A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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ii             MAGIC HEALING IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA           55
magical texts was to enable the priests to control and exorcise these demons, or in some way to break the malign influence they exerted over their victims. For this purpose it was of the first importance that the spirit or evil influence should be addressed by name and, as a consequence, the magician would recite long lists of ghosts and devils, any one of which might be the cause of the difficulty. How like Dr. Jung's scientific word-association test! After that he could invoke the help of the great gods and so gain control over the demon or hostile sorcerer himself.
One interesting class of rites is that in which, after the magician had gained control of the demon by the use of the appropriate formula, he transferred it to some object which could be destroyed or rendered harmless. This object might be a jar of water which would afterwards be broken and the water spilt; it might be a clay image which would be fastened to the patient's body and later removed ; or the body of a pig might be laid upon the man and afterwards thrown out of the house. In these cases we have a physical transference of the hostile power from the sick man to the object employed. It is not without interest to recall here how a variation of this system has come to be used even in this scientific age in Luys' clinic in Paris. The subject to which the illness is now transferred is not a pig but a person. The patient is directed to sit down and grasp the hands of a profoundly hypnotized subject. The hypnotizer then passes a heavy magnetized bar of steel up and down both sitters' bodies, especially pressing on the cardiac and epigastric areas. A shiver passes through the hypnotized subject's frame, and he begins to complain of suffering from the same symptoms as the patient has experienced. The doctor questions him about the symptoms, and then assures the patient that he will be