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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is Depression a Sin?

Hi A.B. Curtiss,

I am reading your 'Depression is a Choice' book for an undergrad psychology class and had a question that I was hoping you could give me a little more insight, if you have some time. As I was reading and discussing the self-mind separation, where you have a core of your true essence and, at the same time, you can look out at the other, negative things you do that aren't really a part of you.

While discussing that, the thought of sin and soul came to mind. That your innermost part of you (some may call that your soul) is the essence of you, which is pure and true. And then there is all of this other stuff that you do, including depression, but that isn't really you, which I thought of as sin. I have noticed in your book you don't bring your religious beliefs into the discussion, but I was curious about your thoughts on this. Thank you for taking the time in reading this.

Jenny Anderson
Augustana College, Sioux Falls, Sd

Dear Jenny,

I don't talk about sin in this book. Rather I talk about the opposite of sin, which is earnestness to do the right thing. I don't talk about sin because you can't do anything with sin. In a way it's like the situation of dark and light. You can't really do anything with the dark because it is the absence of light. And it seems to me that sin is similar in that sin is the absence of doing good.

I think of sin as being different from evil. I suppose you can do something with evil as it seems to be a force of some kind, a power of some kind. There is no power to sin, it seems to be simply an error, or weakness, rather than having any kind of power. A. B. Curtiss

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