Question: Many people including youth and elderly people suffer from depression today. For some reason it is considered a mental illness. Is there a solution to depression according to the wisdom of Kabbalah?
Answer: There is a solution. Depression is the result of our unsatisfied desires. A person has nothing but desires; if these desires are fulfilled, we feel joy. If they are partially fulfilled, we feel partial dissatisfaction, a state we are in all the time and which we have gotten used to.
We try to neutralize this dissatisfaction in different ways: by watching movies, playing football, taking pills, using drugs, etc., and thus somehow we keep ourselves afloat.
There are modes of depression in which we feel a deep black, gaping emptiness inside us, and we don’t feel any filling in the present and don’t feel that there will be any in the future either, which is indeed a difficult situation.
A person usually lives with hope for the future. He plans ahead to go on vacation, to go fishing, to play football with friends, etc. A person is usually occupied with thoughts about food, sex, family, wealth, respect, knowledge, and recreation. We have invented all this in our world as a distraction so we will be able to exist in this life. But when it is all swallowed by darkness, a person is in a serious mode of depression and is ready to die. With regard to this it is written: “my death is better than my life.”
The moment a person begins to feel such modes of depression, he asks himself about the meaning of life: “Is there no meaning to life in this world?” Such states lead him to the wisdom of Kabbalah. Therefore, it is practically impossible to reach the wisdom of Kabbalah without feeling depressed because it is a question of the meaning of existence.
If a person finds meaning in actions like sleeping, eating, traveling, and in general finds pleasure in something, the question about the meaning of life does not emerge in him. It is as if he is fine, but this meaning in life is on the animate level. If a person is not satisfied by such actions, he reaches the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Therefore, the first question a person asks as he comes to the wisdom of Kabbalah is: “What is the meaning of life? How can you fill this life? What is the point in this life?” It is actually the pointlessness that develops a person because our entire development is only under the pressure and suffering of the desire to discover and attain something. A person feels that he lacks something, but in fact he lacks the meaning of life.
After all the revelations throughout human history, the question is: “What for? Why? What is the meaning of all this?” Eventually it should bring us to the revelation of the true meaning of life.
We should understand that our world is merely a springboard from which we have to push ourselves and ascend to the next dimension that is right here in this world. We transcend to the next dimension while living in our corporeal body, while living in this world with a family, a job and everything else, and at the same time, we begin to attain the next world. This is the true meaning.
The system pushes us to search for this meaning and there wouldn’t be anything without it. And so our ego is called help against because it is actually the empty ego that pushes man in the right direction.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 10/2/16