Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III. I am the president of Gospel Light Society University. We are going through the book “Out of the Depths: An Autobiographical Study Of Mental Disorder And Religious Experience” by one of the pioneers of chaplaincy, Dr. Anton T. Boisen. This is episode #69.
Our Scripture Verse for today is Galatians 5:16-17 which reads, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Marcus Aurelius. He said, “Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.”
In this podcast, we will continue discussing the book “Out of the Depths” by Anton T. Boisen. We continue today with “Chapter 4: A Little-Known Country” (Part 18):
I remember distinctly the beginning of that idea. It came first during that abnormal period in Washington, a flashing, blinding, overwhelming idea that I was not after all just what I had thought myself, but that I had lived on this earth many hundreds of years under different forms but always with the same problem which I had not been able to solve. It seemed that I was identified with the woman from whom the seven devils had been cast out; also with the poet Dante. Confirmation of this I found in the fact that my first illumination had come on Easter morning, that the problem was indeed the same, and that the idea was one I had never dreamed of before. It seemed also that in that struggle lay the center of the fight which had been going on for nineteen hundred years. The Christ personality had been imprisoned and crippled by the selfish demands of a love which had been essential to some weaker person’s salvation. He had been imprisoned because he could not destroy the weaker personality in his own interest; also because this problem, that of sex, represented the first and most difficult problem in the making of a better race. It seemed that as a representative of that weaker type, it was my duty to give up what I felt to be my claim. After I had acted on that it seemed that the fight had been won, and I became ecstatically happy. Them I was seized with a terrible panic from which I emerged only gradually.
One of the things which has most puzzled and horrified me in this recent delirium is the ideas which I have had regarding my own identity. Starting with the idea that I was the representative of the Magdalene-Dante type, I surrendered my claim and became a zero quantity. Then I became confused. I was a zero quantity, but I was also its opposite. Another idea which persisted throughout the disturbed period was that I was a representative of the sex instinct. It was in this role, I think, that I attempted repeatedly to eliminate myself. Once I tried to drown myself in the tub and nearly succeeded. Twice I rammed my head against the corner of the brick wall.
As I look back over this, viewing it more in perspective, I still wonder if there may not be some glimmering of truth in these strange ideas. We know so little about the unseen forces. Is it not possible that our minds are the scene of a struggle in which universal issues are at stake?
One such idea was that of life as consisting of two cycles, one in the flesh and one in the spirit. It seemed that the departed spirit had its abode in the subconscious of those whom it loved and that its chances of returning to the world and perpetuating the cycle depended upon the fidelity of the man or woman in whom that spirit abode. According to this idea, it should be possible, if we learned the laws, to select the types which are brought into the world and thus secure an unbroken succession of alternating personalities. That would be eternal life. I am giving this just the way the idea came.
The universe I thought of as a great living organism, or series of organisms. It seemed that out of the present world a new social order was to be formed. This would be a new spiritual body gathering to itself the spirits of those who were fit. In such a body the “family of four” would constitute a new type of cell replacing the simpler cell on which the present order is founded. It seemed that the present order is based upon competition, and competition eliminates the best as well as the worst. The new order would be based upon co-operation and would seek to preserve whatever was worth preserving, guarding carefully the finest and the best. According to this idea, the virgin birth of Christ would represent an actual new element entering into the race and it was made possible by some man giving his place to another. But the Second Coming had not taken place because of the frailty of some of the disciples. It seems that the personality which I represented had been chiefly responsible for blocking the way. Salvation was thus by no means assured. It depended upon the outcome of a titanic struggle which was still undecided.
In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 19 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.
Now, if you have come across this podcast, and do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, God bless!