PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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CHAPTER XII
Who is Qualified for the Task ?
In both psychotherapy and spiritual healing success depends upon prestige of the healer and the method and faith in the patient. The last two of these we have discussed at length, but the work would be incomplete without the addition of an enquiry into the first. Even in the reported miracles of healing there is almost always to be traced the influence of priest or magician, and effort on the part of the person who will profit by it. Unfortunately, no preparation, no amount of juggling with the environment and conditions, will guarantee a happy result, though ceremonial will often help in its achievement. Both healer and patient, however, are aware that they are collaborators with forces which, although they are of immeasurable power, are beyond their control and seem to respond only at their own arbitrary pleasure to efforts at enlisting their support in the conquest of disease. Like a work of art, the miracle of healing cannot be produced by all men under all conditions, but only by a very few in especially favourable circumstances. According to the proverb, i Practice makes perfect \ it would have been thought that when Holman Hunt tried to reproduce his ' The Light of the World ', he would have given a finer representation of his conception than at the first ; but by thatt time the inspiration had left him, and what appeared on the canvas was a mere copy, lacking the power of the original, and bearing the defects always associated with the work of the copyist. Alike in art, in invention, in
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