But there’s more to it. The most beautiful things, I think, give us something else beside pleasure; they also leave us with a feeling of sadness or fear.
With equal caution and casualness I explained that I did not believe in the partial psychic causation of pains and illness, that in my personal biology and mythology the “psychic” was not a kind of auxiliary factor added to the physical but the primary power, and that I therefore regarded every condition of life, every feeling of joy and sorrow as well as every sickness, every misfortune and death as psychogenic, as born out of the soul. If I develop arthritic bumps on my finger joints, it is my soul, it is the revered principle of life, the It in me, that is expressing itself in plastic material. If the soul is suffering, it can say so in very different ways, and what in one person takes the form of uric acid in preparation for the disintegration of the I, can perform this same service in another through alcoholism, in a third it can congeal into an ounce of lead that suddenly crashes into the skull. At the same time I admitted that in most cases the possibilities of help from a doctor must be confined to hunting down the material or secondary changes and combatting them with equally material means.