A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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or command was at the disposal of those in pain, suffering from morbidity, or derangement of the bodily functions.177 The patients enjoyed healthy and entertaining exercise such as walks in the temple gardens, rowing on the Nile, excursions, dances and concerts. All kinds of games and recreations were organized, while voluptuous paintings and images were everywhere exposed to view. Enchanting songs and sonnets ' took prisoner the captive senses \ Every moment was devoted to some pleasurable occupation, enhanced and sanctified by religious belief.
In the words of Foucart, ' The Egyptian science of healing constituted from the beginning a system several thousand years in advance of the rest of human society \ The superiority of prophylaxis as compared with therapeutics was evidently appreciated. ' The whole manner of life ', says Diodorus Siculus (i, c. 70), ' was so evenly ordered that it would appear as though it had been arranged according to the rules of health by a learned physician, rather than by a lawgiver/ Even in those far-off days experience had taught the lesson that vyial-
We shall now consider Babylonian magic, our knowledge of which is derived entirely from the cuneiform tablets, but it seems that it hardly extends beyond the rite of exorcism. All sickness and disease were attributed by the Babylonians to the depredations of evil spirits, under whose influence the sufferer had fallen either as a result of his own actions or of the machinations of hostile sorcerers. Such powers of evil were innumerable and they were forever seeking opportunities of inflicting bodily harm on men. They might be ghosts of the departed ; gruesome spirits, half human and half demon ; or fiends and devils of a nature corresponding to, but lower than, that of the gods. The object of