Tag: finding meaning for a world in transition

Deppression: Chaos In and Out – “Have You Lost Your Mind??” “No, I Have Only Now Recovered It”- The Role that Chaos Is Playing in Our Lives

 Depression, Why Are You Coming Into My Life?

                                             Why Me, Depression? Are you here to harm me??

follow the path of your heartDuring years 2000 and 2007 (more or less) I was grappling with shadows in the depths of depression; at the time I didn’t know what depression was, I didn’t see any psychoanalyst and I was convinced that That Was It, I mean, the end of me.

Maybe the worst part of it was that nothing made any sense; I had no idea what, and why all this was happening to me. From the perspective I have now on things, I realize that my depression was in fact the outcome of a powerful inner struggle for clarity and self-knowledge, fueled by my gasping for outside validation, acceptance and acknowledgment; in short, I wasn’t quite “fitting in”, neither in my own vision of myself, nor in the outsiders’ view.

But why would anything like this happen to anyone? Is it a downgrading of the personality? Is it a disease – and if so, what is there that it’s sick, the mind … the brain? The soul? Is it a heavenly punishment for nobody knows what personal, or “original sin”, ancestral mistake of our fathers’ fathers – good to know in case you are a believer??

If religion would attribute all our ills and evils to some sinful nature (see “original sin”), scientists still grapple in the dark. One evolutionary theory attributes the finality of depression to nature’s programs: to help select or restructure next generations’ DNA for better adaptive features – not unlike Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”(*see: Fumagalli, M. et alSignatures of environmental genetic adaptation pinpoint pathogens as the main selective pressure through human evolution: http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1002355).

But then, view that countless people have come out of it without the use of medication, what are the mechanisms in and out of depression ?

We are “social animals”. In my own case, depression wasn’t triggered either by my own feelings of inadequacy alone, or by the image which outsiders, I thought, may have held of me, but it was rather a combination of the two, in a closed loop of cause and effect. Whether everyone with depression is aware of this one mechanism or not, it is always true that our inner picture reflects what others project on us, and the outer picture – the one that others form of us, is itself a mirror of how we see ourselves.

And this yet would be an oversimplification, as it shows just a short segment of our cause-and-effect type of reality.  Whatever we feel that we are at any point in life is just a construct that we make based on all our previous lived experiences.

Daniel Kahneman (https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory/transcript?language=en) has successfully argued on how our self-image is not  made of objective memories, but it is, in fact, our subjective interpretation of those experiences.

It could be that, back in my childhood, my mother didn’t give me that last pancake,  but gave it to my little brother because she had nothing else left to feed him, while I was supposed to go have my breakfast at the school cafeteria – meaning not at all that my mother stopped loving me and gave all of her love to the newest baby (yea, I agree, too many times mothers do fall into that ancient mammalian instinct of  shunning the older baby so that she can provide for the new, helpless one).

It is also true that lots of people fall into depression unexpectedly, unable to see any possible reason that may justify all that terrible fall into darkness. Midlife crisis, if one didn’t know depression before, is sure to come and shake all the solid ground on which an individual has carefully built his whole personality. It is so unavoidable that it is lately seen just as a normal, necessary period of transition from youth’s folly to the appeasement of mature age. If so, why not embrace it?


Midlife Crisis – Time for Transition

                              When things get stale, when you start growing mold on your soul, it is time for change – want it or not, chaos will come.

the hero's journeyThey say that depression is often triggered by the midlife crisis, that creeps into your life always unexpected, and, surely, uninvited. I believe in that; I am the active type, the one that looks for and accepts challenges, so I was struggling at the time to achieve more, do more and conquer yet other peaks and heights. It is then that we quit our job impulsively, quit a long-loved spouse, decide to leave everything behind to start a new life, go battle own demons, etc, etc… .

In our quest for happiness we all start from the false premises that this or that thing or achievement will make us happy – we never seem to realize how fast after the realization of our goal, it almost suddenly loses its initial appeal and significance. Or, if we do, we don’t seem to care, because we immediately start aiming for a new one, just to keep going, in a perpetual “chasing the carrot” type of journey.

It’s been established as a routine fact that, at some point in life, the questions begin pounding with ever more persistence: “What is the meaning of it all??”, “Who am I, and what am I doing here?” If all this wasn’t already hard enough for those with faith, it is way harder to get your answers when you are traveling on your own, when there’s no God in sight to agent it, to guide or to support you.

When this happened to me, I didn’t know of any symptom questions or routine signs – I fell in it totally, blindly – I was trying to make myself a place and find recognition inside a culture that was not mine, among people that would perceive me, at least unconsciously, that I didn’t belong – but don’t we all do that to our own “strangers”??

I now recognize how I just fitted perfectly in the pattern: after having been teaching at the same school for nine years, I suddenly decided to quit, on the spur of the moment (sudden bouts of anger are my driving engine), realizing that the school owner and principal would never keep promises and would never allow me to move forward.

Leave the safety of a relatively easy, unchallenging job, for God knows what new challenges must have sounded stupid, I know. It was an especially risky move on my part, due to the unfavorable time and place, inside a culture that was not mine, and not particularly open to foreigners, particularly to those coming from the eastern, ex-communist bloc. Some people around me rightfully asked: “Have you lost your mind??”

That was the step of a Fool, I acknowledge.


The Fool – That I Was, And Still Hope to Remain 

Be a Fool – it’s not dangerous: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

I had no idea of arcanas, fools and journeys at the time – far less of archetypes playing defining roles into our lives. My mindset at the time was as aligned to the mainstream as possible: within the “right” materialist-scientific worldview no “esoteric” or “obscure mysteries” could enter my impermeable mind.

But if I choose today to speak with quasi authority on the field of Tarot is my encounter (through his work, at least) with a cutting-edge physicist and specialist in System Sciences. In his book, Genesis of The Cosmos – The Ancient Science of Continuous Creation, PhD Paul La Violette finds amazing parallels between ancient Egypt history, ancient myths and system sciences.

Through his book he is guiding the reader into the realization that some cutting edge scientific principles reflect ancient knowledge kept hidden for eras as utmost spiritual truth – the most guarded occult mysteries. For the first time, due my previous familiarity with the history of religions and compared mythology, I sensed how ancient myths and symbols began glittering with their own light. Could it be that, what mainstream science used to see as “mystical, supernatural, magical powers, practices, or phenomena”, can enter the domain of scientific theory, due to 21st century advances in scientific discovery ?

I was already knowledgeable in the domain of ancient, compared religions and mythology, but the idea never crossed my mind that all those things could be something more than gibberish, not worthy to be told even to little children – I got them just as required studies. But I was in to learn much more: that general, universal truths have been coded and preserved, in the intention of those advanced enough as to grasp, seize and understand an unfathomed, advanced view on the true reality.

Truths are being hidden, suggested or disguised in the allegories and the metaphors of ancient texts, myths, stories, rituals, and none of these had any chance of being scarcely understood before the 20th century advances in quantum physics and mechanics, before the advent of chaos – catastrophe theory and system sciences.

In the Tarot system the Fool is the protagonist of a story that is right about to begin, and as such, it is the zero-point card of the Major Arcana (from here the arcane: known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric”), a number of 21 cards, or images representing human archetypes or instances along a schematic, spiritual journey,  “the path to spiritual awareness”. The cards mark, or depict, “the various stages we encounter as we search for greater meaning and understanding” along our own journey.

Unknowingly, the path I just initiated was marked by the Fool, and my journey ahead, designated in Tarot language as the “Fool’s Journey”, was to be a journey of discovery and initiation.  The Fool

The journey is guided by the main human archetypes (Gr: archein, “original or old”; and typos, “pattern, model or type”) that will pop up at diverse stages through dreams or other means. They may stand for real people and real-life events that will prompt you to the next stage or the next leg of the journey, or they may only appear as symbols signaled by the unconscious – or both.

Looking back at that point in time I can realize with no difficulty that my journey effectively started exactly as described by the “Fool” card: I actually was at a turning point in my life, eager for the next stage of the journey, and, while my foot was already in the air, ready to step forward, I was totally unaware that I was on the edge of a cliff, and that the next step was going to be in the void.

What I find most intriguing is that, this process being autonomous, while it is happening to us, we are never aware of what is going on – or, at least, not consciously aware – maybe we are too engulfed into our suffering and existential pain (and who could blame us?), which renders us incapable of objectivity. We lack the necessary distance and detachment, unable to grasp the bigger picture.

From the perspective that the passage of time allows me, I can also say, although I am against the clichés and the overly used chunks of wisdom:”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

I am not writing this to describe the journey, but to introduce the “transformation archetype”, the one that Jung rightfully considered the major archetype that dominates our lives.


The Individuation Journey – The Journey of A Lifetime

    Absorbed into the transformation archetype we are  jumping into the dangerous void of our own insecurities, the realm where our demons dwell. But demons always hide the treasure of our own greatest potential.

the individuation processWe are all, at least once, if not repeatedly, on the point of starting a new journey: leaving home for continuing own education, marriage, a change in the workplace or a new job altogether, a major change of the living place to a new city or country, a newly declared, life-threatening medical condition, a divorce, or the loss of a dear one.  Whatever the reason, at some point in life we are about to change our previous worldview and previous identity – our approach to life altogether.

One thing, increasingly common to these times, is that Crisis and Chaos comes with the destructiveness of  a tornado that, once has you lifted, whirling and swirling in the void, won’t let you down until it has shattered all your previous assumptions and identifications.

But when it lets you down, you are a new you, a self-contained, stand-alone individual, capable of existing by oneself and through oneself, free from the need to please others, to follow others, to conform and comply; you finally get to be “the real you”, and be fine with it.

Under this new light, the imperative “know thyself” is not a witty, catchy phrase to enchant the ears of generations of theater-goers; it has as deep a meaning as can be.  At the other end of the self-interrogation “Who am I?”, “Know thyself!” has been the highest imperative along ages, known to all those who wanted to grasp the meaning of their life. Starting at least as far back as with the ancient Eastern philosophies, it was known to Socrates and Plato, to Shakespeare, and to modern psychology today.

Swiss psychiatrist and depth psychoanalyst C.G. Jung coined the term “individuation journey” for this journey of finding oneself, the journey of transcending the Ego towards finding one’s own center, the Self.

Jung: individuation process: a journey of personal achievement guided by myth, archetypes and symbols that aim at achieving balance between the person’s conscious and personal unconscious; the journey is figured as a spiral movement towards a center, the center of one’s personality. The journey aims at delivering the person towards its final destiny that can be plenitude and a religious integration” (Andrew Colman’s Dictionary of Psychology, Oxford)

I have found a few excerpts about Jung’s individuation on the net that I’d like to share – these are from mindstructures.com (October 07, 2012):

“According to Jungian psychology, individuation is the process of transforming one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious.

  • Individuation has a holistic healing effect on the person, both mentally and physically.
  • Individuation is a process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.
  • Besides achieving physical and mental health, people who have advanced towards individuation, they tend to become harmonious, mature, responsible, they promote freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and the universe.”

So, from the perspective that the passage of time is offering us, chaos and crisis in our lives may serve us well – could it be that it also takes us closer to finding the meaning, to the fulfillment and the scope of our lives??

dragon treasureThis will be the subject for my next post.

Unconscious Mind and Singularity

the “Iceberg Model of the Mind” – this is a graphic representation meant to represent the disproportion between the conscious mind and the unconscious.





While advances in neuroscience and insights from psychoanalysis keep on revealing the unfathomable power and the untapped potential of the human mind and especially of the human unconscious, technologists are forcing on us the dawn of a new world; that we have no idea and no saying in it, nobody cares.

We are a society of new everything, starting with new technologies and inventions. We, humans, are no more good enough drivers, not good enough operators,  chess or other game-players, not healthy enough, not smart enough, not creative enough.

I have a special interest in the new technologies, tendencies and developments, so I follow the news from developers, futurologists, life extensionists* and transhumanists** – those who are set to improve, even create a new, updated, perfected human race, a sort of “bionic man”. The conclusive argument is that we have already reached our limitations, and the solution would be to resort to artificial intelligence and nanotechnologies. Eventually, according to Google’s Ray Kurzweil, we would be “running nanocomputers through our bloodstream”.


To me, all this sounds like a revival of old eugenistic ideologies, and any attempt at artificially improving the  human race, with its inevitable creation of classes and categories (there are many populations around the globe that may have by far more trivial things to fix about their societies before they would recourse to bionic enhancers) sounds like an old Nazi program.

Some questions might serve as guiding lines to get a clearer picture.

  • Q: Is it feasible?

A:I guess it is. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ever getting more powerful, as “dictated by Moore’s Law”*** in 1965. It is at the very base of any estimation and prediction on IT (intelligent technologies) and AI progress and development. With the advent of nanotechnologies IT are ever “growing smaller” – atomic-scale foil, carbon or silicon, is already being fabricated, like graphene and silicene (atoms with amazing properties: graphene is 200-times stronger than steel).

  • Q: Are they thinking of the impact this is going to have on the generations of a not too far future?

A: Moore’s Law predicting, the “singularity” **** is going to occur by 2024 (with the deadline postponed to 2030 something), after Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzveil (see his books: Singularity Is Near, The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines),  and others; after this date “nothing will be as it was before”. We are already “edging towards the future”, in their words.

  • Q: How close are we, in practical terms?

A: We are quite close. In a series of experiments, scientists connected live animal brains into a functional organic computer.”*****

We heard in many places  that “the future is now” – if this is true, what kind of future, we may ask? For whom, and who needs this?

In order to prepare the future “elite” of the world, colleges like MIT, Stanford and Harvard are not the academic stars anymore. Now there is this Singularity University******. But if you ever thought that these aforementioned universities were a little bit out of your league or out of your kid’s reach, don’t fool yourself: tuition cost in this elite institution is so exclusive, that: this is uniquely an ELITE University.

Many are the things around us that go against the logic. Materialists claim that they are for the hard sciences, for rationality, that they will not take nonsense. But, to me, the irrational consists exactly in the idea of projecting and pushing for any future that will be especially destined for machines, intelligent or not.

Nature has been taken billions of years for the evolution of the human brain and now man, the highest in intelligence of all the animals, will end up serving  as biologic support to some organic computers – until they learn to create one from scratch.

At the same time and in the same world there are billions of people who firmly believe, and many also know, that they have a soul, and that this soul has come from a Spirit that is infinitely wise and knowledgeable, because it is the Natural Intelligence at the base of Creation.

Maybe we are at crossroads. But whichever way, we should take our stances and voice our creed and concerns. The worse thing that could happen would be to suffer ourselves from the boiled frog Syndrome.

I began this writing here with my story – what just happened to me, and what countless humans around the world know dead-sure to be true – there is Mind, or Soul, or Spirit , and we are going to access powers than we never thought of – if only we had enough knowledge as to how to use them.

We have this infinite power as being part of this Spirit that created worlds, so why would we want to create machines instead?? We don’t need ultra, super machines, be they mechanic or digital to do our work for us “better than humans” – “Just” human would be enough to make us live happy and content. Who has a different agenda, and what about those countless situations and examples when machines have failed us?

OK, let’s create machines – I am using one here, and happily so – but let them be just what they are: dust of this world, transformed and processed by a human knowledge that grew along generations of creativity, perseverance and human genius. We don’t need IT and AI to help improve human potential and knowledge artificially, through implants, in ways that nobody can guarantee will remain harmless. Like we have done all along, we can surpass our limitations through our own efforts.


 *Life extension science, also known as anti-aging medicine, indefinite life extension, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists”, “immortalists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation, stem cells, regenerative medicine, molecular repair, pharmaceuticals, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs orxenotransplantations) will eventually enable humans to have indefinite lifespans (agerasia[1]) through complete rejuvenation to a healthy youthful condition. see Link: wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_extension
**Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
***”The observation made in 1965 by GordonMoore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.” It is still valid and functional – a graphic representation shows the exponential growth, with transistor counts doubling every two years.
**** singularity is 
See the Links: http://singularityhub.com/
and some videos on the matter: http://www.singularitysymposium.com/transhumanism.html 
and “When robots are everywhere, what are humans good for?”
***** organinc computers, “brainets”
“Imagine a future where computers no longer run on silicon chips. The replacement? Brains.”
****** “Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.” And for that, the singularity university needs to “identify key business and government leaders for possible partnership opportunities – interfacing with policy makers or influencers in your area”.
“To represent the organization around the world, SU has appointed Ambassadors to act as liaisons for Singularity University abroad. Ambassadors are selected from alumni who have participated in SU’s various programs. To contact an SU Ambassador on inquire about the initiative, please email global@singularityu.org or head to http://www.singularityuglobal.org”

Private or Public?

This is a post written by a very insightful and intelligent young lady; it may help everyone with her insightful arguments on why someone writes on a blog,  or just by her “you are not alone” message.


I can completely understand why people who keep their blogs private. Some of the things I write and see on here are deeply personal, so why would we want the rest of the world to read it? Especially those blogs concerning mental health. There’s still a massive stigma attached to it and you don’t want to have to proof read and edit everything you write so that your language is acceptable for every person that could come across it.

It’s not about how many people follow your blog or how many people find what you write interesting; sometimes it’s just about having an outlet to scream and shout (and let it all out!). It’s so therapeutic to write all your feelings down – it takes them out of your head for a while which can be priceless and more useful than anything any doctor can ever offer you.

For me though, I have to…

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Four Things That Make It Hard to Keep The Inherent Balance of The Universe

Who says it’s hard to quit smoking, that it’s hard to lose weight, or that it’s hard to stop hating those who did you harm?

Who says those things know nothing of what hard really is. I’ve done all of them, and I find that they were by far easier than the new challenges I am facing now.

From where I stand, I would say that nothing is as hard as to:

  1. stop showing your love to those who do not know how to let themselves be loved.
  2. quit giving yourself, your time and energy, to those who don’t have a clue of what you are doing
  3. stop giving freely of your energy to those who will just spill it, doing things less important than the things you could do if you had all this energy and time only for yourself
  4. stop depriving the people you love of the possibility of learning their own lessons

No thing in the world is as hard as realizing that, with your free generosity, you only create unbalance in the give and take exchange of energy in the universe.