What depression demands


Manage episode 275222770 series 2799192
By Chad Prevost. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

“Depression demands that we reject simplistic answers, both ’religious’ and ’scientific’, and learn to embrace mystery, something our culture resists. Mystery surrounds every deep experience of the human heart: the deeper we go into the heart’s darkness or its light, the closer we get to the ultimate mystery of God. But our culture wants to turn mysteries into puzzles to be explained or problems to be solved, because maintaining the illusion that we can ’straighten things out’ makes us feel powerful. Yet mysteries never yield to solutions or fixes — and when we pretend that they do, life becomes not only more banal but also more hopeless, because the fixes never work.”

Parker Palmer can identify strongly with those who have undergone (or are going through) clinical depression. He went through a long period of it in his 40s, and even long after he had come out of it — and he isn’t sure why he was able to climb out of it while many are not — he wasn’t able or willing to share his experience. Depression is the “ultimate state of disconnection.” While Palmer doesn’t wish the experience on anyone, he does believe that it now marks a pivotal passage on his pilgrimage toward self-hood and vocation.

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