PODCAST: A Little-Known Country, Part 12 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #63)

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 #63.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 40:2 which reads, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Aristotle. He said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

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 12):

The second letter to Fred was also written in November of the same year. If my memory serves me correctly, I began it on Thanksgiving Day and finished it the following Sunday. It was received at East Williston on December 4. It was thus written within a month from the time I emerged from the psychotic condition. It was my response to a letter from Fred suggesting that I should make mental illness my special problem.

I have been doing some thinking along the lines of your suggestion, and since I now have plenty of time on my hands, I am going to set down some of my provisional conclusions.

I suppose every inmate of such a place as this has ideas and theories of his own and feels much aggrieved because others will not accept them. I feel, however, that I have some understanding of my own case. I have heen dealing with it for twenty years, and you will remember that practically all my Seminary work centered around this problem. What I shall give you is therefore really the result of twenty years of study, rather than just recently formed conclusions, except in so far as my conclusions have been influenced by this recent experience.

As I look around me here and then try to analyze my own case, I would distinguish two main types of insanity. In the one there is some organic trouble, a defect in the brain or a disorder in the nervous system, or some disease of the blood. In the other there is no organic difficulty. The body is strong and the brain is in good working order. The difficulty lies in the disorganization of the patient’s world. Something has upset the foundations upon which his ordinary reasoning processes are based. Death or disappointment compel a re-organization of his world from the bottom up. That, I think, has been my trouble, and it is the trouble with many others also.

You have, if I remember aright, a fairly full account which I gave you last month. I may therefore point out that the key is to be found in the Easter experience of 1898. A new idea brought relief and hope and newness of life, when all had seemed darkness and despair, an idea so tremendous that it necessitated a reconstruction of my entire philosophy of life. . . *

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 13 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!