A Little-Known Country, Part 22 (Out of the Depths #73)

A Little-Known Country, Part 22 (Out of the Depths #73)

A Little-Known Country, Part 21 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #72)

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 #72.

Our Scripture Verse for today is 1 John 4:4 which reads, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Vincent van Gogh. He said, “I knew well enough that one could fracture one’s legs and arms and recover afterward, but I did not know that you could fracture the brain in your head and recover from that too.”

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 21):

The reference to my believing that I had not suffered from any mental illness refers, of course, to my attempt to distinguish between cerebral disease and mental disorder, and my assertion that I had no cerebral disease.

In fairness to the doctor it should be said that in talking with him, talking as I did under unfavorable conditions and vexed by his attitude, I probably got somewhat excited. It was this which probably explained his answer.

The chief developments during the month of January were the completion, through Fred Eastman’s unremitting efforts, of the negotiations for my transfer to the Bloomingdale Hospital in New York and my own growing conviction that my vocational future was to be found in the mental hospital. But the way was by no means easy, and when it came time to have the necessary papers signed, serious obstacles were encountered. It was a trying time for all of us, especially for my mother. My own state of mind is reflected in the following letter to here.

1 February 1921

My beloved mother:

I have been pondering this morning over the next step which lies before me. I have already written you of what I have in mind, but I feel that there is a little more that needs to be said.

It is for one thing clear to me that I cannot go back into the pastorate. The prolonged stay here has already made that inadvisable. In this Fred Eastman agrees with me. In fact both of us arrived at this conclusion independently. It is inadvisable because it would be necessary to account for these four months, and questions would be raised in the minds of many people, even though I were far more competent than I have ever been before. It is also inadvisable to think further of the pastorate because, if this experience which I have passed through has any meaning, that meaning would point clearly in another direction.

Two courses then remain. I can go into survey work, or other work which I have done before. Such a step I should regard as a backward one and I should always feel myself a failure. The other course is to take as my problem the one with which I am now concerned. That seems to me the clear course. It would give meaning and unity to the experiences of the past and provide something for me to live for and work for. This is truly an interesting and important problem, one which is just beginning to be understood and one in which religion and medicine meet. In many of its forms, insanity, as I see it, is a religious rather than a medical problem, and any treatment which fails to recognize that fact can hardly be effective. But as yet the church has given little attention to this problem.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 22 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

How Heavy This Axe

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 #71.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 139:23-24 which reads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from C. S. Lewis. He said, “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.'”

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 20):

Dear Fred:

My sister tells me that you have been much upset by the thought that all these queer ideas of mine were evolved under your own roof. Let me assure you that such was not the case, at least so far as the abnormal state was concerned. I had never thought of such things before nor had I read of them. They were just ideas which came to me suddenly and insistently as from an unknown source and I simply wrote them down.

I do hope you may be able to make some arrangements by which I can get out soon. I should prefer not to be transferred to another hospital but to come out under your care. Frankly the thought of having to bare my very soul again is by no means pleasant to me. One of the hold-over ideas I can’t get away from is fear of the doctors and fear of imprisonment.

This morning a bunch of us were sent out to get laurel for Christmas decorations and I was ordered to show the way to an especially good place which I had visited in company with our kind-hearted, nature-loving head-waiter. It filled me with fear and forebodings. I can’t bear the thought of taking a crowd like that out to strip the bushes of leaves and flowers, so that all their beauty will be destroyed for the coming year, if not for several years to come. I fear something of this sort for myself. I don’t like to be dissected as a pathological subject.
I don’t want to say more than is necessary and then only to those I trust absolutely.

About the middle of December, while talking with one of my physicians, I remarked that while I recognized the grotesque character of the ideas I had had during the disturbed period, I still felt that in the experience there had been some purpose. It was not all a mistake. He shook his head solemnly and said I was entirely wrong. This remark of mine apparently cost me the visit to New York upon which I had been counting. In any case
it explains the following letter to Fred Eastman under the date of December 30, 1920.

Dear Sir:

Replying to your letter of recent date, I beg to inform you that I do not consider Mr. Boisen well enough to visit you at your home during the coming week-end. He still has many false ideas and although his conduct is not greatly disturbed, it is easy to see that his mind is far from right. He still believes that the experience through which he has been passing is part of a plan which has been laid out for him and that he has not suffered from any
mental illness. This mistaken idea is sufficient to tell us that he is still in need of hospital treatment.

Very truly yours,
W. E. Lang
Superintendent

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 21 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

A Little-Known Country, Part 19 (Out of the Depths #70)

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 #70.

Our Scripture Verse for today is 2 Timothy 1:7 which reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. She said, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

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 19):

During the disturbed period I had over and over again ideas of going through all stages
of evolution from the single cell on. It was all very terrible.

My sister says I talked of dying in order that I might be born into the world again. I cannot remember any such idea as that.

I am setting this down just as accurately as I can as part of the analysis I am trying to work out. I hope you will keep this together with my other letter. I have no place to file things here and I may want to refer to them again. I feel like a traveler back from a distant country and I want to record my observations while they are still fresh. This does not mean that I hold to these ideas as true. While I do believe there may be some truth in some of
the ideas, I am concerned chiefly with the mental processes which are involved.

I am much interested in your suggestion regarding transfer to the Bloomingdale Hospital [in White Plains, New York]. If they use the Freudian method there I should like to go there in order to watch the results. I am well enough contented here. I am treated well. But I want a chance to study other methods of treatment than those prevailing here.

As I wrote you last time, my doctors says I can go home Christmas if the family invites me and that I can be released shortly after New Year’s.

From the middle of December until early in March of 1921, the correspondence was concerned chiefly with the obstacles to an early release and with negotiations for transfer to the Bloomingdale Hospital. My letters during this period indicate a fair degree of stability. There was however a brief period in mid-December when some of the old fears were threatening to return. This is reflected in the following letter dated December 16, 1920.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 20 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

A Little-Known Country, Part 18 (Out of the Depths #69)

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”.

—PRAYER—

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!

A Little-Known Country, Part 17 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #68)

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 #68.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 37:23-24 which reads, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “I note that some whom I greatly love and esteem, who are, in my judgment, among the very choicest of God’s people, nevertheless, travel most of the way to heaven by night.”

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 17):

The other proposition is that concerning treatment. He recognizes three stages in the process of cure:

1. There must be absolute frankness and truthfulness on the part of the patient, understanding of the trouble on the part of the physician, and the attempt to bring into clear consciousness the dimly understood ideas which should prevail.

2. He holds that in practically every case of successful treatment in which the sex instinct is involved, the patient’s affections are transferred to the physician. This, he says, is a fact that must be frankly recognized and wisely utilized as fundamental to the process of cure.

3. Re-direction or sublimation or elimination of the transference as soon as the right time comes. This marks the completion of the process of cure.

As I understand my own case, that it precisely what has been happening. Therein lies the explanation of the recent smash-up. May it not be the destruction or sublimation of the transference relationship and the completion of a process which has been going on for many years? That, at least, is the interpretation I had arrived at before I ever heard of Freud. I am glad to receive support of this sort. It makes me feel as in the days of old when I was working on some difficult problem in algebra, and then after getting my answer, I would turn to the key in the back of the book and find that my answer was right. But this is a problem on which I have been working for eighteen years.

My idea of the “family of four” would then be an attempt to express this principle. The idea I had in mind would be this, that there are those for whom the hope of salvation is involved with sexual love. This fact must be recognized. This does not mean, however, that such a desire should be gratified. If it is the right kind of love, it would not demand that. On the other hand, it must not be killed. The surgeon’s knife and the methods of fear and repression are not the right treatment, but frankness and co-operation. It seemed to me then that the finest men and the finest women are precisely the ones most likely to respond to the appeal of weakness and of need. Such a response has had blessing attached to it, but it has also meant sacrifice which should not have to be made. Of course, in my abnormal condition I went too far and attempted to universalize my own experience, but may there not be some element of truth in this crazy idea?

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 18 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

PODCAST: A Little-Known Country, Part 16 (Out of the Depths #67 with Daniel Whyte III)

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 #67.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 34:17 which reads, “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from James H. Aughey. He said, “God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.”

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 16):

Sunday
I have just been talking with Dr. D., a charming young doctor whom I like very much. He tells me that I can go home Christmas, if my family will invite me, and he encourages me to believe that by New Year’s, or shortly thereafter, I can be released entirely. I was, however, disappointed to have him leave me with the suggestion that my great mistake has been in not giving freer rein to the sex impulse.

In reading over this document, one or two things make me pause. Have I, perhaps, failed to recognize sufficiently the need of force in such cases as mine? That need I take for granted. I do not suppose that I would ever have gone to the hospital willingly. My grievance is rather the lack of any attempt to use persuasion or to explain what is being done and why. The other point is my apparent failure to recognize the seriousness of this disturbance. My answer is that there is hardly any need of stressing the gravity of my situation. The hopeful factors are less apparent, and it is upon these that any constructive future must be built. I do feel that I have made a long journey through some difficult and little-known country and that I have come through intact.

The following letter was written shortly after receiving a copy of Freud’s Introductory Lectures from Fred. This was my first introduction to Freud, and I became very excited over finding in this book much that supported my independently-arrived-at ideas.

December 11, 1920

Dear Fred:
Let me thank you heartily for your fine letter and for the book on psychoanalysis. I have been reading it with intense interest and, in fact, excitement. Freud’s conclusions are so strikingly in line with those which I had already formed that it makes me believe in myself a little bit once more. I refer in particular to two propositions:

He asserts in the first place that neuroses–i.e., abnormal, or insane conditions,–have a purpose. They are due to deep-seated conflict between great subconscious forces and the cure is to be found not in the suppression of the symptoms but in the solution of the conflict. That is just what I tried to say in my last letter.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 17 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

PODCAST: Chapter 4: A Little-Known Country, Part 15 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #66) (with Daniel Whyte III)

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 #66.

Our Scripture Verse for today is 2 Corinthians 1:5 which reads, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Mignon [MIN-YONG] McLaughlin. She said, “When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one.”

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 15):

One thing which all during my stay in the disturbed ward had much to do with the persistence of my delusions was the appearance of the Moon. I saw it centered in a cross of light. I took that as proof that I was right in ascribing great importance to what was happening to me. The cross stands for suffering. Therefore the Moon knows and the Moon is suffering on my account. But on Wednesday night, as I lay awake on the sleeping porch speculating on this dire portent, I made a discovery. When I changed my position to a certain spot. the cross no longer appeared. The explanation was simple. From that particular spot I was looking at the Moon through a hole in the wire screening! That discovery was a big help toward recovery. The next day I wrote a letter to my sister for the first time. In the afternoon came the visit from you and from here. These visits definitely repaired the broken communications and did so the more effectively because they came on that particular day. After that I improved rapidly and within a week I was transferred to the convalescent ward. This change of ward released me from many hold-over suggestions which had power over me so long as I remained on the disturbed ward.

This is a long and wearisome and fragmentary account of a very unpleasant experience. I have given it with a definite purpose. It suggests what seems to me a very important principle: The cure has lain in the faithful carrying through of the delusion itself. It also shows that the treatment given only made me more violent. So far as I can recall, I have never refused to do anything when I was requested to do it by some one in whom I had confidence. Nevertheless, I have been given severe beatings, all because in my bewilderment I did not obey some harsh order by some young attendant. There was little attempt to make use of persuasion or to cultivate hopefulness and self-respect.

The fundamental difficulty seems to me this: A man whose fundamental derangement is not of the body but in his philosophy of life is sent to a place where they look only at the physical side. Most of the doctors, I think, are not religious men. Many of them regard religion as a superstition which is responsible for many of the ills they have to treat. Such men are not fitted to deal with religious problems. If they succeed in their aims, the patient is shorn of the faith in which lies his hope of cure.

As for myself, I have from the beginning recognized the abnormal character of my own experience. I have recognized that those experiences which have been for me so vitally important would be clased by physicians as insanity. But I have chosen deliberately to follow the thing out. I have been following a trail which has taken me through some very dangerous country. But I believe it has been worth while, and I would make the same choice again. Even this experience, painful though it is, may be an adventure of which use can be made. There has been in my experience so much of the pathological that it is perhaps a fitting end to my life’s adventure that it should lead me to an institution such as this and should open my eyes to an important task which needs to be done. The only wonder is that I escaped hospitalization in Washington, where it would probably have been fatal.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 16 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

A Little-Known Country, Part 14 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #65)

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 #65.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Isaiah 43:2 which reads, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Helen Keller. She said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

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 14):

A few days after your visit I was called to the door. Dr. Chambers, the assistant superintendent, was there. With him were two men, and he wanted to know if I recognized them. They were the men who had brought me out from the Psychopathic. After a short talk Dr. Chambers remarked, “Quite a change, isn’t there? It’s certainly a good ad for the hospital.” Of course, I was glad to hear him say that. I am indeed appreciative of all they have done for me here, but with this conclusion I cannot agree. If I have recovered, as I think I have, I cannot ascribe it to the methods of treatment, but rather to the curative forces of the religion which was largely responsible for thee disturbed condition.

At Westboro I was also violent, but there was no solitary confinement there. I was either in the tubs or else on a large sleeping porch with a score of other patients. I got a favorable impression of the doctor, but I was still suspicious of the nurse and of the chief attendant. I thought the food was doped. Here also I thought I was engaged in the same great struggle and here also it seemed that the Christ spirit was embodied in one of the patients, a young ex-sergeant whom I saw helping other patients who could not help themselves.

One of the things which excited me very much was the treatment given in the hydrotherapeutic baths. I looked upon it as a sort of punishment or persecution. I would go repeatedly to the door of the tub-room and ask to take the place of one of the men whom I regarded as among my friends. One day–I think it was October 27–when I went there with this request I was ordered to stop. When I did not immediately obey, three young attendants threw me down on the floor and began to beat me up, starting in the small of the back and working upwards. I was then carried back to bed. After staying there a little while, it came to me that I had done wrong in going back so easily, that I ought to have made them finish me up and that only thus could I release the spirit I thought imprisoned within myself. I went back then and was given a more severe beating. I can feel the effects of it now, even after five weeks. One of the older attendants told me later that I was given what was known as “the old bughouse knockout.” As I was being carried back–for I was not able to walk–I had the momentary consciousness of being once more myself. For a day or two I was not able to get up. Then on October 29, which happened to be my birthday, I seemed to wake up. On that day I was brought before the staff and my doctor remarked, as I was leaving, that I had done pretty well.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 15 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!

A Little-Known Country, Part 13 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #64

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 #64.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 37:23-24 which reads, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Franklin D. Roosevelt. He said, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

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 13):

Now my diagnosis is this: What is involved in my case, as well as in many others, is a sort of autohypnosis. I recall that in one of Professor Coe’s seminars at Union we discussed the various means of inducing the hypnotic condition. The principle brought out was that the key to it lay in the narrowing of attention to a single object or idea. One of the group went home and proceeded to fix his attention upon an electric light bulb. He succeeded, but he also injured his eyes. I take it that my attention was concentrated so completely upon one idea that hypnosis in some form was just what might have been expected. Of one thing I am sure. There was nothing wrong with the mental processes or with the reasoning faculties. Once my premises were granted, the conclusions were at least understandable. The fundamental fallacy was, of course, the assumption that an idea carried authority because of the way in which it came.

I have been especially puzzled regarding the origin and significance of the ideas of grandeur. How is it possible that I could ever fancy myself in such exalted roles as I did in the insane period? I see two possible explanations:

1 . When you give everything you have for a certain end and you then feel yourself called upon to give that thing up, it is equivalent to giving up your life; and your life is for you one with the world and with the universe. This principle is expressed mathematically if my memory does not betray me–by the equation 1 divided by 0 = infinity. It makes no difference how small or insignificant the unit may be, if it is divided by zero the quotient is infinity.

2. When you give up, or think you are giving up all that makes life worthwhile, you don’t care about anything else. Wealth, power, honor have no particular charm. You don’t care about them, and you know that you don’t. You therefore feel no enormity in the ideas of grandeur, much as you may later be horrified by them. They are felt rather as a burden which is wholly unwanted.

Concerning the particular ideas I shall not attempt any explanation. I would only insist that periods of crisis are fertile in suggestions, some of which may stand the test of experience and some may not.

I would stress the fact that most of these ideas were not in line with my previous experience and thinking. In fact they derived their authority in my thinking precisely from the fact that they were so absolutely different from anything I had thought of or heard of before, and because they came surging into my mind with such a rush.

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 14 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.

—PRAYER—

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!