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PSYCHOLOGY AND SCIENTIFIC METHODS 21 

Again, would not a "clear and unambiguous" definition of ex- 
perience be both a boon in general and a prerequisite to a clear 
and unambiguous answer to the question asked? In neither of the 
two senses of experience which Mr. McGilvary expressly sets forth 
(on page 595) can I answer his question affirmatively. In the sense 
in which he uses the term on his next page (in the passages quoted) 
but without defining it, my answer would probably be affirmative. 
But in that case I am confused, for Professor McGilvary says that 
view is realism. And a reply that made me out both realist and 
idealist at the same time might not strike anybody as "clear and 
unambiguous." But perhaps if Mr. McGilvary should make ex- 
plicit the sense in which he uses the word "experienced" when he 
talks, for example, about our experience of the moon as changing 
from crescent to full orb, and should contrast that with his use of 
"experience" in the instance of the perceived stone, he would dis- 
cover a vital and pregnant meaning of experience which would 
reveal that he and I as human beings are much alike in what we 
mean by experience. And in that case I am quite willing to leave 
it to my critic by what names he and I are to be labeled. 

John Dewey. 
Columbia University. 



REVIEWS AND ABSTRACTS OP LITERATURE 

Etudes d'histoire et de psychologie du mysticisme. Henri Delacroix. 

Paris : Felix Alcan. 1908. Pp. 470. 

This considerable contribution to our psychological knowledge of 
religious life is the work of one known heretofore as an historian, the 
author of an "Essay on Speculative Mysticism in Germany," who now 
reveals himself as also a well-informed and acute psychologist. 

His intention has not been to make a study of mysticism in general, 
but merely of a well-defined group, namely, the Christian mystics, Ste. 
Theresa, Mme. Guyon, Francis of Sales, John of the Cross, and Suzo. 
He explains his choice by the remarks that these persons are creators who 
have found a new form of life, and that there are extant documents — 
autobiographical and others — which make possible the realization of his 
purpose. This book deals, then, in essence, with the group of mystics 
that is the subject of my two papers in the Revue Philosophique for 1902, 
and of my article on the " State of Mystical Death " in the American 
Journal of Psychology for 1903. But the reader will find in Delacroix's 
volume a much more complete historical study of Christian mysticism 
than any psychologist had so far attempted, and also a more detailed and 
thorough treatment of its problems. This is too solid and deserving a 
piece of work for me to subject it to the shabby treatment, deserved by too 



22 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

many productions on similar subjects, of a critical review limited to the 
very small space at my disposal. I shall, therefore, wait for more suitable 
opportunities of dealing with those of his views which, to my mind, call 
for discussion, and content myself here with such statements as may serve 
to give some idea of the content of the book. I may, however, add that 
my publications on mysticism show little substantial disagreement with 
him. 

The first three chapters (pp. 1-117) deal with Ste. Theresa: her life, 
the development of her mystical states, her auditions, and her visions. 
In the second of them he sets down three great periods, characteristic also, 
with minor differences, of the development of every one of the mystics of 
this group. They are: (1) A period marked by delightful experiences of 
an ecstatic sort. The author describes it (p. 65) as " a discontinuous 
possession of God in which moments of contemplation and of activity 
alternate, and in which subsist the ordinary distinction between the divine 
and the human. (2) A period bearing some analogy to the depression 
stage of psychopathic persons; it is characterized by persistent diffused 
pain and more or less frequent moments of " painful " or " negative 
ecstasy." (3) The preceding experiences bring about, or coincide with, 
" a radical and total transformation of the soul and of life by a contin- 
uous divine possession, permanent and conscious." It is this stage Ste. 
Theresa calls spiritual marriage. 

In the same chapter is discussed the external influences which may 
have determined the form and the sequence of her states. This problem 
is taken up in a broader manner in a later chapter (" Experience, Systems, 
and Tradition "), and the conclusion is reached that although one recog- 
nizes in the formation and the development of the mystical life the influ- 
ence of external directing ideas — church doctrines, for instance — which 
keep the " expensive intuition " of our mystics from intolerable extrava- 
gances, nevertheless one can bring back their experience neither " to the 
suggestion of a personal system of a purely abstract construction formed 
before the experience, nor to a tradition" (p. 363). 

Mme. Guyon is then taken up in a similar manner: first, her life 
(pp. 118-196) ; then the analysis of her mystical states and automatisms, 
their several forms, their development, and their final outcome (pp. 197- 
234). This chapter includes a careful and penetrating comparative an- 
alysis of automatic and of voluntary activity, and an explanation of the 
intelligent collaboration of the subconscious with the conscious activity 
that leads to the establishment of the final, well-defined state common to 
all the mystics of this group. The characteristics upon which the divine 
origin of the mystical states rests, according to the mystics themselves, 
are noted here as already in the case of Ste. Theresa. 

Comparatively little space is devoted to St. Francis of Sales, John of 
the Cross, and Suzo. 

In chapter VIII. the author returns to Mme. Guyon, relates the great 
dispute about Quietism in which Bossuet, Fenelon, and Mme. Guyon were 
the chief actors. These interesting historical pages bring into clearness 



PSYCHOLOGY AND SCIENTIFIC METHODS 23 

the points of difference between the extraordinary Christianity of the 
mystics and the common-sense Christianity represented by Bossuet. 

The last chapter (pp. 365-426), entitled " The Mystical Experience," 
would provide one who could not read the whole book with a partial sum- 
mary of the preceding analyses and generalizations, and with a discussion 
of several of the deeper problems of Christian mysticism ; to wit, By what 
psychological mechanism can these mystics identify their confused " intui- 
tions " with the conception of God set forth by the church ? What is the 
nature of the " mystical intuition " ? What is the nature of mystical 
passivity, and how does it contribute to the end sought by the mystic? 
How are we to account for the systematic progression of the several 
mystical states and for their outcome, described by the mystics as "the 
permanent and continuous union of God with man " ? 

The systematization of the mystical states is the point on which our 
author places the greatest emphasis. In the preface he had already 
declared that Catholic mysticism is " progressive and systematic." " It is 
this idea of a progress that must be placed in the foreground because it is 
the one least seen. Most psychologists have thought ecstasy to be the 
state characteristic of Christian mysticism, and that when not in ecstasy 
they found themselves in the condition common to all Christians. . . . But 
that shows a failure to understand the originality of the great Christian 
mystics; the intermittent and alternating ecstasy gives place to a contin- 
uous and homogeneous condition. The transformation of the personality 
achieved by them is accomplished only little by little, and takes them 
through a series of states of which the humblest is ecstasy." This con- 
tinuous and homogeneous condition of the Christian mystic who has 
reached his goal is contrasted with the antecedent stage (pp. 67-68) : 
"Whereas ecstasy [the experience characteristic of the earlier period] 
momentarily suppresses life . . . and absorbs the whole mind in the con- 
templation of the divine, immobilizing the body in catalepsy, paralysis, 
and contracture, here [in the final period] the mental and bodily powers 
are no longer suspended . . . the divine no longer destroys the conscious- 
ness of the self and of the world, but, on the contrary, it gives itself 
through them . . . the self is no longer anything else than divine activity." 

In agreement with the overwhelming majority of psychologists, Dela- 
croix believes that "the most sublime states of mysticism do not exceed 
the power of nature; religious genius suffices to explain its grandeur, as 
disease accounts for its weaknesses" (preface, p. xix). 

James H. Leuba. 

Bryn Mawb College. 

The Religious Teachers of Greece, being Gifford Lectures on Natural 
Beligion delivered at Aberdeen by James Adam. Edinburgh : T. & T. 
Clark. 1908. Pp. lv + 467. 

Not the least interesting part of this book is the memoir of the author, 
from the pen of his learned widow, which is prefixed to the lectures. We 
gather there, in faithful detail, how Mr. Adam was the child of High-