The Psychology of Religion

By George Albert Coe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
RELIGION AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS
In an earlier chapter reference was made to the fact that certain attitudes that seem to introspection to be entirely new are nevertheless the result of an unrecognized ripening process. There are, in fact, multitudes of experiences in which an apparently ready-made mental product makes its appearance, giving an impression that, though it is "within me," it is not altogether "mine." This "something more" yields the general problem of the subconscious.Religious experiences that involve this "something more" readily lend themselves to the following preliminary classification:
1. Visions and voices that seem to the one who has them to embody or convey information, as of the divine presence, the divine will, or the future.
2. Impressions that something is true, as that a certain person is or is not sincere ("discerning of spirits"); that a certain event is to take place; that this or that is one's duty; that God is personally present, though he is invisible and inaudible; that he has a certain attitude toward one (as "condemnation" and "witness of the Spirit"); or that this or that is the correct interpretation of a passage of Scripture.
3. Involuntary muscular reactions of many sorts that give an impression that one's body is being partly or wholly controlled by a will other than one's own. A

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