Last night, we tackled Big Problem #3 (sub-title: The Bondage of the Will), our inability to bridge the gap between how we ought to live and how we actually live. A problem that is especially highlighted when dealing with depression and addiction. To do so, we looked at the following sources:

From Dorothy Martyn’s “Beyond Deserving”:

In speaking of the indestructibility of what lies in the unconscious mind, he spoke of “paths…laid down once and for all, which never fall into disuse” and “are only capable of annihilation in the same sense as the ghosts in the underworld of the odyssey—ghosts which awoke to new life as soon as they tasted blood.” (Interpretation of Dreams) What is it that is apparently indestructible, being resurrected over and over? Why does a habitual gambler repeat again and again his doomed enterprise, even bringing himself and his entire family to utter destruction, when all probabilities are so heavily against his succeeding? Why does a dangerously obese person continue to eat ice cream or other weight aggravating foods in quantity, right in the face of medical warnings of illness and possible early death? This list could be expanded indefinitely.

From Romans 7:15

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

From Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan:

Nick Smith: I’ve always planned to be a failure anyway, that’s why I plan to marry an extremely wealthy woman.

From Emily Dickinson:

“Speech”—is a prank of Parliament—
“Tears”—is a trick of the nerve—
But the Heart with the heaviest freight on—
Doesn’t—always—move—

From AA’s Big Book:

But my friend sat before me, and he made the pointblank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable. Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted complete defeat. Then he had, in effect, been raised from the dead, suddenly taken from the scrap heap to a level of life better than the best he had ever known!


The Good News for this Big Problem is that Jesus came to “To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Is 42:7) We know that Jesus is a friend of those who are bound when we hear him say (very much in the same vein as the Dickinson poem), “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”