Depression and Free Will

Monday, May 08, 2017 K.Z. Freeman 5 Comments

I got a question about my previous post and will answer it here.

It pertains a paragraph: "What you think, you are. Now. What you feel, you are. Now. But never forget that you can always be more and expand beyond the boundaries you have set for yourself. Not tomorrow, but now."

The question was: how can I expand beyond the boundaries, if I'm the one who set the boundaries and how can I do this now and have results now. Anything I do seems to have no results, maybe much later after I repeat a thing long enough, but that takes an enormous amount of energy on my part. So how can you say that I instantly (now) become not depressed, if this is clearly not the case in my own experience? What can I do to feel better now?

There is something most people find hard to accept and wish for something deeper to be true. 

A human is many things, but is also a what we named a biological machine.

The brain is a biological machine. It runs on its own programming. Its nature is to build programs through pattern. And just like any programming language, one of the most fundamental ways of building any program is the command IF.

IF this happens, then THIS.
IF that happens, then THIS.

The brain wants to build programs which will run smoothly.

The brain does not care if it creates what you consider a bad or a good emotion. If it works, it has done its job.

The way the brain builds strong programs is by repetition.

The more you repeat a program, the more those programs and patterns become self-repeating. Mind-patterns become stronger through self-affirmation.

This allows us to walk without having to think about every step. Allows us to breathe without thinking about breathing, etc.

Soon every pattern becomes so strong it repeats itself along with the body's pulse as the two co-create each other.

This happens with all our thinking. 

Meaning the more we think a certain way and do things a certain way the more our way of thinking and doing becomes the default way. We think an emotion or a thought can come by itself without our conscious input in the direction of that thought, either in our doing or thinking. We believe sometimes we don't have to think about something or do something to produce a specific emotion. This is never true.

We may think because of this auto-repeat of thoughts, we don't have any free will. This kind of thinking is especially difficult to transcend for people with severe anxiety, depression, etc. In these cases most of all, every waking hour is in some way spent on trying to deal with depression and anxiety. Either by doing or by thinking. What this does all the time is affirm that you do have depression, that you do have anxiety.

You may think you aren't doing any thinking about it and think you feel great, then suddenly a sadness comes out of nowhere.

The brain is a whole and not a place of isolated systems, so triggers are everywhere and in everything. So everything and anything can also be a trigger for you to wake up to this fact. You were depressed when you were eating soup at some point, so doing something as trivial as eating soup that smells the same as the one you were eating when you were depressed can trigger the same emotions, even though at the time the two seem uncorrelated in your conscious thinking. This becomes so accumulative that over time nothing seems to exist which does not depress you.

It may seem like you have no free will. Least of all to control your depression. No matter what you do or try, the same thing comes back. The same mental state, the same emotions, the same anxiety, etc.

You might say, "I'm trying to fix my depression and anxiety."

But there is a thought that precedes the one that says: "I don't want to be depressed." Or rather emerges simultaneously.

It is the thought, "I am depressed." Because to not want to be depressed you have to first think of yourself as depressed. You have to draw your identity from that mental state. If you were not depressed in the first place, there would be no need to be without depression.

So while you are searching for a way to help yourself, you are still operating on the basis of thinking that you are depressed.

As long as you draw your own identity and who you are from something fleeting and transient like a mental state and consider it to be a permanent state of your identity, you will stay in a depressed state. As long as you do the exact same things you have been doing up until that point, you will stay in the exact same state.

Psychiatrist may tell you this: "First you must accept that you are depressed, accept that whatever is happening to you is there inside you."

They think that accepting this as your identity then fighting it head on will help.

They think acceptance will solve everything.

But here is the trick. Accepting that you do not accept something is still acceptance. So what does acceptance do, really? It does nothing. It involves no doing, only the same mental action that lead you to this point at which you feel as though your identity is that you are depressed and that you cannot get out.

Your first instinct upon hearing this (accepting that you don't accept...) might be that it's nothing else but denying your own state as being real.

You might say, "But I feel depressed. I cannot possibly deny how I feel."

But this not denying of what you feel, but seeing that these feelings are not what you are fundamentally. I will explain what this means.

Everything you experience is the experience of Self. Without what you think of as Self, without the input of what you consider to be Other, and without the mind/body unity, no experience arises.

But just as mind is shaped by other minds, so too mind is shaped by mind. Depression cannot be altered by what made it. Mind. It was not made be the awareness of mind - by the thing that is aware that it is depressed - but by the systems of mind. So in a deeper sense you are the awareness of mind, the awareness that recognizes the states of mind, not the transient states of mind themselves.

For me it was difficult to accept that it's me and my mind who created depression.

Mind is possibility. What you see as you is completely malleable.

The problem is that this sculpturing can only be done by you.

The question contained this: "but that takes an enormous amount of energy."

It has taken an enormous amount of mental energy and repetitions of the same thinking and doing to get where you are now, it is, unfortunately, completely foolish on your part to think it will not take some energy to build a new system in your mind.

But more to the point of getting results now.

Whatever you do in this direction, you will be doing it now. When you think of something, you are doing it now, when you will begin to notice results from your mode of thinking, those results will not be there in the future, they will happen now.

You project the idea of getting results in the future, and so think that they happen in the future as well, but those results will only happen now. You never have any other choice but to start now. When results do happen, they will happen now.

I cannot tell you what exercise, or by doing what will help you to not be depressed. No one can. And anyone who has the gall to say they know what will help you in particular is full of shit. What helped them may not help you. Only you can help you. No one else can help you. They can advise, but it is you who must do the doing, now. All anyone else can do is support you while you help yourself.

They main problem with almost anyone and myself when it came to why I was depressed was thinking. Too much constant thinking. The mind gets used to constant thinking so it does nothing else but constantly and compulsively think. Start doing. Not do things that you think will help you stop thinking, just do. When you find yourself thinking while doing, decide to watch yourself doing what you are doing.

You know something that proves that psychiatrists cannot help you directly? They give you pills. Pills do exactly the opposite of helping. They keep postponing what needs to be done now to some future date. They are also not helping you by the very fact that, each time you take one, you are affirming in your mind that you need one and that you are depressed. All I and anyone else can ever say is what worked for us. Even for those whom pills helped, they did not stop being depressed whilst taking the pills. Just like depression itself, the pills created a mental state, and depression was gone only when they stopped taking the pills completely. The only thing pills may do, is show you that it is possible not to be depressed until you can realize it on your own. They can unfortunately also implant the idea this may not be possible without pills. Which runs the risk of creating even more depression. But realizing you can also not be depressed is something you can do by yourself, because even when you take a pill it is you who produces that state, without you the pill is merely an object.

What helped me was:

Meditation, A LOT of walking in the forest, LSD, Reggae, Dancing to music, Exercise, throughout the day doing exactly the opposite of what I had been doing up until that point, and if I was doing something which I did before, I made sure it was at drastically different time periods, writing and reading, and not eating animals.


  1. Anonymous09 May, 2017

    Can you give me a few examples? What did you do that was the opposite of what youd been doing? :)

    1. Of course!

      First let me say these things should at least in some way show you that a different life is possible where you feel different than you feel right now. Also you must remember one thing: I don't have the energy to do that should never be an excuse! If you use this excuse well... be depressed then.

      First I looked into my usual days and what I did in a day and realized it was my behavioral patterns that created all my mental states and in large my unawareness of these behavioral patterns.

      1. The first thing I usually did after waking was go check my computer, then spend some time looking at the screen, so to speak. I completely deleted that and instead went for 20-40min walks where I made sure I went for walks where I usually almost never walked. You should preferably walk towards the sun.
      2. Then I prepared meals, discarding completely any ideas as to what I should or can eat on my budget, but focused only on what would be absolutely delicious to me, no matter how long it would take to prepare.
      3. Exercise. Start simple and easy.
      4. Work if inevitable, but if possible change the environment in which you work of if your job is making you feel like shit, quit and find a new job. Or at least look for a new job, find it, then quit.
      5. And this point was very important, do something good for someone else. Doesn't matter how small or trivial.

      That's the short version at least.

  2. Anonymous11 May, 2017

    At the end you mention lsd. how would you say it helped?

    1. Again I feel I must preface this by saying what helped me may not help anyone else, and I never claim to know a thing that will work for everyone, but LSD helped me in one crucial aspect. It helped me realize a will to meaning. I’ll try and explain.

      I never talked with anyone about my depression. Nor did I ever feel in my mind that I was depressed because I didn’t know what I felt was depression, I simply knew I felt very bad all the time. It stemmed from my behavioural patterns alone, and in some way it was LSD that helped me see this. Although it is crucial to remember that no drug can ever produce anything that is not already there. It can, however, for a moment confuse the veil of lies you have constructed around the idea of You.

      I was never interested in using it recreationaly, nor did I ever do it. I used it exclusively alone and would never do it with anyone else, save perhaps with someone who is not using it while I am, but I don’t plan on doing it again anyway.
      Nothing, no book, no amount of reading trips, nothing can prepare for the reality of the peak experience of it. You will realize this as soon as it happens, if it happens, that nothing can prepare you for it. Suddenly you are confronted with the full extent of your mind in a way in which you never have been before.

      This is the only thing I was interested in, a psychonautic experience that would destroy or expand or do whatever with what I thought was the idea of myself.
      I did not care how I come out of it, as long as it happens.
      I tried it a total of 5 times in the span of a year and a half, and the first 4 experiences were not pleasant ones by any means.

      Then on the fifth try, after 4 times of incredible struggle and pain where I was certain I knew completely what it was like to be in the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic, with my mind showing me everything I have been doing and showing it to me objectively, as if I was looking at me from the eyes of another, my mental machinations shut down completely and my person-suit fell off totally, until there was nothing left of me but pure awareness. There were no thoughts there, it seemed, no ideas of what I am looking at, no conceptions about what I hear or see, I felt complete exactly as I am, the very central nerve of existence, with the only real thing being the pulse of my heart, which at that moment seemed to be the very pulse of the universe itself out of which all things flow and expand.

    2. This experience allowed me to see that all of our thinking, all of our doing and all of our words are perception. Even what we think of as truth is always only perception. But most of all it also directly showed me how my perceptions form the basis of my reality. How seeing things makes things the way they are, and that by themselves all experiences arise mutually, and that the observer is the manifesting tool as well as the manifested.
      Afterwards I realized that all previous trips were trying to show me this, and that all subsequent trips, if I were ever try LSD again, would show me the same thing. So I don’t see the point of doing it again.

      There is a clear distinction between knowing and doing. With LSD only knowing can ever be shown, the doing must always be done by your everyday mind. The doing is always in finding joy in everyday mind and everyday experience. In contentment in being. And that it is always you and only you who prevents that from happening.
      This is the inherent will towards meaning in your life. The will to actualize any possibility inside you which you can imagine.

      If you don’t see any possibility or meaning in your life, you are the one who has to manufacture it. This is difficult for anyone who is severely depressed and has no will left to hear. Life will never give you meaning, life will flow, it is up to you yourself to give it meaning. I think no matter how hard this seems right now, you can do it. Because no matter how hard you wish to leave this life, or contemplate killing yourself, it is this vibrancy inside you that stops you, the awareness that knows nothing and never needed to know anything to exist, and this awareness is boundless, while the transient states of mind are just that, transient.

      Do good for other beings. Help others, and you will see how this principle of doing applies not only to them, but as you help, also to you.