Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whistling In The Dark

Ponderings on the affliction of depression - clinical depression - sent me looking through old posts to find what I'd posted in the past, if anything, on the subject. I suppose depression has been mentioned in posts about artists of one kind or another who had suffered, but no actual post on depression of the clinical type. There's this from 2007 on the milder, more common type of depressed feelings, known as "the blues" or melancholia:

(Edited, slightly)
I wonder what astrologers do when in need of a lift out of the doldrums? We ordinary mortals often reach for the chocolate, the apple pie, ice cream, or a glass of Scotch, or wine.
I'm not insinuating that astrologers aren't ordinary mortals, of course, perish the thought! But they are in a position to know more about themselves and the future, and their future than the average woman and man on the street. So do they have an antidote for the blues?

I ask because each time I pick up a newspaper or read articles and comments on current events on-line I feel despairing, desolate and downright depressed. I don't ever remember a time in my adult life when it was worse than this, either here or when I lived in the UK. According to husband, it's now just about the worst he can remember in the USA too.
[This was in 2007, remember].

So what can astrology offer as a pick-me-up that's neither fattening nor inebriating?

I guess the best answer from me, as a non-astrologer but merely a woman on the street, with a little knowledge of the ancient art (not that one!) would be: nothing stays the same for long, everything changes. Just as the planets move in regular cycles, so does life. A bad patch is followed by a good patch, and vice-versa. Some patches take longer than others to give way to the next stage - these are what we call "the bad times" and "the good times". Enjoy the latter while you can and during the former resign yourself to putting on weight and drinking more than you should.

Apple pie anyone?

There's something else capable of lifting spirits: SING! Or whistle - also known as whistling in the dark, or whistling down the wind.

Whistle down the wind
Let your voices carry
Drown out all the rain
Light a patch of darkness
Treacherous and scary ....

(From Whistle Down the Wind:
composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Jim Steinman)

Or there's this - Whistling Away the Dark from the 1970 film Darling Lili.

Julie Andrews


mike said...

Religion never cut it for me...too focused on repentance, salvation, and pray-away-the ______ (fill-in the blank). Astrology, as you indicate, operates on ever-changing, transiting cycles that affect our natal charts, which is a blueprint of energy at birth. There is comfort in knowing cause-and-effect and that time (aspects) will pass.

Freud was said to have studied and applied the principles of astrology to his patients:
"Astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call projected - this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations. This originally gave rise to the idea that these factors derive from the stars, whereas they are merely in a relation of synchronicity with them. I admit that this is a very curious fact which throws a peculiar light on the structure of the human mind." Carl G. Jung in 1947 in a letter to prof. B.V. Raman

The nature-nurture concept applies, too. Numerous individuals can have a very similar natal chart, yet display and live-out completely different characteristics of the same energy patterns. We do seem to have free-will and the choices each of us create can lend in the predetermination of future selections.

Every natal chart displays an energy pattern that unfolds over time to provide information to the individual how they are their own worst enemy and the lessons required to advance. I see it as a feedback loop constantly attenuated by the individual's expressions of self and desires.

I see an unfortunate collision of our medical profession treating psychiatric concerns with psychotropic drugs without advising the patient to seek psychiatric counseling to alleviate the cause. Depression has a purpose by informing the individual that there is something out of balance that requires attention by the conscious thought process. There are many severe psychoses that may only be treated by psychiatric intervention and psychotropic medication and a medical doctor should not be the long-term care provider.

Many seemingly psychiatric conditions have been treated by dietary considerations, too. My biochemistry instructor reminded us often that every thought we have is a result of a complex biochemical reaction. Our modern world is not conducive to mental stability with the ersatz constantly replacing the natural world.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I don't even know what to say:(

just commenting to let you know enjoy your posts and reading them as well as the comments left by others.

maybe I'll come back later and speak more on the actual topic.

mike (again) said...

BTW - Grief due to loss is a natural process and should not be considered depression, but can eventually result in depression should the individual not accept the loss and heal.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I can see how religion will be a help to some people, whether in its more concentrated church-ish state or a milder feeling, that there's someone out there/up there.

Long years ago I think I had the latter feeling myself, left over from my early church-going days. I remember that it helped a bit when feeling desperately unhappy, to fall to my knees and say to "something" out there, "Please take this away". I'm long past that phase now, but do know it somehow helps.

Thanks for your input and observations - all interesting as usual. Agreed on the astrological points. I don't know enough about the types of drugs used to treat severe/clinical depression, so can't add anything.

I agree on grief - yes, it's natural. Grief must be allowed to take its course, as long as needed, unless that becomes excessively long to the detriment of health.

I'm thinking, in this post, simply about the blue days, the grey days, days a few degrees down from just ordinary days - the down days we all experience from time to time.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I'm happy to know you're there!

LB said...

Twilight ~ I've been searching for the right word to describe what it is I feel most days, it's a state of mind that's been building (with me fighting it) for years, and only now seems to have settled in to stay. Awareness comes with a price.

One thing I know for certain is this: the world is definitely *not* getting better for most of its inhabitants, though there are those who choose to believe otherwise and who make it a point to try and convince us too. It makes it easier to ignore the suffering of others.

Mostly I just feel stuck, knowing relief probably won't come from the outside. It's up to me to change and adapt to this new way of life, up to me to create a meaningful existence, without being confused by or conformed to the world.

Sugar, alcohol and shopping therapy are no longer options for me, which leaves nature, music (loved that Julie Andrews tune!) and most importantly, God.

I find it harder to access my faith on days when I'm feeling particularly stuck, null and void or on days when my energy is overly focused on trying to fix things. On the other hand, I don't want the sadness and disappointment I feel to become a hardened bitterness that blocks out the good along with the bad, leaving little room for faith, hope or love.

There are times when spiritual and intellectual surrender is very difficult for a willful, disillusioned child like me.:)

LB said...

P.S. Here's a link to the kind of music that helps me surrender and *remember*:

I think I found it through another astrologer's site, sorry I don't recall which one.:)

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks for explaining your own feelings so well. It can be difficult.

It's not easy, I find, to describe my own. There are different layers and levels. Mostly I wish I could just learn to "roll with the flow", because I know that struggling against it can be futile, yet there are certain things simply cannot be "rolled with".

I often think of my Aunt Lil, back in England, who died in 2005. On her kitchen wall she had a copy of "Desiderata". Whenever I visited her, made a cup of tea for us, I'd stand and read it while the kettle boiled - it always left a good feeling, especially the line:

"And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

It becomes ever less clear to me, but we don't know everything - in fact we don't truly know anything. That thought helps a bit. :-)

LB said...

Twilight ~ It's funny you should mention the poem, "Desiderata". I discovered it was my dad's favorite when he sent it to me a few years before he died, which I now think was his way of telling me there was more to him than met the eye.

While I don't believe the decisions any of us make to exercise our free wills by practicing indifference, torture, abuse, oppression or any other form of injustice are part of God's/the Universe's plan for us, I do believe all things can (eventually) work together for the highest good - *if* we're willing.

Twilight said...

LB ~ The music ~ Lovely! I've bookmarked that one. thank you. :-)

LB said...

I'm so glad you liked it, Twilight.:)

I have to add how your post (and my own *depressing* comment) inspired me to pull out some old music and dance for an hour - so thank you! Dance, for me, has always been like communing with God. Or it's one way anyway.

While I still can to some extent, I better use it or lose it!

Twilight said...

LB ~ Good for you! I've never been much of (or any of) a dancer, but love to watch dance. I put on a CD of James Galway and his flute and orchestra, which proved quite soothing.

Now have to get on changing a blind (or watching husband do it), cleaning a window, washing a curtain....stuff. ;-/