I think this is a powerful video that contains a compelling idea that has the potential to help a lot of people who closely identify their sense of self with the contents of their consciousness or their description of their current state of consciousness. The distinction that Prince Ea is trying to help people recognize about themselves and their life experiences is a crucial one to understand if someone is going to join the ranks of people fortunate enough to have even a single self-transcendent moment during their lives.
With that said, I tweeted these thoughts to him this morning after re-watching his video about depression.
“they always come and go” @PrinceEa It’s presumptuous to claim to know what it is like to be anyone else regardless of YOUr view & YOUr life
Some are more unlucky than others. Some would accurately describe the contents of their consciousness as constantly cloudy, no? @PrinceEa
I think what Prince Ea is saying about depression is similar to what Tim Ferriss has published on the subject – How You Label Determines How You Feel – and I genuinely think their ideas are potentially helpful for many people. The brain is the most complex and least understood object in the known universe. Consciousness remains an enduring mystery to humankind. Clearly some people are dealt significantly less advantageous hands in life than other people both genetically and environmentally. I aspire to never make definitive claims about what it’s like for someone else to have the hand they have, like I think Prince Ea did in his video when he suggested that depressive moods or feelings, “…always come and go.” Despite believing that he’s expressed an insightful idea that many or even most people can relate to as the truth, it’s reasonable to suggest that some people’s subjective experience of the content of their consciousness objectively does not match Prince Ea’s description of the transient nature of such experiences or states of consciousness.
Just a few days ago, I had a Twitter exchange with Kendra Kantor, a blogger who had written the following about herself in a piece also published by TheMighty.com:
The fact is I’m a woman with depression and anxiety. No matter how well I manage my symptoms through medication, therapy, meditation or even exercise, I will have these illnesses for my entire life.
After reading her entire piece I tweeted the following:
Thanks for this piece @KendraKantor Given how little we understand about the brain, how do you “know” you’ll be ill for your “entire life”?
She responded as follows:
@iameinstein Thanks for reading! I suppose I don’t KNOW for 100% because science advancements and the brain can change but I know my…@iameinstein anxiety and depression are chemical in nature, not situational, and so I personally believe it’s something I’ll deal with…@iameinstein my whole life. That’s not to say I don’t believe (or HOPE) that I’ll have months or years of “normal” but it’s still part of me
And I replied as follows:
Got it @KendraKantor. Brain plasticity and inevitable advances in neuroscience were behind why I asked. Thx for the detailed clarification.
Kendra Kantor conceded that her claim about “knowing” the future is unreasonably definitive considering our current scientific understanding of how the neuronal biology of homo sapiens functions to produce human consciousness and the stream of thoughts, intentions and feelings that occupy it. To apply Prince Ea’s point of view as I see it, even though Kendra admits that her claim was overstated, and she has a belief about her future self versus certain knowledge of it, it seems reasonable to suggest that someone who believes that future suffering is inevitable is more likely to continue to experience such suffering compared to someone who believes that transformational change in one’s own state of consciousness is possible.
I do not know precisely why Kendra Kantor suffers as she does, and no one else does either, including her. And while I assert that she is someone that may benefit from thinking about her suffering in the way that Prince Ea suggests, unlike him (maybe), I will readily concede that Kendra may turn out to be objectively correct about her claim of lifelong suffering regardless of what she believes about the feasibility of not suffering in the future.