On Poetic Depression
My views towards depression have changed a lot in the past few years. I see it now as a symptom of modern society. Our world today encourages it for all walks of life to prevent meaningful progress. I also think it's a sign of a healthy soul because of how wacky our world is.
Anyone with good sense & who is still aware of their compassion can look around and wonder why things keep going the way they do. We haven't made a lot of meaningful progress since we left the caves. We still base much of our economy on war & unsustainable life. Any rational person would feel crushed when examining these things from this point of view. Rather than depression being seen only as something tragic (which it absolutely is) it should also be regarded as part of being an intellectual human. We are lucky to feel incredible joy & to create mundane miracles. Yet we don’t acknowledge these moments as meaningful progress. What is meaningful progress? Is it the same for everyone?
Naturally, there's different causes of depression. Bookish folks have so many reasons to experience it of course. There's also poets who feel a unique type because there's no community for them in popular society. I discovered recently, there's never been a community for poets. I think this because defences for poetry have always existed.
Poets seem to love writing about their craft. Poets and depression co-exist because thinking deeply has never been popular, therefore, they'll never find company in the majority. Actually thinking deeply and looking into your heart to learn what's in there could be lonely when there's a desire to share those discoveries with others. It's exceedingly rare to find a listener who'll listen to understand rather than listen to reply. For poets to look into their heart just to pick at it & learn all of what being human means is profoundly rewarding.
My solution is to just keep looking in my heart because it's simply amazing. Yours is too. When you meet others who genuinely want to hear, share it with them. Otherwise, let your discoveries become a blissful discovery of your own core. I truly believe finding that core in yourself will let you see depression and happiness as 2 necessary parts of being an emotional human. I don't think our core is either sad or happy. It just is, simply. Then when things happen along the outside world, we can check it with the core to recenter ourselves.
A moment of being cosmic since I'm already pouring out my life's philosophy: Earth is a classroom for our souls. That's all, we're a bunch of teenagers acting out against a teacher who doesn't exist. Because that teacher is our core. We have to look inside ourselves to discover what we need to learn, no one out there can teach it to us. We think they can. But it's impossible to teach someone what their own spirit is. That's a process of self discovery with guides to help.
For book recommendations, I find a validating solace in poets writing about poetry, often when they're defending their craft. Peacock's The Four Ages of Poetry is a great introduction to the subject. I'd recommend that one for high school students because Peacock's writing is such fun! Shelley's Defence is more sophisticated & beautiful. To me, C.S.Lewis' Essay on Shelley proves Peacock's original point. Cancer Ward is another one that's so amazing because of all my Russian books, it feeds my soul the most. The way he reveals different points of views makes understanding other people seem truly possible. On the surface, we all look a certain way & every person has far more going on than we can ever understand.
Since grocery shopping doesn't involved elaborate discussions on poetry, I turn to books to feed that hunger. And of course, George Carlin still makes me laugh when I need a good shaking up!
*This post was prompted by a video from a fellow booktuber. Inspiration is always waiting to be discovered.