When we turn to the misconceptions which come from ignoring the psychical conditions, which are common to the whole of life, we can perhaps deal with them most promptly and comprehensively by noting the bearing of what I have called the four great inferences from modern psychology: the complexity of life, the unity of the mind, the central importance of will and action, and the concrete-ness of the real.[3]

And, first, the spiritual life must suffer from any ignoring of the complexity of life. It is perhaps not too much to say that the growing conviction of this complexity of life has changed our feeling throughout concerning both religion and theology. Their problems do not seem to us so simple as before, and we are inclined, therefore, to be less dogmatic, and at the same time more true to facts. In theology, as well as in psychology, there is taking place what Professor James has called "the reinstatement of the vague and inarticulate to its proper place in our mental life." This makes for truth at the same time that it disturbs dogmatists; and it contains, as well, the key to many of our difficulties which really come from forgetting this intricate complexity of life.

The conviction of the complexity of life brings home, too, to the religious consciousness a fresh sense of the impossibility of the spirit of exclusiveness in the spiritual life. It sees with increasing clearness that there can be no separation of the sacred and secular; that all of life is bound up together. Too often, in their inquiry after the spiritual life, men seem to have been hunting for it as an isolated something, just as the psychologists, as Höffding says, have looked for the Ego "as something absolutely simple, which consequently might be given in a certain definite state, in a certain definite sensation or idea." "Hume," he says, "cannot see the trees for the wood." The spiritual life could be presented to us as nothing real in that sense. For that which is an abstract, single, and isolated thing, that which is fundamentally out of relation to all else, becomes thereby a cipher, non-existent and without meaning. What reality could it have?

We shall therefore look for religion not as something apart from life, but in the very midst of it, knit up with the cell and with sex, with all human relations and employments and tendencies and strivings,—inextricably involved in all. And we shall look for its glory not in a majestic isolation, but rather in its ability to permeate and dominate all life. Does not a religion that claims to possess a water-tight compartment of its own thereby proclaim its own impotence and falsity? Is the claim itself not of the very essence of hypocrisy?

From this point of view, there might be real truth in what has seemed to us often the purely pagan exaltation of life-processes, and in the modern psychological explanations (like those of Professor Leuba for example) of many mystical experiences, that do not at the same time deny all value to these experiences. As Professor Davenport puts it, "the human love-passion and the spiritual love-passion appear to modern psychology to be delicately interwoven, particularly in the case of young people between fourteen and twenty-five." Perhaps we have no stronger illustration than just this of the modern recognition of the complexity of life in its bearing on religion.

If this psychological point of view is correct, it will at once be seen that it is an essential misconception of the facts to doubt the reality of the spiritual life because we do not find it as an isolated bit. We could not wish so to find it, if we desired it to be an important factor in life at all. A current illustration may be found in this comment of the Independent upon a striking utterance of the distinguished missionary, Dr. Timothy Richard: "The point of Dr. Richard's argument is this: That if endeavors after conversion are meant merely to cover the strivings to renew men's hearts devotionally without striving to improve men materially, intellectually and nationally, it would seem that only a small part of the kingdom of God makes headway. It is a fact that 'conversion in regard to material, intellectual, social, national and international, as well as devotional aspects, is a conversion towards the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.'"

In the same way, the spiritual life is certain to suffer from ignoring the unity of the mind. For this unity will mean, even more clearly than did the complexity of life, that it will be impossible for us to separate religious experience from the rest of our living. It will mean, further, that there will be plain intellectual, emotional, and volitional conditions[4] of the spiritual life that must be recognized and fulfilled. And just so far as these conditions are not fulfilled, the spiritual life is bound to suffer. And where this is the case, one need not look further for the solution of his religious difficulties.

[3] Treated at length in my Rational Living.

[4] Cf. Rational Living, pp. III ff