A cross was a cross was a cross, and if you were suffering, it was supposed to be somehow good. But I think that there are false forms of suffering that get imposed upon us — sometimes, from without, from injustice and external cruelty; and sometimes, from within — that really need to be resisted. I do not believe that the God who gave me life wants me to live a living death. I believe that the God who gave me life wants me to live life fully and well. Now, is that going to take me to places where I suffer because I am standing for something or I am committed to something or I am passionate about something that gets resisted and rejected by the society?
About Souls that Swap Places
And that is a darkness to be worked through, to find the life on the other side. You can listen again, and share this show, through our website, onbeing. On Being continues in a moment. Today, exploring the spiritual territory of depression. The Quaker author and educator, Parker Palmer, experienced two crippling bouts of depression in his 40s. Do you think you could see it instead as the hand of a friend pressing you down onto ground on which it is safe to stand? Palmer : I think you could make a case that, as a friend of mine once did — I actually went to a friend at one point — she happens to be a member of a religious community, a sister.
Why am I now feeling so full of death?
Palmer : I understand that to move close to God is to move close to everything that human beings have ever experienced. And that, of course, includes a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of joy. Tippett : And again, just getting back to the subject of this show — the fact that — I think the thing in the midst of a depression that feels so absent, I would say, is your very soul, right? The ground of your being has dropped out. I had to put the idea of God to one side. But as best I can reconstruct it, like you, the thought of God — all of those theological convictions were just dead and gone during that time.
But from time to time, back in the woods, that primitive wildness was there. Go feel the sunshine and smell the flowers. There was this one friend who came to me, after asking permission to do so, every afternoon about , sat me down in a chair in the living room, took off my shoes and socks, and massaged my feet. He would give no advice. He would simply report, from time to time, what he was intuiting about my condition. Somehow, he found the one place in my body, namely, the soles of my feet, where I could experience some sort of connection to another human being.
What he mainly did for me, of course, was to be willing to be present to me in my suffering. He just hung in with me in this very quiet, very simple, very tactile way.
And it became, for me, a metaphor of the kind of community we need to extend to people who are suffering in this way, which is a community that is neither invasive of the mystery nor evasive of the suffering but is willing to hold people in a space, a sacred space of relationship, where somehow this person who is on the dark side of the moon can get a little confidence that they can come around to the other side.
Depression runs through the literature and poetry of every culture.http://bestbargindomains.com/qeqif-app-for.php
Soul - Wikipedia
My next guest, Anita Barrows, has been a practitioner of Theravada Buddhism for most of her adult life, and she has lived with depression as far back as she can remember; first of all, through life with her mother. I talk directly to God, and he answers me. And what I was told about my mother being in bed so much was that she had warts on her feet. It was kind of an odd thing to have been told.
Soul Awareness — The Life of the Soul
And the warts had a wonderful name. I remember, even, a very strong sort of sensation, walking through the door. We lived in an apartment during that middle part of my childhood, from the time I was about seven to ten. Barrows : Yes; permeable, in that I could sort of walk in and out of it, myself, and put my hand in it and feel what it felt like. Tippett: Anita Barrows had her own first struggle with depression at 17, after she left home for college.
Then, after the birth of her first, much-wanted child when she was 31, she suffered a major collapse. That depression had an organic cause — an autoimmune disease of the thyroid; and after many false diagnoses, it was easily treatable. As a psychologist, she cautions that the Buddhist embrace of inner darkness can be terrifying, and even dangerous, in the depths of clinical depression.
But, like Andrew Solomon and Parker Palmer, she honors the interplay between darkness and light as a commonplace feature of life.
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She has explored this through writing poetry and translating the work of others. Barrows : It almost becomes a way of dismissing it. Rilke loved the darkness, and there are many poems where he speaks about darkness in a way that really, I think, was what drew me to these poems. Can I read one? I want to redeem it from the medical and the clinical.
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There is a kind of ripening that goes on in that place: a quieting, a listening; a place of non-activity. Tippett : Well, and also, a loss of illusions about what activity will get you. Barrows : Exactly. All you can do in that place is sit and listen and be — and be very simple. But in the moment — in the depth of that experience — that is what is completely out of the question, that kind of reflection. But I think that in a way, it almost feels sort of physiological.
If the soul were material, I think depression works on it the way you could work a piece of clay, so that it softens, and it becomes more malleable. It becomes wider. It becomes able to take in more. So this is my poem. And it really is a poem, I think, about finding the courage to persist, to go through that fire. Parker writes about depression in his book Let Your Life Speak.
The kind of reflection and learning that these humans have attained by way of depression is a gift of time. If you or someone you know someone is depressed now, go gently and seek help. The National Institute of Mental Health has a website, nimh. Their number is 1 ; 1 NAMI. And the last voice you hear, singing our final credits in each show, is hip-hop artist Lizzo. The Fetzer Institute, helping to build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.
Find them at fetzer. Kalliopeia Foundation, working to create a future where universal spiritual values form the foundation of how we care for our common home. Humanity United, advancing human dignity at home and around the world. Find out more at humanityunited. Complicated grief: parents, divorce, addiction, dementia, aging.
There is no such thing as closure. In fact, Pauline Boss says, the idea of closure leads us astray. She has wisdom for the complicated griefs and losses in all of our lives and for how we best approach the losses of others. Pauline Boss is professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. New Here? New to On Being? Start Here. Welcome to our new digital home. Tippett : Those are too clinical. Tippett : So where is God in all of this? Tippett : Parker Palmer. Tippett : Well, how do you understand that phrase now? Tippett : To any life?
Tippett: I know. Barrows : Ah, from oneself, exactly. Barrows : Yes, exactly. Tippett : I mean, what does that mean? What is this? In the fire, what you get is the fire. On Being was created at American Public Media. Our funding partners include: The Fetzer Institute, helping to build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. The Osprey Foundation, a catalyst for empowered, healthy, and fulfilled lives.
Music Played. G tintinabulum Artist: Chapelier Fou.
Ventricles Artist: Moon Ate the Dark. Long Forgotten Future Artist: Grandbrothers. Flute Sonata, Op. Modere Artist: Marc Grauwels. Edgar Allan Poe. Beauty Tears Development Whatever.