PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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x                SUGGESTION AND THE FACTOR OF FAITH            377
calls hypnosis. It differs from reverie in that being controlled it is more favourable to the production of the state of contention with a single idea. Hence it is easy to transform the state into one of contention for the purpose of autosuggestion.
He also proposes the name of la concentration for a state of hypnosis produced by the fixation of the attention not on an external object but on the idea which is to be the object of the suggestion. This is not the state of intense voluntary attention to which the name of ' concentration ' is generally given. He defines this condition as follows: 'A state of autohypnosis and of persistent contention with one idea, the autohypnosis having been induced by the lulling influence of the idea on the mind \ The simplest way of producing la concentration is to sum up the idea in a short phrase and to repeat it over and over again, either aloud or sketching its pronunciation with lips and tongue.
It may be noticed that in religious meditation it is found, as a matter of common experience, that the comparatively uncomfortable position of kneeling is better than relaxation on a comfortable chair.229 While the latter position makes it easy to detach the thought from immediate stimuli, it also encourages the vague and uncontrolled wandering of the mind found in reverie or day-dreaming. But for therapeutic purpose, relaxation is all important. And, when relaxed, it is possible to put oneself in tune with the creative spiritual reality and be passive to its saving power.
There is perhaps no more general remedy than rest. It is used, along with symptomatic treatment, in various acute infectious diseases where no special remedy has been found ; and even in others, like diphtheria, it remains an important part of treatment.
Analysis of the conditions for which it is generally
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