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Record Type: Review   ID: 879

The Still Good Hand of God: The Magic and Mystery of the Unconscious Mind

Gellert, Michael

 Gellert, a psychotherapist who has specialized in religious studies both academically and personally, considers the role of religious experience in psychotherapy, urging therapists to address the religious concerns of patients. A major advantage is that religious experience provides a larger or deeper context for one's problems; it also provides a basis for self-empowerment in a nonselfish way. Gellert proposes that the "unconscious mind is the seat of religious experience" (p. xiii), thus religious experience is a natural, not a supernatural, phenomenon. Although he does not reduce God to the unconscious, Gellert believes the "unconscious is a force as magical, mysterious, and ineffable as the supreme spirit to which it is, at its core, so intimately related" (p. xv). He proposes that God may work through fantasy, and asks whether events need to be real in order to be true? He discusses various exceptional human experiences, including psychic, mystical, synchronistic, survival-related, and creative experiences that seem to originate in the unconscious. He observes that "certain paranormal phenomena display the involvement of higher, spiritual forces" (p. 77). He proposes that the goal of human development, both individually and collectively "is for us to become God, who is in fact whom we essentially are" (p. 155), and he ties this in with the Hindu concept of lila. He closes by pointing out that the hand of God emerges in EHEs as an act of grace, and "All we have to do . . . is keep a prayerful attitude and an attentive gaze inward—inward into ourselves, and inward into the heart of the world" (p. 208). An appendix describes how to keep a dream journal.
Publisher Information:York Beach, ME: Nicolas-Hays, 1991. 221p. 5 figs; 20 illus; Suggested reading: 217-219
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