(Excerpt from the book The Misleading Mind)
When we are nervous before seeing the dentist, our anxiety is not seen as something separate from our sense of self. We say, “I’m really nervous about getting my teeth drilled,” and the internal experience is not one of a “designated” or “relative” self and nervousness. We are nervous. This misconception or dynamic, and it’s variations, is what is in action with all of our problems.
When we feel depressed, our self-identity becomes fused with depression. We have an extremely difficult time objectifying or depersonalizing depression. We are depression. This sense of fusion is graded, in that there are degrees of fusion. When the degree of fusion is massive, we could say that we get “body and psyche snatched.” We can literally see no end and no alternative to our helplessness; in fact we become the very incarnation of hopelessness, and then it is not surprising that a depressed person will feel suicidal. Death is considered the only alternative to finding release from hopelessness and its identity of a hopeless self.
(This topic continues in the book The Misleading Mind)