FROM THE SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE
We need to see the power of the soul from the scientific perspective. There have been unprecedented developments in the field of psychology in modern times. What is psychology? Psychology is the study of the soul. The words psychology and psychiatry in every nation come from the two Greek words psyche and logos. Psyche becomes psycho and logos becomes logy. Psyche is the word used for soul in the Bible. Therefore, a man’s psyche or his psychology is his soul, and psychology and psychiatry are but the study of the soul. Modern-day scientific research on psychology is a study of what is taking place in the soul. It is limited only to the soul and has nothing to do with the spirit. Modern parapsychology began with Franz Anton Mesmer. His first discovery was made in 1778 and is now known as mesmerism. Since Mesmer’s days, his students surpassed him and discovered much more. Many discoveries were too miraculous to believe. His method was to develop the latent power within man. For example, the so-called clairvoyance, or seeing or sensing of something happening thousands of miles away, was taught by Mesmer’s students.
One book said that "mesmerism is the rock from which all mental sciences...were hewn." Before Mesmer, the study of psychology was not considered an independent science; it was only a part, and a minor part, of natural science. Later, because of the discoveries, it became a system all by itself.
I would like you to pay attention, not to study psychology, but to know the miraculous things discovered by psychology. These discoveries are but the development of part of the latent power of the soul that was hidden in Adam’s soul after his fall. What is a latent power? You have to realize that God did not take back Adam’s miraculous power after the fall; this power fell together with Adam. This is the reason why the devil can particularly utilize this power. This power was locked up in the body and has been restricted. The power is there, but it cannot be released. This is why we call it the latent power.
The phenomena of our human life, such as the ability to speak and think, are quite remarkable; but within us there is still another latent power which is not developed and which is concealed. If this power was released, it would demonstrate far more remarkable phenomena than that which we see today. The supernatural things discovered by the psychologists did not come because they had the power to communicate with spirits, but because they released the existing latent power of the soul through some means. Ever since psychologists discovered the key to unlock the great potential in man’s psyche, they have discovered numerous things which psychiatric power can perform.
Mesmer had a student who discovered clairvoyance through mesmerism-style hypnosis in 1784. Clairvoyance enables a person to see something that normal people cannot see with their physical eyes. One of his students also discovered telepathy, through which they were able to know through their mental power what was in other peoples’ minds. These phenomena were discovered by Mesmer’s students. Soon after this, hypnotism, neurology, and psychometry were discovered. Hypnotism first puts someone to sleep, then the hypnotists give suggestions to the one being hypnotized, and the hypnotized one thinks, speaks, or acts according to the suggestions. Not only can a man be hypnotized, but some animals can also be hypnotized. Psychiatry is a method of healing illness through hypnotism; it is a method of removing illness through man’s own psyche. Psychometry is the independent action of man’s psyche apart from his body. The psychometric senses of the one who practices it enable him to know everything of the past. Besides these, there were other discoveries as well.
Another technique was called statuvolism, in which the subject controls his own will and throws it out of his body to any distance he pleases. He can eat, drink, and feel outside his own body and can do everything that a man can do within his own body. This kind of knowledge became more and more developed. By 1847 it became more advanced. Once a man came out of a hypnotic state and discovered what he called pathetism, in which a man can release his own power and withdraw himself from the consciousness of pain, as well as cure diseases. Later this became a special branch of study as well.
At first, men did not believe or agree with these discoveries. But since many miraculous things happened and were true, these things became established as a special branch of science. Many miraculous things were considered as natural phenomena. Of course, to us, they are indeed natural, for they are but the development of the latent power concealed through the fall of Adam. If you exercise your will enough, you can manifest yourself outside of your body also.
Psychologists say that there is great power locked up within man, that within him, there is self-regulating power, creative power, constructive power, faith power, interest-arousing power, and even rejuvenating power (the power to regain youth). These are powers that can be developed by man. One psychology book even said that "human beings are God, and God is locked up inside of us. We can be God when we release the very God within us." These words sound exactly like Satan’s speaking.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 10: The Present Testimony (3), Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)