A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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were predominantly pyknic. This finding has been extended, by analogy, to normal persons. It alleges that asthenic persons tend to be artistic or introverted in personality and that pyknics are extraverted or cyclic. Kretschmer's conclusions are by no means confirmed and more careful research is now being carried out on the matter.
However satisfactory and accurate may be the analysis of the human personality on a biopsychic basis, few besides those who start out with a strong prejudice in favour of the strictly scientific outlook will be content with the result obtained. Others will demand that what religious thinkers speak of as the spiritual aspects of life should be taken into account as being an integral part of the mental structure. The concept of the soul or spirit is one which came into being almost as soon as man began to think about his place in the cosmos and to become aware of his existence as an individual in contrast with other individuals and with his environment. Gradually a distinction came to be made between the soul and the body and there even grew up an antagonism between the two. The early conceptions of the soul, before philosophers learned to think abstractly and in terms of pure mind, were very materialistic ones. Indeed, the soul was almost regarded as a kind of second, but more tenuous, body, interpenetrating the visible one which possesses hands and feet and internal organs. It was a shade or thin mist or vapour, which was none the less material because it was invisible. One of the definitions of soul belonging to this stage of development is quoted by Professor Tylor231 (vol. i, p. 420) as follows : ' It is a thin, unsubstantial human image, in its nature a sort of vapour, film or shadow, the cause of life and thought in the individual it animates ; independently possessing the personal con-