That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal-unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space.
There is no such thing as experience here. You seem to know, you imagine. Imagination must come to an end...I don't know how to put it. The absence of imagination, the absence of will, the absence of effort, the absence of all movement in any direction, on any level, in any dimension - THAT is the thing. That is a thing that cannot be experienced at all. It is not an experience.
In a field, I am the absence of field. In a crowd, I am the absence of crowd. In a dream, I am the absence of dream. But I don't want to live as an absence. I move to keep things whole. Because sometimes I feel drunk on positivity. Sometimes I feel amazement at the tangle of words and lives, and I want to be a part of that tangle.
To be godless is probably the first step to innocence," he said, "to lose the sense of sin and subordination, the false grief for things supposed to be lost." So by innocence you mean not an absence of experience, but an absence of illusions." An absence of need for illusions," he said. "A love of and respect for what is right before your eyes.
Peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of love and care. Peace is not the absence of agony, but the presence of joy of harmony. Peace is not the absence of poverty, but the presence of love for beauty. Peace is not the absence of intolerance. Peace is a way of life with joy of tolerance.
Absence does not so much make the heart grow fonder as give the heart time to integrate what it has not previously absorbed, time to make sense of what happened too quickly to have any meaning in the instant. This is always true. If it is in absence that people forget each other, it is also in the quiet pause of absence that, minds running in symmetry, people come to know each other; there is sometimes as much intimacy in the span of continents as in the shared hours before dawn.
Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born /a hundred million years /and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity; and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes.
As we embrace the mystery of love, we see that it contains not an absence of error, but the presence of grace. It contains not the absence of anger or pain, but the presence of forgiveness and healing. Not the absence of disharmony or confusion, but the presence of peace and clarity. To make a home into a sanctuary, we must be willing to make room in our hearts for one another's limitations, as well as our gifts. For it is here in this sacred space of the home and family, so brimming with life, so full of every emotion available to our hearts, that we learn what it means to love within all the nuances of an intimate relationship.
To touch and feel each thing in the world, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recognized by the shape of its absence. So that you can continue to possess the lost, because absence is the only constant thing. Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been.
The US ... cultivates no origin or mythical authenticity; it has no past and no founding truth ... it lives in a perpetual present. in the US everything human is artificial. The country is without hope. What is arresting here is ... both the absence of architecture in the cities and the dizzying absence of emotion and character in the faces and bodies.
The meditator develops new depths of insight through direct communication with the reality of the phenomenal world... He or she is able to see not only the absence of complexity, the absence of duality, but the stoneness of stone and the waterness of water. One sees things precisely as they are, not merely in the physical sense, but with awareness of their spiritual significance.
Darkness is perhaps the only reality, the only truth, both of which have only one property; they are eternal. What we call light is a mere temporary absence of darkness, untruth, a mere temporary absence of truth. Vedas point to this absence by neti, neti; not this, not this. Both, darkness and truth overcome light and untruth and start becoming manifest, sooner or later, mostly sooner than later, once we believe and strive to experience. Sages, down the ages, have emphasised the learning path to The Truth; prevent light from entering your eyes by shutting them or sitting in a darker area, to make it easier. And a last word; there is no perfect darkness and no perfect truth. These, just two names for the same absence, are goals to which we may get ever closer, without reaching. And priests and scriptures make God so complicated!
R. N. Prasher