The past several months I’ve been what some would call “depressed” and my therapist (and others) would call “spiritual depressed.”
I have felt dead inside, unable to see the magic in existence. I used to mock being a part of zombie land on the bus and at work, somehow it became me. Somehow I lost my sense of awe for being alive. I blame my job, but it’s my own fault. I gave up; I gave up on living a more full life.I saw what was around me and couldn’t maintain myself in in the face of apathy. I would look around at work and see computer screens, cubicles, and the tops of heads. On the bus I would look around hoping for a connection or to see something funny and instead was met with cell phones and glazed over eyes.
I hadn’t realized how dead I’d become. I felt emotions; however, only the ones that put me in touch with despair as they seemed to be the only ones I could relate to. Joy, happiness, inspiration all seemed so far away.
I could blame my Sun opposite Saturn transit, but in actuality it has only made the pain more accessible. Yes, the world seems to be falling apart, violence, pain, corruption. Usually I am not the type to have those experiences impact me so much.
My optimism was charming; I've prided myself on acknowledging sadness and pain, but still finding the good. I truly believe in magic (and that good can be found in almost any situation). I believe in meaning and fate. Yet, the past several months I lost that part of myself. My inspiration for life for being here felt gone, as if my existence was completely meaningless. My senses dulled my desires faded. I’ve felt lifeless, void of meaning. In a word: DISENCHANTED.
German philosopher and sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) used the term disenchantment to describe how modern humans experience the universe without any magical or mystical explanations for its or their own existence. Exactly the way I've experienced life the past while and the way so many do all the time.
So, I've decided to come back to life. I'm returning from the land of zombies and cubicles. While I still have my current job, I promise myself to do better to find it's magic. Because I've always believed in magic. And since I can't seem to do a post without etymology, magic has inevitably a fascinating one. It comes from Proto-Indo-European magh- meaning "to be able, to have power." Because there is power in magic and for me it holds my ability to want to live.
I realize I lost my enchantment because I became afraid of being one of those overly spiritual types who's out of touch with reality. I've been one of those, a righteous warrior for unity and good without acknowledging pain or emotion. The extreme spiritual breeds it's own version of zombie-land...one I've lived in before, called an ashram.
My current spiritual depression feels like a reaction to that energy, as I spent too much time being a spiritual seeker. I felt the depressed Western materialism and like so many turned to Eastern mysticism and yoga. I agree with Jung that "the search for the wisdom of the East had almost darkened the mind of the West and that it is a search that continues to lead many astray. It isn’t only the impact of alien cultures that can be dangerous to the Western soul."
Now more than ever enchantment is important, but in a way that honors both our etheric and Earthly bodies. I find my spiritual practices not in meditation or mind focus, which has always felt very masculine to me, but body focus. My way out of spiritual depression is through finding magic in the mundane. So I can simultaneously feel myself above and below at the same time.
It's feeling grateful for the opportunity to feel all my emotions...even the disenchanted ones. It's feeling breeze in my hair and recognizing the changing wind within myself. It's looking out at the ocean and knowing there are mermaids and fish holding hands and smiling at me. To sometimes skip down the sidewalk for no reason at all. To be magically ordinary and in that...spiritually connected.
In all honesty, it takes effort to find life in the living dead. I’m coming to back to life and choosing joy and enchantment in the face of apathy and despair. Enchantment in the face of disenchantment. Life in the face of death and magic in the what could be everyday mundane.