Hope for a Depressed Person (You or a Friend)
How to find relief in the midst of this confusing state of existence we all call life.
Let me fill you in on what I understand about how to survive being a human being.
Nearly every article I read on the daily starts with the words, “scientists have discovered,” or something similar.
The objective conclusions of scientists seem to be something that people grasp onto, something worthy of investing hope into. So what about our seemingly random lives and feelings? We weren’t here, and now we are. How did we get here? How much do we know, compared to how much we truly don’t?
What of the insufficiency of our senses, and our limited experience of the world, and eachother? Is it a surprise that children come into the world crying and not laughing? Eyes closed, they are plunged into the cold air, desperately learning to breath for the first time.
The existential movement has brought to my attention the horrible expanse of the unknown, the fact that our perceptions do not accurately reflect reality.
Often, if not always, our perceptions are untrustworthy and perhaps insufficient to reveal the world, they are the thick veil from behind which we peer, to try and understand the universe that surrounds us.
Naturally this is horrifying.
We can’t know what’s objectively real. Any of it. So it’s all just a confusing, horrible, meaningless mess, right?
Or even worse, a game? At least a mess is definitely something that went wrong, but what if this whole shit-show was devised by someone, god forbid, simply for their entertainment?
Is there nothing to be truly known? Is our, and everyone's life experience just collectively limited, even worthless?
Must we reject our subjective experience as being unscientific, and indefinable?
Your Value as an Individual
If we cannot measure true objective experience, if we cannot see it and analyze it, what is life but darkness, horror and meaninglessness?
The phenomenological movement attempts to answer this question by denying my initial premise, that the subjective experience is worthless simply because it is not measurable, or “scientific”.
It is worth considering that the individual experience (even though it cannot be objectively measured or known) may not be meaningless, and may have value that transcends even the metric value of our objective reality, not so as to overshadow it but so as to partner with it in a kind of dance, a duet which realizes its coordination in time and space.
Each one of us functions as an intricate machine, pulling life out of the dark, and meaning out of chaos. It is here that we find ourselves, on the line between order and chaos. This is the most difficult place to be, and the most meaningful place to be as an individual.
Human beings seem to consistently overcome their menial, apparent insignificance to masterfully paint their Mona Lisas and compose their Claire de Lunes. And you can too. In fact, you are, right now.
An Exploration of Beauty
The subjective human experience, your experience dear reader, shines in ways beyond simple measurement.
Think what I’m saying’s bogus? Fair enough, but do you like music? You do don’t you.
There are observable patterns in music that are in-fact easily identifiable and measurable, as is true among art pieces and in nature, but this does not tell us why we enjoy these patterns, and in reducing them to their physical values we seem to lose the essence of whatever it is about them that makes them beautiful, namely, our interpretation of these physical values (sound waves, in the case of music).
But then again, I don’t have to explain all this to you. Because you know. That one song, it just makes you feel like… like things are going to be okay. Or more than okay, amazing! And there’s that one painting that reaches out to you, to tell you something beautiful about yourself. Or that one sunset that was so magnificent it brought tears to your eyes.
So why can’t we see it and measure it, beauty? Why does it seem to take almost any form? How does it evade the calculations of our minds and our hands, and yet appear so obvious to us? Under one premise all of these questions may be answered.
Perhaps, because beauty lives in the eye of the beholder.
That’s right. If it wasn’t for your mind, beauty would not be knowable.
We are all that beauty has to show itself in the world, friends — It is not on the canvas of our artwork, but on the canvas of our minds that beauty can be seen in all it’s glory.
I might suggest that our subjective experience is not only meaningful, but is the very language of beauty, the language of the universe.
Stop hating yourself. The world needs you out there, every one of you, every one of us.
It is through your eyes and mind that true beauty shines into the cosmos, like a beam of light catching a veil in a dark room, only briefly as it passes forever into the dark.