Page:Psychology of Religion.djvu/7

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION

was originally a branch of philosophy, and its chief purpose was to serve religion by furnishing convincing proofs that the soul is spiritual and immortal. In proportion as the methods of science were adopted in it, and arguments of a philosophical character were eliminated, the aim of the science was changed. Half a century ago it abandoned the word "soul," and it threw out the question of immortality as a minor irrelevance to be wrangled over by Materialists, Christians, Spiritualists, and Theosophists.

Then psychology ceased to concern itself about the nature of the mind or consciousness, and declared that its aim was to study states of consciousness. How there could be "states" of something without something of which they were states was left to philosophers, but thirty or forty years ago the common phrase was that all that we had to study was a stream of states of consciousness. Now, in the current joke, psychology has even "lost consciousness," and the unfortunate person who wants really to know what mind is—a question the answer to which is supposed to affect the very foundation of human life—finds no guidance or assistance in any branch of science or even in modern philosophy.