The purpose of depression

I was asked recently what the spiritual purpose of depression is.


“What is the spiritual purpose of depression?” is a really useful question. There IS a spiritual purpose for everything - for our lives overall, and for every specific discomfort we feel.

I know so many many people who have depression, that is, they are more than just sad sometimes, over something specific; they suffer consistently dark days like I used to. The kinds of days when breathing hurts; when the floor is the best place to be; when taking a shower is a triumph and a tragedy; when eating is a necessary evil; when crying is too much effort.

I “have depression” myself. My DSM-V diagnosis is chronic PTSD (which for me includes depression and anxiety and a few other threads), and alcoholism (in “complete, sustained remission”).

But I don’t experience those horrific, filthy black days anymore. I spent 40 years making my way out. I’m serene and joyful a lot. So let me tell you the purpose of depression and the path I took to escape.

(Sadness and) depression is telling us that we feel deprived of Love due to events that happened in the past.

When I say Love here, I mean Pure Love - not being “in love”.

The absence of Love is fear…. a person being abused is likely feeling fear not Love; a soldier killing a person is probably not feeling Love or they probably wouldn’t be able to do their job; a rescue worker running in to a burning building may be very afraid of dying or seeing people die.

I say probably and likely, because it IS possible to do be beaten, to kill, and to walk through fire with Love and be unafraid - but most humans walking the earth are not enlightened yet; that’s why we’re here! That is why we are presented with these situations - to test this stuff out.

We come out of these situations in which we were afraid with our brain chemistry altered. Our neurons have become highly sensitive to any input similar to the traumatic (lack of Love) experience. So, we experience the fear over and over again, we get ‘triggered’. The more times we feel fear, the more angry and resentful we become and the less effective at daily life. Depression settles in to protect us - to numb us to the suffering.

From experience, I know that medication can help to adjust the brain chemistry, thought work can help to change our perspective, and spiritual work enhances both. Spiritual work also gives us the answer to the ultimate question - why did this happen? And leads us to peace.

The spiritual purpose of depression is to alert us to the lack of Love in our past. The spiritual remedy is forgiveness…. we are depressed because our assignment is to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness leads us to enlightenment.


To forgive means to live in the present moment - free from the past. It takes practice. Me, I live in the present moment almost all the time. When I feel depression creeping up, I know it’s about the past and I stop and bring myself back into alignment.

For me, writing my book, The Art of Forgiveness, was the final step into the light. That is how I finally realized the purpose of the abuse (and depression) I went through.

I only realized it after I had forgiven, but you have an advantage because you know the reason and the remedy now! Grab a free copy of my book and try my simple method (Chapter 6) for forgiveness. I give very clear instructions. I am also always here for you for private lessons in spiritual growth (your spirit guides and loved ones on the other side usually pop in, too).

Much love and joy to you,

Reverend Steph

Science is catching up with us

My kids’ dad sent me a cool article the other day and I just had to share it with you… A team of physicists proved that two different realities can exist at the same time! I mean, they actually created two realities, and measured them, and they were different, and they existed at the same time!

“The experiment produces an unambiguous result. It turns out that both realities can coexist even though they produce irreconcilable outcomes… 

“That raises some fascinating questions that are forcing physicists to reconsider the nature of reality.”

Click here to read the whole article.

This is the latest in the string of experiments that are helping to prove the true nature of reality. Chapter 7 of my first book, The Art of Forgiveness, outlines the really important (and famous) proofs. Here’s an even quicker summary (click on the links to learn more):

  • 1920: Nils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg
    Nothing is real until it is observed: and just the THOUGHT of an observer is enough. Niels Bohr said,If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

  • 1926: Max Born
    Quantum waves are waves of PROBABILITY, not material.

  • 1935: Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, Nathan Rosen
    The presence of the observer is completely ENTANGLED with whatever they are observing. Einstein said, “The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”.

  • 1964: John Bell
    Before matter can exist, it has to be OBSERVED by a living creature.

  • 1982: Alain Aspect
    Two, once-connected quantum particles remain CONNECTED over vast distances - when one changes, the other changes at faster than the speed of light.

  • 1997: Nichols Gisin
    Particles communicate with each other INSTANTANEOUSLY (in this case, over 7 miles).

  • 2002: David Wineland
    Beryllium ions communicated with one another INSTANTANEOUSLY, they even knew what would happen in the future.

  • 2004: The double slit experiment
    The location of an electron depends upon OBSERVATION. Everything we observe is floating in a field of mind.

  • And here’s the latest…Massimiliano Proietti
    The team used six entangled photons to create two ALTERNATE REALITIES and compare them. They PROVED that two realities can exist at the same time!

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I love this all so much!

Putting it all together so far….

Past, present, and future are illusion…. there is no objective reality… thought creates matter.

I mean - we are free! We are not at the mercy of the Universe.

Physics has proven that what we think makes matter exist. Before we think it into existence, everything is just statistical probability.

It takes a lot of practice to wake up from the illusion that there is an objective reality. And it can become so mind blowing that we give up or choose to forget again. So, we just do it little by little.

A Course in Miracles is a course book for practicing. Each lesson is just a few minutes long, and gets us in the habit of seeing things as they really are.

If you want to do it with me, in a fun, practical, easy way, join my facebook group here.

Much, much love!

Reverend Steph

Two for one

In this episode of Miracles in Manhattan, you get two lessons from A Course in Miracles; lessons 6 AND 7. It’s cool, because we’ve met both concepts before, and, doing them both helps get us into the groove of weaving these new habits of thought into a new perspective as a whole.

Here’s what you’ll hear!

✨Mad Max, Mel Gibson, and the Perth Apocalypse 
✨Seeing what others cannot: the worst superpower 
✨Everyday Texas Chainsaw Massacres 
✨Thoughts vs things - a steel-cage free-for-all you can win
✨Destroy all the boredom 
✨NYC, invisible city

Also - we talk a LOT about cups today…..

Listeners may experience a mildly disagreeable and/or an unexpectedly pleasant sensation due to 1.5 seconds of unintended ASMR near minute 19. At the word “sippings,” this sound is imminent. At “cupness,” it’s too late.

Sorry/You’re welcome.

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