(Jacque Fresco) The discussion
today is about depression. There are many people that have
been depressed for many years and I get lots of letters. Sometimes they say that “I found no meaning in
life, no purpose, and you pulled me out of it.” I get a lot of letters like that so the only thing I can say [is
that] it’s not due to genetics. If it was due to genetics,
I couldn’t pull them out. Does that make sense to you? What is depression? If you live vicariously
through another person (let’s say you rely on
that person entirely) you live, and that person dies you lose your identity because you put your
identity in another person which isn’t a good thing to do. That’s a kind of dependency.
You know what I mean? That’s a part of depression,
a little bit of it. The rest is loss of identity. You can lose your identity if you’re brought up with
a philosophy of life that doesn’t reinforce you. If you’re brought up with a set
of values: “Do the right thing and everything will
work out all right” and if it doesn’t work out all
right, you become depressed because you lose predictability.
Is that clear? If you have predictability about
yourself and other people you can anticipate
certain things. If you have no answer, if you
look for answers in your own mind it isn’t exposed enough. There’s not enough in schools
that give you a way of thinking so you can solve problems. It isn’t that they don’t want to.
They don’t have it. They’ve never found a way of
thinking they can solve problems. That’s why, when the
businessman retires he may become depressed because he has no game to play. All his life, say a guy that owns a
jewelry store, that sells jewelry and every sale makes
him feel good. Then he retires and he has nothing anymore. He has no identity, except
‘sales of jewelry.’ Do you understand? That’s gone? What follows is depression. There are some dogs that
have been depressed due to that they had a very close
relationship with their master. When the master dies they sat next to the master
and wouldn’t go away and bark at anybody that
would try to take them away. Their full identification was
as a team with their master. They had no identification
when the master died. They had no way
of looking at it. The difference between humans
and most animals [is that] most animals don’t fear death.
They don’t even know there is such a thing. They move away from animals
that are larger than they are. That’s a reflex, but they
don’t know what death is nor do they think of it. So far, any questions? Okay. A person then asks
themselves questions: “Why did my wife leave me?” and they can’t figure it out,
because everything they’ve done was pleasing and they don’t understand that. That is not necessarily
a logical question. Your wife may have left you
for many different reasons: that she likes a guy tall,
with blond wavy hair or stocky, or whatever. If you don’t meet that image,
she might leave you. The assumption that she won’t leave
you is what can depress you. Your assumption about the world: “Surely they won’t have another war,
while they’re having a war now!” you can’t say that. You can say “I’d like to see peace on
Earth,” so you work toward it but if you hope there’s
peace on Earth you might get depressed
by the next war. See, when people ask me, “When
will the Venus Project be built?” The honest answer
is “I don’t know.” I don’t even know
if we’ll get there but I can’t accept what I
see, so I try to intervene. Intervening, does that mean we’ll
have a better world? Not necessarily. Whatever you get
is what you get. Do you understand that? The assumptions: “Surely people can all see the
logic of a one global society.” No, they can’t! That’s a major problem so you use different techniques to try to get them
oriented towards that. Okay, so what is depression
and how do you get rid of it? If you’re depressed it means you’re looking within
yourself for answers and you can’t get that. How did I get it? I didn’t find it in
psychology books at all. Here’s how I got it. I sat down, I said: “What is depression?
” I said “I don’t know.” How can I know what it is? A depressed person always seems
to have a low self-image. Do you know what that means? “I’m not getting anywhere in life.
I’m not respected three girls have left me.
” Whatever it is it’s a low self-sufficiency
to start with. Instead of looking for
‘the girl of your dreams’ you try to make her.
Do you know what that means? Educate her, in
whatever way you can. Does it mean it will
work perfectly? No. But it will work better
than you doing nothing. Do you understand that? Therefore depression is not
only loss of self-image they have none. A guy finds himself
in the Marines and he wants to be
successful in the Marines and that can’t bring success unless they give you medals and
everybody pats you on the back. That’s your self-image:
“I made it,” you can say. Or an actor, that does… a theater actor that acts
before a live audience and they applaud after. That makes him feel good. [When it’s] a movie,
he doesn’t know. If he works in a movie, he doesn’t
know that people are going to applaud. Do you understand that? Therefore, he could
encounter depression. Anybody that does any routine: a job, a jeweler, a plumber,
an artist, a painter if they don’t get rewarded
for their painting like “You’re a genius,
you’re good, creative” that makes them go on painting. If people say “What the hell
is that supposed to be?” If they paint because they like
to paint that’s much better if that occurs. If you go for a walk because
you like to go for a walk not because the doctor
told you to go for a walk everyday, for at
least a half hour but if you don’t do it
because you want to do it Ii you go out for a walk
through the country and you smell the trees
and you look around and you’re pleased
by that, do it. If it depresses you
going for a walk you have to restore
the self-image. In most instances there
is no self-image so you have to give
them a self-image. You have to talk about a lot of
things [like] “I didn’t know that that water became ice suddenly. I thought it was gradually
how it became…” Whatever it is, if you expose them
to different branches of science and they begin to find
answers that satisfy them their self-image grows. If you make a Lutheran out
of a person that says “Have faith in God.
He’ll look after you” if you put that faith in
somebody you can’t see or touch it may carry you through because you know there’s
somebody up there that loves you even though nobody does (that there is
somebody up there) and that helps some people but it’s not genuine help.
Do you understand? Because [he] says to the
minister “What did I do wrong?” If you believe in right and
wrong, you can get depressed: “I must have done
the wrong thing.” It isn’t the ‘wrong’
thing that you do. It’s a less valid
thing that you do. It’s a less appropriate thing that you do.
Do you know what I mean? Not wrong.
If you work on somebody: “Snap out of that depression!
Have faith in yourself and confidence!” Well, they might get fooled
“Gee, you sound great!” but that doesn’t take
away that self-image. You don’t take away the self-image.
You add to it. You understand what that means?
Whatever the person is. They only have no self-image.
They don’t know who they are. (If you’re in pain, that’s different.
I’m not talking about that. If you have a tumor growing in your
lungs and you can hardly breathe that’s something else.
That’s not depression. That’s physical disability.) If you have your health and you feel that you’re
learning something everyday and don’t ever assume that
you can fix something too. You can try to fix it: “I
am going to try to fix it” and if that doesn’t work you
come at it another way. If that doesn’t work,
say “I can’t handle it: I need more information
in that area.” That’s what self-confidence is. The more genuine information a
person has in certain areas… People that do feel “I can’t
get up before hundred people and say something because I worry about
whether I’ll ‘goof’ and they’ll laugh at me.” Here’s how you handle that: You never talk to
people to win approval. You talk to people to inform. If you were in a
building, in the hallway and a big beam fell on fire, you’d
go in for the thousand people and say “Exit as fast as you can.
There’s a fire!” and you won’t feel bad about
it because what you’re saying is essential to their well-being but when you gamble and you
say “I don’t believe in God!” at a church meeting,
they’d all say “What?!” They’re not going to say “How
do you account for all this?” They don’t even do that. If they don’t do that, there’s no bridge.
You have to build a bridge. Even a religious person, when
they get a [broken] window crank and they crank it and
the window doesn’t open they take it back
to the company. They need verification. When they buy something
the [sales] guy says “If you buy this window
it’s hurricane-proof because there’s a sheet of plastic
between two sheets of glass so you can’t smash
it with an object.” You have to give the person
with a low self-sufficiency a high self-sufficiency by
giving him a direction, or her so they don’t concentrate
on themselves: “I’ve been working all these years
and I’ve nothing to show for it!” “Did you assume that you
would have something?” What you have to do is engage in
self-image and ask questions: Why I am depressed?
Why do I feel insufficient in a crowd? Because I’m hoping the crowd
will like what I say. [As for me] I don’t give a shit. If they believe the Earth is
flat and I find out it’s round I enjoy telling them it’s round. If they refuse it, that’s
their problem, not mine. If you feel you are unsuccessful
in presenting an idea the assumption that you will
be successful is depressing. Do you understand that?
That’s what makes depression. When you do something
and nothing happens; when you row a boat
and it doesn’t move. If you get in a boat, and you
don’t know how to use the oars and it doesn’t move,
you get depressed. When you pull on the string
and the motor doesn’t start you say “What the hell?
” and you pull on it, until it does start or you learn that you might
have to change the spark plug. It might have a shorter
gap or a longer gap and you bring the gap closer
together so you have a spark. If you don’t know those basic
things, you can kick the lawnmower. We tend to project living human
characteristics into things. Sometimes, if your binoculars don’t
work, you throw them on the couch (do you know what I mean?) because you get mad
at the binoculars. You give it a personality “God
damn it, you should work!” “I paid $40 for it.
That’s why it should work.” No, you paid $40 and it doesn’t
work, so you take it back or you leave it until
you go into town again but throwing it on the couch or
the floor, doesn’t make it work. Sometimes, if there’s a
loose wire in your TV set and you kick the set and the wires
[connect], it’ll go on again so sometimes that carries on
that type of value system. I think I covered everything
related to depression. It’s a low self-image, or no
self-image, or looking for justice. If you give them something to
do that they identify with (not something that you
like) something… Talk to them about The Venus Project,
work on it, talk to other people then they feel they
are doing something. If other people don’t understand
them, they might feel disappointed. What they’re disappointed in is their inability to make
contact with other people. It takes practice and
error and mistakes. When I first walked over to [Ku
Klux] Klan people [and said] “Why are you beating up the black guy?
He didn’t do anything to you” they just said “There’s a
nigger-lover from the North!” They did not hear that nor could they hear that.
Do you understand? If you talk to a depressed person,
and you show them what it is so that they know
what’s wrong with them: They don’t have a self-image. How do you get a self-image?
By learning new things. By learning things that take you
out of the old value system.