The early relationships between mind and medicine are ultimately bound up with the process by which medicine grew out of magic and religion. The history of medicine reveals a long and chequered progress, still far from complete, in which Man’s attitude towards disease slowly became diﬀerent from that he held towards the many other mysteries by which he was surrounded. His endeavours to cope with disease took at ﬁrst two directions. In one he ascribed disease to the action of beings diﬀerent from himself, but capable of being reached by rites of prayer and propitiation. Since these rites, wherever we study them, reveal an attitude of respect and appeal and imply powers which man does not himself possess, it seems legitimate to regard the beings to whom they are addressed as higher and more powerful than himself. The general body of rites and beliefs forming the means of intercourse between Man and these
higher powers make up the aspect of life we call religion. One of Man’s early modes of behaviour towards disease may thus be regarded as forming part of religion and the religious attitude.