A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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be conveniently divided into two groups. Along one set flow the instinctive impulses which subserve the preservation of the individual, along the other those impulses which lead to the reproduction of the species. Both are necessary for the life of the individual and the race, as without them they could not survive.
The release of energy along the direct natural routes is as necessary and normal for man as for the lower animals. Yet he is notoriously unable to allow himself to follow his instinctive urges unchecked ; that is the way to physical and moral disaster. Of all figments of the imagination that of the ' noble savage ', who lives joyously in the free exercise of his instinctive desires, is the most fantastic and unreal. Absence of restriction weakens and even destroys man's bodily and psychical health ; and the necessary limitations have to be self-imposed since nature itself provides no automatic checks such as a breeding season.
We are, therefore, faced with the dilemma that freer expression of sexual activity tends to produce a contented but unambitious and not particularly energetic people. On the other hand control, implying the necessity of strong sublimation, leads to a more energetic, aggressive and culture-building type. This is worked out in detail by J. D. Unwin.234 Many men, in all historical ages, have found a tempting solution of the problem by denouncing the satisfaction of instinctive impulses, and regarding them as inherently evil. To such the holy life has seemed to be a progressive crushing of impulse until death comes to release the imprisoned soul of man from his animal nature and to allow the freed spirit to soar to its proper home. Such radical pessimism about the life of earth is gratuitous ; and as it is commonly expressed in terms of a doctrine identifying matter and evil, it is false, since moral evil is spiritual. The fact