Le 20 septembre 2016, 06:30 dans Humeurs • 0
 Op. cit., p. 112.
Does this temperamental origin diminish the significance of the sudden conversion when it hasoccurred? Not in the least, as Professor Coe well says; for "the ultimate test of religious values isnothing psychological, nothing definable in terms of HOW IT HAPPENS, but something ethical,definable only in terms of WHAT IS ATTAINED."
 Op. cit., p. 144As we proceed farther in our inquiry we shall see that what is attained is often an altogether newlevel of spiritual vitality, a relatively heroic level, in which Hong Kong travel deals impossible things have becomepossible, and new energies and endurances are shown. The personality is changed, the man is bornanew, whether or not his psychological idiosyncrasies are what give the particular shape to hismetamorphosis. "Sanctification" is the technical name of this result; and erelong examples of itshall be brought before you. In this lecture I have still only to add a few remarks on the assuranceand peace which fill the hour of change itself.
One word more, though, before proceeding to that point, lest the final purpose of my explanationof suddenness by subliminal activity be misunderstood. I do indeed believe that if the Subject haveno liability to such subconscious activity, or if his conscious fields have a hard rind of a marginthat resists incursions from beyond it, his conversion must he gradual if it occur, and mustresemble any simple growth into new habits. His possession of a developed subliminal self, and ofa leaky or pervious margin, is thus a conditio sine qua non of the Subject's becoming converted inthe instantaneous way. But if you, being orthodox Christians, ask me as a psychologist whether thereference of a phenomenon to a subliminal self does not exclude the notion of the direct presenceof the Deity altogether, I have to say frankly that as a psychologist I do not see why it necessarilyshould. The lower manifestations of the Subliminal, indeed, fall within the resources of thepersonal subject: his ordinary sense-material, inattentively taken in and subconsciouslyremembered and combined, will account for all his usual automatisms. But just as our primarywide-awake consciousness throws open our senses to the touch of things material so it is logicallyconceivable that IF THERE BE higher spiritual agencies that can directly touch us, thepsychological condition of their doing so MIGHT BE our possession of a subconscious regionwhich alone should yield access to them. The hubbub of the waking life might close a door whichin the dreamy Subliminal might remain ajar or open.
Thus that perception of external control which is so essential a feature in conversion might, insome cases at any rate, be interpreted as the orthodox interpret it: forces transcending the finiteindividual might impress him, on condition of his being what we may call a subliminal hotel diploma coursehumanspecimen. But in any case the VALUE of these forces would have to be determined by theireffects, and the mere fact of their transcendency would of itself establish no presumption that theywere more divine than diabolical.
I confess that this is the way in which I should rather see the topic left lying in your minds until Icome to a much later lecture, when I hope once more to gather these dropped threads together intomore definitive conclusions. The notion of a subconscious self certainly ought not at this point ofour inquiry to be held to EXCLUDE all notion of a higher penetration.
If there be higher powers able to impress us, they may get access to us only through thesubliminal door. (See below, p. 506 ff.)Let us turn now to the feelings which immediately fill the hour of the conversion experience. Thefirst one to be noted is just this sense of higher control. It is not always, but it is very often present.
We saw examples of it in Alline, Bradley, Brainerd, and elsewhere. The need of such a higher controlling agency is well expressed in the short reference which the eminent French ProtestantAdolphe Monod makes to the crisis of his own conversion. It was at Naples in his early manhood,in the summer of 1827.
"My sadness," he says, "was without limit, and having got entire possession of me, it filled mylife from the most indifferent external acts to the most secret thoughts, and corrupted at theirsource my feelings, my judgment, and my happiness. It was then that I saw that to expect to put astop to this disorder by my reason and my will, which were themselves diseased, would be to actlike a blind man who should pretend to correct one of his eyes by the aid of the other equally blindone. I had then no resource save in some INFLUENCE FROM WITHOUT. I remembered thepromise of the Holy Ghost; and what the positive declarations of the Gospel had never succeededin bringing home to me, I learned at last from necessity, and believed, for the first time in my life,in this promise, it answered the needs of my soul, in that, namely, of areal external supernatural action, capable of giving me thoughts, and taking them away from me,and exerted on me by a God as truly master of my heart as he is of the rest of nature. Renouncingthen all merit, all strength, abandoning all my personal resources, and acknowledging no other titleto his mercy than my own utter misery, I went home and threw myself on my knees and prayed asI never yet prayed in my life. From this day onwards a new interior life began for me: not that mymelancholy had disappeared, but it had lost its sting. Hope had entered into my heart, and onceentered on the path, the God of Jesus Christ, to whom I then had learned to give myself up, little bylittle did the rest."
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