A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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IV                 THE ECCLESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY             143
censured the Jews for demanding miracles (i Cor. i, 22), ' The Jews require miracles ; the Greeks ask for wisdom ; but we preach Christ, the crucified \ Instead of adducing worldly wisdom and working miracles, he appealed to the preaching, which was sufficient witness to itself. Like Jesus, he rejected recourse to miracles as a means of sustaining a theological thesis. The same principle held good among the later charismatics of Islam. Here the charismatic gifts are called Karamat: but these karamat are distinguished from real miracles. The miracle is called mugizah> the obvious miracle, which is always differentiated from karamah. Indeed, this distinction is fundamental to the charismatic. It is only felt and asserted the more for the fact that it is unexpressed. A truer definition of charisma would be to describe them as capacities for psychic experiences of distinctive kinds ; or heightened talents such as kuber-nesis (guidance) or diakrisis (discernment). They express themselves by means of operations of the soul upon other souls which far surpass the limits of normal psychic influences ; but they are nevertheless rooted in the general mystery of the psychic process of the will. This exposition is made from the point of view of spiritual concepts but the phenomena might well be interpreted in terms of everyday talents. When we speak of a gifted musician, for example, we speak of a person who has a great aptitude for music. Unless he trains himself, the mere possession of the talent will never make him proficient ; and in the same way the possessor of a healing gift can never touch his highest potentialities without knowledge and practice.
Returning to Jerusalem, we find James laying down the future policy of the Church with regard to sickness and spiritual healing, emphasizing the necessity of calling the presbyters together, of prayer, of confession and of