It’s this very subtle change of focus. Nothing changes. You don’t have to escape the feeling.
Right there shining, not buried in the heart of the feeling,
but on the surface of the feeling. The light of your own being is shining,
just give that your attention. See that, see the knowing rather than the known. I have some sort of brain condition and I have episodes of depression, where I am just in bed sleeping for extended periods. When you’re just? Can you repeat that last bit?! I’m in bed for episodes, for long periods. I’m just fundamentally immobilized. They’re episodic. They came and go. The question that I have:
When I’m in that space, when I am so heavily
identified with the depression, I can’t access the knowing. There is never a moment that I can actually somehow detach. I’m so in it. Any thought about how to access the knowing,
or how to fundamentally establish myself in that
when I’m in that cycle? I appreciate that it’s difficult. However what you are saying is:
When a black image appears on the screen,
the screen disappears! Exactly! When a black image appears on your TV screen,
does your screen disappear?
Does the black image obscure the screen? No, it doesn’t. You wouldn’t know that you were in a deep depression
if the knowing of it was not present! So, this knowing it doesn’t need to be accessed.
It’s not buried deep down under
layers and layers and layers of feeling. Just like the screen is not buried behind the black image, veiled by it. This knowing is shining fully, brightly,
even in the deepest depression. Well, that’s very interesting when you say that,
because when I’m in this deep dark space,
there is this wanting to connect with the known. Let me stop you. You say ‘When I’m in this deep dark place,’
you are always the knowing of your experience, yes? The screen is never buried in the movie,
it’s never lost in the movie! When you have a depression,
do you know anything of the depression
other than the knowing of it? I would say no. All there is to the depression
and I’m not trivializing your feeling, all there is to the depression is the knowing of it,
that knowing is shining
right on the surface of the feeling. It’s not buried behind it.
You don’t have to separate yourself out from the depression and go looking for this knowing presence, which is buried in the back.
It’s right there shining in this black image. Just like when you see a black wall on a tv screen … The tv screen that was two minutes ago
shining in a blue sky is equally shining in the black wall In your depression, all you know of the depression is the knowing of it. That knowing is not buried or
veiled, covered, obscured, or lost. That knowing is shining brightly in the feeling. So give your attention to the knowing.
You don’t even need to give your attention
to the knowing, because knowing is the attention
which we give to objects. So you just know yourself as that knowing. It’s like watching a black image on a screen and instead of focusing on the black image you see the screen. Nothing changes. You keep looking at the same screen,
but instead of saying ‘I’m seeing a black wall,’
you say ‘I’m seeing the screen.’ The happiness that you are longing for
in the depression is that screen. And it’s shining in the depression! So it’s this very subtle change of focus.
Nothing changes. You don’t have to escape the feeling.
Right there shining, not buried in the heart of the feeling, but on the surface of the feeling. The light of your own being is shining,
just give that your attention. See the knowing rather than the known. That is the happiness you are longing for.
In other words happiness itself
is appearing as this depression. Just as the transparent screen
appears as the black wall. Only because you’re rejecting the depression and looking for happiness elsewhere or looking for the presence of awareness elsewhere That rejection of the depression and the insistence that awareness or happiness is somewhere else, that is what compels awareness to seem as if hidden.
It is your insistence that it is missing
that makes it seem that it is so. That makes perfect sense! Yes, that’s very helpful. So when you discover the knowing in your depression,
– the screen in the image – then turn around
and face your depression. See what is left of it. The thought occurred to me to ask myself the question
‘Am I willing to be depressed for the rest of my life?’ What a thought. It’s not ‘are you willing to be depressed for the rest of your life,’ because if you discover this knowing in the depression in other words if you discover the screen in the image,
the depression can no longer stand, because depression is unhappiness.
It can no longer stand when you’ve seen the knowing. That’s why I say ‘Look back at the depression
and see what remains of it!’ You won’t be able to find it! The depression itself, the feeling itself
will have been revealed, the true substance of the feeling will have been revealed,
which is happiness. Happiness is the substance of all feelings, even our deepest depression. Well, it doesn’t last. It never lasts. The knowing is eternal. Stay with that. Stay with the knowing! Everything we have ever truly longed for
lives shining on the surface of experience, not just the background, not buried in the heart,
but right in the midst of experience. Everything we have ever longed for
– peace, happiness, and love – lives there shining brightly in all experience.