Zen Mind, Depression Symptoms and Being Objective

I use Zen thought as a tool for helping people heal from depression. I was motivated to do this because of an interview with Leonard Cohen the singer, introspective composer and student of Zen. Cohen talks about being depressed for many years.

Many students of Zen are falsely obssesed with the idea of being objective in thought

It is virtually impossible to be objective, simply because it is the subjective individual seeking to do this. It is also virtually impossible to present objective knowledge in words because there is no subjective or explicit knowledge that can be communicated as an objective form of knowledge. Once it is transferred to another person through communication it becomes subjective. An objective knowledge is what can be called Wisdom Mind. It is “what is”. It exists as an internal awareness. A subjective viewpoint on the other hand will reflect many factors in an individual’s life including gender, genetic factors, personal history, educational background, core beliefs and socialization. You cannot seek objective knowledge since even seeking it is subjective. By consistent practice, meditation, studying kōans, etc. one can have glimpses of objective knowing.

In time you will come to realize that objective and subjective ways of experiencing the world can serve each other. By organizing and differentiating the various types of knowledge, you will be able to apply an objective internal knowing to transcend obstacles that fact or information – based knowledge could never address.

What is the purpose of seeking knowledge? Your  intention is to explore life and the process of living, speak little, listen carefully and be open.  There is no objective here. Just live your best life and seek council with those who seem to have wisdom. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. This is the essence of the Wisdom Path.

This is an extract from the book “Spiritual But Not Religious” By Lewis Harrison


Lewis Harrison is an speaker, consultant, and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. He is a  pioneer in the personal development movement  The author of nine  self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching.

He is the author of the Comprehensive book Healing Depression naturally www.HealingDepressionBook.com

He created the course on Life Strategies www.LewisHarrisonsAppliedGameTheory.com  – based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”. Lewis holds regular stress management,  and meditation retreats at his Spa in the Western Catskills. Learn more at Thecatskillsbedandbreakfast.com

His company offers on-site chair massage through www.eventschairmassage.com

Lewis hosts a weekly radio show “What Up” that explore game theory. The show broadcasts Wednesdays and Thursday on WIOX 91.3 FM  – 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EST).  The show is also available as an internet stream at the same time period at WIOXRadio.org