PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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398         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
the framework of ideas without which life loses most of its meaning. For, unless men and women see their lives in some significant context, all endeavours for the benefit of humanity will be nothing but beatings of the air. Psychotherapy, too, which is only one of these numerous endeavours, must find its place within the framework ; while, unless it has at its command some such system of ideas, this new science of healing will itself be without anchorage. For the aim of psychotherapy is to restore health to sick minds, and a healthy mind, by definition is an integrated one. But around what is the mind to be integrated ? There must surely be some focal point for all impulses ; otherwise the personality will be equally as torn in various directions as it was before. To be properly integrated, the mind must be able to stand above the flow of events and not be swayed here and there by the merely transitory. It must have some answer to the question, ' Whither ?', besides which the question, ' Whence ? ' is of relative unimportance.
Herbert Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy may have been marred by faults and limitations, but it had the merit of being inspired by one tremendous belief. It was possible, the author thought, to think together the vast and varied experiences of men and to give them scientific standing in a coherent view of existence and life. There were ultimate mysteries which Spencer never placed in this articulated scheme; but the passion for synthesis commanded his deepest and most characteristic activities.
The man with a working hypothesis, organizing the materials nearest to him and hesitant about far-reaching generalizations is perhaps the typical intellectual of the present day. The study of the history of philosophy is very largely the story of the emergence from time to time of neglected truths into the light; but its tragedy is