely gone in just a glimpse of the eye in the cosmic timescale. We are just a speck in the immensity of the universe, of apparent very little importance in the grand scheme of things. And we all know, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, that all our beliefs – everything we cling to as “true” because we so desperately want it to be true, is just that – a belief, an attachment to an abstraction, and ultimately it cannot be anything but a lie. And we know, again whether we admit it to ourselves or not, that this identity we spend so much time creating, maintaining, polishing, defending, is also just an abstraction, it has no substance, and it is used to cover up the (unbearable) truth that we don’t know who or what we really are.

All these are very accurate realizations. And if we attached to any of these lies, we are bound to experience a loss when we finally admit this to ourselves.

And any and all of these realizations invite to reveal ourselves as Unknowing. As that aspect of us that is distinct from the world of phenomena, distinct from any description. This mysterious emptiness, which is simultaneously full of the world.

When I find myself in this way, as Unknowing, everything that previously triggered depression in me, now becomes the reason for a profound, deep, rich appreciation for everything that is, and even more so because it is limited and transient.

When I am exclusively identified as a human being, any realization of limits can easily trigger depression. When I find myself as that which is distinct from the world of phenomena, any realization of limits awakens profound gratitude and appreciation of what is.

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