Paul Tournier

Paul
Tournier
1898
1986

Swiss Physician and Writer who developed an integrative approach to the practice of medicine, psychology and pastoral counselling

Author Quotes

Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith either.

We are nearly always longing for an easy religion, easy to understand and easy to follow; a religion with no mystery, no insoluble problems, no snags; a religion that would allow us to escape from our miserable human condition; a religion in which contact with God spares us all strife, all uncertainty, all suffering and all doubt; in short, a religion without a cross.

The more refined and subtle our minds, the more vulnerable they are.

That is what marriage really means helping one another to reach the full status of being persons, responsible and autonomous beings who do not run away from life.

Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.

Recounting of a life story, a mind thinking aloud leads one inevitably to the consideration of problems which are no longer psychological but spiritual.

Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.

No one can develop freely in this world and find a full life without feeling understood by at least one person.

Listen to all the conversations of our world, between nations as well as between individuals. They are, for the most part, dialogues of the deaf.

Let us not seek to bring religion to others, but let us endeavor to live it ourselves.

It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link...He who loves understands, and he who understands loves. One who feels understood feels loved, and one who feels loved feels sure of being understood.

In order to really understand, we need to listen, not reply. We need to listen long and attentively. In order to help anybody to open his heart we have to give him time, asking only a few questions, as carefully as possible in order to help him better explain his experience.

I have treated many artists. There are among them many neurotics, so many that one finally comes to believe that one cannot be an artist without being neurotic. Again I found in them that inner conflict which is characteristic of modern man: the conflict between a right intuition (namely, that their vocation has fundamental importance for the destiny of humanity) and a false idea (namely, that art is superfluous luxury).

At the heart of personality is the need to feel a sense of being lovable without having to qualify for that acceptance.

Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.

Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a bolt out of the blue. The ground is prepared for years, through faulty diet, intemperance, overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject’s vitality. And when at last the illness suddenly shows itself, it would be a most superficial medicine which treated it without going back to its remote causes, to all that I call “personal problems.” There are personal problems in every life. There are secret tragedies in every heart. “Man does not die,” a doctor has remarked. “He kills himself”... Every act of physical, psychological, or moral disobedience of God’s purpose is an act of wrong living and has its inevitable consequences.

Now, we shall be able to judge the extent of the spiritual undernourishment if we look at all these movements from another angle: not as errors but rather as attempts to find healing. I use this comparison: For a long time medical men combated fever as if it itself constituted the illness. Medicine today inclines rather to respect it, not only as a symptom of the disease but of the struggle of the organism against the disease. True, it is this struggle which makes it ill, and yet this very struggle is also the proof of its vitality and is the necessary way to healing.

Health depends to a large extent on mental attitudes and even upon the spiritual condition of the personality.

Author Picture
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Tournier
Birth Date
1898
Death Date
1986
Bio

Swiss Physician and Writer who developed an integrative approach to the practice of medicine, psychology and pastoral counselling