Depression and Expectation

Depression is a weight. Depression is the sensation of not being enough, of lacking, of pressure, of burden. Depression drags and weighs down the brain. Depression happens when one demands. The demand for life to be something always leads to depression, because that demand creates the weight and burden which the mind must bear. The weight is expectation. One expects life to be successful, beautiful, peaceful, joyous, and so on. Any such expectation will create misery for the mind, because frustration is born with expectation. Frustration is inevitable for a mind that expects. The mind experiences satisfaction through the release of the burden. However, it only releases the burden when it decides that expectation is met. The mind can release the burden always. It refuses to release because it thinks the expectation is not met yet. In this process of bearing the burden of expectation, the mind is gradually weighed down, becomes sluggish and frustrated, and depression is this very process.

If the mind cannot meet its expectation, and still refuses to let go, then depression becomes an explosive episode of tantrum, or a long-lasting state of misery. This is what we usually call depressive episodes. However, this explosion or slow boil is not the beginning of depression. The seeds were already planted when the mind expected life to be something in the beginning. To completely uproot depression, one must understand that any demand, any expectation is the root cause of depression. When there is no demand, there is no burden. Without burden, the mind has no pressure. Then, the mind is not lopsided, skewed, squeezed, because the demand is what pressures the mind. The mind is then free. Like a river which flows, the mind moves without friction and contradiction. Expectation is what causes friction, because one always expects something different than reality. That is the definition of expectation. A mind which moves freely is a happy mind. Therefore, happiness is not something that one can obtain through expectation. It is rather the expectation which denies happiness. Without the weight of expectation, happiness is the natural state of the mind. A mind that is happy is free and spontaneous, and it shares its quality with the flowing stream and the whispering wind, coming and going, untethered to the earth.

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