A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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vii, 22. The passage is from source Q.) Exorcism of the possessed is not mentioned at all. Luke, who inserts in the previous verse a series of miracles performed by-Jesus at the same time which, incidentally, is the kind of thing He is reported elsewhere to have refused to do adds to his list, * He cured many of diseases . . . and of evil spirits \ It is fairly certain, however, that the whole passage is an editorial insertion and that it is not historically accurate.
Science has not yet arrived at any satisfactory conclusions about the aetiology of mental disease. Among those who have devoted themselves to psychic research, however, some mental derangements are attributed to possession by evil spirits ; but this is supposed to be extremely rare, and obsession, a less complete form of spirit possession, is believed to be more frequent. This interpretation would not be accepted by scientists, who hold that obsession, where it is obvious, is not by evil spirits but by fixed ideas. The following quotation is from an American investigator of psychic phenomena, Wickland246 (pp. 90-91), a member of the Chicago Medical Society: ' The organism of every human being generates a nervous force and magnetism which surrounds him with an atmosphere of vital emanations and psychic light known as the Magnetic Aura. This aura is visible as light to earth-bound spirits in their condition of darkness, and they may become attracted to persons peculiarly susceptible to their encroachment. Such spirits are often unable to leave this psychic atmosphere and in the resulting state of confusion (" confusional psychosis " ?) although struggling for freedom, they find themselves living the life of the psychic with them, resenting his presence and bewildered by a sense of dual personality.' And again (p. 95) : ' Obsessing spirits may purposely torment helpless sensitives, sometimes