Defeating Depression By Living With Purpose.

 

Most depression stems from the perception of what I call a “grey horizon.” This is the feeling that a purpose or deeper meaning is lacking- it creates an enervating force in our lives that drains our vitality and replaces it with a hollow “who cares?”

 

This is a widespread and increasingly common issue among people young and old, all over the world, as they struggle to find their place and meaning in a world seemingly devoid of authentic experience and honest expression. After I put out THIS VIDEO on the topic of combating depression, I was inundated with messages thanking me and asking for more information and advice on the subject- what follows is my own personal method and belief on how the black dog is to be fought and defeated.

 

We must begin with the understanding that this struggle is an ongoing one. Most of us do not simply fight one battle and conquer depression, stress, anxiety. It is a continuous warfare, but one in which, once we understand our enemy and the weapons with which it can be fought, we will consistently achieve victory.

 

The greatest weapon against depression is a meaningful life. This sounds vague and amorphous, but I promise you, it is the goal that must be sought out constantly in order to stave off feelings of worthlessness, pointlessness and futility. Discovering our purpose through acts of self-creation is the key to a fulfilling existence. Yours and mine will not be the same, but our methods of discovery can be. I cannot tell you what yours will be, but I can tell you how I discovered mine. 

 

It starts with exploration. The search in and of itself for meaning and purpose and an honestly expressed existence is a glorious undertaking, and should never be seen as anything other than a legendary journey for self actualization. Discovering our purpose, for an indeterminate amount of time, is our purpose. By looking for who we are, and searching the depths of our being, and transforming ourselves in the primal forge of ordeal, we will discover not only who we are, but who we wish to be. 

 

During this time it is crucial that we evaluate ourselves fairly and honestly, clinically, but with mercy, not brutality. We must see ourselves as we are, in order to ascertain where we need to go. As we make our evaluation, we will be forgiving, not self-destructive, but we will be firm and truthful about our shortcomings. 

 

As we work to eliminate those aspects of ourselves that we do not wish to hold any longer, we also bolster our strengths. Improving ourselves in the realms of calmness, generosity, physical strength, loyalty, creativity and so on. As we do this, we realize that what we are taking part in is a preparatory ritual- perhaps our purpose has not made itself clear to us because we are not ready to face it, and we are being given time to make ourselves worthy of it. Our work then takes on a holiness, a ritual aspect of cleansing and empowering our beings for the coming Work, that which we call the Great Work, which is knowing and carrying out our higher function. 

 

This very understanding led me to my current place in the world, and as I focused on letting go of that which I had bound myself to, strengthening myself physically, developing my creative abilities, practicing my writing, studying martial arts, traveling more often, and so on, I began to understand the alchemy of consonance. How all this could be woven together with one thread, and how I could make myself of service to a higher concept. 

 

Often, our purpose will find us when we lose ourselves in the seeking. 

 

For now, here are a few of the tactics I employed in my war against meaningless existence:

-Wake up earlier and adhere to a schedule.

Sleeping all day is both a cause and effect of depression. Choose an early hour in which to arise and conquer, and do so. In the dark hours of the morning, much is made clear to us in the silence of our early routine. 

 

-Move! Whether you choose weightlifting, martial arts, swimming, running, or some combination of the above, you must exercise! This is perhaps one of the most important factors in conquering depression. If you feel the stirrings of that great enemy rising within you like a serpent, exorcise your demons through exercise. Immediately run, do pushups, burpees, find a body of water and swim, especially if you can go to the ocean and experience its vast example of being, becoming, returning. 

 

You will never defeat depression until you can develop the discipline of a rigorous physical training routine. 

 

Choose any routine off the internet and start today. 

-Eliminate chatter. Turn off the internet for awhile. Filling the mind with idle chatter and useless data makes us distracted and ultimately hollows us out, taking away our vital energy and focus. Ditto for television and so on. Read an interesting book, pick up a new skill, draw, write or run.

 

-Work to create meaningful interaction with other human beings. As someone who walks a fine and strange line between philanthropy and misanthropy, I find it increasingly important to discover meaningful connection with other living humans. The internet is a pretty incredible way to make connections, but these often times are artificed and very shallow. Meet people by following the above protocols. Speak to someone at your school, dojo, gym, library, whatever. Combat your shyness or social awkwardness by realizing that people are often more than happy to converse with strangers, and probably feel isolated often, just like you might. Just say hello and introduce yourself and let go of overthinking it. 

 

-Stop self medicating. Often, when I was feeling depressed, I would drink excessively. This would simply lead to a vicious cycle of feeling worse, drinking more, self loathing, drinking more, feeling worse. One of the biggest mistakes we can make when combating depression is using recreational drugs to mask the feeling. This kind of escapism is like “painting over dirt,” and ultimately will make our infection fester in the darkness while it slowly ends our lives. Addiction is another hydra head of depression, and we will possibly address it in a future transmission. For now, do whatever possible to eliminate the use of these crutches.

 

At day’s end, many of us are at constant war with these feelings, but like any other opponent, this one can, and will be defeated if you remain steadfast. 

 

I’m pulling for you. 

 “The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.”  -AC

92.

 

Yes, This is Happening.

 

 

    
Article written by Craig Williams


 “As anyone can probably tell you who has engaged in a brawl while sober, there is a distinct feeling that happens before the first punches are thrown. It is somewhere between fear, anticipation, excitement, joy and panic; a potent mixture of all of these, as the adrenaline kicks in and the body prepares itself to flee or fight, tuck tail or knuckle up. What a man does while that feeling has a hold on him will tell you a lot about him as a person.”

       Paul Waggener

 

 

     One of the most common traits of modern times is the obsession with virtual “reality.” It’s not uncommon to see individuals grouped together ignoring one another gazing into their phones or laptops in a somnambulistic state blindly ignoring their surroundings, or one can even see individuals walking or driving while gazing into their phones in literal technological possession. What is it about the modern mind-set which seems obsessed with worshipping the techno-god and ignoring vital human interaction? Human are literally willing to risk losing their lives as well as take the lives of others in order to gaze into a screen of virtual “reality.” Is it any wonder that the harsh often brutal truths of life are feared, hidden or ignored?

 

     Yes this is really happening…….”

 

     I remember being about 16 and the group of older guys walking toward me and my friends laughing looking for a fight. My stomach was in knots and my mouth dry as I knew my friends were more scared than I was, and more importantly unable to assist in any way with any realistic level of self-defense. The small one approached me first, “Is this the one who knows karate?”, he smirked.  At this point he stuck his finger in my face and told me he was going to......before he finished the sentence, I still remember the feel of my hand hitting his jaw, the feel of a bone cracking, flesh giving way rather easily, and the sight of his body slumping to the ground. Once I saw this and the fear in the eyes of his older friends, I could breathe again and I was no longer frightened……..

 

     We often hear today of safe-spaces and trigger warnings, both modern attempts to deconstruct and dismantle the fear of uncertainty, failed attempts to make life predictable and sterilized. Scenes of death and war are banned and scrubbed from the media transmissions, images of bodies falling from towers conveniently forgotten, too disturbing to fit the planned manipulative narrative. The modern mind seeks solace in these empty spaces to avoid challenges which force growth and maturity; the modern man sees no need to learn how to fight as violence is low class and for the uneducated, exercise easily accomplished via a video game safe inside one’s house. 

          “Yes this is really happening…..”

 

     I remember riding in the car on the barren plains of Tibet. The Sherpas driving were hung over from long night of drinking, the extremely high altitude made concentration tiresome and exhausting, the eyes gazed off into miles of nothingness on all sides. The roads were unpaved and unsafe, the Chinese government allowing an influx of people along these routes to visit the sacred Mount Kailas, terrestrial home of Shiva, the God of death and destruction. I was sitting in the front passenger seat watching the speedometer hit 75 MPH wondering if the driver was aware of this and wondering how long this part of the journey would last. I asked my teacher who was sitting in the backseat to pass me my messenger bag as I wanted to read a prayer book. “I will grab the book for you, which one is it?” he said. I didn’t want him to have to dig around looking for the book so I asked him to just pass the bag to me and I will dig it out. He passed the large messenger bag up front and I placed the bag in my lap and looked at the driver laughing at me, then I gazed off to the road ahead and noticed that a car was headed straight towards us. The next memory is grabbing the messenger bag and pulling it in front of my face as I crashed through the windshield, the sound of metal tearing and crashing, glass breaking and the odd simple sensation of bouncing right back into my seat unscathed. I look over and saw the driver’s face ripped open and mangled, head dangling bleeding. I had not a scratch on my entire body…….

 

     Every day we are given a choice of potential opportunity, a chance to experience reality with our own eyes, engage with others we love or respect with words and handshakes, feel the pain of physical training and the satisfaction of molding the flesh and mind into a stronger reflection of our Souls. This can occur when we immerse ourselves in reality not when we escape into a world of “virtual” reality. How many of the stories we see on our televisions or cell phones truly affect the outcome of our daily lives? How many of these vampiric transmissions nourish and sustain us? The sobering answer is few to none. 

 

     “Yes this is really happening…..”

 

     I remember coming home from a long journey in India and Tibet. My group was stuck on the border of Tibet and Nepal due to issues with Chinese security and terrorist concerns and we were forced to find questionable lodging for the night and cross the border into Nepal the following morning. The night was rainy and ominous, with young Chinese military omnipresent, 15 year old youths holding machine guns wearing uniforms which would fit when they were 25. We secured lodging and settled for the night. I remember waking up the next morning and looking for the bathroom.  Entering the bathroom, the smell burned my nose, the floor was covered in shit and piss and the water was turned off. Turning around to return to my room I encountered a man standing in the doorway, holding a knife and asking me for my passport. I then remember my hand contacting the soft flesh of his nose and the pain of a chipped tooth slicing my knuckle wide open, and watching the man fall onto the piss covered floor holding his face………

 

     The often brutal experiences of life are unpredictable. As unpredictable as the beautiful inspiring moments. The modern mind seeks to manipulate this as if time was a computer program, giving the viewer of “reality” the power to create an environment of false security and safety. This “reality” holds no Soul power, offers us nothing and weakens the viewer pushing him further and further away from the path of true glory, true individual manifestation. Yes, life is happening all around you. Every moment, every day you gaze into the world of the techno-god you lose this rare chance for growth and transformation. Yes it will be painful. Yes it will hurt. Be thankful for this. Revel in this. Turn away from the illusions of “virtual reality” and embrace the life that lies before you in all of its pain, suffering and joy. Yes, this is really happening…..are you ready?

 

     

 

 

 

Weakness on Display.


There are a few times in a man’s life where it is okay to show your vulnerability- 
to set the armor down and trust someone enough not to wound you.

At my grandfather’s funeral, I saw my uncle overcome with his sadness, and cry.

At my brother’s wake, I was overcome by my own, and I cried for him, and for his father and mother, 

and in remembrance of all the good times we’d had and all the good ones we would never get to have.

After an incredibly painful separation from a woman I’d been with for a decade, I spent some time traveling and drinking, coping with it in a pretty unhealthy way, until I found my way through it with the help of some brothers. 

 

There are things that my wife and my blood know about me, or have heard me say, that I would never

say or reveal to anyone else.

This is because a man should not put his weakness or vulnerability on display for the world to see.

 

What is it that you are hoping for when you broadcast another failed relationship, your personal woes, 

inadequacies, embarrassing shortcomings, and day to day banality? 

Attention? Sympathy? A few “likes” or hallmark “feel better, I’m here for you if you need to talk” comments on your social media account? 

You should be ashamed. Your fathers and your ancestors would be ashamed of you. 

This constant need to broadcast not only every tiny boring detail of our day into the churning maelstrom of disgusting slop that makes up your “feed” (compare to livestock),

but to also show every weakness felt throughout your quivering existence. 

 

To draw attention to your revolting need like a child reaches upward and wails for an adult to take pity on him because walking is too hard. 

To shout, not in a strong voice “WITNESS ME” as you perform glorious deeds to awe and inspire, 
but feebly, and with much cracking “notice me...please!” as you crawl in the filth of your own insecurities and revel in your weakness, seeking that attention and sympathy like a junkie sucking dick for a hit. 

 

Before you post, speak, signal, display- ask yourself if what you are presenting is powerful, strong, 

useful, inspiring, or gives meaning, hope, value, or even laughter. 

If the answer is no, ask yourself- why am I displaying this for the world to see? 

Am I a junkie? 
Am I a child? 
Am I wasting my life?

Being a man is not an automatic title achieved by whatever you’ve got between your legs. 
It is an idea, an accomplishment, an understanding of the concept of VIRTUS.
Try to act like one. 
 

Keep the Fire Burning.

 

This life is trial and ordeal:
You will be tested.
This world will try everything in its power to extinguish your flames and leave your ashes cold. 
Opposition will rise up against you, and the struggles that you experience may sometimes threaten to overwhelm- the storms so violent and sudden that they will seem without end. 
The truth is, there is no end to struggle save death. 
While we live, we must commit ourselves to this understanding, and allow it to shape our approach to life as one that always comes from a place of strength.

When faced with danger, with opposition, with naked aggression, we must take care to not be caught in the cycle of constant reaction, always on the defensive and never the attack. 
Act, do not react!
Assess the situation tactically, choose a battle strategy, think on your feet, execute a plan. 
Do not think that everyone who smiles at you or offers a kind word is your ally- question everyone’s motives, including your own. 

Know yourself through and through by examining your internal processes with a calculating and clinical eye.
Cultivate a calm strength that is confident and free of false bravado- always maintain a healthy ego that unifies who you are with who you say you are. 
In a world of falsehoods, telling the truth is an act of liberation- be honest, especially with yourself, and remember not to get caught up in your own bullshit.
Separate yourself from drama and people who always seem to be surrounded by it. Avoid the perpetually broke, low energy, low motivation types, or those who are always partying.
Surround yourself with those who are intelligent, confident, successful and disciplined. It will rub off on you, if you’re lucky and smart enough to allow it.
Always push yourself a little harder each day to improve, but never apologize for who you are or what you believe in, or you’ll never stand for anything again.
Try to learn something new every day.
Practice meditation, good nutrition and exercise regularly.
Take up a martial art.
Study a language other than your native one.
Travel often, and far.

Keep this one close to your heart, and never forget it:

We have this one life to live and our time here is short and precious. We owe nothing to our enemies but our scorn, but we owe it to ourselves to live healthy and whole, all the way alive, eyes wide open and searching the horizon for the eternal. 

If you’re reading this, you are one of the rare ones, and I’m talking directly to you when I say

NEVER LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN.

I’m pulling for you.

-Paul Waggener, 9.5.2016

 

XCII