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Book - The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

Therapeutic Depression

M. Scott Peck called it a therapeutic depression. What he meant by that is the idea that once a person extricates herself from a dysfunctional system of relationships, she looks back and realizes just how dysfunctional the system is. She may want to tell this to the people stuck in those relationships, but knows that, more likely than not, this information will fall on deaf ears and be rejected, leaving her feeling sad and impotent.

Karl Jaspers said one time that his definition of tragedy is "awareness in the excess of power". In other words, to know how things should be, could be, ought to be, but not having the power to make it happen, leaves one in a tragic situation. That's why they say that "ignorance is bliss", because what you don't know can't bother you, but once you do know, things will never be the same again.

To have one's consciousness raised while others are left behind because they don't get it, they don't see what you see, they don't understand what you understand, is a lonely position to be in. Many people don't want their consciousnesses raised. They are perfectly happy with their status quo. Any attempts to raise their consciousness irritate them because they feel threatened, their peace is being disturbed.

Jesus says in Luke 12: 51-53, "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Keep your own counsel. It is best to be mute unless there is a person who can benefit from your awareness. It is difficult to share your wisdom unless people are ready; they are in the same place that you are. Traveling a spiritual path is a lonely, and solitary business. Occasionally we can help others along the way, but to walk along side is a rare experience. Better to find someone a little further along the way that can encourage and enlighten you.

Did you hear about the farmer who tried to teach his pig to sing? It frustrated the heck out of the farmer, and annoyed the heck out of the pig. As M. Scott Peck tells us, having chosen the Road Less Traveled to take through life can lead to great joy and satisfaction, but as we view the situation around us with compassion, it also can contribute to a therapeutic depression, one which Prozac will not help, but prayer, hope, and encouraging words judiciously shared when the timing is right, might.


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