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Dejection is a state of melancholy depression or a lowness of spirit.

Cassian tells us that dejection is built on anger.  Sad thoughts led to depression.  Often these thoughts begin randomly and come casually and haphazardly.  Melancholy becomes a steady mental state and very harmful to the human spirit. This dejection is provoked by thoughts. 


The desert monks and hermits tell us that there are three sources for "thoughts of dejection" that lead to depression.  The first cause of thoughts of dejection is previous anger. The second source for thoughts of dejection comes from a desire that has not been realized.  We feel let down because we did not get what we wanted. The third source for thoughts of dejection is mysterious.  Dejection can afflict the victim for no apparent reason.  Cassian calls it the great gloom.  Cassian also tells us that this depression seems to come from nowhere and the victim deserves our utmost compassion.  Today we call this condition a chemical depression or possibly a genetic disorder.  The experience is awful and the victim is innocent.

Often we cause our own depression.  We have injured thoughts and feelings.  The memories of these injuries overpower us and lead to overwhelming sadness.  We lament our whole life because we think we could have done something better than what we did including a life resisting temptations.  It can take years for these old memories to surface and become sadness and then dejection.  They often take us totally by surprise and they often come unexpectedly.

The desert monks gave us five practices that can help with dejection.  They tell us to "stay in relationship with others we are in relationship with."  We need to not isolate ourselves from them because if we do isolate ourselves we will keep crossing people off our list and think we are better than them or want to change them to suit ourselves.   We need to change and we need to learn patience at this time.  The change comes from within and not from without.  This advice is the opposite to the advice given about lust where monks are told to flee from the object of their desire. 

Secondly the monks tell us, "We should do our best to amend our faults and correct our manners."  I need to find peace within myself to find peace with my sisters and brothers and the world.

Thirdly the desert hermits and monks caution that we, "Refrain from thoughts that lead to self-destruction."  We need to notice our thoughts of dejection because they can lead to suicide.  In the Gospels we have the example of Judas.

Fourthly the monks tell us to, "Refrain from and redirect any and all thoughts if putting oneself down."  We try to avoid commentary about ourselves because we did not do as well as we wanted. This type of commentary is exactly the opposite of surrender, patience and humility.

Lastly the monks tell us to, "Resist morbid suffering."  Morbid suffering faces toward the self.  Morbid suffering takes full advantage of sadness.  Suffering is actually neutralized with acceptance and courage results.

Getting over depression is usually not about letting go of a life of sin.  It is being aware moment by moment of the true nature of reality.

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