van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 42 letters relate to psychology - depression...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(17 March 1873)
... your loving brother, Vincent. Theo, I strongly advise you to smoke a pipe; it is a remedy for the blues, which I happen to have had now and then lately. I just received your letter, many thanks. I like the photograph very much, it is a good likeness. I will let you know as soon as I know something more about my going to Helvoirt; it would be nice if you could come on the same day. Adieu. This was Willem Valkes, a cousin of the Roos family and a fellow boarder with Vincent. ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(7-8 February 1877)
... night, but joy cometh in the morning. It may be that there is a time in life when one is tired of everything and feels, perhaps correctly, as if all one does is wrong - do you think this is a feeling one must try to avoid and to banish, or is it “the sorrow for God,” which one must not fear, but cherish to see if it may bring some good? Is it “the sorrowing for God” which leads us to make “a choice that we will never regret?” And at such a time, when one is weary of oneself, one should think with devotion, hope and love of the words: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest upon your souls.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up my cross, and follow me.” At such a time one may well think: “Except a man be born again, he cannot ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(7 March 1877)
... Theo, Theo boy, if I might only succeed in this, if that heavy depression because everything I undertook failed, that torrent of reproaches which I have heard and felt, if it might be taken from me, and if there might be given to me both the opportunity and the strength needed to come to full development and to persevere in that course for which my father and I would thank the Lord so fervently. A handshake and kind regards to Roos, Ever your loving brother, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(16 March 1877)
... that this longing for Him will be satisfied; I too am sometimes sad and lonely, especially when I walk around a church or parsonage. Let's not give in, but try to be patient and gentle. And do not mind being eccentric; keep yourself to yourself, and distinguish between good and evil for your own sake even if you do not show it outwardly. “Do not depart from life without having openly demonstrated your love for Christ in some way or other,” Claudius says. You have had an experience that can make you wise for a whole lifetime, do not forget it. “Nourris-moi du pain de mes larmes, vérité enseignez moi” [feed me on the bread of my tears, truth teach me]. Hate sin; remember how Father prayed every morning, “Deliver us from evil, especially from the evil of sin,” and well he knows. I am looking forward to Sunday, and hope you will have a good journey. Work is always a good thing, “There is something...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(30 May 1877)
... you his greetings and thanks for it. There was a sentence in your letter that struck me, “I wish I were far away from everything, I am the cause of all, and bring only sorrow to everybody, I alone have brought all this misery on myself and others.” These words struck me because that same feeling, just the same, not more nor less, is also on my conscience. When I think of the past, - when I think of the future of almost invincible difficulties, of much and difficult work, which I do not like, which I, or rather my evil self, would like to shirk; when I think the eyes of so many are fixed on me, - who will know where the fault is, if I do not succeed, who will not make me trivial reproaches, but as they are well tried and trained in everything that is right and virtuous and fine gold, they will say, as it were by the expression of their faces: we have helped you and have been a light unto you, - we have done for you what we could, have you tried honestly?...

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