As some people may be aware, I suffer from depression and when I say suffer from depression I don’t really mean suffer. Sure it sucks, but I’ve dealt with it for long enough to know how to manage it – the lows drag any motivation out of you and you have no desire to do anything, because no matter what you do you get no enjoyment from it. However, it isn’t always like that, so I can just tell myself to stick through it and they’ll be some good times ahead – even if I don’t believe it at the time. The other thing that is really infuriating abot being low is that I hate myself for being so weak. People say that it is neurochemistry etc. but I can’t help thinking I’m just being a lazy shit that needs to start contributing to society instead of sponging up resources.
During my last dive, I thought about all the things that usually matter and excite me. Things that make life worth living – I have grand plans for a business, I want to contribute to AI research, I want to play/make computer games, not to mention the personal relationships in my life. I didn’t feel anything for them when I was low, there was no point behind any of them, or indeed any point to life that I could reason myself to believe*. The strange thing is, that if I really really think about it while I’m reasonable happy I can’t see any flaw in my logic.
I grew up around Catholicism, I went to a catholic school, but no matter how much I really want to believe all their stories, I couldn’t. The same goes for any other religion that requires you to believe in Gods, spirits, or other supernatural phenomenon. It would be like someone telling me that red is actually blue but we just can’t see it as blue**. Sure, you could take their word for it, but what would the point be?
I did all the scientific subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics. Plus they make you do religious studies at the school I went to, which caused a nice juxtaposition between the sciences and religion. I don’t like to boast, but I was one of the top students at school – or so people convinced me by saying I should get Dux ( I didn’t, because I slacked off in 7th form ). So what I’m trying to say is that I really understood (and still understand) those subjects, and through that understanding I realised there was no reason to believe in abstract concepts like God. Nothing in evidence or my experience requires me to make up some fictional being that has absolute power but chooses to let the world to be fucked up. If anything, such a being should be scorned.
Despite all this, I believe human psychology has evolved to be amenicable to religious belief. In the past we didn’t have much of an understanding of reality, there were so many physical effects that we didn’t understand. It was easy to believe in supernatural beings and mystical forces. Perhaps religion united a tribe, and thus conferred them a survival advantage? They’ve even related a part of brain (the “god spot”) to religious experience – so I’ve often wondered if my depression is a result my lack of religious belief which in turn gives an imbalance in brain activity.
I think that if society and schools are going to teach children science and just how much the universe is indifferent to you, then they should also teach them how cope with living in that universe and how to find or develop personal meaning for their existance. Something to fill the void of where the “god spot” was now that it is fortified against faith in non-existant beings.
* Now, I’ll say right now that I am fine – I’m not in danger of harming myself, I’m just analysing my thought processes when I’m in this state. The point of this post is not to worry anyone :P.
** I’d appreciate it if people who are chromists can refrain from using some weird formulas to prove that this is true, it was just an example damnit.