The corner stone in present day western civilization is Greek culture. Here back in history we find the warrior state Sparta, which was made of a warrior people that threw weak and sick babies off a cliff to their death in order to keep the tribe ‘strong.’
This primitive way of getting rid of weak genes was also what inspired the science of Eugenics, which was based on Darwin’s survival of the fittest and in turn inspired Hitler’s final solution. But while Hitler is nothing to be proud off as he stands as burning evidence of the ultimate evil it should not be overlooked that this human nature is very much part of the fabric of western civilization.
This is why we do war. This is why the rich get greedy. This is why homeless are left on the street. And this is also why surveys show that in the U.S. 54 percent of people believe that depression is a personal weakness.
So, let’s begin by looking at anxiety and depression and the dark night of the soul in an honest manner. First there is a clear sense that society or life has rejected us and based on the history of humanity this sense is not unfounded. If we follow norms and the mainstream we will be rewarded with the carrot, if not society takes out the stick to punish us.
My crime was to fall in love with a girl from another country. I come from a small but strong tribe that I am normally proud of; not the Viking raids but the level of democracy, equality and trust through social development. However, after the big scare of 9/11 a far right wing party took control of a government coalition and wanted to close the border to immigrants for seven years.
They didn’t quite succeed but they did make it hard for any Dane to marry a foreigner. So, when I finally met my soul mate, Valerie, after 32 years of searching we decided to get married and live in her country: Canada. After all with all the hostility towards immigrants among my small tribe, a nation build on immigrants should be more open.
With the law requiring a processing time of six months, I had a job at hand and was ready to get started in my new country. But the six months passed and no papers. Then another six months and another six months, finally multiplied by seven as it ended up taking three and a half years to get my papers.
During all this time it was not just my hopes that got lost but also my financial stability. As we kept our hopes high and did not want the government to separate us, I ended up spending two years in Canada without working.
I did put this time to good use as I finished writing my first book years before I had planned to, and thus now I am able to write this book. This is an example that we can find a deeper meaning in life even when times are hard.
However, being cut off from working and society by living in a sort of no man’s land was very tough psychologically. And then adding the injustice of being punished for finding true love, where the government smiles and says “welcome to Canada” while behind the facade trying to break up foreign marriages through deliberate policies, made the weight even heavier to carry.
In science we find the principle of Entropy, which some scientists use to describe the disorganization or degeneration within a system. “Entropy” is used to define the degeneration of a closed system where its energy decreases and its disorder thereby increases. The disorganization occurs because the energy of the system is lost and this then leads to disorder.
As energy has to do with heat, we could here draw a parallel to a person standing in the cold without getting any food. The food is energy and without this energy very quickly the body loses its heat and the body system goes into degeneration.
Also being less scientific we could draw a parallel to a person that has become rejected by society (left standing in the cold) and thus become an isolated system. I think during the hardest times while I was waiting for my papers this was exactly how I felt; as an immigrant I had been left to stand in the cold and as an isolated system I could feel my heat and energy drain from my body.
Most of us can look back to our time in school and remember either being teased or having teased someone else and even today bullying is a huge problem that lead students to suicide. Adult society is not less immature as bullying takes place in the workplace and many places in society. Both the written laws and unwritten laws of society, if not followed result in rejection or punishment where our access to the flow of life can be deliberately cut off.
In society’s search for extreme purity or perfection we often reject our own shadow. Terrorism is immoral and wrong, while war and covert operations to get cheap oil in far away countries is not. Also the lost and depressed individuals who carry out the school shootings are labeled as insane, while society refuses to look itself in the mirror and go deeper into the root of the problem.
With all the external violence a country like the U.S. perpetrates it is only natural that this conflict is reflected internally as well. Spiritually we say that a person who is at peace within will also be at peace with the world. Clearly if we apply this to America, this young nation is not at peace with itself.
Of course, we cannot blame everything on intent or the system as fear rules the lives of many of us. Most people are afraid of death and sickness, which is why hospitals make us uncomfortable.
In the old times in religion, the term demon was used to describe an impure spirit. This was understood in the way that being possessed by a demon meant that a ‘demon’ could affect people mentally by acting on their minds and causing them to sin or go wrong. Thereby, a person being possessed by a demon would induce fear in others as they would be afraid to catch the demon or become infected themselves.
A literal demon possessing us is of course nonsense but from this point of view we can understand people’s fear of people who are mentally unstable or in depression. We can thus also understand the miracles of Jesus, the curing of mental illness or false consciousness, as the casting out of ‘demons.’
Seeing demons less literally we can also take out the mystical or even religiousness of salvation. The Greek word used for evil spirit in the Bible means “impure spirit” and if we see resurrection as rebirth or regeneration of the spirit then we can see salvation as the purification of the spirit.
This was what Jesus himself did; purifying his spirit when he spent 40 days and nights in the desert after which Matthew tells us that he returned “in the power of spirit.” Seeking God through fasting and solitude in nature is an ancient death and rebirth ritual that has been used as ritual purification for many thousands of years.
Besides people’s fear of depression, it is your responsibility not to make yourself unreachable. While some people may see you as untouchable while in depression, others who love you and want to help might see you as unreachable instead.
By closing ourselves off the world in our sadness, we are also voluntarily placing ourselves in isolation. In the principle of Entropy we should also not forget our end of it, which is our choice of isolation. When you cut yourself off from the energy of life, you are on a path of self-destruction through your isolation.
The following chapters of this is book have been written as a guide to spiritual regeneration and by following its advice and opening yourself to its spiritual insights you will have taken the first step out of isolation. There is a spiritual path out of isolation and suffering, and at its end lies a spiritual rebirth that will bring joy and happiness to your new life.