PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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xi                   A SYNTHETIC PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING                427
will none the less have been taken from life. The religious hope of immortality has no demonstrable grounds. It is because the word ' science ' has become the shibboleth without which the door of belief can never be opened that we ask for strict and logical proof; but while neither science nor logic can give any proof of immortality, they must remain equally silent if they are asked to demonstrate its impossibility. From the point of view of mental hygiene, Jung finds a belief in immortality of high value. He says, ' I therefore consider the religious teaching of a life hereafter consonant with the standpoint of psychic hygiene. When I live in a house which I know will fall about my head within the next two weeks, all my vital functions will be impaired by this thought ; but if on the contrary I feel myself to be safe, I can dwell there in a normal and comfortable way. From the standpoint of psycho-therapy, it would therefore be desirable to think of death as only a transition one part of a life process whose extent and duration escape our knowledge ' I2S (p. 129).
Is not the awe of death among some people due to the morbid belief in torture in the hereafter, together with the narrow individualism which implies that with their extinction goes all values ? We form part of a community to which belong all individuals, whether they be scattered on the remoter parts of the globe, and however far away in the past they may have lived. Have we not in this something which transcends death ? The values which we achieve and develop, and which are close to Ultimate Reality, survive in the countless generations that shall survive us. Is not the love which binds people together in this great community greater than death ? Death has never conquered love, and only the congenital pessimist can dare to say that it can conquer the individual who loves.