Have you been depressed lately for reasons you cannot fathom? Or is a loved one depressed and you find yourself unable to help them out? Sadhguru's insight into depression might give you the answers you have been looking for.
Sadhguru: I am saying this, not without any concern for your illness, or due to lack of compassion, but because this is the nature of what is happening to you. If you are causing depression to yourself, it means you are able to generate a substantial amount of intense emotions and thoughts, but in the wrong direction. If you don’t have very strong emotions or very intense thoughts about something, you cannot get depressed. It is just that you are generating thoughts and emotions that work against you, not for you. So you are strong enough to cause depression to yourself.
Most of the depressions are self-created. A few people are pathologically ill, they cannot help it. It just comes from within because of genetic and other factors. But almost everybody else can be driven to madness, because the line between sanity and insanity is quite thin. People keep pushing it. You get angry, you are pushing the line. In fact, you know you are pushing the line. That’s why the expression, “I was mad at somebody.” Please see, you are not mad at somebody, you are just going mad. You cannot be mad “at somebody”. You are just pushing the boundaries of sanity and moving into insanity for a certain period of time and coming back.
Why don’t you try this every day? 10 minutes a day, try intense anger on somebody. You will see that in 3 months time, you will be clinically there. Yes? Just try it if you want. Because if you keep pushing the line, if you go mad and you come back repeatedly, one day you will not able to come back at all. That is when you are termed clinically ill. You must understand even if you got clinically ill for a moment, you are already ill. Maybe you don’t get the certificate of diagnosis that you are gone. But, you are "going", isn’t it. You think it is your right to throw tantrums? You think it is your right to get angry with people? You think it is your privilege to get depressed so that you will get attention from somebody? If you keep playing this, one day you will not be able to turn back. That day, you will need a doctor.
Depression Seeks Attention
You have incentives in your life to become ill. Right from your childhood, you got the maximum attention only when you fell ill. When you were happy, they screamed at you. When you squealed in joy, they screamed back at you, the adults. When you were down, then they did “boo-boo, boo-boo". When you were a child, physical illness was good because you would get attention from your mother, father and everybody around you. You didn't have to go to school on that day. So you learnt the art of falling physically ill. But once you get married, you learnt the art of getting mentally ill. If you want to get attention, you go sit in a corner, act depressed. People will pay attention to you. So, you keep playing this game, and one day you are not able to cross the line back. That day, you are clinically ill.
Set Incentives for Health, not Sickness
Unfortunately, in many different ways, I would say 70% of illnesses on the planet are self-created. Even in the case of infections, if you keep yourself in a certain way physically and mentally, the virus and the bacteria will not work the same way as it works upon somebody else. It is possible, if you set yourself up in such a way that no matter what’s happening, anyway I have to go do my work without a break. The last 29 years I have not cancelled a single program because I was running a temperature, I got a cold, I got this, I got that. It doesn't matter what’s happening, what you have to do, you anyway have to do. You can’t turn back on that. If this happens, you will see that you will not at all fall sick very often. For every change in weather, if you have the comfort of covering yourself in a blanket and lying down, once you create that, your body will learn to fall sick as often as possible. If you just keep it this way – it doesn’t matter what it is, anyway I have to go and do what I have to do - you will see your body will just bounce back as quickly as possible, even if it gets the worst kind of infection.
So you just have to set the necessary conditions, the necessary incentives for health, both for yourself and for your children if you have them. Do not set incentives for sickness. If a child is sick, observe him from a distance, never go cuddling. He knows that’s the worst time of his life, but he will also know that he has to get well soon. Instead, give him the best attention when he is joyful. You will see he will naturally learn from within, his very chemistry will learn that it pays to be joyful; it doesn’t pay to be sick. If you make this clear to your own biological and chemical process , and to the people around you, you will see people will not fall sick as often as they do right now.
So set that up for yourself and you will get healthy. If you turn your mind this way, you can also turn your mind that way. “No, no I’m like this because my father abused me when I was 7 years of age,” if you know all that bullshit, you can as well turn yourself around, isn’t it? It’s time. You must understand. Mentally, physiologically, chemically, energy-wise, you must clearly understand, it doesn’t pay to be sick, unhappy or depressed – it just doesn’t pay. To be joyful and ecstatic, it pays. If you make this clear to all these people inside you, they will all behave properly.
Editor’s Note: Sadhguru offers Isha Kriya, a free, online guided meditation that helps bring health and wellbeing. Daily practice of this simple yet effective 12-minute process can transform one's life.