Pro musicians more susceptible to mental health challenges? Hmm. I’d consider them about as reputable as

Speaking of Johnny, musicians, and depression …

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How predictable?

“Journal reference: Science | American Journal of Human Genetics”

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Oh, and Johnny is bad company. :star_struck:

Aren’t we all afflicted with some degree of mental illness? Depressed people are just less in denial and repressed. We’re all going to die…we don’t have any evidence that we’re going to live after we die. It appears that our energy will just disintegrate when we bite the dust, and everything we cherish and love will die too. The earth itself will eventually cease to exist. How the hell can anyone be fully content and happy in a life that is so brief and meaningless?? Happiness is denial…, but it’s our best escape.

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@wicked, come down south of the border into my country and we’ll enter a suicide pact. We will show the universe we are in charge of our own fate. This is an observational study, so no causation can be determined, just correlation. Even them I’m calling that there are some confounding variables not accounted for.

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You can’t kill the living dead. :ghost: :joy: But maybe we should try! :hugs:

I learned in Psychology that what we call mental illness is actually things that most people already experience in their daily lives, but not predominantly. It’s only when it goes to extremes of the spectrum that they call it mental illness. Any person can experience depression for a period of time, and it’s quite normal during the Grief Cycle (DABDA, see earlier post). Many experience anxiety, dissociative, panic attacks, hysteria, phobia, paranoia, and mania at some point in our lives.

I believe it’s also said that laughter is a form of insanity. Ironically, it keeps us sane by acting as a steam valve for stress. Cracking a joke (“breaking the ice”) usually loosens tension in a room. It’s like a form of temporary insanity though, from the standpoint of rational thought.

Does that make sense? What about the First Law of Thermodynamics?

Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another.

While we may not have proof or physical evidence, the idea of “afterlife” has persisted for millenia. Religions are built around it, the Egyptians practically worshiped it, and New Age thought continues to perpetuate it. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. Possible? Perhaps. As Roger Daltrey proclamied in “The Seeker”:

They call me The Seeker
I’ve been searchin’ low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

We have 5 billion years until the Sun blows up and engulfs the Earth in a fiery plasma. I’m patient. :wink:

LIfe is brief, in cosmic standards. Whatever meaning we find or can establish is up to us … as Viktor Frankl deeply explores in Man’s Search for Meaning. Viktor was an Austrian psychiatrist (and Jew) who lived through the Nazi concentration camps. He witnessed people who had meaning and hope regardless of their circumstances, and those that lost hope completely. It’s up to the individual, you can always choose your reality.

Per some of your comments, I’ll also mention Buddhism, because it addresses “impermanence” which is this observation that things are constantly changing, living and dying, created and destroyed, born and passing away. These material phenomena are called “conditioned” or “conditional”, subject to conditions. If there is any component of us that survives death, it is likely “unconditioned” or “unconditional”. It is thought that the human ability for altruism or “unconditional love” is our ability to touch the Infinite, the soul essence. Were we meant to be happy, or is there something deeper? Is happiness the search to replace suffering? The Buddha famously stated as his basic principle that “Life is Suffering” (1st Noble Truth), but when you look deeper you understand that we create our own suffering, and that much of that suffering is because our minds live in the delusion of material reality (Maya), unable to see beyond the physical realm. There is hope, if you’re willing to walk The Path …

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I could see the correlation, especially when you experience a fit of laughter, like when you can’t stop laughing.

Energy can’t be destroyed, you mean?
That doesn’t mean that “we”, “I”, “us” cease to exist when we die. When a battery dies, it’s energy has been drained and has dissipated. I doubt any scientist believes that energy has left the battery in one cohesive, single unit. I would guess that the energy has spread out, into trillions of tiny points of energy, to never be connected again as a unit.

I wish I knew the truth. The best I can do is use rationality and reasoning as well as I can…but of course there’s always flaws in any system of thinking. I believe strongly that humans are very desperate to believe things that alleviate their worst fears. People drink the cool-aid all the time concerning the most ridiculous matters. You have probably heard of the Raelians and I know you’ve heard of Scientology. There’s just too many groups saying they have the answer…I tend to think they’re all frauds…But, I know it’s very possible that I’m wrong.

Human minds are so endlessly creative that we can, and do create our own illusions. We all choose a reality regardless of if we’re aware of that choice or not.

Many religious people believe that if you don’t believe in god, or A god, then you can’t be a good person and you can’t live life with purpose…I know that’s not true. Religion and belief in a god doesn’t make people better or worse. There’s just as many good atheists, buddhists or agnostics as there are good Christians, Muslims, etc. We don’t need to believe to be “good”.

I’ve often thought that our true nature is primarily to be happy, but life comes around and kicks the sh*t out of us, which ends up bringing us into a cycle of habitual suffering. Of course babies suffer too, but the more we live, the more emotional and physical damage we incur…And yes, we are the by far the main reason for our own suffering, although there are outside sources that can contribute significantly also.

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Interesting that you mention that. If there is indeed an ‘afterlife’, do we “merge into the one-ness” without an individual identity (I like this idea for some reason, ha “I” :wink:) or do we reincarnate as the same soul or new identity with some mission and purpose to achieve? Or all of the above? There has actually been some really interesting documentation of “past lives” by scientists studying people who can talk about past events in great detail that they had no idea how they know that or any published accounts to cheat with. Interesting stuff.

Yes, part of it is finding ‘concrete’ answers to alleviate existential uncertainly and fears. Ironically, the Christian faith, while offering answers and assurance, requires “faith” (in the unknown) as a prerequisite to practice. The Muslims frequently say “God willing”, assuming that fate is in the hands of the Divine (Allah). Bible prophecy is rampant these days, as (once again) we can find circumstances that fit the prophecy and surely the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Actually, the politics in the Middle East is eerily tracking those prophecies now, particularly in terms of Gog (Russia) and Magog (Iran) who are partnering in Syria in bizarre and unpredicted ways, and threatening Israel.

I tend to gravitate to thought systems that don’t have the answer, but ask you to think. That’s one of the things I like about Buddhism is that the Buddha supposedly said “don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself” or something like that. Buddhism is quite practical in terms of asking you to find experiential evidence for what is claimed in the Sutras. On his deathbed, after imparting volumes of great wisdom, he proclaimed “work out your own salvation for yourself” which means the responsibility for choice and perceived reality is up to you. It’s actually quite shocking, and yet liberating, to see that it’s all up to you in this journey! :grin:

Right, the key is are you “conscious” of choosing your reality, or “unconscious”? If unconscious, that doesn’t mean you’re passed out on the floor … it means you’re not thinking about it and not connected to some source of wisdom and knowledge.

That’s why I identify as “spiritual and not religious” is that religion has so many negative connotations and baggage. Being spiritual means seeking answers and truth, wherever that leads you. It may even lead to the conclusion that there is no God and no afterlife, but at least you’re looking for the answers or some insight. You’re open, and not closed-minded to what IS. To me, that’s different than agnostic which is taking the ambivalence route of not wanting to invest the energy in seeking, or wanting someone else to eventually figure it out. No bash against agnostics, just my opinion. As a scientifically inclined youth, I identified as atheist, so I can understand that stance to some degree. After that, I spent about 5 years in agnostic when life and energy were tugging at me to explore. Then, it happened. Too long a story to tell here, but I started to know things that I couldn’t possibly know. I started to see things I couldn’t possibly see. I never arrived, but am constantly amazed and amused at the cosmic theater unfolding in what we call our lives. Synchronicity. Insight. Love. Adventure. It’s all there.

I remember being quite young, child or adolescent, and deciding that my goal in life was to be “happy”. The problem was, I didn’t define what happiness meant. I have come across many circumstances that are NOT what it meant, but true happiness was elusive except for brief moments of joy and exhilaration. The Buddhists call the cycle of birth and death “dependent origination”, which is the source of all suffering. However, in that space and time that we live as conscious beings on Earth, we can understand that “attachment” and “craving” are the sources of suffering. In other words, just as you can choose to interpret your life and its circumstances as meaningful or meaningless, you can choose to attach to and crave material things … or “liberate” yourself from them and experience “nirvana” which is a calm state of acceptance of all that is. It could be called contentment or equanimity, as happiness is more of a wishfulness to be free of suffering (which is kind of unrealistic). It could also be said that life can never be free from pain (birth, death, illness, loss), but suffering is up to us to choose or abstain from depending on attachment and/or craving.

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Yeah, it’s very interesting stuff!

The idea of living again gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand, there’s so much learn and another chance to do things better, but on the other hand…, there’s going to be more extremely painful moments of suffering. I do kind of like the idea though.

I was going to mention in my previous post that I relate most to Buddhism of all the religions.
I’ve many times thought I’d like to try living with the Tibetan monks for 6 months or so, just to see how it would effect my state of mind. I’ve always had an interest in meditation, yoga, holistic medicine of all sorts, psychology and anything that can possibly improve the mind and body…and spirit, if we do indeed have one/ or are one. My problem is that I have a very chaotic, dark mind…and ridiculously childish also :grin:, so it’s difficult for me to discipline myself enough to be consistent or regular with these things. In recent years I’ve gotten away from that spiritual mindset a bit, but I’m still drawn to it and fascinated with it.

I do too.

I consider myself agnostic, atheist and spiritual…Wait a minute…Do those identities contradict each other entirely, or not? :thinking: I guess I see the world through a few different lenses at the same time…Not sure if I’m explaining myself clearly but you probably know what I mean.

Acceptance has been very difficult for me in the past but as I grew I realized that fighting something that couldn’t be changed was what caused me the most pain. After recognizing that I began to let things go a lot more. Of course it’s an ongoing, never ending lesson to learn. My nature seems to be to want to resist and fight (not on the outside, but inside my mind)…but that is almost always disastrous emotionally. One of the best qualities to have is wisdom. Most of us get wiser as we age but it sure would have been great to have it back in our childhood or teen years…Imagine how much better we would have lived our lives. The saying “Youth is wasted on the young” is so apt!

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It’s kind of like school (Earth school? :roll_eyes:), do we want to repeat 3rd grade or do we want to move on? The quicker we move on, the less we have to repeat the lessons. Many of us navigate Kindergarten through college successfully, and then spend our lives living that legacy. Ultimately, there are so many (Earth) lessons to learn and then you get to move on. It’s your choice. But you have to know that it’s an option. Then you can “graduate” (nirvana) once you mastered the basic lessons.

Oh, we’re all dark, childish, and chaotic. :slightly_smiling_face: And discipline … HA, that’s my biggest challenge! Still, I have worked at meditation and spiritual attainment for 30+ years. Great progress, I think, but there’ always more to do, further to go. The key is to know that we are already “whole”, that there is nothing to fix, no shame or blame or guilt to hold us down … we are perfect as we are now. In our evolution. It’s just shedding the crap (bad thinking, “taking out the trash”) and we can be whole and perfect if we choose. Perfect in our current state of evolution, not perfect according to some oblique irrelevant standard.

Ha, I know exactly what you mean. You’re probably HSP like me, and it’s not uncommon through Depth of Processing to see multiple alternative realities. I can step into all different levels of belief if I choose to, just to experience them. I might be a good U.N. ambassador or something. I would love to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, if they would only see my clear logic in breaking down their disagreements into clear steps toward reconciliation. :smile:

Yes, resistance in some cases is futile. But then again, those that protest in the name of progress are called “heyoka” in the Lakota tradition. If you can accept injustice, even in the face of its existence, but yet protest what it is causing, you are making a difference. Consider the Standing Rock dilemma: Facing an American corporate entity and associated military/police defenders against those that proclaimed “Water Is Life”, and protested any attempts to defile their water supply. A native and just cause for all of us. We can now, in our political evolution, protest such injustices and be heard for our voices ringing out. But wisdom is only wisdom if it is put into action! It must mean something!

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