We can be happy. That is no small thing. If you must deal with depression, biologically based, then having something else, another reality, is meaningful. After all, life can be tedious and bad things happen. People around us make damnable choices, we make damnable choices, and we are sad, yet the God of love stands ready to make all things whole.
That is what reason tells us and reason does not give into biology. That is the great error of defining who a person is by how they feel. Plato understood what Jesus revealed and Charlotte Bronte described: there is another world and we need not be afraid or merely sad. We can look to the eternal and have hope. If we chose the eternal over the ever changing swirl of our emotions, then with practice we find joy, the joy of the Lord. This does not end all sorrow, but presents an alternative truth.
Given the way things are just now, you might ask me: “Are you sad?”
But because a person can have more than one feeling lurching around in their heart, varying by the moment, you could also ask me: “Are you joyful?”
“Yes, fundamentally.” And that would be equally true. The divine reason the good God has given us, when discovered, produces a wonder. If we keep wondering, we are apt to find truths: the beauty of science, the glories of the arts. Better still is the revelation of God in Christ Jesus! I have found reality: Christianity is not only true, but helpful.
A reader is happy for me, sort of:
Good for you sir. At least your happy with your own ideals and thoughts. Don’t quite get what this earthly bondage or this fanatical ‘realer’ world your talking about though. Oh, I get that silly old shadow puppy show Pluto is talking about. Only problem being that he haven’t prove there any real cave out there to explore. Only thing he done is make a neat little story that help explain an ideal. Even Pluto himself admit that he couldn’t prove anything.
Just have faith, though. At least keep you going in this life.*
This is true. I keep going in this life, in part, because of faith. He is right, deeply correct, that Plato thought that few things could be proven with certainty for most of us. We see beauty, this produces love, and love drives us Godward. Some of us, though very few, may grasp this wonderful goodness before death, but for most the vision is dim. We see darkly, distracted by other loves that we mishandle.
Our passions are not designed to define us. One truth Plato found is that often what is obvious, what the educrat says is true, is not true. We are taught very thoroughly to differentiate between assorted lies, shadows, flickering images. If you follow Socrates and try to know yourself, then the deception of appearances is obvious. The powerful are not. The wise are sophists. We do not do what we wish to do.
“Is” is not “ought.” The idea is greater than what they taught us was real. The romantic, the one who loves beauty, sides with the ideal over the sordid, grubbing “reality” sold to us by the tyrants.
We do not wish to explore the cave**, but to escape. I am not at all happy with my “own ideals and thoughts.” First, my thoughts are not so great. Second, true ideals are not my own. The ideal is universal: goodness, truth, beauty. This is “neat little story that help explain an ideal.” Glorious! We need something, some account, that can keep us from being overwhelmed by passions. I promise this: either Jesus or some drug culture, artificial reality devices, capable of keeping us (more or less) sane and in our right minds. Otherwise we will see the rise, even the demand, for mind numbing pharmaceuticals. The classical world drugged herself to decadence. God forbid we do the same. We cannot follow desire and find joy.
We must find the reason, Divine Reason, and be set free. Why? Sorrow is easy enough: death comes to us all. Joy is hard and finds rational basis only in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death is dead, life is alive!
At least I am happy, despite the shadows, no small thing. I see every Sunday the True Light.
**See Plato’s description of the bad education most of us get in Republic VII.