Among the seven deadly sins is sloth, or torpor. What interests us here is a certain species of sloth — spiritual sloth — known as accidie. Dante suggests that people guilty of accidie are not only indolent, but gloomy, or sullen. Those who neglect the call of the spirit are, indeed, inclined to sullenness, for they are angry that the world falls short of their secular ideals. The word “accidie” has been out of vogue since the Middle Ages, but no other word quite describes a malady so prevalent today.
|In Homer’s case, it’s just plain sloth.|
Accidie is rife among intellectuals. Shunning a spiritual life, they seek to fill the void with books and various “cultural” pursuits — film, music, art, gourmet foods, etc. Woody Allen typifies this variety of accidie. Although a brilliant film director, he falls short of greatness, for he indulges in the world-weary sentimental sadness, endemic to those with accidie. Another variety of accidie involves the lethargic and discouraged mood that can overtake even those genuinely involved with spiritual practices. The medieval monks called it “the mid-day fiend,” for at noon accidie interrupted their prayers.
Accidie is a serious obstacle to inner development. Every other psychological and spiritual malady can be vanquished by insight. But accidie is resistant to treatment, for it is not due to ignorance, but to a lack of lust for a real life. What can a spiritual teacher do? Inspiring talks can motivate the sluggish student, but only go so far. Apropos is a quote by President Kennedy: “The stories of past courage … can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.” Like courage, spiritual yearning, zeal, and resolve are virtues that one must find within.
That having been said, Dr. Dillof understands the myriad forms of accidie and has strategies to overcome them. If you suffer from accidie, Dr. Dillof can do everything possible to exorcise that demon from your soul, causing the fires of transformation to regain their power.
Got accidie? If so, call Dr. Dillof immediately, that is if you can get the energy. He offers philosophical counseling, by phone and in person. For information, call him at: (502) 458-7171 or e-mail him at email@example.com. The telephone can allow for an intense conversation. Why, then, drive to a session — in the rain, snow, cold and dark — spending money on fuel?
No matter what part of the globe you inhabit — from New York City (NYC) to Los Angeles CA, from London to Tokyo, from Boston MA to Chicago IL, from Brooklyn to Queens, from Binghamton to Ithaca, from Scranton PA to Syracuse NY, from Vestal to Endicott, from White Plains to Westchester, from Rochester to Buffalo, from Nassau to Suffolk, from Louisville KY to Cincinnati OH, from Indianapolis IN to Hartford CT, from Hollywood CA to Miami Beach FL, from Minneapolis MN to Madison WI, from Portland OR to Washington DC, from Seattle WA to the Bronx NY, from Toronto Canada to Vancouver, from San Francisco to Houston — distance is no barrier to an illuminating counseling and life coaching session!