The sick soul in william james s

Lecture X. A mystery is concealed, and a metaphysical solution must exist. Things were meaningless whose meaning had always been self-evident. What is truest about it is that there is nothing even funny or silly in it; it is cruel and stupid, purely and simply.

At first it seemed as if such questions must be answerable, and as if he could easily find the answers if he would take the time; but as they ever became more urgent, he perceived that it was like those first discomforts of a sick man, to which he pays but little attention till they run into one continuous suffering, and then he realizes that what he took for a passing disorder means the most momentous thing in the world for him, means his death.

I translate freely. The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. One can distinguish many kinds of pathological depression.

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Our troubles lie indeed too deep for that cure. It gradually faded, but for months I was unable to go out into the dark alone. I could mow as well as the peasants, I could work with my brain eight hours uninterruptedly and feel no bad effects. I hope that, in view of all this, you will not regret my having pressed it upon your attention at such length. My state of mind was as if some wicked and stupid jest was being played upon me by some one. I pray the Lord will come forthwith and carry me hence. I mean to quote Tolstoy at some length; but before doing so, I will make a general remark on each of these two points. Its significance and framing give it the chief part of its value. The Sick Soul. Now, and all at once, I suffered in a measure what is suffered there. He manifested neither perversion nor violence, but complete absence of emotional reaction. She would have played with her doll, but it was impossible to find the least pleasure in the act.

This question must confront us on a later day. I assayed many ways to help to quiet my conscience, but it would not be; for the concupiscence and lust of my flesh did always return, so that I could not rest, but was continually vexed with these thoughts: This or that sin thou hast committed: thou art infected with envy, with impatiency, and such other sins: therefore thou art entered into this holy order in vain, and all thy good works are unprofitable.

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Lectures 6 and 7: The Sick Soul