…to a friend who had suffered the loss of a young child:

Dear Adam,

I am sorry you are so miserable. “Depression” means literally “being forced downward.” This can happen even when you don’t consciously have any feeling at all of being “on top.” So I wouldn’t dismiss this hypothesis out of hand …

I would seek out one or two people who seemed amiable and would make myself useful to them … I would raise animals and plants and find joy in their thriving. I would surround myself with beauty —- no matter how primitive and artless —- objects, colors, sounds. I would eat and drink well.

When the darkness grows denser, I would penetrate to its very core and ground, and would not rest until amid the pain an light appeared to me, for in excessu affectus Nature reverses herself. I would turn in rage against myself and with the heat of my rage I would melt my lead. I would renounce everything and engage in the lowest activities should my depression drive me to violence. I would wrestle with the dark angel until he dislocated my hip. For he is also the light and the blue sky which he withholds from me.

Anyway, that is what I would do. What others would do is another question, which I cannot answer. But for you too there is an instinct either to back out of it or to go down to the depths. But no half-measures or half-heartedness.

With cordial wishes,
As ever, C.G.Jung

from: Heart Mind Spirit

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