Despondency is defined as a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage. Sadly, many unemployed people right now are sinking into despondency as we are making our way through this pandemic.
Despondency pushes us sometimes to soothe ourselves by changing our romantic partners, jobs, and cars, by pushing ourselves to make more and more money, by endlessly scrolling, and by involving ourselves in destructive addictions of food, sex, alcohol, or drugs. People who have grown up in addictive households, like me, are more prone to the latter. We are looking for how to solve our angst or change our state. We are looking to solve a problem that we do not understand.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna also experiences despondency. The misunderstood learning and experiences he has received prior to this battle, and his dejection and disappointment, push him to declare, “I will not fight! It is nobler for me to be killed by the Kauravas. Unarmed, I will face them and let them kill me.” Arjuna becomes willing to self-destruct as his pessimistic state has rendered his life meaningless to him.
For Arjuna, and so many of us, it is in this pit of despair that the spiritual path opens up to us. As Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say, “There’s a spiritual solution for every problem.”
Sources: Gita 365