A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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value, the action of Jesus would suggest to the man that he was being cured. Actually there is no element of magic in the scene. Micklem {ibid, pp. 110-120) cites numerous modern parallels of deaf mutes being healed by psychotherapy, unconscious wish-fulfilment being a frequent cause of the condition. This story and that of the blind man at Bethsaida are omitted by both Matthew and Luke and, as the method of healing was unusual for Jesus, it is possible that they viewed the account with suspicion. Professor Percy Gardiner has said that ' Luke dearly loves a good miracle ', and it may be because these two were not ' good miracles ' that they were not related by him.
The Blind Man at Bethsaida (Mark viii, 22-26). The healing of the blind man at Bethsaida is another instance of the use of saliva in bringing about a cure. The man was brought to Jesus after He had arrived in the village. That the man had always been blind is unlikely, because when he began to recover he knew what the things were that he dimly saw. He said, ' I see men, for I behold them as trees, walking \ It is not easy to specify from the narrative what the symptoms were ; whether the disease was psychogenic or organic, but modern science has thrown light on both types. It has been found that the eye is so subject to disturbances of a psychic nature that it is possible, by means of mental or hysterical processes, to produce actual, functional blindness. As in the last case, Jesus took the man apart, this time right outside the village, but He did not make any magic show, treating him, rather, individually and sympathetically. The man had been brought with the request that Jesus would lay His hands upon him ; but, before doing this, He applied spittle to the eyes according to the medical usage of the time. Thus He first used the usual remedy and then gratified the patient's wish