PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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388         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
connected with this instinctive impulse for a greater and fuller life.
The intuitive awareness of Providence is, then, a vital, rather than a theoretical, matter, and, like breathing, is an outcome of the needs and demands of the organism, not of the reason. It has its roots deep in the field of vital feeling ; they go deeper than do those of most of our practical beliefs. It is an attitude toward the universe ; our reaction to the stimulus of the whole cosmos. This reflex is determined by no momentary reasoning of the individual. The whole line of his heredity, the whole of his personality is involved in it. It is not so much the individual that feels and wills ; the race feels and wills in him. It is the feeling background that determines his belief, and this might be described as the reason and experience of the race become organic. In this sense, religious belief, apart from its accidental and purely intellectual accretions, is biological rather than conceptual ; it is not so much the acceptance of a proposition as the fulfilment of an innate necessity. The whole set of religious convictions, taken as a unity, apart from the individual dogmas into which it is analysed, is not the culmination of any particular instinct or group of instincts : it is the object, whether it corresponds to any thing real or is merely an idea in the conscious mind, towards which is directed a propensity in which the complete personality is integrated. Nevertheless, the root and the point d'appui of this propensity is in the same place as that from which the instincts spring. In this connection Kretschmer's dictum, ' Most mental reactions spring, not from a motive, but from bundles of motives', holds good. It cannot be reasoned out; it must simply be accepted and obeyed. The young bird before her first migration to the south or before her first period of motherhood, feels a blind