Prepare for Sorrow: Pounding on the Door of the Soul


This morning when I awoke,  I first read the essay below by Morton Kelsey from the Lenten devotional book Bread and Wine.

Only afterward did I read the news about the possible intentional crashing of a German airliner by an apparently rogue co-pilot, killing all 150 individuals on board while the captain was locked outside the cockpit, pounding on the door trying in vain to open it to prevent the destruction.   Imagining the fear and panic of all on board in their final minutes sits heavily on us all;  here is yet another reason to contemplate the darkness of the human condition as we move toward the reality of Good Friday next week.

May the souls of the tragic and innocent victims find rest in God; may we who are yet living answer the pounding on the door of the cellar of our darkened souls:


Scratch the surface of a human being and the demons of hate and revenge … and sheer destructiveness break forth.

    The cross stands before us to remind us of this depth of ourselves so that we can never forget. These forces continue to break forth in many parts of the world now, and many of us would like to forget how in some places in the United States we treat a person whose skin is black.

    Again and again we read the stories of violence in our daily papers, of the mass murders and ethnic wars still occurring in numerous parts of our world. But how often do we say to ourselves: “What seizes people like that, even young people, to make them forget family and friends, and suddenly kill other human beings?” We don’t always ask the question in that manner. Sometimes we are likely to think, almost smugly: “How different those horrible creatures are from the rest of us. How fortunate I am that I could never kill or hurt other people like they did.”

    I do not like to stop and, in the silence, look within, but when I do I hear a pounding on the floor of my soul. When I open the trap door into the deep darkness I see the monsters emerge for me to deal with. How painful it is to bear all this, but it is there to bear in all of us. Freud called it the death wish, Jung the demonic darkness. If I do not deal with it, it deals with me. The cross reminds me of all this.

    This inhumanity of human to human is tamed most of the time by law and order in most of our communities, but there are not laws strong enough to make men and women simply cease their cruelty and bitterness. This destructiveness within us can seldom be transformed until we squarely face it in ourselves. This confrontation often leads us into the pit. The empty cross is planted there to remind us that suffering is real but not the end, that victory still is possible…
~Morton Kelsey from “The Cross and the Cellar”



7 thoughts on “Prepare for Sorrow: Pounding on the Door of the Soul

  1. Does it help to understand the physiological mechanisms of cancer while people are suffering and dying on that cross? I am sure you could enlighten me. Would it help to understand the physiological mechanisms of insanity when someone has committed suicide and taken a planeload of people with him? I could help you there. In the midst of darkness, new methods of healing are emerging and old methods are proving their worth. And in the healing, new understandings of who we are and what makes us “good” or “bad” or victims of circumstance are forming. Bronwyn’s post today proclaims another success with the “direct” method through prayer. Knowledge about all these ways of healing is spreading. The Light has come and the darkness cannot overcome it.


  2. Emily, you have spent your life fighting physical illness. I have spent my life fighting mental illness. By the grace of God I was led to a point of discovering the territory where those battlegrounds intersect. Dr. Norman Doidge in his latest book on the plasticity of the brain discusses advances on the “frontiers” of medical science that are solving problems considered unsolvable. So, too, when I healed our son of schizophrenia, I became able to define that form of mental illness and affirm its cure. I taught myself enough anatomy and neurology to be able to explain my observations to the medical profession. Doidge’s book ends (Ch. 8) where mine begins: with The Listening Centre in Toronto and the Tomatis Method applied to dyslexia. However, The Listening Centre that cures dyslexia (as Doidge describes and as I describe) would not touch our son’s schizophrenia, although it treats infantile schizophrenia (autism). It took me almost a decade of stumbling along in faith to find that the same essential methodology — amplified, high-frequency sound, but focused on the RIGHT ear for reasons Tomatis himself would have understood — also cures schizophrenia, and the range of behavior patterns he passed through during recovery. I made unique observations about him largely because our family physician helped me to understand his medications could be reduced from what had been prescribed by psychiatrists. I learned to titrate them to minuscule dosages, which also allowed me to observe his language patterns and behaviors. I learned that our concepts of “sin” and “redemption” are tied to “mysteries” of behavior that in some ways are no longer mysterious. We must revise our theology because we, following in the steps of the Great Physician, have learned to cure the root physiological cause of much or most “sin.” You will love Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing because he shows so many ways people are finding their way out of “hopeless” diseases and traumas. I hope you will love mine that demonstrates how people find their way out of “hopeless” mental sickness that have been labelled “sin” or “demon possession” or some other inadequate medical term for damaged auditory processes.


  3. Just wanted to say that your post here really inspired me and brought the right words to describe the feelings I have around this terrible news. Thank you. I shared it with my coworkers.


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