THE BUDDHA & PROZAC

There is much wisdom in Miriam Greenspan"s  HEALING THROUGH THE DARK EMOTIONS.  I was particularly taken by her depiction of a society, our society,  which fears the expression of negative emotions. 

In particular men are dissuaded from an early age to show sadness, upset or despair.  Crying is definitely for babies, or so each male is reminded when he begins to sniffle or shed a tear when hurt.

She points out that if we read he life story of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, we realize that he suffered a tremendous emotional crisis when he first left his sheltered existence in the palace.  Facing disease, death, poverty and despair he left his wife, family, child and worldly possessions.

There is no question that if this had occurred today in our culture, we would have declared Siddhartha as having "flipped out" suffering a catastrophic mental breakdown.  If he would have gone to a therapist, he might have been given prozac to "treat" his emotional turmoil.

Siddhartha was forced to work through his personal crisis.   In the process he became Enlightened, uncovered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.  An entire metaphysical, spiritual and psychological perspective would possibly have never  been developed.

Thankfully the prescription pad was not an option in his day.

Working through our dark emotions, hopefully with the tool of meditation and time might just be more rewarding for many of us in the long run.

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