PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact




x                SUGGESTION AND THE FACTOR OF FAITH            391
with a few abnormal mediaeval monks. This well deserves the definition ' maladie des sentiments religieux \ The term as used here has a quite different connotation, covering, namely, all those persons who believe themselves to have an immediate apprehension of a larger Life encircling theirs, an awareness of Spiritual Reality, at once transcendent and immanent. These people are of many different stages of intellectual culture, varying from an Emerson or a Wordsworth down to the humblest person who believes that he knows the meaning of ' God's Presence ', but the great majority are thoroughly normal, thoroughly sane and healthy of mind.
' The divine presence is known through experience. The turning to a higher plane is a distinct act of consciousness. It is not a vague, twilight or semi-conscious experience ; it is not an ecstasy or a trance. Nor is it super-consciousness in the Vedantic sense ; nor due to self-hypnotization. It is a perfectly calm, sane, sound, rational, common-sense shifting of consciousness from the phenomena of sense-perception to the phenomena of seership, from the thought of self to a distinctively higher realm. . . / By its means ' man can learn to transcend the limitations of finite thought and draw power and wisdom at will. For example, if the lower self be nervous, anxious, tense, one can in a few moments compel it to be calm. This is not done by a word simply. It is by the exercise of power. One feels the spirit of peace as definitely as heat is perceived on a hot summer day. The power can as surely be used as the sun's rays can be focused and made to do work, to set fire to wood ' {The Higher Law, vol. iv, pp. 4, 6 ; Boston, August 1901 ; quoted by W. James m) (p. 516).
The only kind of religious feeling which is really native to a cultured community is the calm and spon-