Depression vs. Guilt


This is something that I have been dwelling  on for a while. I have been ranting about depression. I had even contemplated that I had an addiction to depression. I had some time to reflect and I realized that my first instance or semblance of depression was not depression, instead It was guilt.

Now, I know and recognize the need to treat medical depression, but I wonder how many of us mask our guilt on the guise of depression. I know that a lot of the times I am  depressed because of my sins, but I have programmed myself to call it depression and I medicate my guilt away.

Maybe It’s just me….

I am also wondering if there is a relationship between confessing to a priest (or to GOD) and seeing  a psychiatrist. To me both sounds prescriptive

just thinking loudly…. what do you think?

“Anybody who’s been depressed can tell you that feelings of guilt and self-blame can be overwhelming. In fact, the tendency to blame oneself excessively (and inappropriately) is a key factor in depression. … In depression, excessive self-blame is often accompanied by the equally maladaptive tendency to overgeneralize.”

 Jun 6, 2012: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/06/06/oh-the-guilt-the-neurobiology-of-blaming-yourself-for-everything-when-youre-depressed/

http://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/guilt-and-depression.htm

While sin and guilt may contribute to depression, it would be terrible to explain our guilt away as depression. What would happen if we got rid of our guilt completely. Would the world be a better place. I think guilt and depression has a place in our lives. Obviously too much of anything is bad for us.

Confession of our faults is the next thing to innocence-Publilius Syrus

 

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EVIL AND SUFFERING?


Image result for evil and suffering

In practical terms, everybody has a problem with evil and suffering. All human beings experience the realities of life in this world, with its pain, cruelty, illness, violence, accidents, bereavement, torture, emotional and physical suffering, and death. These things are problems of just living in the world. They bombard us at every turn in daily life. We suffer the pain of experiencing some of them ourselves, and we suffer the pain of witnessing others suffer them, often far worse than our own. So, yes, suffering and evil are practical problems for everybody.

But in theoretical terms, evil and suffering constitute a uniquely Christian problem. Christians struggle mentally with the problem of evil in a way that others do not. I don’t mean that non-Christians do not suffer mentally or wrestle mentally with the terrible enigmas of suffering and evil. Of course they do. Some of the greatest human art, literature, and music have emerged out of that mental and emotional wrestling with the reality of suffering and evil. What I mean is that the existence of evil in itself is not quite the fearsomely contradictory challenge to other worldviews that it certainly is for the Christian worldview. When you think of what we Christians believe about God and the world, the existence of evil really is a problem.

How can we possibly explain it?

Why does it exist?

Where did it come from?

Evil is not a problem (theoretically) for polytheistic worldviews and religions (those that believe in the existence of many gods). The many gods are themselves a mixture of good and evil – in motives, relationships, and actions. So, since life in the human and physical world is closely bound up with what is going on in the world of the gods, evil and suffering are “normal”. That is, they are just what you would expect if you believe that the divine world itself has dimensions of evil. If the gods, or some of them, are like men behaving badly, why should the world of human behaviour be any different, if it is governed by such malevolent influences? Polytheism, indeed, can be understood as a plausible way of solving the problem of evil. You simply locate the origin of the problem in the world of the gods. Why does evil exist in the world? Because some of the gods are evil all the time and most of the gods are evil some of the time. What else can you expect to be the case also in the world they influence?

Evil is not a problem for monistic  (Monism is the view that attributes oneness or singleness (Greek:μόνος) to a concept (e.g., existence). Substance monism is the philosophical view that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance.)  worldviews and religions. Monism is the view that ultimately all reality is one and indivisible. Spiritual or transcendental monism, as found, for example, in some forms of Eastern religion, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, affirms that everything is part of the one utterly transcendent Being (Brahman), and that all the distinctions we see in the world – including the way we appear to be distinct individuals – are illusory. There is ultimately no difference between you and me, between me and “it”, between the seen and the unseen world, between physical or spiritual – all is one. There is no distinction (as there definitely is in the biblical worldview) between the creator and the created.

That too is purely an illusion or a myth to explain how things seem to be (for Hinduism does have such myths to satisfy lesser minds). The ultimate goal of enlightenment is to realize the utter oneness of everything, without differentiation. Eventually, this transcendent blending includes all moral distinctions too. In the great “beyond” there is no difference between good and evil. The idea that there is a difference between good and evil is in itself a persistent illusion that we have to overcome on the path to enlightenment. All is one. So again, there is no real ‘problem’ with evil. Evil is ultimately illusory, like everything else in the material world of our unenlightened state.

Materialistic monism also takes the view that there is only one reality – the physical, material reality of the universe. “Stuff is all there is”, as it has been summarized. The more common form of this is usually simply called atheism. There is no transcendent realm at all. Reality is nothing more than the sum total of the mass and energy of the universe, and for us as human beings, reality is nothing more than the end product of our long evolutionary history of gene mutation.

Evil is not a theoretical problem for the atheist. It is simply a dimension of the way the world is at its current state of evolution within the universe. It could not have been different, so why complain? Indeed, the reality of goodness is far more of a theoretical problem for atheism (i.e., much harder to explain). It is not at all easy or obvious to provide an explanation for altruism, goodness, love, and other unselfish human attitudes and actions in purely evolutionary terms.

But for Christians, evil really is a problem at every level.

This is because of our commitment to biblical theism. On the basis of what the Bible teaches – unequivocally and repeatedly – we Christians believe that there is one living God, the creator of the whole universe, who is personal, good, loving, omnipotent, and sovereign over all that happens.

Now once you are convinced of those great biblical truths about the living God, you cannot help but have a massive problem with the existence of evil. To put it the other way around, as many people do when they want to condemn and reject Christian belief, how can you believe in the existence of a God who is both loving and omnipotent in a world filled with evil and suffering? Are the two things not mutually incompatible and exclusive? The accusation against Christian belief at this point often takes the form of a well-worn dilemma: either God is omnipotent so he could prevent all evil and suffering, but since he obviously doesn’t, he cannot be loving; or, God is loving and longs to prevent all evil and suffering if only he could, but he can’t, in which case he cannot be omnipotent.

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Are we really impaled on one of the horns of this dilemma? Do we have to say: either God is all-powerful but doesn’t love us enough to deal with evil; or, God loves us but doesn’t have the power to deal with evil?

So we turn to our Bible.

Unquestionably, the Bible affirms that God is all-loving and all-powerful, and yet the Bible also describes the terrible reality of evil. What help does the Bible give us in holding these jarring contradictions together in our minds in such a way that, even if it does not give us an answer we can fully understand, it does give us a hope that we can fully trust?

Or to put it another way: Whereas we often ask “Why?” people in the Bible more often asked “How long?” Their tendency was not to demand that God give an explanation for the origin of evil but rather to plead with God to do something to bring about an end to evil. And that, we shall see, is exactly what God has promised to do.

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to be continued …. The Mystery of Evil

Ghost Busters : The Real Story


We live in a culture where we genuinely like to get spooked. We even have a holiday for it, Its called Halloween and we like to dress up spooky on those days.   But  from where did all these spookiness originate. I think all of us will have to agree, that it hinges on some religious background. ( Sorry atheist, I am completely ignoring you on this one, because you can’t disprove the existence of GOD)

Back to the point, for a majority o us (i.e. Christians: By the way I take exception to that word, because it was invented by the pagans ), the fist recollection of evil was in the garden of Eden when eve got seduced by the serpent to eat of the fruit of knowledge.  Do you remember the line that the snake used?

The temptation of man at the garden of Eden by the snake(serptent)

Eve shares the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil with Adam

he serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5"For God knows that 
in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:5

Do you remember the account that bible  has regarding the creation of man?

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God Creates the garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

Did you miss that? 

Man was created in the image of GOD, so he already had the knowledge ( and he quite well knew right from wrong), otherwise why would GOD tell man not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge?

That was a cheap lie. It was like telling a guy who wore a red shirt that if he drinks a red liquid, his shirt would turn red.

The Garden of Eden was a proverbial place where man lived under the pure and perfect will of GOD i.e in his Kingdom.

Jesus had ( still has ) but one purpose in his life, to extend the hand of GOD to invite us back  into his kingdom. So the next time you happen to get spooked, just remember that you are spooked, because you haven’t realized your true potential. ( You should never call yourself a christian, but a citizen of the kingdom of GOD)

Satan employs cheap thrills and lies to lure us into thinking that he has it all. ( Or that he controls and has dominion over the world or over your life) Take a step back and realize that

“you have been fearfully and wonderfully made” : –Psalm 139:14

In case you missed what that means : In the original Hebrew text of the Bible, the
word fearfully means: with great reverence, heart-felt interest and with respect. 
The word wonderfully means: unique, set apart, marvelousMay 17, 2012

Read it again  and let it sink in.

How Cool is that?

The demons are coming back


Not even a   day after the retreat, I feel like 10 more demons are trying to find a place inside me. When ever you are institutionalized (by that I mean retreats as well), you think you have overcome your demons and have swept your house clean. But it has never worked for me…. I seem to do well for a while  and then I fizzle out for no good reason.

The common notion is that you need 21 days of abstinence (or persistence) to break/create a habit, but apparently there is a great difference between forming a habit and automaticity (i.e. the notion of acting without thinking). Apparently automaticity is the central driver of habits.  There is a curved relationship between habit and automaticity — meaning that the earlier repetitions were most beneficial for establishing a habit, and gains gradually dwindled over time.

It’s like trying to run up a hill that starts out steep and gradually levels off. At the start you’re making great progress upwards, but the closer you get to the peak, the smaller the gains in altitude with each step.

Research suggests that 21 days to form a habit is probably right, as long as all you want to do is drink a glass of water after breakfast. Anything harder is likely to take longer to become a really strong habit, and, in the case of some activities, much longer.

If  anyone ever reads this piece, please make a short prayer for me. I really need all the help I can get

Partial sources : brainpickings.org