92 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
charismatic gift of distinguishing between spiritsknown as the diakrisis pneumaton or the discriminatio spirituum which had its origin in second sight or necromancy and was closely connected with exorcism. It enabled the possessor to distinguish between good and evil spirits and to know which of the two was in charge of a person. It became also the power of being able to penetrate into a man's inner state. In Arabic it is called firasah, from farasa, to distinguish. It is especially characteristic of the walis and sufis of Islam and it was also known among the charismatic circles of early Christian monasticism, where it was given the name charisma dioratikon, the power of penetrating vision. As such it is analogous to gifts possessed by clairvoyants and so-called ' mediums ' of the present day, which are now receiving serious scientific investigation. Here it may be appropriate to quote the late Professor McDougalFs statement that ' There is nothing more obstructive to the advance of knowledge than a certain unformulated dogma implicitly accepted by many men of science, namely, the dogma that what we cannot fully understand cannot happen. We cannot too strongly insist that the bounds of the possible do not coincide with and are not set by the limits of our present powers of comprehension/
The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-law (Mark i, 29-31), On leaving the synagogue Jesus went into Peter's house, where He was told that His disciple's mother-in-law was suffering from a fever. Even to-day in the East any patient with a high temperature is believed by the common people to have ' a fever ', and we have thus no satisfactory diagnosis of this case. Some suggest that the disease was dysentery ; others malaria : I46 but neither theory can be substantiated. Nor do we know how long the affliction had lasted. MicklemI58 suggests that the Marcan narrative hints that the woman had