I could become depressed by my lack of knowledge; the topics I have never studied, books I haven’t read, thoughts I never carefully formulated, time wasted on living. But the very idea of that kind of depression would have led me to acedia: the point of no return.
Studying the words of the Psalmists, I could have sung songs and prayed away my blues.
If I had spent time with the fourth century theologian Evagrius Ponticus, no doubt, my demons would have been forced out of mind like a gentle breeze.
If given a chance, I would have died laughing or trying… to understand the words written by the sexual troubadour Gustav Flaubert in “November” ~ “Aren’t you tired as I am of waking up every morning and seeing the sun again. Tired of Living the same life, or suffering the same pain?” Of course his cause of death… venereal diseases.
How do you think Chesterton would have argued his point with Flaubert, for he believed that God spoke to the morning sun and asked him to “do it again” and to the moon he would demand that she “do it again” each night.
How many of the voices of the past were consumed with boredom: Kafka, Tillich, Fromm, Fleming, Nisbet? How could it be so? Gifts of words emptied out of their hearts onto the floors of eternity.
The lot of journeymen plagued by acedia could fill the ancient coliseum. Perhaps the likes of Pynchon, Wasserstein and Saul Bellow are buried there with monks and spirits, fighters and breeders of the past.