Overcoming Hopelessness and Depression by Tuning the Consciousness Towards the Light

Many people, including those who are treading a spiritual path, feel depressed and hopeless when they see all the negativity, violence, and destruction taking place in the world around us. The mass media focuses on, and emphasizes, all this negativity, with the saying ‘if it bleeds, it leads’. They know they can capture the attention of more people for violent, dramatic events than with positive and harmonious issues. It is no wonder that we tend to fixate tremendous attention on this type of thing, and consequently we feel like there is no way out and we are heading to inevitable loss and destruction.

There are forces, and beings who embody these forces in many cases, which purposely work to create hostility, chaos and fear, who feed off of our negative emotions, and who will do practically anything to be the center of attention. They understand that we will turn our focus towards them and thereby come, subtly or overtly, under their control. They develop what is called ‘charisma’ to enchant and hypnotize us, even to the most desperately negative things they may choose to say or do. These forces make us accept and believe in their drama and can lead us to hopelessness and despair.

And yet, when we recognise the way consciousness actually works and the way the universal manifestation evolves, it becomes clear, as Sri Aurobindo puts it in Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol: ‘A hope stole in that hardly dared to be….’ The beings and forces that are working to move the evolutionary progression forward, the forces of light and harmony, the forces of compassion and good will, are generally quiet, unassuming, working without fanfare, and avoiding the limelight, but working nevertheless.

Human consciousness acts in many ways like a frequency tuning device. We receive and act upon those frequencies to which we tune ourselves. If we accept the input that comes from the mass media, without understanding that this is a very narrow slice of the frequency spectrum, we become depressed by the difficulty, or even apparent impossibility of progress, survival and positive development. If however, we recognise that we can consciously turn our attention to the powers and forces and beings of light and good will, call them into our lives, and accept their supportive and buoying energy, then we find that, on the contrary, real progress is being made.

Because of the lack of fanfare, tuning to these positive forces and beings may happen through our inner receptivity and aspiration gaining a sudden sense of conviction, or we experience some telepathic guidance, or we interface with these beings in a dream-state, or we receive what the Tibetan Buddhists call the psychic ‘gift waves’ that inspire, guide and uplift our spirits.

There are other realms than the purely physical that interact with and impact our world and its development. Just as some of the hostile forces and beings reside in the vital world and influence us from there, so also some of the uplifting forces and beings reside in the subtle physical, the vital or other worlds of higher energies.

Sri Aurobindo declares in Savitri: “When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp, As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread Of one who steps unseen into his house. A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey, A power into mind’s inner chamber steal, A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors And beauty conquer the resisting world, The truth-light capture Nature by surprise, A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss And earth grow unexpectedly divine.”

Sri Aurobindo observes: “If there are always forces around which are concerned to depress and discourage, there are always force above and around us which we can draw upon, — draw into ourselves to restore, to fill up again with strength and faith and joy and the power that perseveres and conquers. It is really a habit that one has to get of opening to these helpful forces and either passively receiving them or actively drawing upon them — for one can do either. It is easier if you have the conception of them above and around you and the faith and the will to receive them — for that brings the experience and concrete sense of them and the capacity to receive at need or at will. It is a question of habituating your consciousness to get into touch and keep in touch with these helpful forces — and for that you must accustom yourself to reject the impressions forced on you by the others, depression, self-distrust, repining and all similar disturbances.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Exercises for Growth and Mastery, Drawing Upon Helpful Sources, pp. 156-157

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