Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Depressive Realism: Is there a way to reason it out?

Warning: Not a lighthearted kind of post!

I first heard of depressive realism from my mentor in college and later discussed it's personal meaning with a like-minded professor. Basically, depressive realism is the hypothesis that mildly depressed individuals are more realistic than happy or clinically depressed people. This gave me a concept. I was no longer the pessimist, but instead, the realist.
Great! Now I'm average and the pressure is off. Or is it? I still have the burn to do something beyond a bachelor's degree. Ah ha. Now my friend depressive realism enters the thought process. Maybe i should settle for a Master's degree. Can I really hack 4 more years and an internship?
My practice at positive thinking then enters the conversation. "Settle" no you can't settle. If you can get through those hellacious years of undergrad then you can get through any academic challenge.
And so it seems I am weighing depressive realism with positive thinking and it is always stagnant to some degree. That's where I'm at. No where. Does being depressively realistic help me? In the end will it protect me from failure? Is there any protection from failure? What good does the truth do when it is holding me back?

What do I benefit from knowing reality, that is, from intellectually knowing the truth?

Fideism is the newest of J's terms. Interestingly enough fideism can be interpreted in one way as to contend that faith and truth cannot be reasoned. Whoa. This little agnostic perked up at the introduction of this philosophy. Here's the deal, I have read the research, I have researched the rebuttals, I know there is no intelligent design and believe Christ and Siddhartha may have been the same person - or even two cool dudes. That's it though - no saviors or Gods. I want to believe in something so badly, but organized religion is the epitome of my disgust. My mentor is active in organized religion and has told me that he believes because he wants to - and leaves all reason at the door.
Can I release my grasp on reason, reality, & intellectual truth in hopes of finding a more comforting and possibly meaningful life?
There are no epiphanies as of yet and it seems like more than just making a choice.


LauraS said...

I'm sure I'm the last person you want to hear from, but I couldn't resist.
Realism is never a fault, only a gift.
What I would like to suggest to you is that your desire to believe in something is a desire that you've been given, from a "higher power". Where else, otherwise, could it come from? Because of your distaste for organized religion, your desire to believe couldn't possibly have come from that. Just some things to ponder.
Also, take a look at intelligent design again. Take a look at Newton's laws, if you already have, look again. Newton suggests and science accepts that no one action occurs on it's own, but must be acted on by an outside source. If this is true than the wonderful creation that is Earth had to come from somewhere else. If that's the case, we also, must be created beings that desire to know and believe in the creator.

girlymama said...

A fantastic resource for you is C.S. Lewis's book, Mere Christianity. This is not a dumbed-down religious tract you'd find at the gas station. Its not about religion or church doctrine or whatever. This book is a scholar's 'logical' journey to a belief in God. He starts with looking at whether a true 'right' and 'wrong' exists (so the very beginning ;-) and goes from there.

When I was searching and really looking at what I believed, I found this book extremely helpful.

I applaud your search for truth. So many people are too lazy to deal with, well... thinking. (Reality tv is so much more interesting, after all.) Taking the time and energy to search out what you believe is worth every minute it takes. Keep searching!