A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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ii               MAGIC HEALING IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA            41
nature by direct means, is akin to science : the latter, the confession that in certain spheres man is impotent, lifts him above the level of magic, and later maintains its independence side by side with the science before which the last vestiges of magic disappear. Thus, as Dr. Marett puts it, priest and magician were originally united in one personality, but the former, learning humility before power greater than his own, discarded the spell for the prayer, and prostrated himself before the heavenly might. Perhaps the best differentiation between magic and religion is that drawn by Professor Alfred N. Whitehead. l In religion ', he says, ' we induce, in magic we compel/ Religion has sought to induce by spiritual means the prevention or conquest of evil ; while magic, by methods of its own, has tried to compel its disappearance. The magician was never wholly impostor, however, and was often convinced of his own genuineness. Commenting upon research in this field, Dr. Bronislaw Malinowski l62 (p. 27) says : ' One achievement of modern anthropology we shall not question. The recognition that magic and religion are not merely a doctrine or a philosophy, not merely an intellectual body of opinion, but a special mode of behaviour, a pragmatic attitude built up of reason, feeling and will alike/ Magic never originated; it was never made or invented. From the first it was an essential adjunct of all such things and processes as vitally interested man and yet eluded his normal understanding. The spell, the rite and the thing governed by them are coeval.
Magic is akin to science in that it always has a definite aim intimately associated with human instincts, needs and pursuits. Like the other arts and crafts, it is also governed by a theory, by a system of principles which dictate the manner in which the act has to be