PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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46           PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
stantly producing new phenomena, constantly surrounding magic with new testimonies. Magic moves in the glory of past tradition, but it also creates its own atmosphere of ever-nascent myth. As there is the body of legends already fixed, standardized, and constituting the folk-lore of the tribe, so there is always a stream of narratives flowing freely from present-day occurrences, frequently similar in kind to those of the mythological period. Magic is the bridge between the golden age of primeval craft and the wonder-working power of to-day. Hence the formulas are full of mythical allusions, which, when uttered, unchain the powers of the past and cast them into the present.
With this we see also the role and meaning of mythology in a new light. Myth is not a savage speculation about origins of things born out of philosophic interest. Neither is it the result of the contemplation of nature a sort of symbolical representation of its laws. It is the historical statement of one of those events which once for all vouch for the truth of a certain form of magic. Sometimes it is the actual record of a magical revelation coming directly from the first man to whom magic was revealed in some dramatic occurrence. More often it is obviously nothing but a statement of how magic came into the possession of a clan or a community or a tribe. In all cases it is warrant of its truth, a pedigree of its filiation, a charter of its claims to validity. And as we have seen, myth is the natural result of human faith, because every power must give signs of its efficiency, must act and be known to act, if people are to believe in its virtue. Every belief engenders its mythology, for there is no faith without miracles, and the main myth simply recounts the primeval miracle of the magic.
So we can see the deep connections between myth