PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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262         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
immaterial link between spirit and matter. Sir Oliver Lodge writes, ' What we have learned physically is that the ether can act on matter through electric and magnetic properties : we also know that mind can somehow act on matter, though probably indirectly \ The assumption is that we possess an ether body or animated structure of modified ether here and now, that life or mind is closely in touch with the ether body, and that, through its action on this body which is at present imperceptible, it is able to exert an action on the familiar, material body. This hypothesis is believed to be justified by psychical facts which seem to show that the action of mind can be independent of matter, though probably not independent of everything substantial or physical. Thus matter only serves as a pointer to the unseen activity of which its movements are a reflection, and it is in the interaction of ether and matter that the problems of psychology must find their solution. If there is truth in this hypothesis, the connection between mind and ether must be maintained in accordance with laws which can gradually be explored, though at the present moment there seem to be no clues to assist in the quest. Against this, however, is the fact that relativity physics finds no necessity for the hypothesis of the existence of ether.
St. Paul's conception of ' spiritual body \ which has exercised a great influence among Christians, is a very difficult one, lending itself as it does to the notion that spirit is an ultra-gaseous form of matter, a vestige of materialism which remained in Stoicism and even in the Christianized stoic, Tertullian. In Psychic Research circles a more refined conception is held. Sir Oliver Lodge I42 (pp. 293, 294) says : ' I do not venture to define spirit, save as the animating principle on a higher grade. On a lower grade it might be called soul or mind ; and on a still lower grade merely life, which to me seems