A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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for revenge, but more often with a desire to punish the latter who, they declare, are interfering with them. These tormenting spirits frequently cause their victims to commit deeds of violence upon themselves and do not seem to suffer from pain which they inflict upon the physical body of the sensitive, yet, contrary as it may seem, many labour under the delusion that the body of the mortal is their own/ Christian missionaries who have worked among primitive peoples have often become convinced that some of those with whom they have come into contact have been under the influence of evil spirits. Without depreciating the missionaries who tell these stories, it may be suggested that their heathen environment has worked upon their minds which, even before they left the home country, were prejudiced in favour of the control of human activities by supernatural agencies. Among primitives, too, it is not improbable that madness would take more disgusting forms than it does in the West and that it would be less concealed ; and, as a result, unscientific onlookers might conclude that nothing so bestial could possibly develop out of the human mind as they have known it in more civilized parts of the world. That devil-possession is unknown in Europe they explain as being due to the fact that the devils cannot be happy in a place where symbols of Christianity abound and where the Gospel of Christ is being preached. Unfortunately, the asylums of Europe and America are crowded with people who are suffering from the most repulsive forms of mental derangement. Among primitive peoples everything unusual or difficult to understand is attributed to the agency of demons. In Abyssinia, for instance, the cinema is known as the Saytan Beit (Satan's house), while the motor-cycle is called Saytan*s Faras (Satan's horse).
Pliny the Elder (xix, 5-6) speaks with awe of the