A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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than it was before ; he is much less morose and irritable and is often surprisingly affable and cheerful. As a rule the attacks are isolated and between times the patient is able to live a fairly normal life. Many epileptics exhibit no signs of abnormality between seizures. If, then, what happened in the synagogue is to be regarded as a cure, the question inevitably arises whether it was a permanent one. This is not answered in the narrative. Ten years ago I saw a young man in an epileptic fit in a church in Upper Egypt during the long Good Friday service. For about five minutes he was convulsed and kept on yelling but then regained normality and remained in attendance until the end of the service. The fit recurred periodically for many years afterwards. In this instance, of course, there was no question of healing.
Hitherto we have only been dealing with the manifest content of the story and this may seem to lead to the conclusion reached by Crum ; that this and similar cases such as the Gerasene maniac and the epileptic lad which will be discussed later, had an apologetic purpose, namely, to demonstrate that Jesus was the Son of God by showing that the very fiends themselves recognized Him as such. Another problem is raised by the difficulty of curing epilepsy even with the resources of modern scientific medicine. As regards Crum's argument, it may be pointed out that the very fact that the miracle was recorded at all so many years after it is alleged to have occurred is an indication that there was a cure and that it was known to have been a permanent one. This consideration partially outweighs the absence of a clinical record of the case's subsequent history ; and our contention is strengthened by the following case described by Pierre Janet.114
Achille is a French peasant of bad family history, his mother, in particular, and her family having been