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The Science that Links Depression to Your Spiritual Awakening

Do you suffer from existential depression? (click picture):
By Alex Pietrowski

Is depression simply a disease as many psychiatrists and doctors would have us believe, or is there tremendous potential for personal growth and spiritual awakening locked up in the struggle against this common ‘disorder?’

For those who are battling, or who have already conquered depression, there is certainly no one size fits all answer, but, according to one of the world’s foremost experts on the relative study of mind and spirit, Dr. Lisa Miller, severe depression and spiritual experience are two sides of the same cognitive coin.

Her idea is perhaps best presented with this metaphor: depression and spiritual awakening are two sides of the same door. On one side is the total possibility of despair, hopelessness and isolation, and a look through to the other side reveals equally strong shades of spiritual satisfaction, inner peace, and connection to all that is.

Personally driven by her own despair and depression that resulted from infertility and a lack of being able to find her and her husband’s lives worth living without their own children, she began, ever so slowly to awaken to the messages of healers and helpers that seemed to arise serendipitously on her path, offering hints at greater possibilities for happiness and fulfillment.

Slow at first, her rise in awareness of how the universe was speaking to her through others quickly gave way to a flood of synchronicity, events that were simply far too meaningful to be described as coincidence. Synchronicity, remarkably, is one of the most important and commonly shared experiences or features of the process of human awakening, and individuation onto the soul’s proper path.

The synchronistic events in her life ultimately gave way to a letting go of sorts, a submission to new possibilities, a release, if you will, of previously held notions of what she thought happiness was supposed to be or to mean in her life.

As a researcher and professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University, Lisa ended up in a position of critical curiosity about the nature of depression: is it a disease or not? If so, how can a disease be caused by emotionally charged events in one’s life, such as the loss of a family member, or in her case, the lack of being able to create a family?

The causal link simply did not fully add up, thus she applied her skills as a scientist to the matter and came upon a significant discovery about how the brain is physically constructed with regards to its disposition of being in a depressed or spiritually connected state. For in her eyes, these two concepts seem to mirror each other philosophically, so why not scientifically?

Researching this with her team at Colombia, they discovered that yes, indeed, the actual substance of the brain where depression and spiritual fulfillment are registered are remarkably different with each of these states, reflecting a genuine physical polarity to accompany the metaphysical connection. The study began by recruiting some of the most depressed people she could find, especially those with a long family history of crippling depression, then looking at people with equally long lineages of spiritual presence.

They realized that the subjects all had a similar condition in the cortex region of the brain, and in the case of the depressed participants, the brain’s cortex was literally withered and underdeveloped, as though it had been starved. Similar to how a plant reacts to insufficient water.

Conversely, when looking at spiritually awakened subjects, those with a rich history of happiness and feeling connected to physical and spiritual realms of our multidimensional existence, these same regions of the brain were markedly stronger, more robust and larger, looking like the broad trunks of healthy trees.

“What we found, was that in precisely those regions of the brain which  atrophied and withered in lifelong depression, for those people with strong personal spirituality, there was thickening of those very same regions. The cortex was thick, as if you were looking at a tree in the Amazon, versus a tree withering in the cold and drought.

Depression is not always an illness. It can be… but very often, depression, as every one will face it, is core to our endowment and core to our development.” –  Dr. Lisa Miller

Another fascinating thing that they found, indicating what clinical science can show about the spiritual path, is when they looked at women who, “through suffering had come to a spiritual path, with nice thick cortexes, they also had another quality. The back of their head gave off a certain wavelength of energy that we call alpha, and its also found on the back of the head of a meditating monk.”

Of the possible frequencies that the human brain can naturally operate under, such as alpha, beta, delta and gamma, alpha is the same frequency as the Schumann resonance, the known frequency given off by the earth. In other words, those on the spiritual path, with healthy and vibrant brain cortexes, are operating at the same frequency of our home, the earth.

“The spiritually engaged brain vibrates at the frequency of the earth’s crust.” – Dr. Lisa Miller

Final Thoughts

This information can uplift many of the millions of people struggling though depression and looking for some hope to find their way out of the isolation, despair and darkness of this common condition. The more deeply a person feels depression, the greater the possibility for spiritual awakening that sets a person firmly on the spiritual path.

“The world is alive and infused with that sacred field we might measure as high amplitude alpha. Knowing this, we live into an inspired life. All life of meaning that is not one that we create, but one that is truly in the fabric of the world. We live an inspired life.” – Lisa Miller

Take a listen to Dr. Miller’s beautiful and uplifting story. At the very end she reveals an incredible even that adds even more to this story of synchronicity and inspiration.

 

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

 

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The Spiritual Teacher Archetype

Guide . Sage . Spiritual Master . Preacher . Evangelist . Wise Woman . Crone

Light:

Represents the nature of the Divine in life and in yourself.

Shadow:

Places financial gain and control over imparting spiritual insight.

The Guide takes the role of Teacher to a spiritual level, teaching not only the beliefs and practices that make up established religions, but also the overarching principle of seeing love in every aspect of life.

Clearly you do not have to be a professional Preacher or Guru to have this archetype, as we can all learn to lead others spiritually through developing our own intuitive spiritual awareness and passing on whatever we have learned with genuine humility.

The Shadow Aspect

The shadow aspect of the Guide is visible in many modern televangelists and gurus of various traditions who are more interested in financial gain and controlling their followers than in imparting genuine spiritual insight.

Evaluation

To count this archetype as part of your support group, however, you will need to discern in your life a continuing pattern of devoting yourself to teaching others from your own spiritual insights. This presupposes that you have gained wisdom through some combination of self-disciplined practice and study and perhaps spontaneous spiritual experiences.

Wisdom also comes with age, and so the Crone or Wise Woman represents the ripening of natural insight and the acceptance of what is, allowing one to pass that wisdom on to others.

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Movies Portraying the ‘Guide’ (Spiritual Teacher)

Watching movies related to one of your core archetype especially when going through the process of healing is a powerful tool to help you understand yourself (your motivations, your passions, your fears – why you behave the way you do).

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Words Of Wisdom

Life Changing Lessons From A Spiritual Teacher

1. The world doesn’t belong to leaders. The world belongs to the whole humanity

2. Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

3. The essence of any religion is good heart.

4. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

5. Your Home is where you feel at home.

6. In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity for growth.

7. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

8. It’s okay if you get angry from time to time.

9. You must not lose faith in humanity.

10. Love everyone, be attached to no one.

11. It’s not just your brain who needs to be developed, your warmheartedness needs as well.

12. Underneath it all we are all good, but not everyone lives life from that place.

13. The best way to resolve any problem is to sit down and talk.

14. Ignorance is anything but bliss.

15. You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things.

16. We are all different yet we are all the same.

17. You can create a dynamic impression not just by using words, but also by knowing when to be silent.

18. Knowledge never decreases by being shared.

19. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.

20. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

21. Urge people to investigate things, don’t command them to believe.

22. Your task is not to be better than anyone else. Your task is to be better than you used to be.

23. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster…

~ Dalai Lama