PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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40          PSYCHOTHERAPY: SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
therapy need not be ashamed of its parentage, however. Is not chemistry the child of alchemy and astronomy of astrology ? Sir James Frazer and others have appropriately called magic a pseudo-science, and in that sense it can safely be looked upon as the forerunner of the vast and complicated structure of knowledge which has sprung into being since the Renaissance.
What, then, is magic ? As to its clear definition there is no general agreement, but etymologically the Greek mageia meant the science and religion of the magi, or priests of Zoroaster as known among the Greeks. In this sense it was opposed to goeteia (? necromancy) and to pharmakeia (the use of drugs). Although this distinction was not universally recognized, and goeteia was often used as a synonym of mageia, it will help us if we keep this distinction in mind. In the Persian, Ven-didady the magician, was distinct from both physician and surgeon, being regarded as ' the best of all healers, who deals with the holy word ; and he is the best one to drive away sickness from the body of the faithful \ The trick-performing ' magic ' of the conjurer is, of course, in a different category. In his great codex of primitive magic, Frazer 62 clearly shows that early man sought above all to control the course of nature for practical ends, and that he attempted this by direct means, by rite and spell compelling wind and weather, animals and crops, to obey his will. Only after many bitter experiences had taught him the limitations of his magic power did he in fear or hope, in supplication or defiance, appeal to higher beings, to demons, ancestor fispirits, or gods. It is in this distinction between direct control and the propitiation of superior powers that ''Frazer sees the difference between magic and religion. The former, based on man's confidence that, if only he | knows the magic laws which govern it, he can control