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Title: Your Mind and How to Use It - A Manual of Practical Psychology
Author: Atkinson, William Walker, 1862-1932
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: William Walker Atkinson]


A Manual of Practical Psychology



   It is not enough merely to have a sound mind--one
   must also learn how to use it, if he would
   become mentally efficient.

Published by
the Elizabeth Towne Co.,
Holyoke, Mass.

L.N. Fowler & Co., London.

Copyright, 1911.
Elizabeth Towne.

Copyrighted in the United States and England.


  CHAPTER                                   PAGE

       I. WHAT IS THE MIND                     5


     III. THE GREAT NERVE CENTERS             17

      IV. CONSCIOUSNESS                       24

       V. ATTENTION                           29

      VI. PERCEPTION                          36

     VII. MEMORY                              45

    VIII. MEMORY (continued)                  54

      IX. IMAGINATION                         62

       X. THE FEELINGS                        72

      XI. THE EMOTIONS                        79


    XIII. THE PASSIONS                        96

     XIV. THE SOCIAL EMOTIONS                104

      XV. THE RELIGIOUS EMOTIONS             111

     XVI. THE ÆSTHETIC EMOTIONS              117




      XX. THE INTELLECT                      143

     XXI. CONCEPTION                         151

    XXII. CLASSES OF CONCEPTS                158

   XXIII. JUDGMENTS                          164

    XXIV. PRIMARY LAWS OF THOUGHT            171

     XXV. REASONING                          176

    XXVI. INDUCTIVE REASONING                181

   XXVII. DEDUCTIVE REASONING                186


    XXIX. THE WILL                           201

     XXX. WILL-TRAINING                      213

    XXXI. WILL-TONIC                         219


What is the Mind?

Psychology is generally considered to be the science of mind, although
more properly it is the science of mental states--thoughts, feelings,
and acts of volition. It was formerly the custom of writers on the
subject of psychology to begin by an attempt to define and describe the
nature of mind, before proceeding to a consideration of the subject of
the various mental spates and activities. But more recent authorities
have rebelled against this demand, and have claimed that it is no more
reasonable to hold that psychology should be held to an explanation of
the ultimate nature of mind than it is that physical science be held to
an explanation of the ultimate nature of matter. The attempt to explain
the ultimate nature of either is futile--no actual necessity exists for
explanation in either case. Physics may explain the phenomena of matter,
and psychology the phenomena of mind, without regard to the ultimate
nature of the substance of either.

The science of physics has progressed steadily during the past century,
notwithstanding the fact that the theories regarding the ultimate
nature of matter have been revolutionized during that period. The facts
of the phenomena of matter remain, notwithstanding the change of theory
regarding the nature of matter itself. Science demands and holds fast to
facts, regarding theories as but working hypotheses at the best. Some
one has said that "theories are but the bubbles with which the grown-up
children of science amuse themselves." Science holds several
well-supported, though opposing, theories regarding the nature of
electricity, but the _facts_ of the phenomena of electricity, and the
application thereof, are agreed upon by the disputing theorists. And so
it is with psychology; the facts regarding mental states are agreed
upon, and methods of developing mental powers are effectively employed,
without regard to whether mind is a product of the brain, or the brain
merely an organ of the mind. The fact that the brain and nervous system
are employed in the phenomena of thought is conceded by all, and that is
all that is necessary for a basis for the science of psychology.

Disputes regarding the ultimate nature of mind are now generally passed
over to the philosophers and metaphysicians, while psychology devotes
its entire attention to studying the laws of mental activities, and to
discovering methods of mental development. Even philosophy is beginning
to tire of the eternal "why" and is devoting its attention to the "how"
phase of things. The pragmatic spirit has invaded the field of
philosophy, expressing itself in the words of Prof. William James, who
said: "Pragmatism is the attitude of looking away from first things,
principles, categories, supposed necessities; and of looking forward
toward last things, _fruits_, _consequences_, _facts_." Modern
psychology is essentially pragmatic in its treatment of the subject of
the mind. Leaving to metaphysics the old arguments and disputes
regarding the ultimate nature of mind, it bends all its energies upon
discovering the laws of mental activities and states, and developing
methods whereby the mind may be trained to perform better and more work,
to conserve its energies, to concentrate its forces. To modern
psychology the mind is _something to be used_, not merely something
about which to speculate and theorize. While the metaphysicians deplore
this tendency, the practical people of the world rejoice.


Mind is defined as "the faculty or power whereby thinking creatures,
feel, think, and will." This definition is inadequate and circular in
nature, but this is unavoidable, for mind can be defined only in its
own terms and only by reference to its own processes. Mind, except in
reference to its own activities, cannot be defined or conceived. It is
known to itself only through its activities. Mind without mental states
is a mere abstraction--a word without a corresponding mental image or
concept. Sir William Hamilton expressed the matter as clearly as
possible, when he said: "What we mean by mind is simply _that which_
perceives, thinks, feels, wills, and desires." Without the perceiving,
thinking, feeling, willing, and desiring, it is impossible to form a
clear conception or mental image of mind; deprived of its phenomena it
becomes the merest abstraction.


Perhaps the simplest method of conveying the idea of the existence and
nature of the mind is that attributed to a celebrated German teacher of
psychology who was wont to begin his course by bidding his students
think of something, his desk, for example. Then he would say, "Now think
of _that which thinks about the desk_." Then, after a pause, he would
add, "This thing which thinks about the desk, and about which you are
now thinking, is the subject matter of our study of psychology." The
professor could not have said more had he lectured for a month.

Professor Gordy has well said on this point: "The mind must either be
_that which_ thinks, feels, and wills, or it must be the thoughts,
feelings, and acts of will of which we are conscious--mental facts, in
one word. But what can we know about _that which_ thinks, feels, and
wills, and what can we find out about it? Where is it? You will probably
say, in the brain. But, if you are speaking literally, if you say that
it is in the brain, as a pencil is in the pocket, then you must mean
that it takes up room, that it occupies space, and that would make it
very much like a material thing. In truth, the more carefully you
consider it, the more plainly you will see what thinking men have known
for a long time--that we do not know and cannot learn anything about the
thing which thinks, and feels, and wills. It is beyond the range of
human knowledge. The books which define psychology as the science of
mind have not a word to say about that which thinks, and feels, and
wills. They are entirely taken up with these thoughts and feelings and
acts of the will,--mental facts, in a word,--trying to tell us what they
are, and to arrange them in classes, and tell us the circumstances or
conditions under which they exist. It seems to me that it would be
better to define psychology as _the science of the experiences,
phenomena, or facts of the mind, soul, or self--of mental facts, in a

In view of the facts of the case, and following the example of the best
of the modern authorities, in this book we shall leave the consideration
of the question of the ultimate nature of mind to the metaphysicians,
and shall confine ourselves to the _mental facts_, the laws governing
them, and the best methods of governing and using them in "the business
of life."

The classification and method of development to be followed in this book
is as follows:--

I. The mechanism of mental states, _i.e._, the brain, nervous system,
sense organs, etc.

II. The fact of Consciousness and its planes.

III. Mental processes or faculties, _i.e._, (1) Sensation and
Perception; (2) Representation, or Imagination and Memory; (3) Feeling
or Emotion; (4) Intellect, or Reason and Understanding; (5) Will or

Mental states depend upon the physical mechanism for manifestation,
whatever may be the ultimate nature of mind. Mental states, whatever
their special character, will be found to fit into one of the above five
general classes of mental activities.


The Mechanism of Mental States.

The mechanism of mental states--the mental machinery by means of which
we feel, think, and will--consists of the brain, nervous system, and the
organs of sense. No matter what may be the real nature of mind,--no
matter what may be the theory held regarding its activities,--it must be
admitted that the mind is dependent upon this mechanism for the
manifestation of what we know as mental states. Wonderful as is the
mind, it is seen to be dependent upon this physical mechanism for the
expression of its activities. And this dependence is not upon the brain
alone, but also upon the entire nervous system.

The best authorities agree that the higher and more complex mental
states are but an evolution of simple sensation, and that they are
dependent upon sensation for their raw material of feeling and thought.
Therefore it is proper that we begin by a consideration of the machinery
of sensation. This necessitates a previous consideration of the nerves.


The body is traversed by an intricate system of nerves, which has been
likened to a great telegraph system. The nerves transmit sensations from
the various parts of the body to the great receiving office of the
brain. They also serve to transmit the motor impulses from the brain to
the various parts of the body, which impulses result in motion of
appropriate parts of the body. There are also other nerves with which we
have no concern in this book, but which perform certain physiological
functions, such as digestion, secretion, excretion, and circulation. Our
chief concern, at this point, is with the sensory nerves.

The sensory nerves convey the impressions of the outside world to the
brain. The brain is the great central station of the sensory nerves, the
latter having countless sending stations in all parts of the body, the
"wires" terminating in the skin. When these nervous terminal stations
are irritated or excited, they send to the brain messages calling for
attention. This is true not only of the nerves of touch or feeling, but
also of those concerned with the respective senses of sight, smell,
taste, and hearing. In fact, the best authorities hold that all the five
senses are but an evolution of the primary sense of touch or feeling.


The nerves of the sense of touch have their ending in the outer
covering or skin of the body. They report _contact_ with other physical
objects. By means of these reports we are aware not only of contact with
the outside object, but also of many facts concerning the nature of that
object, as for instance, its degree of hardness, roughness, etc., and its
temperature. Some of these nerve ends are very sensitive, as, for
example, those of the tip of the tongue and finger ends, while others
are comparatively lacking in sensitiveness, as, for illustration, those
of the back. Certain of these sensory nerves confine themselves to
reporting contact and degrees of pressure, while others concern
themselves solely with reporting the degrees of temperature of the
objects with which their ends come in contact. Some of the latter
respond to the higher degrees of heat, while others respond only to the
lower degrees of cold. The nerves of certain parts of the body respond
more readily and distinctly to temperature than do those of other parts.
To illustrate, the nerves of the cheek are quite responsive to heat


The nerves of the sense of sight terminate in the complex optical
apparatus which in popular terminology is known as "the eye." What is
known as "the retina" is a very sensitive nervous membrane which lines
the inner, back part of the eye, and in which the fibers of the optic
nerve terminate. The optical instrument of the eye conveys the focused
light vibrations to the nerves of the retina, from which the impulse is
transmitted to the brain. But, contrary to the popular notion, the
nerves of the eye do not gauge distances, nor form inferences of any
kind; that is distinctly the work of the mind. The simple office of the
optical nerves consists in reporting color and degrees of intensity of
the light waves.


The nerves of the sense of hearing terminate in the inner part of the
ear. The tympanum, or "ear drum," receives the sound vibrations entering
the cavities of the ear, and, intensifying and adapting them, it passes
them on to the ends of the auditory nerve in the internal ear, which
conveys the sensation to the brain. The auditory nerve reports to the
brain the degrees of pitch, intensity, quality, and harmony,
respectively, of the sound waves reaching the tympanum. As is well
known, there are certain vibrations of sound which are too low for the
auditory nerve to register, and others too high for it to record, both
classes, however, capable of being recorded by scientific instruments.
It is also regarded as certain that some of the lower animals are
conscious of sound vibrations which are not registered by the human
auditory nerves.


The nerves of the sense of smell terminate in the mucous membrane of the
nostrils. In order that these nerves report the odor of outside objects,
actual contact of minute particles of the object with the mucous
membrane of the nostrils is necessary. This is possible only by the
passage through the nostrils of air containing these particles; mere
nearness to the nostril will not suffice. These particles are for the
most part composed of tenuous gases. Certain substances affect the
olfactory nerves much more than do others, the difference arising from
the chemical composition of the substance. The olfactory nerves convey
the report to the brain.


The nerves of the sense of taste terminate in the tongue, or rather in
the tiny cells of the tongue which are called "taste buds." Substances
taken into the mouth chemically affect these tiny cells, and an impulse
is transmitted to the gustatory nerves, which then report the sensation
to the brain. The authorities claim that taste sensations may be reduced
to five general classes, viz.: sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and "hot."

There are certain nerve centers having important offices in the
production and expression of mental states, located in the skull and in
the spinal column--the brain and the spinal cord--which we shall
consider in the following chapter.


The Great Nerve Centers.

The great nerve centers which play an important part in the production
and expression of mental states are those of the brain and spinal cord,


The spinal cord is that cord or rope of nerve substance which is
inclosed in the spinal column or "backbone." It leaves the lower part of
the skull and extends downward in the interior of the spinal column for
about eighteen inches. It is continuous with the brain, however, and it
is difficult to determine where one begins and the other ends. It is
composed of a mass of gray matter surrounded by a covering of white
matter. From the spinal cord, along its length, emerge thirty-one pairs
of spinal nerves which branch out to each side of the body and connect
with the various smaller nerves, extending to all parts of the system.
The spinal cord is the great central cable of the nervous telegraphic
system, and any injury to or obstruction of it cripples or paralyzes
those portions of the body the nerves of which enter the spinal cord
below the seat of the injury or obstruction. Injuries or obstructions of
this kind not only inhibit the sensory reports from the affected area,
but also inhibit the motor impulses from the brain which are intended to
move the limbs or parts of the body.


What are known as ganglia, or tiny bunches of nerve cells, are found in
various parts of the nervous system, including the spinal nerves. These
groups of nerve cells are sometimes called "little brains," and perform
quite important offices in the mechanism of thought and action. The
spinal ganglia receive sensory reports, and issue motor impulses, in
many cases, without troubling the central brain regarding the matter.
These activities are known as "reflex nervous action."


What is known as reflex nervous action is one of the most wonderful of
the activities of the nervous and mental mechanism, and the knowledge
thereof usually comes as a surprise to the average person, for he is
generally under the impression that these activities are possible only
to the central brain. It is a fact that not only is the central brain
really a trinity of three brains, but that, in addition to these, every
one has a great number of "little brains" distributed over his nervous
system, any and all of which are capable of receiving sensory reports
and also of sending forth motor impulses. It is quite worth while for
one to become acquainted with this wonderful form of neuro-mental

A cinder enters the eye, the report reaches a ganglion, a motor impulse
is sent forth, and the eyelid closes. The same result ensues if an
object approaches the eye but without actually entering it. In either
case the person is not conscious of the sensation and motor impulse
until the latter has been accomplished. This is reflex action. The
instinctive movement of the tickled foot is another instance. The
jerking away of the hand burnt by the lighted end of the cigar, or
pricked by the point of the pin, is another instance. The involuntary
activities, and those known as unconscious activities, result from
reflex action.

More than this, it is a fact that many activities originally voluntary
become what is known as "acquired reflexes," or "motor habits," by means
of certain nervous centers acquiring the habit of sending forth certain
motor impulses in response to certain sensory reports. The familiar
movements of our lives are largely performed in this way, as, for
instance, walking, using knife and fork, operating typewriters,
machines of all kinds, writing, etc. The squirming of a decapitated
snake, the muscular movements of a decapitated frog, and the violent
struggles, fluttering, and leaps of the decapitated fowl, are instances
of reflex action. Medical reports indicate that in cases of decapitation
even man may manifest similar reflex action in some cases. Thus we may
see that we may _feel_ and _will_ by means of our "little brains" as
well as by the central brain or brains. Whatever mind may be, it is
certain that in these processes it employs other portions of the nervous
system than the central brain.


What is known as the brain of man is really a trinity of three brains,
known respectively as (1) the _medulla oblongata_, (2) the _cerebellum_,
and (3) the _cerebrum_. If one wishes to limit the mental activity to
conscious intellectual effort, then and then only is he correct in
considering the cerebrum or large brain as "the brain."

_The Medulla Oblongata._--The medulla oblongata is an enlargement of the
spinal cord at the base of the brain. Its office is that of controlling
the involuntary activities of the body, such as respiration,
circulation, assimilation, etc. In a broad sense, its activities may be
said to be of the nature of highly developed and complex reflex
activities. It manifests chiefly through the sympathetic nervous system
which controls the vital functions. It does not need to call on the
large brain in these matters, ordinarily, and is able to perform its
tasks without the plane of ordinary consciousness.

_The Cerebellum._--The cerebellum, also known as "the little brain,"
lies just above the medulla oblongata, and just below the rear portion
of the cerebrum or great brain. It combines the nature of a purely
reflex center on the one hand, with that of "habit mind" on the other.
In short, it fills a place between the activities of the cerebrum and
the medulla oblongata, having some of the characteristics of each. It is
the organ of a number of important acquired reflexes, such as walking,
and many other familiar muscular movements, which have first been
consciously acquired and then become habitual. The skilled skater,
bicyclist, typist, or machinist depends upon the cerebellum for the ease
and certainty with which he performs his movements "without thinking of
them." One may be said never to have thoroughly acquired a set of
muscular movements such as we have mentioned, until the cerebellum has
taken over the task and relieved the cerebrum of the conscious effort.
One's technique is never perfected until the cerebellum assumes control
and direction of the necessary movements and the impulses are sent
forth from below the plane of ordinary consciousness.

_The Cerebrum._--The cerebrum, or "great brain" (which is regarded as
"the brain" by the average person), is situated in the upper portion of
the skull, and occupies by far the larger portion of the cavity of the
skull. It is divided into two great divisions or hemispheres. The best
of the modern authorities are agreed that the cerebrum has zones or
areas of specialized functioning, some of which receive the sensory
reports of the nerves and organs of sense, while others send forth the
motor impulses which result in voluntary physical action. Many of these
areas or zones have been located by science, while others remain as yet
unlocated. The probability is that in time science will succeed in
correctly locating the area or zone of each and every class of sensation
and motor impulse.


The area of thought, memory, and imagination has not been clearly
located, except that these mental states are believed to have their seat
in the _cortex_ or outer thin rind of gray brain matter which envelopes
and covers the mass of brain substance. It is, moreover, considered
probable that the higher processes of reasoning are performed in or by
the cortex of the frontal lobes. The cortex of a person of average
intelligence, if spread out on a flat surface, measures about four
square feet. The higher the degree of intelligence possessed by a lower
animal or human being, as a rule, the deeper and more numerous are the
folds or convolutions of the cortex, and the finer its structure. It may
be stated as a general rule, with but very few exceptions, that the
higher the degree of intelligence in a lower animal or human being, the
greater is the area of its cortex in proportion to the size of the
brain. The cortex, it must be remembered, is folded into deep furrows or
convolutions, the brain in shape, divisions, and convolutions resembling
the inner portion of an English walnut. The interior of the two
hemispheres of the cerebrum is composed largely of connective nerves
which doubtless serve to produce and maintain the unity of function of
the mental processes.

While physiological psychology has performed great work in discovering
brain-centers and explaining much of the mechanism of mental processes,
it has but touched the most elementary and simple of the mental
processes. The higher processes have so far defied analysis or
explanation in the terms of physiology.



The fact of consciousness is the great mystery of psychology. It is
difficult even to define the term, although every person of average
intelligence understands what is sought to be conveyed by it. Webster
defines it as "knowledge of one's own existence, sensations, mental
operations, etc.; immediate knowledge or perception of any object, state,
or sensation; being aware; being sensible of." Another authority defines
the term as "the state of being aware of one's sensations; the power,
faculty, or mental state of being aware of one's own existence,
condition at the moment, thoughts, feelings, and actions." Halleck's
definition is: "That indefinable characteristic of mental states which
causes us to be aware of them."

It will be seen that the idea of "awareness" is the essence of the idea
of consciousness. But, at the last, we are compelled to acknowledge that
it is impossible to closely define consciousness, for it is something so
entirely unique and different from anything else that we have no other
terms at all synonymous to it. We can define it only in its own terms,
as will be seen by reference to the definitions above given. And it is
equally impossible to clearly account for its appearance and being.
Huxley has well said: "How it is that anything so remarkable as a state
of consciousness comes about by the result of irritating nervous tissue,
is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the jinnee when Aladdin
rubbed his lamp." All that we can ever know regarding the nature of
consciousness must be learned from turning the consciousness in
ourselves back upon itself--by focusing consciousness upon its own
mental operations by means of introspection. By turning inward the
conscious gaze we may perceive the flow of the stream of thought from
its rise from the subconscious regions of the mind to its final
disappearance in the same region.

It is a common error to suppose that we are directly conscious of
objects outside of ourselves. This is impossible, for there is no direct
knowledge of such outside objects. We are conscious merely of our
sensations of, or mental images of, the outside objects. All that it is
possible for us to be directly conscious of are our own mental
experiences or states. We cannot be directly conscious of anything
outside of our own minds. We are not directly conscious of the tree
which we _see_; we are directly conscious merely of the sensation of the
nerves arising from the impact of the light waves carrying the image of
the tree. We are not directly conscious of the tree when we touch it and
perceive its character in that way; we are directly conscious merely of
the sensation reported by the nerves in the finger tips which have come
in contact with the tree. We are directly conscious even of our own
bodies only in the same way. It is necessary for the mind to experience
that of which it may become conscious. We are conscious only of (1) that
which our mind is experiencing at this moment, or (2) that which it has
experienced in the past, and which is being re-experienced this moment
by the process of the memory, or which is being re-combined or
re-arranged this moment by the imagination.


But it must not be thought that every mental state or mental fact is in
the field of consciousness. This error has been exploded for many years.
The fact is now recognized that the field of consciousness is a very
narrow and limited one, and that the great field of mental activity lies
outside of its narrow limits. Beyond and outside of the narrow field of
consciousness lies the great subconscious storehouse of memory in which
are stored the experiences of the past, to be drawn again into the field
of consciousness by an effort of the will in the act of recollection, or
by association in ordinary remembrance. In that great region, also, the
mind manifests many of its activities and performs much of its work. In
that great region are evolved the emotions and feelings which play such
an important part in our lives, and which often manifest a vague
disturbing unrest long before they rise to the plane of consciousness.
In that great region are produced the ideas, feelings, and conceptions
which arise to the plane of consciousness and manifest that which men
call "genius."

On the subconscious plane the imagination does much of its work, and
startles its owner by presenting him with the accomplished result in the
field of consciousness. In the subconscious field is performed that
peculiar process of mental mastication, digestion, and assimilation with
which all brain workers are familiar, and which absorbs the raw mental
material given it, separates, digests, and assimilates it, and
re-presents it to the conscious faculties sometime after as a
transformed substance. It has been estimated that at least eighty-five
per cent. of our mental activities are performed below or outside of the
field of consciousness. The psychology of to-day is paying much
attention to this formerly neglected great area or areas of the mind.
The psychology of to-morrow will pay still greater attention to it.

The best of the modern authorities agree that in the great field of
subconscious mentation is to be found the explanation of much that is
unexplainable otherwise. In fact, it is probable that before long
consciousness will be regarded as a mere _focusing of attention_ upon
mental states, and the objects of consciousness merely as that portion
of the contents of the mind in the field of mental vision created by
such focusing.



Intimately connected with the object of consciousness is that process of
the mind which we call "attention." Attention is generally defined as
"the application of the mind to a mental state." It is often referred to
as "concentrated consciousness," but others have ventured the somewhat
daring conjecture that consciousness itself is rather the result of
attention, instead of the latter being an incident of consciousness. We
shall not attempt to discuss this question here, except to state that
consciousness depends very materially upon the degree of attention
bestowed upon its object. The authorities place great importance upon
the intelligent direction of the attention, and hold that without this
the higher forms of knowledge are impossible.

It is the common belief that we feel, see, hear, taste, or smell
whenever objects affecting those senses come in contact with the organs
of sense governing them. But this is only a partial truth. The real
truth is that we become conscious of the report of these senses only
when the attention is directed toward the sensation, voluntarily or
involuntarily. That is to say, that in many cases although the sense
nerves and organs report a disturbance, the mind does not become
consciously aware of the report unless the attention is directed toward
it either by an act of will or else by reflex action. For instance, the
clock may strike loudly, and yet we may not be conscious of the fact,
for we are concentrating our attention upon a book; or we may eat the
choicest food without tasting it, for we are listening intently to the
conversation of our charming neighbor. We may fail to perceive some
startling occurrence happening under our very eyes, for we are buried in
deep thought concerning something far removed from the present scene.
There are many cases on record showing that one may be so interested in
speaking, thinking, or acting that he will not experience pain that
would otherwise be intolerable. Writers have forgotten their pain in the
concentrated interest bestowed upon their work; mothers have failed to
feel pain when their infants required urgent attention; orators have
been so carried away by their own eloquence that they have failed to
feel the pricking of the pin by means of which their friends have sought
to attract their attention. Not only perception and feeling depend
largely upon attention, but the processes of reasoning, memory, and even
of will, depend upon attention for much of their manifestation.

Psychologists divide attention into two general classes, viz.: (1)
voluntary attention and (2) involuntary attention.

Voluntary attention is attention directed by the will to some object of
our own more or less deliberate selection. It requires a distinct effort
of the will in order to focus the attention in this way, and many
persons are scarcely aware of its existence, so seldom do they manifest
it. Voluntary attention is the result of training and practice, and
marks the man of strong will, concentration, and character. Some
authorities go so far as to say that much of that which is commonly
called "will power" is really but a developed form of voluntary
attention, the man of "strong will" holding before him the one idea
which he wishes to realize.

Involuntary attention, often called "reflex attention," is attention
called forth by a nervous response to some sense stimulus. This is the
common form of attention, and is but the same form which is so strongly
manifested by children whose attention is caught by every new object,
but which cannot be held for any length of time by a familiar or
uninteresting one.

It is of the utmost importance that one should cultivate his power of
voluntary attention. Not only is the will power strengthened and
developed in this way, but every mental faculty is developed by reason
thereof. The training of the voluntary attention is the first step in
mental development.


That the voluntary attention may be deliberately trained and developed
is a fact which many of the world's greatest men have proved for
themselves. There is only one way to train and develop any mental power
of faculty--and that is _by practice and use_. By practice, interest may
be given to objects previously uninteresting, and thus the use of the
attention develops the interest which further holds it. Interest is the
natural road over which attention travels easily, but interest itself
may be induced by concentrated attention. By studying and examining an
object, the attention brings to light many new and novel features
regarding the thing, and these produce a new interest which in turn
attracts further and continued attention.

There is no royal road to the development of voluntary attention. The
only true method is _work_, _practice_, _and use_. You must practice on
uninteresting things, the primary interest being your desire to develop
the power of voluntary attention. But as you begin to attend to the
uninteresting thing you will become interested in the task for its own
sake. Take some object and "place your mind upon it." Think of its
nature, where it came from, its use, its associations, its probable
future, of things related to it, etc., etc. Keep the attention firmly
upon it, and shut out all outside ideas. Then, after a little practice
of this kind, lay aside the object for the time being, and take it up
again the next day, endeavoring to discover new points of interest in
it. The main thing to be sought is _to hold the thing in your mind_, and
this can be done only by _discovering features of interest in it_. The
interest-loving attention may rebel at this task at first, and will seek
to wander from the path into the green pastures which are found on each
side thereof. But you must bring the mind back to the task, again and

After a time the mind will become accustomed to the drill, and will even
begin to enjoy it. Give it some variety by occasionally changing the
objects of examination. The object need not always be something to be
looked at. Instead, select some subject in history or literature, and
"run it down," endeavoring to bring to light all the facts relating to
it that are possible to you. _Anything_ may be used as the subject or
object of your inquiry; but what is chosen must be held in the field of
conscious attention firmly and fixedly. The habit once acquired, you
will find the practice most fascinating. You will invent new subjects or
objects of inquiry, investigation, and thought, which in themselves
will well repay you for your work and time. But never lose sight of the
main point--the development of the power of voluntary attention.

In studying the methods of developing and training the voluntary
attention, the student should remember that _any_ exercise which
develops the will, will result in developing the attention; and,
likewise, any exercise which develops the voluntary attention will tend
to strengthen the will. The will and attention are so closely bound
together that what affects one also influences the other. This fact
should be borne in mind, and the exercises and practices based upon it.

In practicing concentration of voluntary attention, it should be
remembered that concentrating consists not only of _focusing_ the
attention upon a given object or subject, but also of the _shutting out_
of impressions from other objects or subjects. Some authorities advise
that the student endeavor to listen to one voice among many, or one
instrument among the many of a band or orchestra. Others advise the
practice of concentrating on the reading of a book in a room filled by
persons engaged in conversation, and similar exercises. Whatever aids in
_narrowing the circle_ of attention at a given moment tends to develop
the power of voluntary attention.

The study of mathematics and logic is also held to be an excellent
practice in concentration of voluntary attention, inasmuch as these
studies require close concentration and attention. Attention is also
developed by any study or practice which demands _analysis_ of a whole
into its parts, and then the _synthesis_ or building up of a whole from
its scattered parts. Each of the senses should play a part in the
exercises, and in addition to this the mind should be trained to
concentrate upon some one idea held within itself--some mental image or
abstract idea existing independently of any object of immediate sense



It is a common mistake that we _perceive_ everything that is reported to
the mind by the senses. As a matter of fact we perceive but a very small
portion of the reports of the senses. There are thousands of sights
reported by our eyes, sounds reported by our ears, smells reported by
our nostrils, and contacts reported by our nerves of touch, every day of
our lives, but which are not _perceived_ or _observed_ by the mind. We
perceive and observe only when the attention, reflex or voluntary, is
directed to the report of the senses, and when the mind interprets the
report. While perception depends upon the reports of the senses for its
raw material, it depends entirely upon the application of the mind for
its complete manifestation.

The student usually experiences great difficulty in distinguishing
between _sensation_ and _perception_. A sensation is a simple report of
the senses, which is received in consciousness. Perception is the
_thought_ arising from the _feeling_ of the sensation. Perception
usually combines several sensations into one thought or percept. By
sensation the mind _feels_; by perception it _knows_ that it feels, and
recognizes the object causing the sensation. Sensation merely brings a
report from outside objects, while perception identifies the report with
the object which caused it. Perception _interprets_ the reports of
sensation. Sensation reports a flash of light from above; perception
interprets the light as starlight, or moonlight, or sunlight, or as the
flash of a meteor. Sensation reports a sharp, pricking, painful contact;
perception interprets it as the prick of a pin. Sensation reports a red
spot on a green background; perception interprets it as a berry on a

Moreover, while we may perceive a simple single sensation, our
perceptions are usually of a group of sensations. Perception is usually
employed in grouping sensations and identifying them with the object or
objects causing them. In its identification it draws upon whatever
memory of past experiences the mind may possess. Memory, imagination,
feeling, and thought are called into play, to some extent, in every
clear perception. The infant has but feeble perception, but as it gains
experience it begins to manifest perceptions and form percepts.
Sensations resemble the letters of the alphabet, and perception the
forming of words and sentences from the letters. Thus _c_, _a_, and _t_
symbolize sensations, while the word "cat," formed from them, symbolizes
the perception of the object.

It is held that all knowledge begins with sensation; that the mental
history of the race or individual begins with its first sensation. But,
while this is admitted, it must be remembered that sensation simply
provides the simple, elementary, raw material of thought. The first
process of _actual thought_, or knowledge, begins with perception. From
our percepts all of our higher concepts and ideas are formed. Perception
depends upon association of the sensation with other sensations
previously experienced; it is based upon experience. The greater the
experience, the greater is the possibility of perception, all else being

When perception begins, the mind loses sight of the sensation in itself,
for it identifies it as a quality of the thing producing it. The
sensation of light is thought of as a quality of the star; the pricking
sensation is thought of as a quality of the pin or chestnut bur; the
sensation of odor is thought of as a quality of the rose. In the case of
the rose, the several sensations of sight, touch, and smell, in their
impression of the qualities of color, shape, softness, and perfume, are
grouped together in the percept of the complete object of the flower.

A _percept_ is "that which is perceived; the object of the act of
perception." The percept, of course, is a mental state corresponding
with its outside object. It is a combination of several sensations
which are regarded as the qualities of the outside object, to which are
combined the memories of past experiences, ideas, feelings, and
thoughts. A percept, then, while the simplest form of thought, is seen
to be a mental state. The formation of a percept consists of three
gradual stages, viz.: (1) The attention forms definite conscious
sensations from indefinite nervous reports; (2) the mind interprets
these definite conscious sensations and attributes them to the outside
object causing them; (3) the related sensations are grouped together,
their unity perceived, and they are regarded as qualities of the outside

The plain distinction between a sensation and a percept may be fixed in
the mind by remembering the following: _A sensation is a feeling_; _a
percept is a simple thought identifying one or more sensations_. A
sensation is merely the conscious recognition of an excitation of a
nerve end; a percept results from a distinct mental process regarding
the sensation.


It is of the utmost importance that we develop and train our powers of
perception. For our education depends very materially upon our
perceptive power. What matters it to us if the outside world be filled
with manifold objects, if we do not perceive them to exist? Upon
perception depends the material of our mental world. Many persons go
through the world without perceiving even the most obvious facts. Their
eyes and ears are perfect instruments, their nerves convey accurate
reports, but the perceptive faculties of the mind fail to observe and
interpret the report of the senses. They see and hear distinctly, but
the reports of the senses are not observed or noted by them; they mean
nothing to them. One may see many things, and yet _observe_ but few. It
is not upon what we see or hear that our stock of knowledge depends, so
much as it does upon what we perceive, notice, or observe.

Not only is one's stock of practical knowledge largely based upon
developed perception, but one's success also depends materially upon the
same faculties. In business and professional life the successful man is
usually he who has developed perceptive powers; he who has learned to
perceive, observe, and note. The man who perceives and takes mental
notes of what occurs in his world is the man who is apt to know things
when such knowledge is needed. In this age of "book education" we find
that the young people are not nearly so observant as are those children
who had to depend upon the powers of perception for their knowledge. The
young Arab or Indian will observe more in an hour than the civilized
child will in a day. To live in a world of books tends, in many cases,
to weaken the powers of observation and perception.

Perception may be developed by practice. Begin by taking notice of the
things seen and heard in your usual walks. Keep wide open the eyes of
the mind. Notice the faces of people, their walk, their characteristics.
Look for interesting and odd things, and you will see them. Do not go
through life in a daydream, but keep a sharp lookout for things of
interest and value. The most familiar things will repay you for the time
and work of examining them in detail, and the practice gained by such
tasks will prove valuable in your development of perception.

An authority remarks that very few persons, even those living in the
country, know whether a cow's ears are above, below, behind, or in front
of her horns; nor whether cats descend trees head first or tail first.
Very few persons can distinguish between the leaves of the various kinds
of familiar trees in their neighborhood. Comparatively few persons are
able to describe the house in which they live, at least beyond the most
general features--the details are unknown.

Houdin, the French conjurer, was able to pass by a shop window and
perceive every article in it, and then repeat what he had seen. But he
acquired this skill only by constant and gradual practice. He himself
decried his skill and claimed that it was as nothing compared to that of
the fashionable woman who can pass another woman on the street and "take
in" her entire attire, from head to foot, at one glance, and "be able to
describe not only the fashion and quality of the stuffs, but also say if
the lace be real or only machine made." A former president of Yale is
said to have been able to glance at a book and read a quarter of a page
at one time.

Any study or occupation which requires _analysis_ will develop the power
of perception. Consequently, if we will analyze the things we see,
resolving them into their parts or elements, we will likewise develop
the perceptive faculties. It is a good exercise to examine some small
object and endeavor to discover as many separate points of perception as
possible, noting them on a sheet of paper. The most familiar object, if
carefully examined, will yield rich returns.

If two persons will enter into a contest of this kind, the spirit of
rivalry and competition will quicken the powers of observation. Those
who have had the patience and perseverance to systematically practice
exercises of this kind, report that they notice a steady improvement
from the very start. But even if one does not feel inclined to practice
in this way, it will be found possible _to begin to take notice_ of the
details of things one sees, the expression of persons' faces, the
details of their dress, their tone of voice, the quality of the goods we
handle, and _the little things especially_. Perception, like attention,
follows interest; but, likewise, interest may be created in things by
observing their details, peculiarities, and characteristics.

The best knowledge gained by one is that resulting from his own personal
perception. There is a nearness and trueness about that which one
_knows_ in this way which is lacking in that which he merely _believes_
because he has read or heard it. One can make such knowledge a part of
himself. Not only is one's knowledge dependent upon what he perceives,
but his very character also results from the character of his percepts.
The influence of environment is great--and what is environment but
things perceived about one? It is not so much what lies outside of one,
as what part of it gets _inside_ of one by perception. By directing his
attention to desirable objects, and perceiving as much of them as is
possible, one really builds his own character at will.

The world needs good "perceivers" in all the walks of life. It finds a
shortage of them, and is demanding them loudly, being willing to pay a
good price for their services. The person who can voluntarily perceive
and observe the details of any profession, business, or trade will go
far in that vocation. The education of children should take the faculty
of perception into active consideration. The kindergarten has taken some
steps in this direction, but there is much more to be done.



Psychologists class as "representative mental processes" those known as
memory and imagination, respectively. The term "representation" is used
in psychology to indicate the processes of re-presentation or presenting
again to consciousness that which has formerly been presented to it but
which afterward passed from its field. As Hamilton says: "The general
capability of knowledge necessarily requires that, besides the power of
evoking out of unconsciousness one portion of our retained knowledge in
preference to another, we possess the faculty of representing in
consciousness what is thus evoked."

Memory is the primary representative faculty or power of the mind.
Imagination depends upon memory for its material, as we shall see when
we consider that faculty. Every mental process which involves the
remembrance, recollection, or representation of a sensation, perception,
mental image, thought, or idea previously experienced must depend upon
memory for its material. Memory is the great storehouse of the mind in
which are placed the records of previous mental experiences. It is a
part of the great subconscious field of mental activity, and the
greater part of its work is performed below the plane of consciousness.
It is only when its results are passed into the field of consciousness
that we are aware of its existence. We know memory only by its works. Of
its nature we know but little, although certain of its principal laws
and principles have been discovered.

It was formerly customary to class memory with the various faculties of
the mind, but later psychology no longer so considers it. Memory is now
regarded as a power of the general mind, manifesting in connection with
every faculty of the mind. It is now regarded as belonging to the great
subconscious field of mentation, and its explanation must be sought
there. It is utterly unexplainable otherwise.

The importance of memory cannot be overestimated. Not only does a man's
character and education depend chiefly upon it, but his very mental
being is bound up with it. If there were no memory, man would never
progress mentally beyond the mental state of the newborn babe. He would
never be able to profit by experience. He would never be able to form
clear perceptions. He would never be able to reason or form judgments.
The processes of thought depend for material upon the memory of past
experiences; this material lacking, there can be no thought.

Memory has two important general functions, viz.: (1) The _retention_ of
impressions and experiences; and (2) the _reproduction_ of the
impressions and experiences so retained.

It was formerly held that the memory retained only a portion of the
impressions and experiences originally noted by it. But the present
theory is that it retains every impression and experience which is noted
by it. It is true that many of these impressions are never reproduced in
consciousness, but experiments tend to prove, nevertheless, that the
records are still in the memory and that appropriate and sufficiently
strong stimuli will bring them into the field of consciousness. The
phenomena of somnambulism, dreams, hysteria, delirium, approach of
death, etc., show that the subconscious mind has an immense accumulation
of apparently forgotten facts, which unusual stimuli will serve to

The power of the memory to reproduce the retained impressions and
experiences is variously called remembrance, recollection, or memory.
This power varies materially in various individuals, but it is an axiom
of psychology that the memory of any person may be developed and trained
by practice. The ability to recall depends to a great extent upon the
clearness and depth of the original impression, which in turn depends
upon the degree of attention given to it at the time of its occurrence.
Recollection is also greatly aided by the law of association, or the
principle whereby one mental fact is linked to another. The more facts
to which a given fact is linked, the greater the ease by which it is
recalled or remembered. Recollection is also greatly assisted by use and
exercise. Like the fingers, the memory cells of the brain become expert
and efficient by use and exercise, or stiff and inefficient by lack of
the same.

In addition to the phases of retention and reproduction, there are two
important phases of memory, viz.: (3) Recognition of the reproduced
impression or experience; and (4) localization of the impression, or its
reference to a more or less definite time and place.

The recognition of the recalled impression is quite important. It is not
enough that the impression be retained and recalled. If we are not able
to recognize the recalled impression as having been experienced before,
the recollection will be of but little use to us in our thought
processes; the purposes of thought demand that we shall be able to
identify the recalled impression with the original one. Recognition is
really re-cognition--re-knowing. Recognition is akin to perception. The
mind becomes conscious of the recalled impression just as it becomes
conscious of the sensation. It then recognizes the relation of the
recalled impression to the original one just as it realizes the relation
of the sensation to its object.

The localization of the recalled and recognized impression is also
important. Even if we recognize the recalled impression, it will be of
comparatively little use to us unless we are able to locate it as having
happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year, ten years ago, or
at some time in the past; and as having happened in our office, house,
or in such-and-such a place in the street, or in some distant place.
Without the power of localization we should be unable to connect and
associate the remembered fact with the time, place, and persons with
which it should be placed to be of use and value to us in our thought


The retention of a mental impression in the memory depends very
materially upon the clearness and depth of the original impression. And
this clearness and depth, as we have previously stated, depend upon the
degree of attention bestowed upon the original impression. Attention,
then, is the important factor in the forming and recording of
impressions. The rule is: _Slight attention, faint record_; _marked
attention, clear and deep record_. To fix this fact in the mind, the
student may think of the retentive and reproductive phases of memory as
a phonographic record. The receiving diaphragm of the phonograph
represents the sense organs, and the recording needle represents the
_attention_. The needle makes the record on the cylinder deep or faint
according to the condition of the needle. A loud sound may be recorded
but faintly, if the needle is not properly adjusted. And, further, it
must be remembered that the strength of the reproduction depends almost
entirely upon the clearness and depth of the original impression on the
cylinder; as is the record, so is the reproduction. It will be well for
the student to carry this symbol of the phonograph in his mind; it will
aid him in developing his powers of memory.

In this connection we should remember that attention depends largely
upon interest. Therefore we would naturally expect to find that we
remember interesting things far more readily than those which lack
interest. This supposition is borne out in actual experience. This
accounts for the fact that every one remembers a certain class of things
better than he does others. One remembers faces, another dates, another
spoken conversation, another written words, and so on. It will be found,
as a rule, that each person is interested in the class of things which
he most easily remembers. The artist easily remembers faces and details
of faces, or scenery and details thereof. The musician easily recalls
passages or bars of music, often of a most complicated nature. The
speculator easily recalls the quotations of his favorite stocks. The
racing man recalls without difficulty the "odds" posted on a certain
horse on a certain day, or the details of a race which was run many
years ago. The moral is: _Arouse and induce an interest in the things
which you wish to remember_. This interest may be aroused by studying
the things in question, as we have suggested in a preceding chapter.


Many of the best authorities hold that original impressions may be made
clear and deep, and the process of reproduction accordingly rendered
more efficient, by the practice of _visualizing_ the thing to be
remembered. By visualizing is meant the formation of a _mental image_ of
the thing in the imagination. If you wish to remember the appearance of
anything, look at it closely, with attention, and then turning away from
it endeavor to reproduce its appearance as a mental picture in the mind.
If this is done, a particularly clear impression will be made in the
memory, and when you recall the thing you will find that you will also
recall the clear mental image of it. Of course the greater the number
of details observed and included in the original mental image, the
greater the remembered detail.


Not only is attention necessary in forming clear memory records, but
careful perception is also important. Without clear perception there is
a lack of detail in the retained record, and the element of association
is lacking. It is not enough to merely remember the thing itself; we
should also remember _what_ it is, and all about it. The practice of the
methods of developing perception, given in a preceding lesson, will tend
to develop and train the retentive, reproductive, recognitive, and
locative powers of the memory. The rule is: _The greater the degree of
perception accorded a thing, the greater the detail of the retained
impression, and the greater the ease of the recollection_.


Another important point in acquiring impressions in memory is this:
_That the better the understanding of the subject or object, the clearer
the impressions regarding it, and the clearer the recollection of it_.
This fact is proved by experiment and experience. A subject which will
be remembered only with difficulty under ordinary circumstances will be
easily remembered if it is fully explained to the person, and
accompanied by a few familiar illustrations or examples. It is very
difficult to remember a meaningless string of words, while a sentence
which conveys a clear meaning may be memorized easily. If we understand
_what a thing is for_, its uses and employment, we remember it far more
easily than if we lack this understanding. Elbringhaus, who conducted a
number of experiments along this line, reports that he could memorize a
stanza of poetry in about one tenth the time required to memorize the
same amount of nonsense syllables. Gordy states that he once asked a
capable student of the Johns Hopkins University to give him an account
of a lecture to which he had just listened. "I cannot do it," replied
the student; "it was not logical." The rule is: _The more one knows
about a certain thing, the more easily is that thing remembered_. This
is a point worth noting.



The subject of memory cannot be touched upon intelligently without a
consideration of the Law of Association, one of the important
psychological principles.


What is known in psychology as the Law of Association is based on the
fact that _no idea exists in the mind except in association with other
ideas_. This is not generally recognized, and the majority of persons
will dispute the law at first thought. But the existence and appearance
of ideas in the mind are governed by a mental law as invariable and
constant as the physical law of gravitation. Every idea has associations
with other ideas. Ideas travel in groups, and one group is associated
with another group, and so on, until in the end every idea in one's mind
is associated directly or indirectly with every other idea.
Theoretically, at least, it would be possible to begin with one idea in
the mind of a person, and then gradually unwind his entire stock of
ideas like the yarn on the ball. Our thoughts proceed according to this
law. We sit down in a "brown study" and proceed from one subject to
another, until we are unable to remember any connection between the
first thought and the last. But each step of the reverie was connected
with the one preceding and the one succeeding it. It is interesting to
trace back these connections. Poe based one of his celebrated detective
stories on this law. The reverie may be broken into by a sudden
impression from outside, and we will then proceed from that impression,
connecting it with something else already in our experience, and
starting a new chain of sequence.

Often we fail to trace the associations governing our ideas, but the
chain is there nevertheless. One may think of a past scene or experience
without any apparent cause. A little thought will show that something
seen, or a few notes of a song floating to the ears, or the fragrance of
a flower, has supplied the connecting link between the past and the
present. A suggestion of mignonette will recall some past event in which
the perfume played a part; some one's handkerchief, perhaps, carried the
same odor. Or an old familiar tune reminds one of some one, something,
or some place in the past. A familiar feature in the countenance of a
passer-by will start one thinking of some one else who had that kind of
a mouth, that shaped nose, or that expression of the eye--and away he
will be off in a sequence of remembered experiences. Often the starting
idea, or the connecting links, may appear but dimly in consciousness;
but rest assured they are always there. In fact, we frequently accept
this law, unconsciously and without realizing its actual existence. For
instance, one makes a remark, and at once we wonder, "How did he come to
think of that?" and, if we are shrewd, we may discover what was in his
mind before he spoke.

There are two general classes of association of ideas in memory, viz.:
(1) Association of contiguity, and (2) logical association.

Association of contiguity is that form of association depending upon the
previous association in time or space of ideas which have been impressed
on the mind. For instance, if you met Mr. and Mrs. Wetterhorn and were
introduced to them one after the other, thereafter you will naturally
remember Mr. W. when you think of Mrs. W., and vice versa. You will
naturally remember Napoleon when you think of Wellington, or Benedict
Arnold when you think of Major André, for the same reason. You will also
naturally remember _b_ and _c_ when you think of _a_. Likewise, you will
think of abstract time when you think of abstract space, of thunder when
you think of lightning, of colic when you recall green apples, of love
making and moonlight nights when you think of college days. In the same
way we remember things which occurred just before or just after the
event in our mind at the moment; of things near in space to the thing of
which we are thinking.

Logical association depends upon the relation of likeness or difference
between several things thought of. Things thus associated may have never
come into the mind at the same previous time, nor are they necessarily
connected in time and space. One may think of a book, and then proceed
by association to think of another book by the same author, or of
another author treating of the same subject. Or he may think of a book
directly opposed to the first, the relation of distinct difference
causing the associated idea. Logical association depends upon _inner
relations_, and not upon the outer relations of time and space. This
_innerness_ of relation between things not connected in space or time is
discovered only by experience and education. The educated man realizes
many points of relationship between things that are thought by the
uneducated man to be totally unrelated. Wisdom and knowledge consist
largely in the recognition of relations between things.


It follows from a consideration of the Law of Association that when one
wishes to impress a thing upon the memory he should, as an authority
says, "Multiply associations; entangle the fact you wish to remember in
a net of as many associations as possible, especially those that are
logical." Hence the advice to place your facts in groups and classes in
the memory. As Blackie says: "Nothing helps the mind so much as order
and classification. Classes are always few, individuals many; to know
the class well is to know what is most essential in the character of the
individual, and what burdens the memory least to retain."


Another important principle of memory is that the impressions acquire
depth and clearness by repetition. Repeat a line of poetry once, and you
may remember it; repeat it again, and your chances of remembering it are
greatly increased; repeat it a sufficient number of times, and you
cannot escape remembering it. The illustration of the phonograph record
will help you to understand the reason of this. The rule is: _Constant
repetition deepens memory impressions; frequent reviewing and recalling
what has been memorized tends to keep the records clear and clean,
beside deepening the impression at each review_.


The following general rules will be of service to the student who wishes
to develop his memory:--

_Making Impressions._

  (1) Bestow attention.
  (2) Cultivate interest.
  (3) Manifest perception.
  (4) Cultivate understanding.
  (5) Form associations.
  (6) Repeat and review.

_Recalling Impressions._

(1) Endeavor to get hold of the loose end of association, and then
unwind your memory ball of yarn.

(2) When you recall an impression, send it back with energy to deepen
the impression, and attach it to as many new associations as possible.

(3) Practice a little memorizing and recalling each day, if only a line
of verse. The memory improves by practice, and deteriorates by neglect
and disuse.

(4) Demand good service of your memory, and it will learn to respond.
Learn to trust it, and it will rise to the occasion. How can you expect
your memory to give good service when you continually abuse it and tell
every one of "the wretched memory I have; I can never remember
anything"? Your memory is very apt to accept your statements as truth;
our mental faculties have an annoying habit of taking us at our word in
these matters. Tell your memory what you expect it to do; then trust it
and refrain from abusing it and giving it a bad name.


Finally, remember this rule: You get out of your memory only that which
you place in it. Place in it good, clear, deep impressions, and it will
reproduce good, clear, strong recollections. Think of your memory as a
phonographic record, and take care that you place the right kind of
impressions upon it. In memory you reap that which you have sown. You
must give to the memory before you can receive from it. Of one thing you
may rest assured, namely, that unless you take sufficient interest in
the things to be remembered, you will find that the memory will not take
sufficient interest in them to remember them. Memory demands interest
before it will take interest in the task. It demands attention before it
will give attention. It demands understanding before it will give
understanding. It demands association before it will respond to
association. It demands repetition before it will repeat. The memory is
a splendid instrument, but it stands on its dignity and asserts its
rights. It belongs to the old dispensation--it demands compensation and
believes in giving only in equal measure to what it receives. Our advice
is to get acquainted with your memory, and make friends with it. Treat
it well and it will serve you well. But neglect it, and it will turn its
back on you.



The imagination belongs to the general class of mental processes called
the representative faculties, by which is meant the processes in which
there are re-presented, or presented again, to consciousness impressions
previously presented to it.

As we have indicated elsewhere, the imagination is dependent upon memory
for its materials--its records of previous impressions. But imagination
is more than mere memory or recollection of these previously experienced
and recorded impressions. There is, in addition to the re-presentation
and recollection, a process of arranging the recalled impressions into
new forms and new combinations. The imagination not only gathers
together the old impressions, but also _creates_ new combinations and
forms from the material so gathered.

Psychology gives us many hairsplitting definitions and distinctions
between simple reproductive imagination and memory, but these
distinctions are technical and as a rule perplexing to the average
student. In truth, there is very little, if any, difference between
simple reproductive imagination and memory, although when the
imagination indulges in constructive activity a new feature enters into
the process which is absent in pure memory operations. In simple
reproductive imagination there is simply the formation of the mental
image of some previous experience--the reproduction of a previous mental
image. This differs very little from memory, except that the recalled
image is clearer and stronger. In the same way in ordinary memory, in
the manifestation of recollection, there is often the same clear, strong
mental image that is produced in reproductive imagination. The two
mental processes blend into each other so closely that it is practically
impossible to draw the line between them, in spite of the technical
differences urged by the psychologists. Of course the mere remembrance
of a person who presents himself to one is nearer to pure memory than to
imagination, for the process is that of recognition. But the memory or
remembrance of the same person when he is absent from sight is
practically that of reproductive imagination. Memory, in its stage of
recognition, exists in the child mind before reproductive imagination is
manifested. The latter, therefore, is regarded as a higher mental

But still higher in the scale is that which is known as _constructive
imagination_. This form of imagination appears at a later period of
child mentation, and is regarded as a later evolution of mental
processes of the race. Gordy makes the following distinction between the
two phases of imagination: "The difference between reproductive
imagination and constructive imagination is that the images resulting
from reproductive imagination are _copies of past experience_, while
those resulting from constructive imagination are not. * * * To learn
whether any particular image, or combination of images, is the product
of reproductive or constructive imagination, all we have to do is to
learn whether or not it is a copy of a past experience. Our memories, of
course, are defective, and we may be uncertain on that account; but
apart from that, we need be in no doubt whatever."

Many persons hearing for the first time the statement of psychologists
that the imaginative faculties can re-present and re-produce or
re-combine only the images which have previously been impressed upon the
mind, are apt to object that they can, and frequently do, image things
which they have not previously experienced. But can they and do they? Is
it not true that what they believe to be original creations of the
imagination are merely _new combinations_ of original impressions? For
instance, no one ever saw a unicorn, and yet some one originally
imagined its form. But a little thought will show that the image of the
unicorn is merely that of an animal having the head, neck, and body of
a horse, with the beard of a goat, the legs of a buck, the tail of a
lion, and a long, tapering horn, spirally twisted, in the middle of the
forehead. Each of the several parts of the unicorn exists in some living
animal, although the unicorn, composed of all of these parts, is
non-existent outside of fable. In the same way the centaur is composed
of the body, legs, and tail of the horse and the trunk, head, and arms
of a man. The satyr has the head, body, and arms of a man, with the
horns, legs, and hoofs of a goat. The mermaid has the head, arms, and
trunk of a woman, joined at the waist to the body and tail of a fish.
The mythological "devil" has the head, body, and arms of a man, with the
horns, legs, and cloven foot of the lower animal, and a peculiar tail
composed of that of some animal but tipped with a spearhead. Each of
these characteristics is composed of familiar images of experience. The
imagination may occupy itself for a lifetime turning out impossible
animals of this kind, but every part thereof will be found to correspond
to something existent in nature, and experienced by the mind of the
person creating the strange beast.

In the same way the imagination may picture a familiar person or thing
acting in an unaccustomed manner, the latter having no basis in fact so
far as the individual person or thing is concerned, but being warranted
by some experience concerning other persons or things. For instance, one
may easily form the image of a dog swimming under water like a fish, or
climbing a tree like a cat. Likewise, one may form a mental image of a
learned, bewigged High Chancellor, or a venerable Archbishop of
Canterbury, dressed like a clown, standing on his head, balancing a
colored football on his feet, sticking his tongue in his cheek and
winking at the audience. In the same way one may imagine a railroad
running across a barren desert, or a steep mountain, upon which there is
not as yet a rail laid. The bridge across a river may be imaged in the
same way. In fact, this is the way that everything is mentally created,
constructed, or invented--the old materials being combined in a new way,
and arranged in a new fashion. Some psychologists go so far as to say
that no mental image of memory is an exact reproduction of the original
impression; that there are always changes due to the unconscious
operation of the constructive imagination.

The constructive imagination is able to "tear things to pieces" in
search for material, as well as to "join things together" in its work of
building. The importance of the imagination in all the processes of
intellectual thought is great. Without imagination man could not reason
or manifest any intellectual process. It is impossible to consider the
subject of thought without first regarding the processes of imagination.
And yet it is common to hear persons speak of the imagination as if it
were a faculty of mere fancy, useless and without place in the practical
world of thought.


The imagination is capable of development and training. The general
rules for development of the imagination are practically those which we
have stated in connection with the development of the memory. There is
the same necessity for plenty of material; for the formation of clear
and deep impressions and clear-cut mental images; the same necessity for
repeated impression, and the frequent use and employment of the faculty.
The practice of visualization, of course, strengthens the power of the
imagination as it does that of the memory, the two powers being
intimately related. The imagination may be strengthened and trained by
deliberately recalling previous impressions and then combining them into
new relations. The materials of memory may be torn apart and then
re-combined and re-grouped. In the same way one may enter into the
feelings and thoughts of other persons by imagining one's self in their
place and endeavoring to act out in imagination the life of such
persons. In this way one may build up a much fuller and broader
conception of human nature and human motives.

In this place, also, we should caution the student against the common
waste of the powers of the imagination, and the dissipation of its
powers in idle fancies and daydreams. Many persons misuse their
imagination in this way and not only weaken its power for effective work
but also waste their time and energy. Daydreams are notoriously unfit
for the real, practical work of life.


And, finally, the student should remember that in the category of the
imaginative powers must be placed that phase of mental activity which
has so much to do with the making or marring of one's life--the
formation of ideals. Our ideals are the patterns after which we shape
our life. According to the nature of our ideals is the character of the
life we lead.

Our ideals are the supports of that which we call _character_.

It is a truth, old as the race, and now being perceived most clearly by
thinkers, that indeed "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he." The
influence of our ideals is perceived to affect not only our character
but also our place and degree of success in life. We grow to be that of
which we have held ideals. If we create an ideal, either of general
qualities or else these qualities as manifested by some person living or
dead, and keep that ideal ever before us, we cannot help developing
traits and qualities corresponding to those of our ideal. Careful
thought will show that character depends greatly upon the nature of our
ideals; therefore we see the effect of the imagination in character

Moreover, our imagination has an important bearing on our actions. Many
a man has committed an imprudent or immoral act which he would not have
done had he been possessed of an imagination which showed him the
probable results of the action. In the same way many men have been
inspired to great deeds and achievements by reason of their imagination
picturing to them the possible results of certain action. The "big
things" in all walks of life have been performed by men who had
sufficient imagination to picture the possibilities of certain courses
or plans. The railroads, bridges, telegraph lines, cable lines, and
other works of man are the results of the imagination of some men. The
good fairy godmother always provides a vivid and lively imagination
among the gifts she bestows upon her beloved godchildren. Well did the
old philosopher pray to the gods: "And, with all, give unto me a clear
and active imagination."

The dramatic values of life depend upon the quality of the imagination.
Life without imagination is mechanical and dreary. Imagination may
increase the susceptibility to pain, but it pays for this by increasing
the capacity for joy and happiness. The pig has but little
imagination,--little pain and little joy,--but who envies the pig? The
person with a clear and active imagination is in a measure a creator of
his world, or at least a re-creator. He takes an active part in the
creative activities of the universe, instead of being a mere pawn pushed
here and there in the game of life.

Again, the divine gift of sympathy and understanding depends materially
upon the possession of a good imagination. One can never understand the
pain or problems of another unless he first can imagine himself in the
place of the other. Imagination is at the very heart of sympathy. One
may be possessed of great capacity for feeling, but owing to his lack of
imagination may never have this feeling called into action. The person
who would sympathize with others must first learn to understand them and
feel their emotions. This he can do only if he has the proper degree of
imagination. Those who reach the heart of the people must first be
reached by the feelings of the people. And this is possible only to him
whose imagination enables him to picture himself in the same condition
as others, and thus awaken his latent feelings and sympathies and
understanding. Thus it is seen that the imagination touches not only our
intellectual life but also our emotional nature. Imagination is the very
life of the soul.


The Feelings.

In thinking of the mind and its activities we are accustomed to the
general idea that the mental processes are chiefly those of intellect,
reason, thought. But, as a fact, the greater part of the mental
activities are those concerned with feeling and emotion. The intellect
is the youngest child of the mind, and while making its presence
strenuously known in the manner of all youngest children so that one is
perhaps justified in regarding it as "the whole thing" in the family,
nevertheless it really plays but a comparatively small part in the
general work of the mental family. The activities of the "feeling" side
of life greatly outnumber those of the "thinking" side, are far stronger
in their influence and effect, as a rule, and, in fact, so color the
intellectual processes, unconsciously, as to constitute their
distinctive quality except in the case of a very few advanced thinkers.

But there is a difference between "feeling" and "emotion," as the terms
are employed in psychology. The former is the simple phase, the latter
the complex. Generally speaking, the resemblance or difference is akin
to that existing between sensation and perception, as explained in a
previous chapter. Beginning with the simple, in order later on to reach
the complex, we shall now consider that which is known as simple

The term "feeling," as used in this connection in psychology, has been
defined as "the simple _agreeable_ or _disagreeable_ side of any mental
state." These agreeable or disagreeable sides of mental states are quite
distinct from the act of knowing, which accompanies them. One may
perceive and thus "know" that another is speaking to him and be fully
aware of the words being used and of their meaning. Ordinarily, and so
far as pure thought processes are concerned, this would complete the
mental state. But we must reckon on the feeling side as well as on the
thinking side of the mental state. Accordingly we find that the
knowledge of the words of the other person and the meaning thereof
results in a mental state agreeable or disagreeable. In the same way the
reading of the words of a book, the hearing of a song, or a sight or
scene perceived, may result in a more or less strong feeling, agreeable
or disagreeable. This sense of agreeable or disagreeable consciousness
is the essential characteristic of what we call "feeling."

It is very difficult to explain feeling except in its own terms. We
know very well what we mean, or what another means, when it is said that
we or he "_feels_ sad," or has "a joyous feeling," or "a feeling of
interest." And yet we shall find it very hard to explain the mental
state except in terms of feeling itself. Our knowledge depends entirely
upon our previous experience of the feeling. As an authority says: "If
we have never felt pleasure, pain, fear, or sorrow, a quarto volume
cannot make us understand what such a mental state is." Every mental
state is not distinguished by strong feeling. There are certain mental
states which are concerned chiefly with intellectual effort, and in
which all trace of feeling seems to be absent, unless, as some have
claimed, the "feeling" of interest or the lack of same is a faint form
of the feeling of pleasure or pain. Habit may dull the feeling of a
mental state until it is apparently neutral, but there is generally a
faint feeling of like or dislike still left.

The elementary forms of feeling are closely allied with those of simple
sensation. But experiments have revealed that there is a distinction in
consciousness. It has been discovered that one is often conscious of the
"touch" of a heated object before he is of the feeling or pain resulting
from it. Psychologists have pointed out another distinction, namely:
When we experience a sensation we are accustomed to refer it to the
outside thing which is the object of it, as when we touch the heated
object; but when we experience a feeling we instinctively refer it to
ourself, as when the heated object gives us pain. As an authority has
said: "My feelings belong to me; but my sensations seem to belong to the
object which caused them."

Another proof of the difference and distinction between sensation and
feeling is the fact that the same sensation will produce different
feelings in different persons experiencing the former, even at the same
time. For instance, the same sight will cause one person to feel elated,
and the other depressed; the same words will produce a feeling of joy in
one, and a feeling of sorrow in another. The same sensation will produce
different feelings in the same person at different times. An authority
well says: "You drop your purse, and you see it lying on the ground as
you stoop to pick it up, with no feeling either of pleasure or pain. But
if you see it after you have lost it and have hunted for it a long time
in vain, you have a pronounced feeling of pleasure."

There is a vast range of degree and kind in feeling. Gordy says: "All
forms of pleasure and pain are called feelings. Between the pleasure
which comes from eating a peach and that which results from solving a
difficult problem, or learning good news of a friend, or thinking of
the progress of civilization--between the pain that results from a cut
in the hand and that which results from the failure of a long-cherished
plan or the death of a friend--there is a long distance. But the one
group are all pleasures; the other all pains. And, whatever the source
of the pleasure or pain, it is alike feeling."

There are many different kinds of feelings. Some arise from sensations
of physical comfort or discomfort; others from purely physiological
conditions; others from the satisfaction of accustomed tastes, or the
dissatisfaction arising from the stimulation of unaccustomed tastes;
others from the presence or absence of comfort; others from the presence
or absence of things or persons for whom we have an affection or liking.
Over-indulgence often transforms the feeling of pleasure into that of
pain; and, likewise, habit and practice may cause us to experience a
pleasurable feeling from that which formerly inspired feeling of an
opposite kind. Feelings also differ in degree; that is to say, some
things cause us to experience pleasurable feelings of a greater
intensity than do others, and some cause us to experience painful
feelings of a greater intensity than do others. These degrees of
intensity depend more or less upon the habit or experience of the
individual. As a general rule, feelings may be classified into (1)
those arising from physical sensations, and (2) those arising from

The feelings depending upon physical sensations arise either from
inherited tendencies and inclinations or from acquired habits and
experience. It is an axiom of the evolutionary school that any physical
activity that has been a habit of the race, long continued, becomes an
instinctive pleasure-giving activity in the individual. For instance,
the race for many generations was compelled to hunt, fish, travel, swim,
etc., in order to maintain existence. The result is that we, the
descendants, are apt to find pleasure in the same activities as sport,
games, exercise, etc. Many of our tendencies and feelings are inherited
in this way. To these we have added many acquired habits of physical
activity, which follow the same rule, _i.e._, that habit and practice
impart more or less pleasurable feeling. We find more pleasure in doing
those things which we can do easily or quite well than in the opposite
kind of things.

The feelings depending upon ideas may also arise from inheritance. Many
of our mental tendencies and inclinations have come down to us from the
past. There are certain feelings that are born in one, without a doubt;
that is to say, there is a great capacity for such feelings which will
be transformed into manifestation upon the presentation of the proper
stimulus. Other mental feelings depend upon our individual past
experience, association, or suggestions from others--upon our past
environment, in fact. The ideals of those around us will cause us to
experience pleasure or pain, as the case may be, under certain
circumstances; the force of suggestion along these lines is very strong
indeed. Not only do we experience feelings in response to present
sensations, but the recollection of some previous experience will also
arouse feeling. In fact, feelings of this kind are closely bound up with
memory and imagination. Persons of vivid imagination are apt to feel far
more than others. They suffer more, and enjoy more. Our sympathies,
which depend largely upon our imaginative power, are the cause of many
of our feelings of this kind.

Many of the facts which we generally ascribe to feeling are really a
part of the phenomena of emotion, the latter being the more complex
phase of feeling. For the purposes of this consideration we have
regarded simple feeling as the raw material of emotion, the relation
being compared to that existing between sensation and perception. In our
consideration of emotion we shall see the fuller manifestation of
feeling, and its more complex expressions.


The Emotions.

As we have seen in the preceding lessons, an emotion is the more complex
phase of feeling. As a rule an emotion arises from a number of feelings.
Moreover, it is of a higher order of mental activity. As we have seen, a
feeling may arise either from a physical sensation or from an idea.
Emotion, however, as a rule, is dependent upon _an idea_ for its
expression, and always upon an idea for its direction and its
continuance. Feeling, of course, is the elemental spirit of all
emotional states, and, as an authority has said, is the thread upon
which the emotional states are strung.

Halleck says: "When representative ideas appear, the feeling in
combination with them produces emotion. After the waters of the Missouri
combine with another stream, they receive a different name, although
they flow toward the gulf in as great volume as before. Suppose we liken
the feeling due to sensation to the Missouri River; the train of
representative ideas to the Mississippi before its junction with the
Missouri. Emotion may then be likened to the Mississippi _after_ its
junction--after feeling has combined with representative ideas. The
emotional stream will not be broader and deeper than before. This
analogy is employed only to make the distinction clearer. The student
must remember that mental powers are never actually as distinct as two
rivers before their union. * * * The student must beware of thinking
that we have done with feeling when we consider emotion. Just as the
waters of the Missouri flow on until they reach the gulf, so does
feeling run through every emotional state." In the above analogy the
term "representative ideas," of course, means the ideas of memory and
imagination as explained in previous chapters.

There is a close relation between emotion and the physical expression
thereof--a peculiar mutual action and reaction between the mental state
and the physical action accompanying it. Psychologists are divided
regarding this relation. One school holds that the physical expression
follows and results from the mental state. For instance, we hear or see
something, and thereupon experience the feeling or emotion of anger.
This emotional feeling reacts upon the body and causes an increased
heart beat, a tight closing of the lips, a frown and lowered eyebrows,
and clinched fists. Or we may perceive something which causes the
feeling or emotion of fear, which reacts upon the body and produces
pallor, raising of the hair, dropping of the jaw, opening of the
eyelids, trembling of the legs, etc. According to this school, and the
popular idea, the mental state precedes and causes the physical

But another school of psychology, of which the late Prof. William James
is a leading authority, holds that the physical expression precedes and
causes the mental state. For instance, in the cases above cited, the
perception of the anger-causing or fear-causing sight first causes a
reflex action upon the muscles, according to inherited race habits of
expression. This muscular expression and activity, in turn, is held to
react upon the mind and to cause the feeling or emotion of anger or
fear, as the case may be. Professor James, in some of his works, makes a
forcible argument in support of this theory, and his opinions have
influenced the scientific thought of the day upon this subject. Others,
however, have sought to combat his theory by equally forcible argument,
and the subject is still under lively and spirited discussion in
psychological circles.

Without taking sides in the above controversy, many psychologists
proceed upon the hypothesis that there is a mutual action and reaction
between emotional mental states and the appropriate physical expression
thereof, each in a measure being the cause of the other, and each
likewise being the effect of the other. For instance, in the cases
above cited, the perception of the anger-producing or fear-producing
sight causes, almost or quite simultaneously, the emotional mental state
of anger or fear, as the case may be, and the physical expression
thereof. Then rapidly ensues a series of mental and physical reactions.
The mental state acts upon the physical expression and intensifies it.
The physical expression in turn reacts upon the mental state and induces
a more intense degree of the emotional feeling. And so on, until the
mental state and physical expression reach their highest point and then
begin to subside from exhaustion of energy. This middle-ground
conception meets all the requirements of the facts, and is probably more
nearly correct than either extreme theory.

Darwin in his classic work, "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and
Animals," has thrown a great light on the subject of the expression of
emotion in physical motions. The Florentine scientist, Paolo Mantegazza,
added to Darwin's work with ideas of his own and countless examples
drawn from his own experience and observation. The work of François
Delsarte, the founder of the school of expression which bears his name,
is also a most valuable addition to the thought on this subject. The
subject of the relation and reaction between emotional feeling and
physical expression is a most fascinating one, and one in which we may
expect interesting and valuable discoveries during the next twenty

The relation and reaction above mentioned are interesting not only from
the viewpoint of theory but also because of their practicable
application in emotional development and training. It is an established
truth of psychology that each physical expression of an emotional state
serves to intensify the latter; it is pouring oil on the fire. Likewise,
it is equally true that the repression of the physical expression of an
emotion tends to restrain and inhibit the emotion itself.

Halleck says: "If we watch a person growing angry, we shall see the
emotion increase as he talks loud, frowns deeply, clinches his fist, and
gesticulates wildly. Each expression of his passion is reflected back
upon the original anger and adds fuel to the fire. If he resolutely
inhibits the muscular expressions of his anger, it will not attain great
intensity, and it will soon die a quiet death. * * * Not without reason
are those persons called cold blooded who habitually restrain as far as
possible the expression of their emotion; who never frown or throw any
feeling into their tones, even when a wrong inflicted upon some one
demands aggressive measures. There is here no wave of bodily expression
to flow back and augment the emotional state."

In this connection we call your attention to the familiar and
oft-quoted passage from the works of Prof. William James: "Refuse to
express a passion and it dies. Count ten before venting your anger and
its occasion seems ridiculous. Whistling to keep up courage is no mere
figure of speech. On the other hand, sit all day in a moping posture,
sigh and reply to everything with a dismal voice, and your melancholy
lingers. There is no more valuable precept in moral education than this,
as all who have experience know: If we wish to conquer undesirable
emotional tendencies in ourselves, we must assiduously, and in the first
instance cold-bloodedly, go through the outward movements of those
contrary dispositions which we prefer to cultivate. Smooth the brow,
brighten the eye, contract the dorsal rather than the ventral aspect of
the frame, and speak in a major key, and your heart must be frigid
indeed if it does not gradually thaw."

Along the same lines Halleck says: "Actors have frequently testified to
the fact that emotion will arise if they go through the appropriate
muscular movements. In talking to a character on the stage, if they
clinch the fists and frown, they often find themselves becoming really
angry; if they start with counterfeit laughter, they find themselves
growing cheerful. A German professor says that he cannot walk with a
schoolgirl's mincing step and air without feeling frivolous."

The wise student will acquire a great control over his emotional nature
if he will re-read and study the above statements and quotations until
he has grasped their spirit and essence. In those few lines he is given
a philosophy of self-control and self-mastery that will be worth much to
him if he will but apply it in practice. Patience, perseverance,
practice, and will are required, but the reward is great. Even to those
who have not the persistency to apply this truth fully, there will be a
partial reward if they will use it to the extent of restraining so far
as possible any undue physical expression of undesirable emotional

Some writers seem to regard capacity for great emotional excitement and
expression as a mark of a rich and full character or noble soul. This is
far from being true. While it is a fact that the cultivation of certain
emotions tends to create a noble character and a full life, it is
equally true that the tendency to "gush" and indulge in hysterical or
sentimental excesses is a mark of an ill-controlled nature and a weak,
rather than strong, character. Moreover, it is a fact that excess in
emotional excitement and expression tends toward the dissipation of the
finer and nobler feelings which otherwise would seek an outlet in actual
doing and practical action. In the language of the old Scotch engineer
in the story, they are like the old locomotive which "spends sae much
steam at the whustle that she hae nane left to gae by."

Emotional excitement and expression are largely dependent upon habit and
indulgence, although there is a great difference, of course, in the
emotional nature and tendencies of various persons. Emotions, like
physical actions or intellectual processes, become habitual by
repetition. And habit renders all physical or mental actions easy of
repetition. Each time one manifests anger, the deeper the mental path is
made, and the easier it is to travel that path the next time. In the
same way each time that anger is conquered and inhibited, the easier
will it be to restrain it the next time. In the same way desirable
habits of emotion and expression may be formed.

Another point in the cultivation, training, and restraint of the
emotions is that which has to do with the control of the ideas which we
allow to come into the mind. Ideative habits may be formed--_are_
formed, in fact, by the majority of persons. We may cultivate the habit
of looking on the bright side of things; of looking for the best in
those we meet; of expecting the best things instead of the worst. By
resolutely refusing to give welcome to ideas calculated to arouse
certain emotions, feelings, passions, desires, sentiments, or similar
mental states, we may do much to prevent the arousing of the emotion
itself. Emotions usually are called forth by some idea, and if we shut
out the idea we may prevent the emotional feeling from appearing. In
this connection the universal rule of psychology may be applied: _A
mental state may be inhibited or restrained by turning the attention to
the opposite mental state_.

The control of the attention is really the control of every mental

We may use the will in the direction of the control of the
attention--the development and direction of voluntary attention--and
thus actually control every phase of mental activity. The will is
nearest to the ego, or central being of man, and the attention is the
chief tool and instrument of the will. This fact cannot be repeated too
often. If it is impressed upon the mind it will prove to be useful and
valuable in many emergencies of mental life. He who controls his
attention controls his mind, and in controlling his mind controls


The Instinctive Emotions.

Many attempts to classify the emotions have been made by the
psychologists, but the best authorities hold that beyond the purpose of
ordinary convenience in considering the subject _any_ classification is
scientifically useless by reason of its incompleteness. As James
cleverly puts it: "Any classification of the emotions is seen to be as
true and as natural as any other, if it only serves some purpose." The
difficulty attending the attempted classification arises from the fact
that every emotion is more or less complex, and is made up of various
feelings and shades of emotional excitement. Each emotion blends into
others. Just as a few elements of matter may be grouped into hundreds of
thousands of combinations, so the elements of feeling may be grouped
into thousands of shades of emotion. It is said that the two elements of
carbon and hydrogen form combinations resulting in five thousand
varieties of material substance, "from anthracite to marsh gas, from
black coke to colorless naphtha." The same thing may be said of the
emotional combinations formed from two principal elements of feeling.
Moreover, the close distinction between sensation and feeling on the one
hand, and between feeling and emotion on the other, serves to further
complicate the task.

For the purposes of our consideration, let us divide the emotions into
five general classes, as follows: (1) Instinctive emotions, (2) social
emotions, (3) religious emotions, (4) æsthetic emotions, (5)
intellectual emotions. We shall now consider each of the above five
classes in turn.


Instinct is defined as "unconscious, involuntary, or unreasoning
prompting to any action," or "the natural unreasoning impulse by which
an animal is guided to the performance of any action, without thought of
improving the method." An authority says: "Instinct is a natural impulse
leading animals, even prior to all experience, to perform certain
actions tending to the welfare of the individual or the perpetuation of
the species, apparently without understanding the object at which they
may be supposed to aim, or deliberating as to the best methods to
employ. In many cases, as in the construction of the cells of the bee,
there is a perfection about the result which reasoning man could not
have equaled, except by an application of the higher mathematics to
direct the operations carried out. Mr. Darwin considers that animals, in
time past as now, have varied in their mental qualities, and that those
variations are inherited. Instincts also vary slightly in a state of
nature. This being so, natural selection can ultimately bring them to a
high degree of perfection."

It was formerly the fashion to ascribe instinct in the lower animals,
and in man, to something akin to "innate ideas" implanted in each
species and thereafter continued by inheritance. But the application of
the idea of evolution to the science of psychology has resulted in
brushing away these old ideas. To-day it holds that that which we call
"instinct" is the result of gradual development in the course of
evolution, the accumulated experience of the race being stored away in
the race memory, each individual adding a little thereto by his acquired
habits and experiences. Psychologists now hold that the lower forms of
these race tendencies are closely akin to purely reflex actions, and the
higher forms, which are known as "instinctive emotions," are phenomena
of the subconscious mind resulting from race memory and race experience.

Clodd says: "Instinct is the higher form of reflex action. The salmon
migrates from sea to river; the bird makes its nest or migrates from one
zone to another by an unvarying route, even leaving its young behind to
perish; the bee builds its six-sided cell; the spider spins its web; the
chick breaks its way through the shell, balances itself, and picks up
grains of corn; the newborn babe sucks its mother's breast--all in
virtue of like acts on the part of their ancestors, which, arising in
the needs of the creature, and gradually becoming automatic, have not
varied during long ages, the tendency to repeat them being transmitted
within the germ from which insect, fish, bird, and man have severally

Schneider says: "It is a fact that men, especially in childhood, fear to
go into a dark cavern, or a gloomy wood. This feeling of fear arises, to
be sure, partly from the fact that we easily suspect that dangerous
beasts may lurk in these localities--a suspicion due to stories we have
heard and read. But, on the other hand, it is quite sure that this fear
at a certain perception is also directly inherited. Children who have
been carefully guarded from all ghost stories are nevertheless terrified
and cry if led into a dark place, especially if sounds are made there.
Even an adult can easily observe that an uncomfortable timidity steals
over him in a lonely wood at night, although he may have the fixed
conviction that not the slightest danger is near. This feeling of fear
occurs in many men even in their own houses after dark, although it is
much stronger in a dark cavern or forest. The fact of such instinctive
fear is easily explicable when we consider that our savage ancestors
through immemorable generations were accustomed to meet with dangerous
beasts in caverns, especially bears, and were for the most part attacked
by such beasts during the night and in the woods, and that thus an
inseparable association between the perceptions of darkness, caverns,
woods, and fear took place, and was inherited."

James says: "Nothing is commoner than the remark that man differs from
lower creatures by the almost total absence of instincts, and the
assumption of their work in him by reason. * * * We may confidently say
that however uncertain man's reactions upon his environment may
sometimes seem in comparison with those of the lower mammals, the
uncertainty is probably not due to their possession of any principles of
action which he lacks. _On the contrary, man possesses all the impulses
that they have, and a great many more besides._ * * * High places cause
fear of a peculiarly sickening sort, though here again individuals
differ. The utterly blind instinctive character of the motor impulses
here is shown by the fact that they are almost always entirely
unreasonable, but that reason is powerless to suppress them. * * *
Certain ideas of supernatural agency, associated with real
circumstances, produce a peculiar kind of horror. This horror is
probably explicable as the result of a combination of simple horrors. To
bring the ghostly terror to its maximum, many unusual elements of the
dreadful must combine, such as loneliness, darkness, inexplicable
sounds, especially of a dismal character, moving pictures half discerned
(or, if discerned, of dreadful aspect), and a vertiginous baffling of
the expectation. * * * In view of the fact that cadaveric, reptilian,
and underground horrors play so specific and constant a part in many
nightmares and forms of delirium, it seems not altogether unwise to ask
whether these forms of dreadful circumstance may not at a former period
have been more normal objects of the environment than now. The
evolutionist ought to have no difficulty in explaining these terrors,
and the scenery that provokes them, as relapses into the consciousness
of the cave men, a consciousness usually overlaid in us by experiences
of a more recent date."

Instinctive emotion manifests as an impulse arising from the dim
recesses of the feeling or emotional nature--an incentive toward a dimly
conscious end. It differs from the almost purely automatic nature of
certain forms of reflex process, for its beginning is a feeling arising
from the subconscious regions, which strives to excite an activity of
conscious volition. The feeling is from the subconscious, but the
activity is conscious. The end may not be perceived in consciousness, or
at least is but dimly perceived, but the action leading to the end is in
full consciousness. Instinct is seen to have its origin in the past
experiences of the race, transmitted by heredity and preserved in the
race memory. It has for its object the preservation of the individual
and of the species. Its end is often something far removed in time from
the moment, or the welfare of the species rather than that of the
individual; for instance, the caterpillar providing for its future
states, or the bird building its nest, or the bees building cells and
providing honey for their successors, for very few bees live to partake
of the honey which they have gathered and stored--they are animated by
"the spirit of the hive."

The most elementary forms of the instinctive emotions are those which
have to do with the preservation of the individual, his comfort, and
personal physical welfare. This class of emotions comprises what are
generally known as purely "selfish" feelings, having little or no
concern for the welfare of others. In this class we find the emotional
feelings which have to do with the satisfaction of hunger and thirst,
the securing of comfortable quarters and warm clothing, and the spirit
of combat and strife arising from the desire to obtain these. These
elemental feelings had their birth early in the history of life, and
indeed life itself depended very materially upon them for its
preservation and continuance. It was necessary for the primitive living
thing to be "selfish." When man appeared, only those survived who
manifested these feelings strongly; the others were pushed to the wall
and perished. Even in our civilization the man below the average in this
class of feelings will find it difficult to survive.


The Passions.

Arising from the most elemental instinctive emotions, we find what may
be termed "the passions." By the term "passion" is meant those strong
feelings in which the elemental selfish instincts are manifested in
relation to other persons, either in the phase of attraction or
repulsion. In this class we find the elementary phases of love, and the
feelings of hate, anger, jealousy, revenge, etc. This class of emotions
usually manifests violently, as compared with the other emotions. The
passions generally arise from self-preservation, race preservation and
reproduction, self-interest, self-aggrandizement, etc., and may be
regarded as a more complex phase of the elemental instinctive emotions.
The elemental instinctive emotions of self-preservation and self-comfort
cause the individual to experience and manifest the passional emotions
of desire for combat, anger, hate, revenge, etc., while the instinctive
emotions leading to reproduction and continuance of the race give rise
to the passional emotions of sexual love, jealousy, etc. The desire to
attract the other sex increases ambition, vanity, love of display, and
other feelings.

It is only when this class of emotions blends with the higher emotions
that the passions become purified and refined. But it must not be
forgotten that these emotions were very necessary for the welfare of the
race in the early stage of its evolution, and that they still play an
active part in human life, under the greater or less restraint imposed
by civilized society. Nor should it be forgotten that from these
emotions have evolved the highest love of one human being for another.
From instinctive sexual love and the "racial instinct" have developed
the higher affection of man for woman, and woman for man, in all their
beautiful manifestations--and the love of the parent for the child, and
the love of the child for the parent. The first manifestation of
altruism arises in the love of the living creature for its mate, and in
the love of the parents for their offspring. In certain forms of life
where the association of the sexes is merely for the moment, and is not
followed by protection, mutual aid, and companionship, there is found an
absence of mutual affection of any kind, the only feeling being an
elemental reproductive instinct bringing the male and female together
for the moment--an almost purely reflex activity. In the same way, in
the cases of certain animals (the rattlesnake, for instance) in which
the young are able to protect themselves from birth, there is seen a
total absence of parental affection or the return thereof. Human love
between the sexes, in its higher and lower degrees, is a natural
evolution from passional emotion of a low order, due to the growth of
social, ethical, moral, and æsthetic emotion arising from the
necessities of the increasing complexity and development of human life.

The simpler forms of passional emotion are almost entirely instinctive
in their manifestation. Indeed, in many cases, there appears to be but
little more than a high form of reflex nervous action. The following
words of William James give us an interesting view of this fact of life:
"The cat runs after the mouse, runs or shows fight before the dog,
avoids falling from walls and trees, shuns fire and water, not because
he has any notion either of life or of death or of self-preservation. He
acts in each case separately and simply because he cannot help it; being
so framed that when that particular running thing called a mouse appears
in his field of vision, he _must_ pursue; that when that particular
barking and obstreperous thing called a dog appears there, he _must_
retire if at a distance, and scratch if close by; that he _must_
withdraw his feet from water, and his face from flame, etc. * * * Now,
why do the various animals do what seem to us such strange things in the
presence of such outlandish stimuli? Why does the hen, for instance,
submit herself to the tedium of incubating such a fearfully
uninteresting set of objects as a nestful of eggs, unless she have some
sort of prophetic inkling of the result? The only answer is _ad
hominem_. We can only interpret the instinct of brutes by what we know
of instincts in ourselves. Why do men always lie down, when they can, on
soft beds rather than on soft floors? Why do they sit around a stove on
a cold day? Why, in a room, do they place themselves, ninety-nine times
out of a hundred, with their faces toward its middle rather than to the
wall? Why does the maiden interest the youth so much that everything
about her seems more important and significant than anything else in the
world? Nothing more can be said than that these are human ways, and that
every creature likes its own ways, and takes to following them as a
matter of course. Science may come and consider these ways, and find
that most of them are useful. But it is not for the sake of their
utility that they are followed, but because at the moment of following
them we feel that it is the only appropriate and natural thing to do.
Not one man in a million, when taking his dinner, ever thinks of its
utility. He eats because the food tastes good, and makes him want more.
If you should ask him _why_ he wants to eat more of what tastes like
that, instead of revering you as a philosopher he will probably laugh at
you for a fool."

James continues: "It takes, in short, what Berkeley called a mind
debauched by learning to carry the process of making the natural seem
strange, so far as to ask the _why_ of any instinctive human act. To the
metaphysician alone can such questions arise as: Why do we smile when
pleased and not scowl? Why are we unable to talk to a crowd as to a
single friend? Why does a particular maiden turn our wits upside down?
The common man can only say, '_Of course_ we smile, _of course_ our
heart palpitates at the sight of the crowd, _of course_ we love the
maiden--that beautiful soul clad in that perfect form, so palpably and
flagrantly made from all eternity to be loved!' And so, probably, does
each animal feel about the particular things it tends to do in the
presence of particular objects. They, too, are _a priori_ syntheses. To
the lion it is the lioness which is made to be loved; to the bear, the
she bear. To the broody hen the notion would seem monstrous that there
should be a creature in the world to whom a nestful of eggs was not the
utterly fascinating, precious, and never-to-be-too-much-sat-upon object
which it is to her. Thus we may be sure that however mysterious some
animals' instincts may appear to us, our instincts will appear no less
mysterious to them. And we may conclude that, to the animal which obeys
it, every impulse and every step of that instinct shines with its own
sufficient light, and seems at the moment the only externally right and
proper thing to do. It may be done for its own sake exclusively."

One has very little need, as a rule, to develop the passional emotions.
Instinct has taken pretty good care that we shall have our share of this
class of feelings. But there is a need to train, restrain, govern, and
control these emotions, for the conditions which brought about their
original being have changed. Our social conventions require that we
should subordinate these passional feelings, to some extent at least.
Society insists that we must restrict our love impulses to certain
limits and to certain quarters, and that we subdue our anger and hate,
except toward the enemies of our land, the disturbers of public peace,
and the menacers of the social conventions of our time and land. The
public welfare requires that we inhibit our fighting impulses, except in
cases of self-defense or war. Public policy requires that we keep our
ambitions within reasonable limits, which limits change from time to
time, of course. In short, society has stepped in and insisted that man,
as a social being, must not only acquire a _social conscience_ but must
also develop sociable emotions and inhibit his unsociable ones. The
evolution of man's nature has caused him unconsciously to modify his
elemental, instinctive, passional emotions, and subordinate them to the
dictates of social, ethical, moral, and æsthetic feelings and ideals,
and to intellectual considerations. Even the original elemental
instincts of the lower animals have been modified by reason of the
social requirements of the pack, herd, or drove, until the modified
instinct is now the ruling force.

The general principles of emotional control, restraint, and mastery, as
given in a preceding chapter, are applicable to the particular class of
emotions now under consideration here.

    (1) By refraining from the physical expression, one may at least
    partially inhibit the emotion.

    (2) By refusing to create the habit, one may more easily manifest

    (3) By refusing to dwell upon the idea or mental picture of the
    exciting object, one may lessen the stimulus.

    (4) By cultivating the opposite class of emotions, one may inhibit
    any class of feeling.

    (5) And, finally, by acquiring a control of the attention, by means
    of the will, one has the reins firmly in hand, and may drive or hold
    back the steeds of passion as he wills.

The passions are like fiery horses, useful if well under control, but
most dangerous if the control is lost. The ego is the driver, the will
his hands, attention the reins, habit the bit, and the passions the
horses. To drive the chariot of life under social conditions, the ego
must have strong hands (will) to tighten or loosen the reins of
attention. He must also employ a well designed and shaped bit of habit.
Without strong hands, good reins, and well-adjusted bit, the fiery
steeds of passion may gain control and, running away, dash the chariot
and its driver over the precipice and on to the jagged rocks below.


The Social Emotions.

As man became a social animal he developed new traits of character, new
habits of action, new ideals, new customs, and consequently new
emotions. Emotions long entertained and long manifested by the race
become more or less instinctive, and are passed along in the form of
either (_a_) inherited stimulus akin to, but lesser in degree and force
than, the more elemental emotions; or (_b_) of inherited _tendency_ to
manifest the acquired emotional feeling upon the presentation of
sufficiently strong stimuli. Hence arises that which we have called "the
social emotions."

Under the classification of "the social emotions" are those acquired
tendencies of action and feeling of the race which are more or less
altruistic, and are concerned with the welfare of others and one's
duties and obligations toward society and our fellow men. In this class
are found the emotions which impel us to perform what we consider or
feel to be our duty toward our neighbors, and our obligations and duty
toward the state, as expressed in its laws, the customs of men of our
country, or the ideals of the community. In another phase it manifests
as sympathy, fellow feeling, and "kindness" in general. In its first
phase we find civic virtue, law-abiding inclination, honesty, "square
dealing," and patriotism; in its second phase we find sympathy for
others, charity, mutual aid, the alleviation of poverty and suffering,
the erection of asylums for orphans and the aged, hospitals for the
sick, and the formation of societies for general charitable work.

In many cases we find the social, ethical, and moral emotions closely
allied with religious emotion, and by many these are supposed to be
practically identical, but there is a vast difference in spite of their
frequent association. For instance, we find many persons of high civic
virtue, of exalted moral ideals, and manifesting ethical qualities of
the most advanced type, who are lacking in the ordinary religious
feelings. On the other hand, we too frequently find persons professing
great religious zeal, and apparently experiencing the most intense
religious emotional feeling, who are deficient in social, civic,
ethical, and moral qualities, in the best sense of these terms. The aim
of all religion worthy of the name, however, is to encourage ethical and
moral as well as religious emotions.

We must here make the distinction between those manifesting the actions
termed ethical and moral _because they feel that way_, and those who
merely comply with the conventional requirements _because they fear the
consequences_ of their violation. The first class have the true social,
ethical, and moral feelings, tastes, ideals, and inclinations; while the
second manifest merely the elementary feelings of self-preservation and
selfish prudence. The first class are "good" because they feel that way
and find it natural to be so; while the others are "good" merely because
they have to be or be punished by legal penalty or public opinion, loss
of prestige, loss of financial support, etc.

The social, moral, and ethical emotions are believed to have arisen in
the race by reason of the association of individuals in communities and
the rise of the necessity for mutual aid and forbearance. Even many of
the species of the lower animals have social, moral, or ethical codes of
their own, based on the experience of the species or family, infractions
of which they punish severely. In the same way sympathy and the
altruistic feelings are supposed to have arisen. The community of
interest and understanding in the tribe, family, or clan brought not
only the feeling of natural defense and protection but also the finer,
inner sympathetic feeling of the pains and sufferings of their
associates. This, in the progress of the race, has developed into
broader and more complex ideals and feelings.

Theology explains the moral feelings as resulting from conscience,
which it holds to be a special faculty of the mind, or soul, divinely
given. Science, while admitting the existence of the state of feelings
which we call "conscience," denies its supernatural origin, and ascribes
it to the result of evolution, heredity, experience, education, and
suggestion. Conscience, according to science, is a compound of
intellectual and emotional states. Conscience is not an invariable or
infallible guide, but _depends entirely upon the heredity, education,
experience, and environment of the individual_. It accompanies the moral
and ethical codes of the race, which vary with time and with country.
Actions which were thought right a century ago are condemned now;
likewise, things condemned a century ago are thought right now. What is
commended in Turkey is condemned in England, and vice versa. Moral
tastes and ideals, like æsthetic ones, vary with time and country. There
is no absolute code which has been always true, in all places. There is
an evolution in the ideals of morals and ethics as in everything else,
and "conscience" and the moral and ethical emotions accompany the
changing ideals.

Many of the moral and ethical principles originally arose from necessity
or utility, but have since developed into natural, spontaneous feeling
on the part of the race. It is held that the race is rapidly developing
a "social conscience" which will cause the wiping out of many social
conditions which are now the disgrace of civilization. It is predicted
that in time the race will look back upon the existence of poverty in
our civilization as our generation now looks back upon the existence of
slavery, imprisonment for debt, capital punishment for the theft of a
loaf of bread, the killing of prisoners of war, etc. It is thought that,
in time, wars of conquest will be deemed as utterly immoral as to-day is
regarded the murder of a body of men by a band of pirates or bandits. In
the same way the economic slavery of to-day will be seen as immoral as
now seems the physical slavery of the past. In not far distant time it
will seem incredible that society could have ever allowed one of its
members to die of hunger in the streets, or of poverty and inattention
in the sick room of the hovel. Not only will the ideals and feelings of
ethical and moral responsibility change and evolve, but the feelings of
personal sympathy will evolve in accordance therewith. At least such is
the dream and prophecy of some of the world's greatest thinkers.

The social, ethical, and moral emotions may be developed by a study of
the evolution and meaning of society on the one hand, and the perception
of the condition of the lives of less fortunate individuals on the
other. The first will awaken new ideas of the history and real meaning
of social association and mutual intercourse, and will develop a new
sense of responsibility, duty, and civic and social pride. The second
will awaken understanding and sympathy, and a desire to do what one can
to help those who are "the under dog," and also to bring about a better
state of affairs in general. The study of history and civilization, of
sociology and civics, will do much in the first direction. The study of
human-kind, and its life problems and condition, will do the same in the
second case. In both cases there will be awakened a new sense of "right
and wrong"--a new conception of "ought and ought not"--regarding one's
relations to the race, society, and his fellow beings.

Let no one deceive himself or herself by the smug assumption that the
race has entirely emerged from barbarism and is now on the top wave of
civilization. The truth, as known to all careful and conscientious
thinkers, is that we are but _half_ civilized, if, indeed, that much.
Many of our customs and conventions are those of a half-barbarous
people. Our ideals are low, our customs often vile. We lack not only
high ideals but in many cases we show a lack of sanity in our social
conventions. But evolution is moving us slowly ahead. A better day is
dawning. The signs are in the air, to be seen by all thoughtful men.
Civilization is climbing the ladder, aided by the evolution of the
social, ethical, and moral emotions and the development of the

In connection with this phase of the emotions, we invite the student to
consider the following excellent words of Professor Davidson in his
"History of Greek Education": "It is not enough for a man to understand
the conditions of rational life in his own time. He must likewise _love_
these conditions and _hate_ whatever leads to life of an opposite kind.
This is only another way of saying that he must love the good and hate
the evil; for the good is simply what conduces to rational or moral
life, and the evil simply what leads away from it. It is perfectly
obvious, as soon as it is pointed out, that all immoral life is due to a
false distribution of affection, which again is often, though by no
means always, due to a want of intellectual cultivation. He that
attributes to anything a value greater or less than it really possesses,
in the order of things, has already placed himself in a false relation
to it, and will certainly, when he comes to act with reference to it,
act immorally."


The Religious Emotions.

By "the religious emotions" is meant that class of emotional feeling
arising from the faith and belief in, or consciousness of the presence
of, supernatural beings, powers, entities, or forces. This form of
emotion is regarded as distinct from the ethical and moral emotions,
although frequently found in connection therewith. Likewise, it is
independent of any special form of intellectual belief, for it is far
more fundamental and often exists without creed, philosophy, or stated
belief, the only manifestation in such cases being a "feeling" of the
existence of supernatural beings, forces, and powers to which man has a
relation and to which he owes obedience. To those who may think that
this is too narrow a conception of religious emotion we refer the
following definition of "religion" from the dictionaries: "The acts or
feelings which result from the belief of a god, or gods, having superior
control over matter, life, or destiny. Religion is subjective,
designating the feelings and acts of men which relate to God; theology
is objective, denoting the science which investigates the existence,
laws, and attributes of God;" or (objectively) "the outer form and
embodiment which the inward spirit of a true or a false devotion
assumes," (subjectively) "the feeling of veneration with which the
worshiper regards the Being he adores."

Darwin, in his "Descent of Man," says that the feeling of religious
devotion is a highly complex one, consisting of love, complete
submission to an exalted and mysterious superior, a strong sense of
dependence, fear, reverence, gratitude, hope for the future, and perhaps
other elements. He is of the opinion that no man can experience so
complex an emotion until advanced in his intellectual and moral
faculties to at least a moderately high level. The authorities generally
agree with Darwin, although the more recent study of the history of
religion has shown that religious feeling has a far more primitive
origin than that indicated by Darwin.

It is true that the lower animals are not deemed capable of anything
approaching religious feeling, unless there is a feeling approaching it
in the attitude of the dog and horse and other domestic animals toward
their masters. But man, as soon as he is able to attribute natural
phenomena to a supernatural cause and power, manifests a crude religious
feeling and emotion. He begins by believing in, fearing, and worshiping
natural forces and objects, such as the sun, the moon, the wind,
thunder and lightning, the ocean, rivers, mountains, etc. It is claimed
that there is no natural object that has not been deified and worshiped
by some people at some time in the history of the race. Later, man
acquired the anthropomorphic conception of deities and created many gods
in his own image, endowing them with his own attributes, qualities, and
characteristics. The mental characteristics and morals of a people can
always be ascertained by a knowledge of the average conception of deity
held by them. Polytheism, or the belief in many gods, was succeeded by
monotheism, or belief in one god.

Monotheism ranges from the crudest conception of a manlike god to the
highest conception of a spiritual Being transcending all human
qualities, attributes, or characteristics. Man began by believing in
many god _things_, then in many god _persons_, then in a one god-person,
then in one God who is a spirit, then in One Universal Spirit which is
God. It is a far cry from the savage, manlike god of old to the
conception of the Universal Spirit of the "God-drunken philosopher,"
Spinoza. The extreme of religious belief is that which holds that "there
is nothing but God--all else is illusion," of pantheistic idealism.
Buddhism (at least in its original form) discarded the idea of a Supreme
Being, and held that Ultimate Reality is but Universal _Law_; hence the
accusation that Buddhism is an "atheistic religion," although it is one
of the world's greatest religions, having over 400,000,000 followers.

But the _beliefs_ of the religious person may be considered as resulting
from intellectual processes; his religious _feelings and emotions_ arise
from another part of his mental being. It is the testimony of the
authorities of all religions that religious conviction is an inner
experience rather than an intellectual conception. The emotional element
is always active in religious manifestations everywhere. The purely
intellectual religion is naught but a philosophy. Religion without
feeling and emotion is an anomaly. In all true religion there exists a
feeling of inner assurance and faith, love, awe, dependence, submission,
reverence, gratitude, hope, and perhaps fear. The emotional element must
always be present, not necessarily in the form of emotional excess, as
in the case of revival hysteria or the dance of the whirling dervishes,
but at least in the form of the calm, fervent feeling of "that peace
which passeth understanding." When religion departs from the emotional
phase it becomes merely a "school of philosophy," or an "ethical culture

The student must not lose sight of the uplifting influence of true
religious emotion by reason of his knowledge of its lowly origin. Like
the lotus, which has its roots in the slimy, filthy mud of the river,
and its stem in the muddy, stagnant, and foul waters thereof, but its
beautiful flower unfolded in the clear air and facing the sun, so is
religious feeling responsible for some of the most beautiful and
uplifting ideals and actions of the race. If its origin and history
contain much that is not consistent with the highest ideals of the race
to-day, it is not the fault of religion but of the race itself.
Religion, like all else in the universal manifestation, is under the
laws of evolution, growth, and development. What the religion of the
future may be, we know not. But the prophets of the race are dreaming
visions of a religion as much higher than that of to-day as the latter
is higher than the crude fetichism of the savage.

The following quotation from John Fiske's "Through Nature to God" is
appropriate in this place. Fiske says: "My aim is to show that 'that
other influence,' that inward conviction, the craving for a final cause,
the theistic assumption, is itself one of the master facts of the
universe, and as much entitled to respect as any fact in physical nature
can possibly be. The argument flashed upon me about ten years ago while
reading Herbert Spencer's controversy with Frederic Harrison concerning
the nature and reality of religion. Because Spencer derived historically
the greater part of modern belief in an Unseen World from the savage's
primeval world of dreams and ghosts, some of his critics maintained that
logical consistency required him to dismiss the modern belief as utterly
false; otherwise he would be guilty of seeking to evolve truth from
falsehood. 'By no means,' replied Spencer. 'Contrariwise, the ultimate
form of the religious consciousness is the final development of a
consciousness which at the outset contained a germ of truth obscured by
multitudinous errors.'" Fiske, in this connection, quotes the
Tennysonian question:--

    "'Who forged that other influence,
      That heat of inward evidence,
      By which he doubts against the sense?'"

The religious emotions may be developed by allowing the mind to dwell
upon the Power underlying the universe of fleeting, changing forms; by
reading prose and poetry in which an appeal is made to the religious
instinct; by listening to music which awakens the emotion of reverence
and awe; and, finally, by meditating upon the inner spirit immanent in
every living being. As an old Hindu sage once said: "There are many
paths by which men arrive at a knowledge of the presence of God, but
there is but one goal and destination."


The Aesthetic Emotions.

By "the æsthetic emotions" is meant those emotional feelings which are
concerned with the perception of beauty or taste, and by reason of which
we "like" or "dislike" certain perceptions of sensory impressions. In
order to get a clearer idea, let us consider what is meant by "beauty"
and "taste."

"Beauty" is defined as "that quality or assemblage of qualities in an
object which gives the eye or the ear intense pleasure; or that
characteristic in an object which gratifies the intellect or moral
feeling." "Taste" (in this sense of the term) is defined as "nice
perception, or the power of perceiving and relishing excellence in human
performances; the power of appreciating the finer qualities of art; the
faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or
whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts or
literature; the faculty of the mind by which we both perceive and enjoy
whatever is beautiful or sublime in the works of nature and art. The
possession of taste insures grace and beauty in the works of an artist,
and the avoidance of all that is low or mean. It is as often the result
of an innate sense of beauty or propriety as of art education, and no
genius can compensate for the want of it. * * * Tastes differ so much
among individuals, nations, or in different ages and conditions of
civilization that it is utterly impossible to set up a standard of taste
applicable to all men and to all stages in the evolution of society."

The æsthetic sense, feeling, and emotion are products of the later
stages of the evolution of the mind of man. Their roots, however, may be
seen in the crude attempts at decoration and adornment in the savage,
and still further back in the tendency of certain birds to adorn their
nests or "bowers." Moreover, some sense of beauty must exist in the
lower animals, which are influenced thereby in the selection of their
mates, the bright plumage of the birds, and the coloring of the insects
and higher animals evidencing the existence of at least a primitive
æsthetic sense. Herbert Spencer says that one characteristic of the
æsthetic feelings is that they are separated from the functions vitally
requisite and necessary to sustain life, and it is not until the latter
are reasonably well satisfied that the former begin to manifest in

The authorities hold that the basic element concerned in the
manifestation of the æsthetic emotional feeling is the _sensory_
element, which consists of the pleasure arising from the perception of
objects of vision or hearing which are deemed beautiful. There is a
certain nervous satisfaction which arises from the perception of the
sensation of the sight of a beautiful thing, or of the hearing of
beautiful sound. Just _why_ certain sights prove agreeable and others
disagreeable, or certain sounds pleasant and others unpleasant, is very
difficult to determine. Association and habit may have something to do
with the beauty of sight object, and there may be natural harmony of
vibration in colors as there is in sound. In the case of sounds there is
undoubtedly a natural harmony between the vibrations of certain notes of
the scale and inharmony between others. Some have held that the secret
of the enjoyment of music is found in the natural appreciation of
rhythm, as rhythm is a cosmic manifestation evident in everything from
great to small. But these theories do not account for the differences
existing in the tastes regarding color and music manifested by different
individuals, races, and classes of people.

Grant Allen says: "The vulgar are pleased with great masses of color,
especially red, orange, and purple, which give their coarse, nervous
organization the requisite stimulus. The refined, with nerves of less
caliber, but greater discriminativeness, require delicate combinations
of complementaries and prefer neutral tints to the glare of the primary
hues. Children and savages love to dress in all the colors of the
rainbow." In the same way persons of certain types of taste are pleased
with "rag time" and cheap, rollicking songs or dances, while others
shudder at these and find delight in the classic productions of the
great composers.

There is also the _intellectual_ element to be reckoned with in the
æsthetic emotions. The intellect must discover the beauty in certain
objects before the emotion is aroused by the perception. Halleck says:
"Every time the mind discerns unity amid variety, order, rhythm,
proportion, or symmetry, an æsthetic emotion arises. * * * The traveler
with a trained intellect will see far more beauty than an ignorant one.
In looking at a cathedral, a large part of the æsthetic enjoyment comes
from tracing out the symmetry, from comparing part with part. Not until
this process is complete will the full beauty of the structure as a
whole be perceived. If the traveler knows something of mediæval
architecture before starting on his European trip, he will see far more
beauty. The opposite of the æsthetic, which we call the ugly, is the
unsymmetrical, the disorderly--that in which we can discover no rhythm,
plan, or beauty."

The element of _associative suggestion_ also enters into the
manifestation of æsthetic emotional feeling. The mind accepts the
suggestion of the beauty of certain styles of art, or the excellence of
certain classes of music. There are fashions in art and music, as in
clothes, and what is thought beautiful to-day may be deemed hideous
to-morrow. This is not entirely due to the evolution of taste, for in
many cases the old fashions are revived and again deemed beautiful.
There is, moreover, the effect of the association of the object of
emotion with certain events or persons. This association renders the
thing popular, and therefore agreeable and beautiful for the time being.
The suggestion in a story will often cause the beauty of a certain
scene, or the harmony of a certain piece of music, to dawn upon
thousands of persons. Some noted person sets the seal of approval upon a
certain picture or musical composition and lo! the multitude calls it
beautiful. It must not be supposed, however, that the crowd always
counterfeits this sense of beauty and excellence which has been
suggested to it. On the contrary, genuine æsthetic feeling often results
from the discovery so made.

There is style and fashion in the use of words, resulting from fashion,
which gives rise to æsthetic feelings regarding them. These feelings do
not arise from the consideration of the nature of the object expressed
by the word; of two words designating the same thing, one causes disgust
and the other at least passive tolerance. For instance, in speaking of
the sensible moisture which is emitted from the pores of the skin, we
may use either of the respective terms "sweat" or "perspiration." Both
mean the same thing, and have an equally respectable origin. But to many
persons the word "sweat" causes unpleasant æsthetic emotion, while the
word "perspiration" is accepted without remonstrance. Some persons abhor
the term "victuals," while "viands" or "food" are accepted without
protest. There is often an unpleasant, low, vulgar association connected
with some words which accounts for the disfavor with which they are
received, and which association is absent from the more "polite" terms
employed to indicate the same thing. But in other cases there is nothing
but the simple suggestion of fashion and style to account for the
æsthetic acceptance or rejection.

It is possible that some psychologist of the future will establish the
truth of the theory now tentatively advanced by a few investigators,
namely, that taste and the sense of beauty depend almost entirely upon
the element of suggestion, manifested as association, influence of
authority, habit, fashion, imitation, etc. It is known that the
emotional nature is peculiarly liable to suggestion, and that tastes may
be created or destroyed by repeated suggestion under the most favorable
circumstances. It is thought likely that if we could trace back to its
roots every emotion of taste, we would find it arising from some
associative, suggestive influence connected with another and more
elemental class of emotions.

Regarding the fact that there is no universal standard of taste or
beauty, Halleck says: "It has been said that æsthetics cannot be treated
in a scientific way because there is no standard of taste. '_De gustibus
non est disputandum_' ('there is no disputing about tastes') is an old
proverb. Of two equally intelligent persons, the one may like a certain
book, the other dislike it. * * * While it is true that the standard of
taste is a varying one within certain limits, it is no more so than that
of morals. As men's nervous systems, education, and associations differ,
we may scientifically conclude that their tastes must differ. The
greater the uniformity in the factors the less does the product vary. On
the other hand, within certain limits, the standard of æsthetics is
relatively uniform. _It is fixed by the majority of intelligent people
of any age and country._ To estimate the standard by which to judge of
the correctness of language or of the literary taste of any era, we
examine the conversations of the best speakers, the works of the
standard writers."

The æsthetic emotions may be developed and cultivated by exercise and
practice, and particularly by association and familiarity with
beautiful things, and with those who have "good taste." Appreciation of
beauty is more or less contagious, up to a certain point of development,
at least, and if one wishes to recognize, understand, and appreciate
beauty, he should go where beauty is, and where its votaries are
gathered. The study of standard works of art, or objects of nature, or
the best productions of the composers of music, will do much to develop
and unfold one's higher æsthetic feelings and understanding.

It is claimed by some of the best authorities that to develop the finer
and higher æsthetic feelings and understanding we must learn to find
beauty and excellence in things removed from ourselves or our selfish
interests. The narrow, selfish emotions kill the æsthetic feelings--the
two cannot exist together. The person whose thoughts are centered on
himself or herself very rarely finds beauty or excellence in works of
art or music. Grant Allen well sums up the subject in the following
words: "_Good taste is the progressive product of progressing fineness
and discrimination in the nerves, educated attention, high and noble
emotional constitution, and increasing intellectual faculties._"


The Intellectual Emotions.

By "the intellectual emotions" is meant that class of emotional feeling
resulting from the presence of objects of intellectual interest. This
class of emotions depends for its satisfaction upon the exercise of the
intellectual faculties, from the most simple to the most complex, and
including perception, memory, imagination, reason, judgment, and all the
logical faculties. Those who are accustomed to employing the mind
through voluntary attention, particularly in the direction of creative
ideation or constructive imagination, experience these emotions to a
greater or less degree.

The exercise of perception, if we are skilled therein, gives us a
pleasurable feeling, and if we succeed in making an interesting or
important discovery by reason thereof, we experience a strong degree of
emotional satisfaction. Likewise, we experience agreeable feelings when
we are able to remember distinctly something which might well have been
forgotten, or when we succeed in recalling something which had escaped
our memory for the moment. In the same way the exercise of the
imagination is a source of great pleasure in many cases in the direction
of writing, planning, inventing, or other creative processes, or even in
the building of air castles. The exercise of the logical faculties gives
great pleasure to those in whom these faculties are well developed.

Halleck well says: "There was probably not a happier moment in Newton's
life than when he had succeeded in demonstrating that the same power
which caused the apple to fall held the moon and the planets in their
orbits. When Watts discovered that steam might be harnessed like a
horse, when an inventor succeeds in perfecting a labor-lightening
device, whenever an obscurity is cleared away, the reason for a thing
understood, and a baffling instance brought under a general law,
intellectual emotion results."

The pleasurable feelings we experience upon the reading of a good book,
or the discovery of real poetry, are forms of intellectual emotion. The
same class of emotional feeling is aroused when we witness a good play.
Among other instances of this class we mention the perception of clever
work of any kind, intricate machinery, ingenious devices, helpful
improvements, or other works of man which indicate the existence of
thought and inventive ability in the designer or builder. To appreciate
mental work of this kind we must bring a mind developed along the same
or similar lines. It has well been said that before one can take away
anything from a book he must bring something to it. It takes mentality
to recognize and appreciate mentality or the work of mentality.

The study of scientific subjects is a source of great pleasure to those
who are inclined to such pursuits. To the scientific mind the study of
the latest work on the favorite branch gives a joy which nothing else is
capable of arousing. To the philosopher the works of other philosophers
of the same school give intense satisfaction.

It is claimed that the sense of humor and wit is an intellectual
emotion, for it depends upon the detection of the ludicrous features of
a happening. Certain psychologists have held that the distinctive
element of humor is the feeling attendant upon the perception of
incongruity; while that of wit is the feeling of superiority on the part
of the witty person, and the corresponding chagrin of the object of his
wit. It would seem, however, that the appreciation of wit must depend
upon the intellectual perception of cleverness of expression and the
pleasure resulting from the discovery thereof, and that the feeling of
humor is aroused principally by reason of the incongruous element; the
feeling of self-satisfaction as contrasted with the discomfiture of the
other person belongs to the more selfish emotions. An authority says:
"Humor is a mental faculty which tends to discover incongruous
resemblances between things which essentially differ, or essential
differences between things put forth as the same, the result being
internal mirth or an outburst of laughter. Wit does so likewise, but the
two are different. Humor has deep human sympathy, and loves men while
raising a laugh against their weaknesses. Wit is deficient in sympathy,
and there is often a sting in its ridicule. Somewhat contemptuous of
mankind, it has not the patience to study them thoroughly, but must
content itself with noting superficial resemblances or differences.
Humor is patient and keenly observant, and penetrates beneath the
surface; while, therefore, the sallies of wit are often one-sided and
unfair, those of humor are, as a rule, just and wise."

The development and cultivation of the intellectual emotions depend, of
course, upon education, training, exercise, and practice. The
cultivation of the intellect (which has been referred to, in part, in
the previous parts of this book, and which will be again considered in
the chapters devoted to the intellect) results in the development and
cultivation of the emotions accompanying intellectual effort. In a
general way, however, it may be said that the reading of the best works
of fiction, science, and philosophy will bring out in time the best
form of intellectual enjoyment and feeling. The highest gives the
best--that is the rule. The present chapter should be read and studied
in connection with those devoted to the intellect.


As we have said at the beginning of our consideration of the subject of
the emotions, the majority of emotions are composed of several feelings,
and tend to blend and combine emotional elements. For instance, the
emotion of sexual love certainly has its origin in the instinctive
feelings of the race, and its motive element is that of passion. But
passion is far from being all there is in human sexual love. Above the
plane of passion is found the social emotion of companionship,
protection, and care; the desire for the welfare of the loved one; the
mingling of the love of the parent with that of the mate. Human love
manifests many of the altruistic emotions during its course. The welfare
of the loved one becomes the chief concern of life, often stronger even
than self-preservation. The joy of the loved one becomes the greatest
joy, far surpassing the more selfish forms of happiness. Then come the
æsthetic feelings, which find satisfaction in the two "liking the same
things," sympathy and community of feeling being the connecting link.
The several ideals of the two combining, there is produced an idealistic
union, which is often called "spiritual harmony." Finally, there is
found the blending of the intellectual emotions, in which harmony there
exists one of the highest forms of pleasure satisfaction between two
persons of opposite sexes. It is said that the more things that a man
and woman "like" in common, the closer will be their "liking" for each
other. "I love you because you love the things I love," is no rare
thought and expression.

So it is seen that though born in elemental instinct and passion, human
sexual love is something far different in its flowering. And yet without
its root it would not be, and cannot be. This is an excellent example of
the complex nature of the most common emotions. It may be used as a
typical illustration. What is true of it is also true, in a way and in a
degree, of every other form of emotion. Therefore in studying a
particular emotion, be not too quick to cry, "It is this; it is that!"
but rather seek to say, "It is composed of this and that, of this and
that!" Few, if any, emotions are simple; the majority are very complex.
Hence the difficulty of satisfactory classification, and the danger of
dogmatic definition.


The Role of the Emotions.

The average person greatly underestimates the part played by the
emotional nature in the mental activities of the individual. He is
inclined to the opinion that, with the exception of the occasional
manifestation of some strong emotional feeling, the majority of persons
go through life using only the reasoning and reflective faculties in
deciding the problems of life and guiding the mental course of action.
There can be no greater mistake concerning the mental activities. So far
from being subordinate to the intellect, the emotional nature in the
majority of cases dominates the reasoning faculties. There are but very
few persons who are able to detach themselves, even in a small degree,
from the feelings, and to decide questions cold-bloodedly by pure reason
or intellectual effort. Moreover, there are but few persons whose wills
are guided by pure reason; the feelings supply the motive for the
majority of acts of will. The intellect, even when used, is generally
employed to better carry out the dictates of feeling and desire. Much of
our reasoning is performed in order to justify our feelings, or to find
proofs for the position dictated by our desires, feelings, sympathies,
prejudices, or sentiments. It has been said that "men seek not reasons
but _excuses for their actions_."

Moreover, in the elementary processes of the intellect the emotions play
an important part. We have seen that attention largely follows interest,
and interest results from feeling. Therefore our attention, and that
which arises from it, is dependent largely upon the feelings. Thus
feeling asserts its power in guarding the very outer gate of knowledge,
and determines largely what shall or shall not enter therein. It is one
of the constantly-appearing paradoxes of psychology, that while feelings
have originally arisen from attention, it is equally true that attention
depends largely upon the interest resulting from the feelings. This is
readily admitted in the case of involuntary attention, which always goes
out toward objects of interest and feeling, but is likewise true of even
voluntary attention, which we direct to something of greater or more
nearly ultimate interest than the things of lesser or more immediate

Sully says: "By an act of will I may resolve to turn my attention to
something--say a passage in a book. But if, after the preliminary
process of adjustment of the mental eye the object opens up no
interesting phase, all the willing in the world will not produce a
calm, settled state of concentration. The will introduces mind and
object; it cannot force an attachment between them. No compulsion of
attention ever succeeded in making a young child cordially embrace and
appropriate, by an act of concentration, an unsuitable and therefore
uninteresting object. We thus see that even voluntary interest is not
removed from the sway of interest. What the will _does_ is to determine
_the kind of interest_ that shall prevail at the moment."

Again, we may see that memory is largely dependent upon interest in
recording and recalling its impressions. We remember and recall most
easily that which most greatly interests us. In proportion to the lack
of interest in a thing do we find difficulty in remembering or recalling
it. This is equally true of the imagination, for it refuses to dwell
upon that which is _not_ interesting. Even in the reasoning processes we
find the will balking at uninteresting subjects, but galloping along,
pushing before it the rolling chair of interesting intellectual

Our judgments are affected by our feelings. It is much easier to approve
of the actions of some person we like, or whose views accord with our
own, than of an individual whose personality and views are distasteful
to us. It is very difficult to prevent prejudice, for or against, from
influencing our judgments. It is also true that we "find that for which
we look" in things and persons, and that which we expect and look for is
often dependent upon our feelings. If we dislike a person or thing we
are usually able to perceive no end of undesirable things in him or it;
while if we are favorably inclined we easily find many admirable
qualities in the same person or thing. A little change in our feeling
often results in the formation of an entirely new set of judgments
regarding a person or thing.

Halleck well says: "On the one hand the emotions are favorable to
intellectual action, since they supply the interest one feels in study.
One may feel intensely concerning a certain subject and be all the
better student. Hence the emotions are not, as was formerly thought,
entirely hostile to intellectual action. Emotion often quickens the
perception, burns things indelibly into the memory, and doubles the
rapidity of thought. On the other hand strong feelings often vitiate
every operation of the intellect. They cause us to see only what we wish
to, to remember only what interests our narrow feeling at the time, and
to reason from selfish data only. * * * Emotion puts the magnifying end
of the telescope to our intellectual eyes where our own interests are
concerned, the minimizing end when we are looking at the interest of
others. * * * _Thought_ _is deflected when it passes through an
emotional medium, just as a sunbeam is when it strikes water._"

As for the will, the best authorities hold that it is almost if not
entirely dependent upon desire for its motive force. As desire is an
outgrowth and development of feeling and emotion, it is seen that even
the will depends upon feeling for its inciting motives and its
direction. We shall consider this point at greater detail in the
chapters devoted to the activities of the will.

We would remind you again, at this point, of the great triangle of the
mind, the emotional, ideative, and volitional activities--feeling,
thinking, and willing--and their constant reaction upon each other and
absolute interdependence. We find that our feelings arise from previous
willing and ideation, and are aroused by ideas and repressed by will;
again we see that our ideas are largely dependent upon the interest
supplied by our feelings, and that our judgments are influenced by the
emotive side of our mental life, the will also having its part to play
in the matter. We also see that the will is called into activity
by the feelings, and often guided or restrained by our thoughts, the
will, indeed, being considered as moved entirely by our feelings
and ideas. Thus is the trinity of mental forces seen ever in mutual
relation--constant action and reaction ever existing between them.


The Emotions and Happiness.

"Happiness" has been defined by an authority as "the pleasurable emotion
arising from the gratification of all desires; the enjoyment of pleasure
without pain." Another has said that "happiness is the state in which
all desires are satisfied." But these definitions have been attacked. It
is held by many that a state of the absolute _satisfaction_ of desire
would not be happiness, for happiness consists largely in pleasurable
anticipation and imaginings which disappear upon the realization of the
desire. It is held that absolute satisfaction would be a negative state.
Paley expressed a better idea when he said that "any condition may be
denominated 'happy' in which the amount or aggregate of pleasure exceeds
that of pain, and the degree of happiness depends upon the quantity of
this excess."

Some have held that an existing contrast between pain and pleasure (the
balance being in favor of the latter) is necessary to establish
happiness. Be this as it may, it is admitted by all that one's happiness
or unhappiness depends entirely upon one's emotional nature and the
degree of the satisfaction thereof. And it is generally admitted that to
be happy is the great aim and object of the life of the majority of
persons,--if, indeed, not of _every_ person,--the happiness, of course,
depending upon the quality and degree of the emotions forming the
person's emotional nature. Thus it is seen that we are dependent upon
the emotional side of our mental life in this as in nearly everything
else making life worth while.

Theologians have often sought to point out that happiness is not the
goal of life and living, but human nature has always insisted that
happiness is the greatest end, and philosophy has generally supported
it. But wisdom shows that happiness is not always dependent upon the
pleasure of the moment, for the sacrifice of immediate pleasure
frequently results in a much greater happiness in the future. In the
same way an immediate disagreeable task often gains for us a greater
satisfaction in the future. Likewise, it is frequently greater happiness
to sacrifice a personal pleasure for the happiness of others than it
would be to enjoy the pleasure of the moment at the expense of the pain
of the other. There is often a far greater pleasure resulting from an
altruistic action of self-sacrifice than in the performance of the
selfish, egoistic act. But, as the subtle reasoner may insist, the
result is the same--the ultimate happiness and satisfaction of the
self. This conclusion does not rob the altruistic act of its virtue,
however, for the person who finds his greatest pleasure in giving
pleasure to others is to be congratulated--as is the community which
shelters him.

There is no virtue in pain, suffering, sacrifice, or unhappiness _for
its own sake_. This illusion of asceticism is vanishing from the human
mind. Sacrifice on the part of the individual is valuable and valid only
when it results in higher present or future happiness for the individual
or some one else. There is no virtue in pain, physical or mental, except
as a step to a greater good for ourselves or others. Pain at the best is
merely nature's alarm and warning of "not this way." It is also held
that pain serves to bring out pleasure by contrast, and is therefore
valuable in this way. Be this as it may, no normal individual
deliberately seeks ultimate pain in preference to ultimate happiness;
the greatest ultimate happiness to one's self and to those he loves is
the normal and natural goal of the normal person. But the concept of
"those he loves," in many cases, includes the race as well as the
immediate family.

Wisdom shows the individual that the greatest happiness comes to him who
controls and restrains many of his feelings. Dissipation results in pain
and unhappiness ultimately. The doctrine of thoughtless indulgence is
unphilosophical and is contradicted by the experience of the race.
Moreover, wisdom shows that the highest happiness comes not from the
indulgence of the physical feelings alone, or to excess, but rather from
the cultivation, development, and manifestation of the higher
feelings--the social, æsthetic, and intellectual emotions. The higher
pleasures of life, literature, art, music, science, invention,
constructive imagination, etc., yield a satisfaction and happiness
keener and more enduring than can possibly the lower forms of feeling.
But the human being must not despise any part of his emotional being.
Everything has its uses, which are good; and its abuses, which are bad.
Every part of one's being, mental and physical, is well to use; but no
part is well used if it uses the individual instead of being itself

A recent writer has held that the end and aim of life should not be the
pursuit of happiness, but rather the building of character. The obvious
answer is that the two are identical in spirit, for to the man who
appreciates the value of character, its attainment is the greatest
happiness; the wise teach that the greatest happiness comes to him who
is possessed of a well-rounded, developed character. Another writer has
said that "the aim of life should be self-improvement, with a due regard
to the interest of others." This is but saying that the greatest
happiness to the wise man lies in this course. Any one who is wise
enough, or great enough, to make these ends the aim and goal of life
will find the greatest happiness therefrom. Arnold Bennett advances as a
good working philosophy of life: "cheerfulness, kindliness, and
rectitude." Can any one doubt that this course would bring great
ultimate happiness?

Happiness consists in that which "contents the spirit," and the latter
depends entirely upon the character of the feelings and emotions
entertained by one, as weighed in the balance of reason, and as passed
upon by judgment and the sense of right action. The greatest degree of
happiness, or at least the greatest ratio of pleasure over pain, is
obtained by a careful and intelligent cultivation of the feeling side of
one's being in connection with the cultivation of the intellect and the
mastery of the will. To be able to bring the capacity for enjoyment to
its highest; to be able to intelligently choose that which will bring
the greatest ultimate happiness in accordance with right action; and,
finally, to be able to use the will in the direction of holding fast to
that which is good and rejecting that which is bad--this is the power of
creating happiness. The feelings, the intellect, and the will--here, as
ever--combine to manifest the result.

Finally, it must be remembered that all human happiness consists in
part of the ability to bear pain--to suffer. There must be the dash of
Stoicism in the wise Epicurean. One must learn to pluck from pain,
suffering, and unhappiness the secret drop of honey which lies at its
heart, and which consists in the knowledge of the meaning and use of
pain and the means whereby it may be transmuted into knowledge and
experience, from which later happiness may be distilled. To profit by
pain, to transmute suffering into joy, to transform present unhappiness
into a future greater happiness--this is the privilege of the

       *       *       *       *       *

The mental states and activities known as "desire" are a direct
development of the feeling and emotional phase of the mind and form the
motive power of the will. Desire, in fact, may be said to be composed of
feeling on one side and will on the other. But the influence of the
intellect or reasoning faculties has a most important part to play in
the evolution of feeling into desire, and in the consequent action of
the will by the presentation and weighing of conflicting desires.
Therefore, the logical place for the consideration of the activities of
the intellect is at this point--between emotion and will. Accordingly,
we shall leave the subject of feeling and emotion for the present, to be
taken up again in connection with the subject of _desire_, after we
have considered the intellectual processes of the mind. But, as has been
indicated, we shall see the presence and influence of the feelings and
emotions even in the activities of the intellect.


The Intellect.

The class of mental states or processes grouped together under the name
of "intellectual processes," forms the second great division of the
mental states, the two others being "feeling" and "will," respectively.

"Intellect" has been defined as follows: "The part or faculty of the
human mind by which it knows, as distinguished from the power to feel
and to will; the thinking faculty; the understanding;" also as "that
faculty of the human mind by which it receives or comprehends the ideas
communicated to it by the senses or the perception, or other means, as
distinguished from the power to feel and to will; the power or faculty
to perceive objects in their relations; the power to judge and
comprehend; also the capacity for higher forms of knowledge, as
distinguished from the power to perceive and imagine."

In the preceding chapters we have seen that the individual is able to
experience sensations in consciousness, and that he is able to
_perceive_ them mentally, the latter being the first step in
intellectual activity. We have also seen that he is able to reproduce
the perception by means of memory and imagination, and that by means of
the latter he is able to re-combine and rearrange the objects of
perception. We have also seen that he has what are known as "feelings,"
which depend upon his previous experience and that of his progenitors.
So far the mind has been considered merely as a receiving and
reproducing instrument, with the added attachment of the re-combining
power of the imagination. Up to this point the mind may be compared to
the phonographic cylinder, with an attachment capable of re-combining
its recorded impressions. The impressions are received and perceived,
are stored away, are reproduced, and by the use of the imagination are

Up to this point the mind is seen to be more or less of an automatic,
instinctive faculty. It may be traced from the purely reflex activity of
the lowest forms of life up through the lower animals, step by step,
until a very high degree of mental power is perceived in animals like
the horse, dog, or elephant. But there is something lacking. There is
missing that peculiar power of thinking in symbols and abstract
conceptions which distinguishes the human race and which is closely
bound up with the faculty of language or expressing thoughts in words.
The comparatively high mental process of the lower animals is dwarfed
by the human faculty of "thinking." And _thinking_ is the manifestation
of the intellect.

What is it to _think_? Strange to say, very few persons can answer this
question correctly at first. They find themselves inclined to answer the
inquiry in the words of the child: "Why, to think is to _think_!" Let us
see if we can make it plain. The dictionary definition is a little too
technical to be of much use to the beginner, but here it is: "To employ
any of the intellectual powers except that of simple perception through
the senses." But what are the "intellectual powers" so employed, and how
are they employed? Let us see.

Stating the matter plainly in common terms, we may say that "thinking"
is the mental process of (1) comparing our perceptions of things with
each other, noting the points of likeness and of difference; (2)
classifying them according to the ascertained likeness or difference,
and thus tying them up in mental bundles with each set of "things of a
kind" in its own bundle; (3) forming the abstract, symbolic mental idea
(concept) of each class of things, so grouped, which we may afterward
use as we use figures in mathematical calculations; (4) using these
concepts in order to form _inferences_, that is, to reason from the
known to the unknown, and to form judgments regarding things; (5)
comparing these judgments and deducing higher judgments from them; and
so on.

Without thinking, man would be dependent upon each particular experience
for his knowledge, except so far as memory and imagination could
instinctively aid him. By thought processes he is enabled to infer that
if certain things be true of one of a certain kind of things, the same
thing may be expected from others of the same class. As he is able to
note points of likeness or difference, he is able to form clearer and
truer inferences. In addition, he is able to apply his constructive
imagination to the rearrangement and recombination of things whose
nature he has discovered, and thus progress along the line of material
achievement as well as of knowledge. It must be remembered, however,
that the intellect depends entirely for its material upon the
perception, which in turn receives its raw material from the senses. The
intellect merely groups together the material of perception, makes
inferences, draws conclusions from, and forms conclusions regarding,
them, and in the case of constructive imagination recombines them in
effective forms and arrangement. The intellect is the last in order in
the course of mental evolution. It appears last in order in the mind of
the child, but it often persists in old age after the feelings have
grown dim and the memory weak.


What is known as the "concept" is the first fruit of the elemental
processes of thought. The various images of outside objects are sensed,
then perceived, and then grouped according to their likenesses and
differences, and the result is the production of concepts. It is
difficult to define a concept so as to convey any meaning to the
beginner. For instance, the dictionaries give the definition as "an
abstract, general conception, idea, or notion formed in the mind." Not
very clear this, is it? Perhaps we can understand it better if we say
that the terms dog, cat, man, horse, house, etc., each expresses a
concept. Every term expresses a concept; every general name of a thing
or quality is a term applied to the concept. We shall see this a little
clearer as we proceed.

We form a concept in this way: (1) We _perceive_ a number of things; (2)
then we notice certain _qualities_ possessed by things--certain
properties, attributes, or characteristics which make the thing what it
is; (3) then we _compare_ these qualities of the thing with the
qualities of other things and see that there is a likeness in some
cases, in various degrees, and a difference in other cases, in various
degrees; (4) then we _generalize_ or _classify_ the perceived things
according to their ascertained likenesses and differences; (5) then we
form a _general idea_ or _concept_ embodying each class of thing; and,
finally, we give to the concept a _term_, or _name_, which is its

The concept is a _general idea_ of a class of things; the _term_ is the
expression of that general idea. The concept is the idea of a class of
things; the term is the _label_ affixed to the thing. To illustrate this
last distinction, let us take the concept and term of "bird," for
instance. By perception, comparison, and classification of the qualities
of living things we have arrived at the conclusion that there exists a
great general class the qualities of which may be stated thus:
"Warm-blooded, feathered, winged, oviparous, vertebrate." To this
general class of quality-possessing animals we apply the English term
"bird." The name is merely a symbol. In German the term is _vogel_; in
Latin, _avis_; but in each and every case the _general idea_ or
_concept_ above stated, _i.e._, "warm-blooded, feathered, winged,
oviparous, vertebrate," is meant. If anything is found having all of
those particular qualities, then we know it must be what we call a
"bird." And everything that we call a "bird" must have those qualities.
The term "bird" is the symbol for that particular combination of
qualities existing in a thing.

There is a difference between a mental image of the imagination and a
concept. The mental image must always be of a _particular_ thing, while
the concept is always an idea of a _general class_ of things which
cannot be clearly pictured in the mind. For instance, the imagination
may form the mental picture of any known bird, or even of an imaginary
bird, but that bird always will be a distinct, _particular_ bird. Try to
form a mental picture of the general class of birds--how will you do it?
Do you realize the difficulty? First, such an image would have to
include the characteristics of the large birds, such as the eagle,
ostrich, and condor; and of the small birds, such as the wren and
humming bird. It must be a composite of the shape of all birds, from the
ostrich, swan, eagle, crane, down to the sparrow, swallow, and humming
bird. It must picture the particular qualities of birds of prey, water
birds, and domestic fowls, as well as the grain eaters. It must exhibit
all the colors found in bird life, from the brightest reds and greens
down to the sober grays and browns. A little thought will show that a
clear mental image of such a concept is impossible. What the most of us
do, when we think of "bird," is to picture a vague, flying shape of dull
color; but when we stop to think that the term must also include the
waddling duck and the scratching barnyard chicken, we see that our
mental image is faulty. The trouble is that the term "bird" really means
"all-bird," and we cannot picture an "all-bird" from the very nature of
the case. Our terms, therefore, are like mathematical figures, or
algebraic symbols, which we use for ease, speed, and clearness of

The trouble does not end here. Concepts not only include the general
idea of _things_, but also the general idea of the _qualities of
things_. Thus sweetness, hardness, courage, and energy are concepts, but
we cannot form a mental image of them by themselves. We may picture a
sweet _thing_, but not sweetness itself. So you see that a concept is a
purely abstract mental idea--a symbol--akin to the figures 1, 2, 3,
etc., and used in the same way. They _stand_ for general classes of
things. A "term" is the verbal and written expression of the general
idea or concept. The student is requested to fix these distinctions in
his mind, so as to render further understanding of them easy.



The process of conception has been well defined by Gordy as "that act of
mind by which it forms an idea of a class; or that act of the mind that
enables us to use general names intelligently." He adds: "It is, of
course, understood that I am using the word 'class' to denote an
indefinite number of individuals that resemble each other in certain


The first step in conception, as we have seen, is that of perception. It
is readily perceived that the character of our intellectual processes
depends materially upon the variety, clearness, and accuracy of our
perceptions. Therefore, again, we would refer our students to the
chapter in which we have stated the importance of clear perception.


The future steps of conception depend materially upon the clearness of
the memory, as we can classify objects only by remembering their
qualities beyond the immediate moment of actual, original perception.
Therefore, the memory should be strengthened for this as well as other


The second step in conception is that of the mental abstraction of
qualities from the observed thing. That is, we must perceive and then
mentally _set aside_ the observed qualities of the thing. For instance,
man first perceived the existence of certain qualities in things. He
found that a certain number of things possessed some of these qualities
in common, while others possessed other qualities in the same way, and
thus arose classification from comparison. But both comparison and
classification are possible only by abstraction, or _the perception of
the quality as a "thing"_; thus, the abstraction of the idea of the
quality of _sweetness_ from the idea of sugar. Sweetness is a _quality_
rather than a thing itself. It is something possessed by sugar which
helps to make sugar what it is.

Color, shape, size, mental qualities, habits of action--these are some
of the qualities first observed in things and abstracted from them in
thought. Redness, sweetness, hardness, softness, largeness, smallness,
fragrance, swiftness, slowness, fierceness, gentleness, warmness,
coldness, etc.--these are abstracted qualities of things. Of course
these qualities are really never divorced from things, but the mind
divorces them in order to make thinking easier. An authority says:
"Animals are incapable of making abstractions, and that is the reason
why they cannot develop formal thought. * * * Abstract thought is
identical with rational thought, which is the characteristic feature of
the thought of speaking beings. This is the reason why abstract thought
is upon earth the exclusive property of man, and why brutes are
incapable of abstract thought. The process of naming is the mechanism of
abstraction, for names establish the mental independence of the objects

The processes of abstraction depend upon attention--concentrated
attention. Attention directed to the qualities of a thing tends to
abstract the qualities in thought from the thing itself. Mill says:
"Abstraction is primarily the result of attention." Hamilton says:
"Attention and abstraction are only the same process viewed in different
relations." Cultivation of the power of abstraction means principally
cultivation of attention. Any mental activity which tends toward
_analysis_ or separation of a thing into its parts, qualities, or
elements will serve to cultivate and develop the power of abstraction.

The habit of converting _qualities_ into concepts is acquired by
_transforming adjective terms into their corresponding noun terms_. For
instance, a piece of colored candy possesses the _qualities_ of being
round, hard, red, sweet, etc. Transforming these adjective qualities
into noun terms we have the _concepts_ of roundness, hardness, redness,
and sweetness, respectively.


The third step in conception is that of _comparison_, in which the
qualities of several things are compared or examined for likenesses and
differences. We find many qualities in which the several things differ,
and a few in which there is a likeness. Classes are formed from
resemblances or likenesses, while individuals are separated from
apparent classes by detection of differences. Finally, it is found that
separate things, while having many points of difference which indicate
their individuality, nevertheless have a few points of likeness which
indicate that they belong to the same general family or class. The
detection of likenesses and differences in the qualities of various
things is an important mental process. Many of the higher thought
processes depend largely upon the ability to compare things properly.
The development of attention and perception tends to develop the power
of comparison.


The fourth step in conception is that of classification or
generalization, whereby we place individual things in a mental bundle or
class, and then this bundle in company with other bundles into a higher
class, and so on. Thus we group all the individual small birds having
certain characteristics into a species, then several related species
into a larger family, and this into a still larger, until finally we
group all the bird families into the great family which we call "birds"
and of which the simple term "bird" expresses the general concept.

Jevons says: "We classify things together whenever we observe that they
are like each other in any respect, and therefore think of them
together. In classifying a collection of objects, we do not merely put
together into groups those which resemble each other, but we also divide
each class into smaller ones in which the resemblance is more complete.
Thus the class of _white substances_ may be divided into those which are
solid, and those which are fluid, so that we get the two minor classes
of solid-white and fluid-white substances. It is desirable to have names
by which to show that one class is contained in another, and,
accordingly, we call the class which is divided into two or more smaller
ones the _genus_, and the smaller ones into which it is divided, the

Every _species_ is a small family of the individuals composing it, and
at the same time is an individual species of the genus just above it;
the _genus_, in turn, is a family of several species, and at the same
time an individual genus in the greater family or genus above it.

The student may familiarize himself with the idea of generalization by
considering himself as an individual, John Smith. John represents that
unit of generalization. The next step is to combine John with the other
Smiths of his immediate family. Then this family may be grouped with his
near blood relations, and so on, until finally all the related Smiths,
near and remote, are grouped together in a great Smith family.

Or, in the same way, the family group may be enlarged until it takes in
all the white people in a county, then all the white people in the
state, then all in the United States; then all the white races, then all
the white and other light-skinned races, then all mankind. Then, if one
is inclined, the process may be continued until it embraces every living
creature from moneron to man. Reversing the process, living creatures
may be divided and subdivided until all mankind is seen to stand as a
class. Then the race of man may be divided into sub-races according to
color; then the white race may be subdivided into Americans and
non-Americans. Then the Americans may be divided into inhabitants of
the several states, or into Indianans and non-Indianans; then into the
inhabitants of the several counties of Indiana, and thus the Posey
Countians are reached. Then the Posey County people are divided into
Smiths and non-Smiths; then the Smith family into its constituent family
groups, and then into the smaller families, and so on, until the
classification reaches one particular John Smith, who at last is found
to be an individual--in a class by himself. This is the story of the
ascending and descending processes of generalization.


Classes of Concepts.

In the preceding chapter we have seen the process of conception--of the
forming of concepts. _The idea of a general class of things or qualities
is a concept._ Each concept contains the qualities which are _common to
all_ the individuals composing the class, but not those qualities which
pertain only to the minor classes or the individuals. For instance, the
concept of "bird" will necessarily include the common qualities of
warm-bloodedness, featheredness, wingedness, oviparousness, and
vertebratedness. But it will _not_ include color, special shape, size,
or special features or characteristics of the subfamilies or individuals
composing the great class. The class comprises the individuals and
subclasses composing it; the concept includes the general and common
qualities which _all_ in the class possess. A _percept_ is the mental
image of a particular thing; a _concept_ is the mental idea of the
general qualities of a class of things. A percept arises from the
perception of a sensation; a concept is a purely mental, abstract
creation, whose only existence is in the world of ideas and which has
no corresponding individual object in the world of sense.

There are two general classes of concepts, namely: (1) concrete
concepts, in which the common qualities of a class of things are
combined into one conceptual idea, such as "bird," of which we have
spoken; (2) abstract concepts, in which is combined the idea of some
_quality_ common to a number of things, such as "sweetness" or
"redness." Jevons's well-known rule for terms is an aid in remembering
this classification: "_A concrete term is the name of a thing; an
abstract term is the name of a quality of a thing._"

It is a peculiar fact and rule of concrete concepts that (1) the larger
the class of things embraced in a concept, the smaller are its general
qualities; and (2) the larger the number of general qualities included
in a concept, the smaller the number of individuals embraced by it. For
instance, the term "bird" embraces a great number of individuals--all
the birds that are in existence, in fact, but it has but few general
qualities, as we have seen. On the contrary, the concept "stork" has a
much larger number of general qualities, but embraces far fewer
individuals. Finally, the individual is reached, and we find that it has
more qualities than any class can have; but it is composed of the
smallest possible number of individuals, one. The secret is this: No
two individuals can have as many qualities _in common_ as each has
individually, unless they are precisely alike, which is impossible in


It is said that outside of strictly scientific definitions very few
persons agree in their concepts of the same thing. Each has his or her
own concept of the particular thing which he or she expresses by the
same term. A number of persons asked to define a common term like
"love," "religion," "faith," "belief," etc., will give such a variety of
answers as to cause wonderment. As Green says: "My idea or image is mine
alone--the reward of careless observation if imperfect; of attentive,
careful, and varied observation if correct. Between mine and yours a
great gulf is fixed. No man can pass from mine to yours, or from yours
to mine. Neither in any proper sense of the term can mine be conveyed to
you. Words do not convey thoughts; they are not vehicles of thoughts in
any true sense of that term. A word is simply a common symbol which each
associates with his own idea or image."

The reason of the difference in the concepts of several persons is that
very few of our concepts are nearly perfect; the majority of them are
quite imperfect and incomplete. Jevons gives us an idea of this in his
remarks on classification: "Things may seem to be very much like each
other which are not so. Whales, porpoises, seals, and several other
animals live in the sea exactly like a fish; they have a similar shape
and are usually classed among fish. People are said to go whale fishing.
Yet these animals are not really fish at all, but are much more like
dogs and horses and other quadrupeds than they are like fish. They
cannot live entirely under water and breathe the air contained in the
water like fish, but they have to come to the surface at intervals to
take breath. Similarly, we must not class bats with birds because they
fly about, although they have what would be called wings; these wings
are not like those of birds, and, in truth, bats are much more like rats
and mice than they are like birds. Botanists used at one time to
classify plants according to their size, as trees, shrubs, or herbs, but
we now know that a great tree is often more similar in character to a
tiny herb than it is to other great trees. A daisy has little
resemblance to a great Scotch thistle; yet the botanist regards them as
very similar. The lofty growing bamboo is a kind of grass, and the sugar
cane also belongs to the same class with wheat and oats."

It is a matter of importance that clear concepts should be formed
regarding at least the familiar things of life. The list of clear
concepts should be added to from time to time by study, investigation,
and examination. The dictionary should be consulted frequently, and a
term studied until one has a clear meaning of the concept the term seeks
to express. A good encyclopedia (not necessarily an expensive one, in
these days of cheap editions) will also prove very useful in this
respect. As Halleck says: "It must be borne in mind that most of our
concepts are subject to change during our entire life; that at first
they are made only in a tentative way; that experience may show us, at
any time, that they have been erroneously formed, that we have
abstracted too little or too much, made the class too wide or too
narrow, or that here a quality must be added or there one taken away."

It is a good practice to make a memorandum of anything of which you may
hear, but of which you know nothing, and then later to make a brief but
thorough investigation of that thing, by means of the dictionary and
encyclopedia, and of whatever good works may be obtained on the subject,
not leaving it until you feel that you have obtained at least a _clear
idea_ of what the thing really _means_. A half hour each evening devoted
to exercise of this kind will result in a wonderful increase of general
information. We have heard of a man who made a practice of reading a
short article in the encyclopedia every evening, giving preference to
subjects generally classed as familiar. In a year he made a noticeable
advance in general knowledge as well as habits of thought. In five years
he was looked upon by his associates as a man of a remarkably large
field of general information and of more than ordinary intelligence,
which verdict was a just one. As a rule we waste far more time on
worthless fiction than we are willing to devote to a little
self-improvement of this kind. We shrink at the idea of a general course
of instructive reading, little realizing that we can take our study in
small installments and at a very little cost in time or labor.

Our concepts form the material which our intellect uses in its reasoning
processes. No matter how good a reasoner one may be, unless he has a
good supply of general information about the things of which he is
reasoning, he will not make much real headway. We must begin at the
bottom and build a firm foundation upon which the intellectual structure
may be erected. This foundation is composed of _facts_. These facts are
represented by our clear and correct concepts.



We have seen the several steps of the mental process whereby simple
sensations are transformed into percepts and then into concepts or
general ideas. The formation of the concept is considered as the first
great step in thinking. The second great step in thinking is that of the
formation of the "judgment." The definition of "judgment," as the term
is used in logic; is "the comparing together in the mind of two ideas of
things, and determining whether they agree or disagree with each other,
or that one of them does or does not belong to the other. Judgment is,
therefore, (_a_) affirmative or (_b_) negative, as (_a_) 'Snow is
white,' or (_b_) 'All white men are not Europeans.'"

What in logic is called a "proposition" is the expression in words of a
logical judgment. Hyslop defined the term "proposition" as follows: "Any
affirmation or denial of an agreement between two conceptions." For
instance, we compare the concepts "sparrow" and "bird" and find that
there is an agreement, and that the former belongs to the latter; this
mental process is a _judgment_. We then announce the judgment in the
_proposition_: "The sparrow is a bird." In the same way we compare the
concepts "bat" and "bird," find that there is a disagreement, and form
the judgment that neither belongs to the other, which we express in the
proposition: "The bat is not a bird." Or we may form the judgment that
"sweetness" is a quality of "sugar," which we express in the
proposition: "Sugar is sweet." Likewise, we may form the judgment which
results in the proposition: "Vinegar is not sweet."

While the process of judgment is generally considered as constituting
the second great step of thinking, coming after the formation of the
concept, and consisting of the comparing of concepts, it must be
remembered that the act of judging is far more elementary than this, for
it is found still farther back in the history of thought processes. By
that peculiar law of paradox which we find everywhere operative in mind
processes, the same process of forming judgments which is used in
comparing concepts also has been used in forming the same concepts in
the stage of comparison. In fact, the result of all comparison, high or
low, must be _a judgment_.

Halleck says: "Judgment is necessary in forming concepts. When we decide
that a quality is or is not common to a class, we are really judging.
This is another evidence of the complexity and unified action of the
mind." Brooks says: "The power of judgment is of great value in its
products. It is involved in or accompanies every act of the intellect,
and thus lies at the foundation of all intellectual activity. It
operates directly in every act of the understanding, and even aids the
other faculties of the mind in completing their activities and products.
* * * Strictly speaking, every intelligent act of the mind is
accompanied with a judgment. To know is to discriminate and, therefore,
to judge. Every sensation or cognition involves a knowledge and so a
judgment that it exists. The mind cannot think at all without judging;
to think is to judge. Even in forming the notions which judgment
compares, the mind judges. Every notion or concept implies a previous
act of judgment to form it; in forming a concept we compare the common
attributes before we unite them, and comparison is judgment. It is thus
true that 'Every concept is a contracted judgment; every judgment an
expanded concept.'"

It is needless to say that as judgments lie at the base of our thinking,
and also appear in every part of its higher structure, the importance of
correct judgment in thought cannot be overestimated. But it is often
very difficult to form correct judgment even regarding the most
familiar things around us. Halleck says: "In actual life things present
themselves to us with their qualities disguised or obscured by other
conflicting qualities. Men had for ages seen burning substances and had
formed a concept of them. A certain hard, black, stony substance had
often been noticed, and a concept had been formed of it. This concept
was imperfect; but it is very seldom that we meet with perfect,
sharply-defined concepts in actual life. So it happened that for ages
the concept of burning substance was never linked by judgment to the
concept of stone coal. The combustible quality in the coal was
overshadowed by its stony attributes. 'Of course stone will not burn,'
people said. One cannot tell how long the development of mankind was
retarded for that very reason. England would not to-day be manufacturing
products for the rest of the world had not some one judged coal to be a
combustible substance. * * * Judgment is ever silently working and
comparing things that to past ages seemed dissimilar; and it is
constantly abstracting and leaving out of the field of view those
qualities which have simply served to obscure the point at issue."

Gordy says: "The credulity of children is proverbial; but if we get our
facts at first hand, if we study 'the living, learning, playing child,'
we shall see that he is quite as remarkable for incredulity as for
credulity. The explanation is simple: _He tends to believe the first
suggestion that comes into his mind, no matter from what source_; and
since his belief is not the result of any rational process, he cannot be
made to disbelieve it in any rational way. Hence it is that he is very
credulous about any matter about which he has no ideas; but let the idea
once get possession of his mind, and he is quite as remarkable for
incredulity as before for credulity. * * * If we study the larger
child,--the man with a child's mind, an uneducated man,--we shall have
the same truth forced upon us. If the beliefs of men were due to
processes of reasoning, where they have not reasoned they would not
believe. But do we find it so? Is it not true that the men who have the
most positive opinions on the largest variety of subjects--so far as
they have ever heard of them--are precisely those who have the least
right to them? Socrates, we remember, was counted the wisest man in
Athens because he alone resisted his natural tendency to believe in the
absence of evidence; he alone would not delude himself with the conceit
of knowledge without the reality; and it would scarcely be too much to
say that the intellectual strength of men is in direct proportion to the
number of things they are absolutely certain of. * * * I do not, of
course, mean to intimate that we should have no opinions about matters
that we have not personally investigated. We take, and ought to take,
the opinion of some men about law, and others about medicine, and others
about particular sciences, and so on. But we should clearly realize the
difference between holding an opinion on trust and holding it as the
result of our own investigations."

Brooks says: "It should be one of the leading objects of the culture of
young people to lead them to acquire the habit of forming judgments.
They should not only be led to see things but to have opinions about
things. They should be trained to see things in their relations and to
put these relations into definite propositions. Their ideas of objects
should be worked up into thoughts concerning the objects. Those methods
of teaching are best which tend to excite a thoughtful habit of mind
that notices the similitudes and diversities of objects and endeavors to
read the thoughts which they embody and of which they are the symbols."

The study of logic, geometry, and the natural sciences is recommended
for exercise of the faculty of judgment and the development thereof. The
study and practice of even the lower branches of mathematics are also
helpful in this direction. The game of checkers or chess is recommended
by many authorities. Some have advocated the practice of solving
enigmas, problems, rebuses, etc., as giving exercise to this faculty of
the mind. The cultivation of the "Why?" attitude of mind, and the
answering of one's own mental questions, is also helpful, if not carried
to excess. "Doubting Thomas" is not always a term of reproach in these
days of scientific habits of thought, and "the man from Missouri" has
many warm admirers.


Primary Laws of Thought.

In connection with this subject we herewith call the attention of the
student to the well-known Primary Laws of Thought which have been
recognized as valid from the time of the ancient Greek logicians. These
laws are self-evident, and are uncontradictable. They are axiomatic.
Jevons says of them: "Students are seldom able to see at first their
full meaning and importance. All arguments may be explained when these
self-evident laws are granted; and it is not too much to say that the
whole of logic will be plain to those who will constantly use these laws
as their key." Here are the Three Primary Laws of Thought:--

  I. _Law of Identity._ "Whatever is, _is_."

  II. _Law of Contradiction._ "Nothing can both be and not be."

  III. _Law of Excluded Middle._ "Everything must either be or not be;
    there is no middle course."

I. The first of these laws, called "_The Law of Identity_," informs us
that a thing is always itself, no matter under what guise or form it is
perceived or may present itself. An animal is always a bird if it
possesses the general characteristics of a "bird," no matter whether it
exhibits the minor characteristics of an eagle, a wren, a stork, or a
humming bird. In the same way a whale is a mammal because it possesses
the general characteristics of a mammal notwithstanding that it swims in
the water like a fish. Also, sweetness is always sweetness, whether
manifested in sugar, honey, flowers, or products of coal tar. If a thing
_is_ that thing, then it _is_, and it cannot be logically claimed that
it _is not_.

II. The second of these laws, called "_The Law of Contradiction_,"
informs us that the same quality or class cannot be both affirmed and
denied of a thing at the same time and place. A sparrow cannot be said
to be both "bird" and "not bird" at the same time. Neither can sugar be
said to be "sweet" and "not sweet" at the same time. A piece of iron may
be "hot" at one end and "not hot" at another, but it cannot be both
"hot" and "not hot" at the same place at the same time.

III. The third of these laws, called "_The Law of Excluded Middle_,"
informs us that a given quality or class _must_ be affirmed or denied to
_everything_ at any given time and place. Everything either must be of a
certain class or not, must possess a certain quality or not, at a given
time or place. There is no other alternative or middle course. It is
axiomatic that any statement _must_ either be or not be true of a
certain other thing at any certain time and place; there is no escape
from this. Anything _either_ must be "black" or "not black," a bird or
not a bird, alive or not alive, at any certain time or place. There is
nothing else that it can be; it cannot both be and not be at the same
time and place, as we have seen; therefore, it must either be or not be
that which is asserted of it. The judgment must decide which
alternative; but it has only two possible choices.

But the student must not confuse opposite qualities or things with
"not-ness." A thing may be "black" or "not black," but it need not be
white to be "not black," for blue is likewise "not black" just as it is
"not white." The neglect of this fact frequently causes error. We must
always affirm either the existence or non-existence of a quality in a
thing; but this is far different from affirming or denying the existence
of the opposite quality. Thus a thing may be "not hard" and yet it does
not follow that it is "soft"; it may be _neither_ hard nor soft.


There exists what are known as "fallacies" of application of these
primary laws. A fallacy is an unsound argument or conclusion. For
instance, because a particular man is found to be a liar, it is
fallacious to assume that "_all_ men are liars," for lying is a
particular quality of the individual man, and not a general quality of
the family of men. In the same way because a stork has long legs and a
long bill, it does not follow that all birds must have these
characteristics simply because the stork is a bird. _It is fallacious to
extend an individual quality to a class._ But it is sound judgment to
assume that a class quality must be possessed by all individuals in that
class. It is a far different proposition which asserts that "_some_
birds are black," from that which asserts that "_all_ birds are black."
The same rule, of course, is true regarding negative propositions.

Another fallacy is that which assumes that because the affirmative or
negative proposition has not been, or cannot be, proved, it follows that
the opposite proposition must be true. The true judgment is simply "not

Another fallacious judgment is that which is based on attributing
absolute quality to that which is but relative or comparative. For
instance, the terms "hot" and "cold" are relative and comparative, and
simply denote one's relative opinion regarding a fixed and certain
degree of temperature. The _certain_ thing is the degree of temperature,
say 75 degrees Fahrenheit; of this we may logically claim that it _is_
or _is not_ true at a certain time or place. It either _is_ 75 degrees
Fahrenheit or it _is not_. But to one man this may seem _warm_ and to
another _cold_; both are right in their judgments, so far as their own
relative feelings are concerned. But neither can claim absolutely that
it is _warm_ or _cold_. Therefore, it is a fallacy to ascribe absolute
quality to a relative one. The _absolute fact_ comes under the Law of
Excluded Middle, but a personal opinion is not an absolute fact.

There are other fallacies which will be considered in other chapters of
this book, under their appropriate heading.



Reasoning, the third great step in thinking, may be said to consist of
ascertaining new truths from old ones, new judgments from old ones,
unknown facts from known ones; in short, of proceeding logically from
the known to the unknown, using the known as the foundation for the
unknown which is sought to be known. Gordy gives us the following
excellent definition of the term: "Reasoning is the act of going from
the known to the unknown through other beliefs; of basing judgment upon
judgments; reaching beliefs through beliefs." Reasoning, then, is seen
to be a process of building a structure of judgments, one resting upon
the other, the topmost point being the final judgment, but the whole
constituting an edifice of judgment. This may be seen more clearly when
the various forms of reasoning are considered.


The simplest form of reasoning is that known as "immediate reasoning,"
by which is meant reasoning by directly comparing two judgments without
the intervention of the third judgment, which is found in the more
formal classes of reasoning. This form of reasoning depends largely upon
the application of the Three Primary Laws of Thought, to which we have
referred in a previous chapter.

It will be seen that _if_ (_a_) a thing is always itself, then (_b_) all
that is included in it must partake of its nature. Thus, the bird family
has certain class characteristics, therefore by immediate reasoning we
know that _any_ member of that family must possess those class
characteristics, whatever particular characteristics it may have in
addition. And we likewise know that we cannot attribute the _particular_
characteristics, as a matter of course, to the other members of the
class. Thus, though all sparrows are birds, it is not true that all
birds are sparrows. "All biscuits are bread; but all bread is not

In the same way we know that a thing cannot be bird and mammal at the
same time, for the mammals form a not-bird family. And, likewise, we
know that everything _must_ be either bird or not bird, but that being
not bird does not mean being a mammal, for there are many other not-bird
things than mammals. In this form of reasoning distinction is always
made between the _universal_ or general class, which is expressed by the
word _all_, and the _particular_ or individual, which is expressed by
the word "some." Many persons fail to note this difference in their
reasoning, and fallaciously reason, for instance, that because _some_
swans are white, _all_ swans must be so, which is a far different thing
from reasoning that if _all_ is so and so, then _some_ must be so and
so. Those who are interested in this subject are referred to some
elementary text-book on logic, as the detailed consideration is too
technical for consideration here.


Reasoning by analogy is an elementary form of reasoning, and is the
particular kind of reasoning employed by the majority of persons in
ordinary thought. It is based upon the unconscious recognition by the
human mind of the principle which is expressed by Jevons as: "_If two or
more things resemble each other in many points, they will probably
resemble each other in more points._" The same authority says:
"Reasoning by analogy differs only in degree from that kind of reasoning
called '_generalization_.' When _many things_ resemble each other in a
_few properties_, we argue about them by generalization. When a _few
things_ resemble each other in _many properties_, it is a case of

While this form of reason is frequently employed with more or less
satisfactory results, it is always open to a large percentage of error.
Thus, persons have been poisoned by toadstools by reason of false
analogous reasoning that because mushrooms are edible, then toadstools,
which resemble them, must also be fit for food; or, in the same way,
because certain berries resemble other edible berries they must likewise
be good food. As Brooks says: "To infer that because John Smith has a
red nose and is also a drunkard, then Henry Jones, who also has a red
nose, is also a drunkard, would be dangerous inference. Conclusions of
this kind drawn from analogy are frequently dangerous." Halleck says:
"Many false analogies are manufactured, and it is excellent thought
training to expose them. The majority of people think so little that
they swallow these false analogies just as newly-fledged robins swallow
small stones dropped into their mouths."

Jevons, one of the best authorities on the subject, says: "There is no
way in which we can really assure ourselves that we are arguing safely
by analogy. The only rule that can be given is this: That the more
closely two things resemble each other, the more likely it is that they
are the same in other respects, especially in points closely connected
with those observed. In order to be clear about our conclusions, we
ought, in fact, never to rest satisfied with mere analogy, but ought to
try to discover the general laws governing the case. * * * We find that
reasoning by analogy is not to be depended upon, unless we make such an
inquiry into the causes and laws of the things in question that we
really employ inductive and deductive reasoning."


The two higher forms of reasoning are known, respectively, as (1)
inductive reasoning, or inference from particular facts to general laws;
and (2) deductive reasoning, or inference from general truths to
particular truths. While the class distinction is made for the purpose
of clear consideration, it must not be forgotten that the two forms of
reasoning are generally found in combination. Thus, in inductive
reasoning many steps are taken by the aid of deductive reasoning; and,
likewise, before we can reason deductively from general truths to
particular ones we must have discovered the general truths by inductive
reasoning from particular facts. Thus there is a unity in all reasoning
processes as there is in all mental operations. Inductive reasoning is a
_synthetical_ process; deductive reasoning, an _analytical_ one. In the
first we combine and build up, in the latter we dissect and separate.


Inductive Reasoning.

Inductive reasoning is based upon the axiom: "_What is true of the many
is true of the whole._" This axiom is based upon man's belief in the
uniformity of nature. Inductive reasoning is a mental ladder by which we
climb from particular facts to general laws, but the ladder rests upon
the belief that the universe is governed by law.

The steps in inductive reasoning are as follows:--

I. Observation, investigation, and examination of particular facts or
things. If we wish to know the general characteristics of the bird
family, we must first examine a sufficient number of birds of many kinds
so as to discover the comparatively few general characteristics
possessed by _all_ of the bird family, as distinct from the particular
characteristics possessed by only _some_ of that family. The greater the
number of individuals examined, the narrower becomes our list of the
general qualities common to _all_. In the same way we must examine many
kinds of flowers before we come to the few general qualities common to
all flowers, which we combine in the general concept of "flower." The
same, of course, is true regarding the discovery of general laws from
particular facts. We examine the facts and then work toward a general
law which will explain them. For instance, the Law of Gravitation was
discovered by the observation and investigation of the fact that all
objects are attracted to the earth; further investigation revealed the
fact that all material objects are attracted to each other; then the
general law was discovered, or, rather, the hypothesis was advanced, was
found to explain the facts, and was verified by further experiments and

II. The second step in inductive reasoning is the making of an
hypothesis. An hypothesis is a proposition or principle assumed as a
_possible_ explanation for a set or class of facts. It is regarded as a
"working theory," which must be examined and tested in connection with
the facts before it is finally accepted. For instance, after the
observation that a number of magnets attracted steel, it was found
reasonable to advance the hypothesis that "all magnets attract steel."
In the same way was advanced the hypothesis that "all birds are
warm-blooded, winged, feathered, oviparous vertebrates." Subsequent
observation and experiment established the hypothesis regarding the
magnet, and regarding the general qualities of the bird family. If a
single magnet had been found which did not attract steel, then the
hypothesis would have fallen. If a single bird had been discovered which
was not warm-blooded, then that quality would have been stricken from
the list of the necessary characteristics of all birds.

A theory is merely an hypothesis which has been verified or established
by continued and repeated observation, investigation, and experiment.

Hypotheses and theories arise very frequently from the subconscious
assimilation of a number of particular facts and the consequent flashing
of a "great guess," or "sacred suspicion of the truth," into the
conscious field of attention. The scientific imagination plays an
important part in this process. There is, of course, a world of
difference between a "blind guess" based upon insufficient data and a
"scientific guess" resulting from the accumulation of a vast store of
careful and accurate information. As Brooks says: "The forming of an
hypothesis requires a suggestive mind, a lively fancy, a philosophic
imagination that catches a glimpse of the idea through the form or sees
the law standing behind the fact." But accepted theories, in the
majority of cases, arise only by testing out and rejecting many
promising hypotheses and finally settling upon the one which best
answers all the requirements and best explains the facts. As an
authority says: "To try wrong guesses is with most persons the only way
to hit upon right ones."

III. Testing the hypothesis by deductive reasoning is the third step in
inductive reasoning. This test is made by applying the hypothetical
principle to particular facts or things; that is, to follow out mentally
the hypothetical principle to its logical conclusion. This may be done
in this way: "If _so and so_ is correct, then it follows that _thus and
so_ is true," etc. If the conclusion agrees with reason, then the test
is deemed satisfactory so far as it has gone. But if the result proves
to be a logical absurdity or inconsistent with natural facts, then the
hypothesis is discredited.

IV. Practical verification of the hypothesis is the fourth step in
inductive reasoning. This step consists of the actual comparison of
observed facts with the "logical conclusions" arising from applying
deductive reasoning to the general principle assumed as a premise. The
greater number of facts agreeing with the conclusions arising from the
premise of the hypothesis, the greater is deemed the "probability" of
the latter. The authorities generally assume an hypothesis to be
_verified_ when it accounts for _all_ the facts which properly are
related to it. Some extremists contend, however, that before an
hypothesis may be considered as absolutely verified, it must not only
account for all the associated facts but that also there must be no
other possible hypothesis to account for the same facts. The "facts"
referred to in this connection may be either (1) observed phenomena, or
(2) the conclusions of deductive reasoning arising from the assumption
of the hypothesis, or (3) the agreement between the observed facts and
the logical conclusions. The last combination is generally regarded as
the most logical. The verification of an hypothesis must be "an
all-around one," and there must be an agreement between the observed
facts and the logical conclusions in the case--the hypothesis must "fit"
the facts, and the facts must "fit" the hypothesis. The "facts" are the
glass slipper of the Cinderella legend--the several sisters of
Cinderella were discarded hypotheses, the slipper and the sisters not
"fitting." When Cinderella's foot was found to be the one foot upon
which the glass slipper fitted, then the Cinderella hypothesis was
considered to have been proved--the glass slipper was hers and the
prince claimed his bride.


Deductive Reasoning.

We have seen in the preceding chapter that from particular facts we
reason inductively to general principles or truths. We have also seen
that one of the steps of inductive reasoning is the testing of the
hypothesis by deductive reasoning. We shall now also see that the
results of inductive reasoning are used as premises or bases for
deductive reasoning. These two forms of reasoning are opposites and yet
complementary to each other; they are in a sense independent and yet are
interdependent. Brooks says: "The two methods of reasoning are the
reverse of each other. One goes from particulars to generals; the other
from generals to particulars. One is a process of analysis; the other is
a process of synthesis. One rises from facts to laws; the other descends
from laws to facts. Each is independent of the other, and each is a
valid and essential method of inference."

Halleck well expresses the spirit of deductive reasoning as follows:
"After induction has classified certain phenomena and thus given us a
major premise, we may proceed deductively to apply the inference to any
new specimen that can be shown to belong to that class. Induction hands
over to deduction a ready-made premise. Deduction takes that as a fact,
making no inquiry regarding its truth. Only after general laws have been
laid down, after objects have been classified, after major premises have
been formed, can deduction be employed."

Deductive reasoning proceeds from general principles to particular
facts. It is a descending process, analytical in its nature. It rests
upon the fundamental axiomatic basis that "_whatever is true of the
whole is true of its parts_," or "_whatever is true of the universal is
true of the particulars_."

The process of deductive reasoning may be stated briefly as follows: (1)
A general principle of a class is stated as a _major premise_; (2) a
particular thing is stated as belonging to that general class, this
statement being the _minor premise_; therefore (3) the general class
principle is held to apply to the particular thing, this last statement
being the _conclusion_. (_A "premise" is "a proposition assumed to be

The following gives us an illustration of the above process:--

  I. (_Major premise_)--A bird is a warm-blooded, feathered, winged,
    oviparous vertebrate.

  II. (_Minor premise_)--The sparrow is a bird; therefore

  III. (_Conclusion_)--The sparrow is a warm-blooded, feathered, winged,
    oviparous vertebrate.

Or, again:--

  I. (_Major premise_)--Rattlesnakes frequently bite when enraged, and
    their bite is poisonous.

  II. (_Minor premise_)--This snake before me is a rattlesnake;

  III. (_Conclusion_)--This snake before me may bite when enraged, and
    its bite will be poisonous.

The average person may be inclined to object that he is not conscious of
going through this complicated process when he reasons about sparrows or
rattlesnakes. But he _does_, nevertheless. He is not conscious of the
steps, because mental habit has accustomed him to the process, and it is
performed more or less automatically. But these three steps manifest in
all processes of deductive reasoning, even the simplest. The average
person is like the character in the French play who was surprised to
learn that he had "been talking prose for forty years without knowing
it." Jevons says that the majority of persons are equally surprised when
they find out that they have been using logical forms, more or less
correctly, without having realized it. He says: "A large number even of
educated persons have no clear idea of what logic is. Yet, in a certain
way, every one must have been a logician since he began to speak."

There are many technical rules and principles of logic which we cannot
attempt to consider here. There are, however, a few elementary
principles of correct reasoning which should have a place here. What is
known as a "syllogism" is the expression in words of the various parts
of the complete process of reasoning or argument. Whately defines it as
follows: "A syllogism is an argument expressed in strict logical form so
that its conclusiveness is manifest from the structure of the expression
alone, without any regard to the meaning of the term." In short, _if_
the two premises are accepted as correct, it follows that there can be
only one true logical conclusion resulting therefrom. In abstract or
theoretical reasoning the word "_if_" is assumed to precede each of the
two premises, the "therefore" before the conclusion resulting from the
"if," of course. The following are the general rules governing the

I. Every syllogism must consist of three, and no more than three,
propositions, namely (1) the major premise, (2) the minor premise, and
(3) the conclusion.

II. The conclusion must naturally follow from the premises, otherwise
the syllogism is invalid and constitutes a fallacy or sophism.

III. One premise, at least, must be affirmative.

IV. If one premise is negative, the conclusion must be negative.

V. One premise, at least, must be universal or general.

VI. If one premise is particular, the conclusion also must be

The last two rules (V. and VI.) contain the essential principles of all
the rules regarding syllogisms, and any syllogism which breaks them will
be found also to break other rules, some of which are not stated here
for the reason that they are too technical. These two rules may be
tested by constructing syllogisms in violation of their principles. The
reason for them is as follows: (Rule V.) Because "from two particular
premises no conclusion can be drawn," as, for instance: (1) Some men are
mortal; (2) John is a man. We cannot reason from this either that John
_is_ or _is not_ mortal. The major premise should read "_all_ men."
(Rule VI.) Because "a universal conclusion can be drawn only from two
universal premises," an example being needless here, as the conclusion
is so obvious.


There is no royal road to the cultivation of the reasoning faculties.
There is but the old familiar rule: Practice, exercise, use.
Nevertheless there are certain studies which tend to develop the
faculties in question. The study of arithmetic, especially mental
arithmetic, tends to develop correct habits of reasoning from one truth
to another--from cause to effect. Better still is the study of geometry;
and best of all, of course, is the study of logic and the practice of
working out its problems and examples. The study of philosophy and
psychology also is useful in this way. Many lawyers and teachers have
drilled themselves in geometry solely for the purpose of developing
their logical reasoning powers.

Brooks says: "So valuable is geometry as a discipline that many lawyers
and others review their geometry every year in order to keep the mind
drilled to logical habits of thinking. * * * The study of logic will aid
in the development of the power of deductive reasoning. It does this,
first, by showing the method by which we reason. To know how we reason,
to see the laws which govern the reasoning process, to analyze the
syllogism and see its conformity to the laws of thought, is not only an
exercise of reasoning but gives that knowledge of the process that will
be both a stimulus and a guide to thought. No one can trace the
principles and processes of thought without receiving thereby an impetus
to thought. In the second place, the study of logic is probably even
more valuable because it gives practice in deductive thinking. This,
perhaps, is its principal value, since the mind reasons instinctively
without knowing how it reasons. One can think without the knowledge of
the science of thinking just as one can use language correctly without a
knowledge of grammar; yet as the study of grammar improves one's speech,
so the study of logic can but improve one's thought."

In the opinion of the writer hereof, one of the best though simple
methods of cultivating the faculties of reasoning is to acquaint one's
self thoroughly with the more common _fallacies_ or forms of false
reasoning--so thoroughly that not only is the false reasoning detected
at once but also the _reason_ of its falsity is readily understood. To
understand the wrong ways of reasoning is to be on guard against them.
By guarding against them we tend to eliminate them from our thought
processes. If we eliminate the false we have the true left in its place.
Therefore we recommend the weeding of the logical garden of the common
fallacies, to the end that the flowers of pure reason may flourish in
their stead. Accordingly, we think it well to call your attention in the
next chapter to the more common fallacies, and the reason of their


Fallacious Reasoning.

A fallacy is defined as "an unsound argument or mode of arguing which,
while appearing to be decisive of a question, is in reality not so; or a
fallacious statement or proposition in which the error is not readily
apparent. When a fallacy is used to deceive others, it is called
'sophistry,'" It is important that the student should understand the
nature of the fallacy and understand its most common forms. As Jevons
says: "In learning how to do right it is always desirable to be informed
as to the ways in which we are likely to go wrong. In describing to a
man the road which he should follow, we ought to tell him not only the
turnings which he is to take but also the turnings which he is to avoid.
Similarly, it is a useful part of logic which teaches us the ways and
turnings by which people most commonly go astray in reasoning."

In presenting the following brief statement regarding the more common
forms of fallacy, we omit so far as possible the technical details which
belong to text-books on logic.


I. _True Collective but False Particular._--An example of this fallacy
is found in the argument that because the French race, collectively, are
excitable, therefore a particular Frenchman must be excitable. Or that
because the Jewish race, collectively, are good business people,
therefore the particular Jew must be a good business man. This is as
fallacious as arguing that because a man may drown in the ocean he
should avoid the bath, basin, or cup of water. There is a vast
difference between the whole of a thing and its separate parts. Nitric
acid and glycerin, separately, are not explosive, but, combined, they
form nitro-glycerin, a most dangerous and powerful explosive. Reversing
this form of illustration, we remind you of the old saying: "Salt is a
good thing; but one doesn't want to be put in pickle."

II. _Irrelevant Conclusion._--This fallacy consists in introducing in
the conclusion matter not contained in the premises, or in the confusing
of the issue. For instance: (1) All men are sinful; (2) John Smith is a
man; therefore (3) John Smith is a horse thief. This may sound absurd,
but many arguments are as fallacious as this, and for the same reason.
Or another and more subtle form: (1) All thieves are liars; (2) John
Smith is a liar; therefore (3) John Smith is a thief. The first example
arises from the introduction of new matter, and the last from the
confusion of the issue.

III. _False Cause._--This fallacy consists in attributing cause to a
thing which is merely coincident with, or precedent to, the effect. For
instance: (1) The cock crows just before or at the moment of sunrise;
therefore (2) the cock-crowing is the cause of the sunrise. Or, again:
(1) Bad crops followed the election of a Whig president; therefore (2)
the Whig party is the cause of the bad crops. Or, again: (1) Where
civilization is the highest, there we find the greatest number of high
hats; therefore (2) high hats are the cause of civilization.

IV. _Circular Reasoning._--In this form of fallacy the person reasoning
or arguing endeavors to explain or prove a thing by itself or its own
terms. For instance: (1) The Whig party is honest because it advocates
honest principles; (2) the Whig principles are honest because they are
advocated by an honest party. A common form of this fallacy in its phase
of sophistry is the use of synonyms in such a manner that they seem to
express more than the original conception, whereas they are really but
other terms for the same thing. An historic example of circular
reasoning is the following: (1) The Church of England is the true
Church, because it was established by God; (2) it must have been
established by God, because it is the true Church. This form of
sophistry is most effective when employed in long arguments in which it
is difficult to detect it.

V. _Begging the Question._--This fallacy arises from the use of a false
premise, or at least of a premise the truth of which is not admitted by
the opponent. It may be stated, simply, as "_the unwarranted assumption
of a premise, generally the major premise_." Many persons in public life
argue in this way. They boldly assert an unwarranted premise, and then
proceed to argue logically from it. The result is confusing to the
average person, for, the steps of the reasoning being logical, it seems
as if the argument is sound, the fact of the unwarranted premise being
overlooked. The person using this form of sophistry proceeds on Aaron
Burr's theory of truth being "that which is boldly asserted and
plausibly maintained."

Bulwer makes one of his characters mention a particularly atrocious form
of this fallacy (although an amusing one) in the following words:
"Whenever you are about to utter something astonishingly false, always
begin with: 'It is an acknowledged fact,' etc. Sir Robert Filmer was a
master of this manner of writing. Thus with what a solemn face that
great man attempted to cheat. He would say: '_It is a truth undeniable_
that there cannot be any multitude of men whatsoever, either great or
small, etc., but that in the same multitude there is one man among them
_that in nature hath a right to be King of all the rest--as being the
next heir of Adam_!'"

Look carefully for the major premise of propositions advanced in
argument, spoken or written. Be sure that the person making the
proposition is not "begging the question" by _the unwarranted assumption
of the premise_.


Hyslop says concerning valid inferences and fallacious ones: "We cannot
infer _anything_ we please from any premises we please. We must conform
to certain definite rules or principles. Any violation of them will be a
fallacy. There are two simple rules which should not be violated: (1)
_The subject-matter in the conclusion should be of the same general kind
as in the premises_; (2) _the facts constituting the premises must be
accepted and must not be fictitious_." A close observance of these rules
will result in the detection and avoidance of the principal forms of
fallacious reasoning and sophistry.


There are a number of tricky practices resorted to by persons in
argument, that are fallacious in intent and result, which we do not
consider here in detail as they scarcely belong to the particular
subject of this book. A brief mention, however, may be permitted in the
interest of general information. Here are the principal ones:--

(1) Arguing that a proposition is correct because the opponent cannot
prove the contrary. The fallacy is seen when we realize that the
statement, "The moon is made of green cheese," is not proved because we
cannot prove the contrary. No amount of failure to _disprove_ a
proposition really _proves_ it; and no amount of failure to _prove_ a
proposition really _disproves_ it. As a general rule, the burden of
proof rests upon the person stating the proposition, and his opponent is
not called upon to disprove it or else have it considered proved. The
old cry of "You cannot _prove_ that it is _not_ so" is based upon a
fallacious conception.

(2) Abuse of the opponent, his party, or his cause. This is no real
argument or reasoning. It is akin to proving a point by beating the
opponent over the head.

(3) Arguing that an opponent does not live up to his principles is no
argument against the principles he advocates. A man may advocate the
principle of temperance and yet drink to excess. This simply proves that
he preaches better than he practices; but the truth of the principle of
temperance is not affected in any way thereby. The proof of this is
that he may change his practices; and it cannot be held that the change
of his personal habits improves or changes the nature of the principle.

(4) Argument of authority is not based on logic. Authority is valuable
when really worthy, and merely as corroboration or adding weight; but it
is not logical argument. The _reasons_ of the authority alone constitute
a real argument. The abuse of this form of argument is shown, in the
above reference to "begging the question," in the quotation from Bulwer.

(5) Appeal to prejudice or public opinion is not a valid argument, for
public opinion is frequently wrong and prejudice is often unwarranted.
And, at the best, they "have nothing to do with the case" from the
standpoint of logic. The abuse of testimony and claimed evidence is also
worthy of examination, but we cannot go into the subject here.


But perhaps the most dangerous of all fallacies in the search for truth
on the part of the most of us are those which arise from the

(1) The tendency to reason from what we feel and wish to be true, rather
than from the actual facts of the case, which causes us unconsciously to
assume the mental attitude of "if the facts agree with our likes and
pet theories, all is well; if they do not, so much the worse for the

(2) The tendency in all of us to perceive only the facts that agree with
our theories and to ignore the others. We find that for which we seek,
and overlook that which does not interest us. Our discoveries follow our
interest, and our interest follows our desires and beliefs.

The intelligent man or woman realizes these tendencies of human nature
and endeavors to avoid them in his or her own reasoning, but is keenly
conscious of them in the arguments and reasoning of others. A failure to
observe and guard one's self against these tendencies results in
bigotry, intolerance, narrowness, and intellectual astigmatism.


The Will.

The activities of the will comprise the third great class of mental
processes. Psychologists always have differed greatly in their
conception of just what constitutes these activities. Even to-day it is
difficult to obtain a dictionary definition of the will that agrees with
the best opinion on the subject. The dictionaries adhere to the old
classification and conception which regarded the will as "that faculty
of the mind or soul by which it chooses or decides." But with the growth
of the idea that the will acts according to the strongest motive, and
that the motive is supplied by the average struck between the desires of
the moment, under the supervision of the intellect, the conception of
will as the choosing and deciding faculty is passing from favor. In the
place of the older conception has come the newer one which holds that
the will is primarily concerned with _action_.

It is difficult to place the will in the category of mental processes.
But it is generally agreed that it abides in the very center of the
mental being, and is closely associated with what is called the ego, or
self. The will seems to have at least three general phases, viz.: (1)
The phase of desire, (2) the phase of deliberation or choice, and (3)
the phase of expression in action. In order to understand the will, it
is necessary to consider each of these three phases of its activities.

(1). DESIRE.

The first phase of will, which is called "desire," is in itself somewhat
complex. On its lower side it touches, and, in fact, blends into,
feeling and emotion. Its center consists of a state of _tension_, akin
to that of a coiled spring or a cat crouching ready for a spring. On its
higher side it touches, penetrates, and blends into the other phases of
the will which we have mentioned.

Desire is defined as "a feeling, emotion, or excitement of the mind
directed toward the attainment, enjoyment, or possession of some object
from which pleasure, profit, or gratification is expected." Halleck
gives us the following excellent conception of the moving spirit of
desire: "_Desire has for its object something which will bring pleasure
or get rid of pain, immediate or remote, for the individual or for some
one in whom he is interested. Aversion, or a striving away from
something, is merely the negative aspect of desire._"

In Halleck's statement, above quoted, we have the explanation of the
part played by the intellect in the activities of will. The intellect
is able to perceive the relations between present action and future
results, and is able to point the way toward the suppression of some
desires in order that other and better ones may be manifested. It also
serves its purposes in regulating the "striking of the average" between
conflicting desires. Without the intervention of the intellect, the
temporary desire of the moment would invariably be acted upon without
regard to future results or consequences to one's self and others. It
also serves to point out the course of action calculated to give the
most satisfactory expression of the desire.

While it is a fact that the action of will depends almost entirely upon
the motive force of desire, it is likewise true that desire may be
created, regulated, suppressed, and even killed by the action of the
will. The will, by giving or refusing attention to a certain class of
desires, may either cause them to grow and wax strong, or else die and
fade away. It must be remembered, however, that this use of the will
itself springs from another set of desires or feelings.

Desire is aroused by feelings or emotions rising from the subconscious
planes of the mind and seeking expression and manifestation. We have
considered the nature of the feelings and emotions in previous chapters,
which should be read in connection with the present one. It should be
remembered that the feeling or emotional side of desire arises from
either inherited race memories existing as instincts, or from the memory
of the past experiences of the individual. In some cases the feeling
first manifests in a vague unrest caused by subconscious promptings and
excitement. Then the imagination pictures the object of the feeling, or
certain memory images connected with it, and the desire thus manifests
on the plane of consciousness.

The entrance of the desire feeling into consciousness is accompanied by
that peculiar _tension_ which marks the second phase of desire. This
tension, when sufficiently strong, passes into the third phase of
desire, or that in which desire blends into will action. Desire in this
stage makes a demand upon will for expression and action. From mere
feeling, and tension of feeling, it becomes _a call to action_. But
before expression and action are given to it, the second phase of will
must manifest at least for a moment; this second phase is that known as
deliberation, or the weighing and balancing of desires.


The second phase of will, known as deliberation, is more than the purely
intellectual process which the term would indicate. The intellect plays
an important part, it is true, but there is also an almost instinctive
and automatic _weighing and balancing of desires_. There is seldom only
one desire presenting its claims upon the will at any particular moment.
It is true that occasionally there arises an emotional desire of such
dominant power and strength that it crowds out every other claimant at
the bar of deliberation. But such instances are rare, and as a rule
there are a host of rival claimants, each insisting upon its rights in
the matter at issue. In the man of weak or undeveloped and untrained
intellect, the struggle is usually little more than a brief combat
between several desires, in which _the strongest at the moment wins_.
But with the development of intellect new factors arise and new forces
are felt. Moreover, the more complex one's emotional nature, and the
greater the development of the higher forms of feeling, the more intense
is the struggle of deliberation or the fight of the desires.

We see, in Halleck's definition, that desire has not only the object of
"bringing pleasure or getting rid of pain" for the individual, but that
the additional element of the welfare of "some one in whom he is
interested" is added, which element is often the deciding factor. This
element, of course, arises from the development and cultivation of one's
emotional nature. In the same way we also see that it is not merely the
_immediate_ welfare of one's self or those in whom one is interested
that speaks before the bar, but also the more _remote_ welfare. This
consideration of future welfare depends upon the intellect and
cultivated imagination under its control. Moreover, the trained
intellect is able to discover possible greater satisfaction in some
course of action other than in the one prompted by the clamoring desire
of the moment. This explains why the judgment and action of an
intelligent man, as a rule, are far different from those of the
unintelligent one; and also why a man of culture tends toward different
action from that of the uncultured; and likewise, why the man of broad
sympathies and high ideals acts in a different way from one of the
opposite type. But the principle is ever the same--the feelings manifest
in desire, the greatest ultimate satisfaction apparent at the moment is
sought, and the strongest set of desires wins the day.

Halleck's comment on this point is interesting. He says: "Desire is not
always proportional to the idea of one's own selfish pleasure. Many
persons, after forming an idea of the vast amount of earthly distress,
desire to relieve it, and the desire goes out in action, as the
benevolent societies in every city testify. Here the individual pleasure
is none the less, but it is secondary, coming from the pleasure of
others. The desire of the _near_ often raises a stronger desire than the
_remote_. A child frequently prefers a thing immediately if it is only
one tenth as good as something he might have a year hence. A student
often desires more the leisure of to-day than the success of future
years. Though admonished to study, he wastes his time and thus loses
incomparably greater future pleasure when he is tossed to the rear in
the struggle for existence."

The result of this weighing and balancing of the desire is, or should
be, _decision and choice_, which then passes into action. But many
persons seem unable to "make up their own mind," and require a push or
urge from without before they will act. Others decide, without proper
use of the intellect, upon what they call "impulse," but which is merely
impatience. Some are like the fabled donkey which starved to death when
placed at an equal distance between two equally attractive haystacks and
was unable to decide towards which to move. Others follow the example of
Jeppe, in the comedy, who, when given a coin with which to buy a piece
of soap for his wife, stood on the corner deliberating whether to obey
orders or to buy a drink with the money. He wants the drink, but
realizes that his wife will beat him if he returns without the soap. "My
stomach says drink; my back says soap," says Jeppe. "But," finally he
remarks, "is not a man's stomach more to him than his back? Yes, says

The final decision depends upon the striking a balance between the
desires,--the weighing of desire for and desire against,--desire for
this and desire for something else. The strength of the several desires
depends upon nearness and present interest arising from attention, as
applied to the feelings and emotions arising from heredity, environment,
experience, and education, which constitute character; and also upon the
degree of intellectual clearness and power in forming correct judgments
between the desires.

It must be remembered, however, that the intellect appears not as an
opponent of the principle of the satisfaction of desire, but merely as
an instrument of the ego in determining which course of action will
result in the greatest ultimate satisfaction, direct or indirect,
present or future. For, _at the last, every individual acts so as to
bring himself the greatest satisfaction, immediate or future, direct or
indirect, either personal or through the welfare of others, as this may
appear to him at the particular moment of deliberation_. We always act
in the direction of that which will greater "content our spirit." This
will be found to be the spirit of all decisions, although the motive is
often hidden and difficult to find even by the individual himself, many
of the strongest motives having their origin in the subconscious planes
of mentality.

(3). ACTION.

The third and final phase of will is that known as action--the act of
volition by which the desire-idea is expressed in physical or mental
activity. The old conception of the will held that the decisive phase of
the will was its characteristic and final phase, ignoring the fact that
the very essence or spirit of will is bound up with _action_. Even those
familiar with the newer conception frequently assume that the act of
decision is the final phase of will, ignoring the fact that we
frequently _decide_ to do a thing and yet may never carry out the
intention and decision. The act of willing is not complete unless action
is expressed. There must be the manifestation of the motor element or
phase of will, else the will process is incomplete.

A weakness of this last phase of will affects the entire will and
renders its processes ineffective. The world is filled with persons who
are able to _decide_ what is best to do, and what should be done, but
who never actually _act_ upon the decision. The few persons who promptly
follow up the decision with vigorous action are those who accomplish the
world's work. Without the full manifestation of this third phase of will
the other two phases are useless.


So far we have considered merely the highest type of will--that which
is accompanied by conscious deliberation, in which the intellect takes
an active part. In this process, not only do the conflicting feelings
push themselves forward with opposing claims for recognition, but the
intellect is active in examining the case and offering valuable
testimony as to the comparative merits of the various claimants and the
effect of certain courses of action upon the individual. There are,
however, several lower forms of will manifestation which we should
briefly consider in passing.

_Reflex Action._--The will is moved to action by the reflex activities
of the nervous system which have been mentioned in the earlier chapters
of this book. In this general type we find unconscious reflex action,
such as that manifested when a sleeper is touched and moves away, or
when the frog's leg twitches when the nerve end is excited. We also find
conscious reflex action, such as that manifested by the winking of the
eye, or the performance of habitual physical motion, such as the
movement in walking, operating the sewing machine or typewriter, playing
the piano, etc.

_Impulsive Action._--The will is often moved to action by a dim idea or
faint perception of purpose or impulse. The action is almost
instinctive, although there is a vague perception of purpose. For
instance, we feel an impulse to turn toward the source of a strange
sound or sight, or other source of interest or curiosity. Or we may
feel an impulse arising from the subconscious plane of our mind, causing
a dimly-conscious idea of movement or action to relieve the tension. For
instance, one may feel a desire to exercise, or to seek fresh air or
green fields, although he had not been thinking of these things at the
time. These impulses arise from a subconscious feeling of fatigue or
desire for change, which, added to a fleeting idea, produces the
impulse. Unless an impulse is inhibited by the will activities inspired
by other desires, habits, ideas, or ideals, we act upon it in precisely
the same way that a young child or animal does. Hoffding says of this
type of action: "The psychological condition of the impulse is, that
with the momentary feeling and sensation should be combined a more or
less clear idea of something which may augment the pleasure or diminish
the pain of the moment."

_Instinctive Action._--The will is frequently moved to action by an
instinctive stimulus. This form of will activity closely resembles the
last mentioned form, and often it is impossible to distinguish between
the two. The activities of the bee in building its comb and storing its
honey, the work of the silkworm and caterpillar in building their
resting places, are examples of this form of action. Indeed, even the
building of the nest of the bird may be so classed. In these cases there
is an intelligent action toward a definite end, but the animal is
unconscious of that end. The experiences of the remote ancestors of
these creatures recorded their impressions upon the subconscious mind of
the species, and they are transmitted in some way to all of that
species. The nervous system of every living thing is a record cylinder
of the experiences of its early ancestors, and these cylinders tend to
reproduce these impressions upon appropriate occasions. In preceding
chapters we have shown that even man is under the influence of instinct
to a greater extent than he imagines himself to be.



It is of the utmost importance that the individual develop, cultivate,
and train his will so as to bring it under the influence of the higher
part of his mental and moral being. While the will is used most
effectively in developing and training the intellect and building
character, it itself must be trained by itself to habitually come under
the guidance of the intellect and under the influence of that which we
call character.

The influence of the trained will upon the several mental faculties is
most marked. There are no faculties which may not be cultivated by the
will. The first and great task of the will in this direction is the
control and direction of the attention. The will determines the kind of
interest that shall prevail at the moment, and the kind of interest
largely determines the character of the man, his tastes, his feelings,
his thoughts, his acts. Gordy says: "Coöperating with a pre-existing
influence, the will can make a weaker one prevail over a stronger. * * *
It determines which of pre-existing influences shall have control over
the mind."

Moreover, concentrated and continued attention depends entirely upon the
exercise of the will. As Gordy says: "If the will relaxes its hold upon
the activities of the mind, the attention is liable to be carried away
by any one of the thousands of ideas that the laws of association are
constantly bringing into our minds."

Even in the matter of mental images the will asserts its sway, and the
imagination may be trained to be the obedient servant of the developed
will. Regarding the influence of the will upon character, Davidson says:
"It is not enough for a man to understand correctly and love duly the
conditions of moral life in his own time; he must, still further, be
willing and able to fulfill these conditions. And he certainly cannot do
this unless his will is trained to perfect freedom, so that it responds,
with the utmost readiness, to the suggestions of his discriminating
intelligence and the movements of his chastened affections." Halleck
says: "We gradually make our characters by separate acts of will, just
as a blacksmith by repeated blows beats out a horseshoe or an anchor
from a shapeless mass of iron. A finished anchor or horseshoe was never
the product of a single blow."


Perhaps the best way to train the will is to _use_ it intelligently, and
with a purpose. The training of any faculty of the mind is at the same
time a training of the will. The attention being so closely allied to
the will, it follows that a careful training of attention will result in
a strengthening of the will. The training of the emotional side of one's
nature also brings results in the strengthening of the will.

Halleck gives his students excellent advice regarding the training of
the will. It would be hard to find anything better along these lines
than the following from his pen: "Nothing schools the will, and renders
it ready for effort in this complex world, better than accustoming it to
face disagreeable things. Professor James advises all to do something
occasionally for no other reason than that they would rather not do it,
if it is nothing more than giving up a seat in a street car. He likens
such effort to the insurance that a man pays on his house. He has
something that he can fall back on in time of trouble. A will schooled
in this way is always ready to respond, no matter how great the
emergency. While another would be crying over spilled milk, the
possessor of such a will has already found another cow. * * * The only
way to secure such a will is to practice doing disagreeable things.
There are daily opportunities. * * * A man who had declared his aversion
to what he deemed the dry facts of political economy was one day found
knitting his brow over a chapter of John Stuart Mill. When a friend
expressed surprise, the man replied: 'I am playing the schoolmaster with
myself. I am reading this because I dislike it.' Such a man has the
elements of success in him. * * * On the other hand, the one who
habitually avoids disagreeable action is training his will to be of no
use to him at a time when supreme effort is demanded. Such a will can
never elbow its way to the front in life."


Habits are the beaten track over which the will travels. The beaten path
of habit is the line of least resistance to the will. One who would
train his will must needs pay attention to providing it with the proper
mental paths over which to travel. The rule for the creation of habits
is simply this: _Travel over the mental path as often as possible_. The
rule for breaking undesirable habits is this: _Cultivate the opposite
habit_. In these two rules is expressed the gist of what has been
written on the subject.

Professor William James has left to the world some invaluable advice
regarding the cultivation of right habits. He bases his rules upon those
of Professor Bain, elaborates these, and adds some equally good ones. We
herewith quote freely from both James and Bain on this subject; it is
the best ever written regarding habit building.

I. "In the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one,
launch yourself with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.
This will give your new beginning such a momentum that the temptation to
break down will not occur as soon as it otherwise might; and every day
during which a breakdown is postponed adds to the chances of it not
occurring at all."--_James._

II. "Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely
rooted in your life. Every lapse is like the letting fall of a ball of
string which one is carefully winding up--a single slip undoes more than
a great many turns will wind again."--_James._ "It is necessary, above
all things, in such a situation, never to lose a battle. Every gain on
the wrong side undoes the effect of many conquests on the right. The
essential precaution is so to regulate the two opposing powers that the
one may have a series of uninterrupted successes, until repetition has
fortified it to such a degree as to enable it to cope with the
opposition, under any circumstances."--_Bain._

III. "Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every
resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience
in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain. It is not in the
moment of their forming, but in the moment of their producing _motor
effects_, that resolves and aspirations communicate their new 'set' to
the brain."--_James._ "The actual presence of the practical opportunity
alone furnishes the fulcrum upon which the lever can rest, by which the
moral will may multiply its strength and raise itself aloft. He who has
no solid ground to press against will never get beyond the stage of
empty gesture making."--_Bain._

IV. "Keep the faculty alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every
day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little, unnecessary
points; do every day something for no other reason than that you would
rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may
find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. * * * The man who
has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic
volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things will stand like a tower
when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow mortals are
winnowed like chaff in the blast."--_James._



In addition to the general rules for developing and training the will
given in the preceding chapter, we ask you to tone up and strengthen the
will by the inspiration to be derived from the words of some of the
world's great thinkers and doers. In these words there is such a vital
statement of the recognition, realization, and manifestation of that
something within, which we call "will," that it is a dull soul, indeed,
which is not inspired by the contagion of the idea. These expressions
are the milestones on the Path of Attainment, placed by those who have
preceded us on the journey. We submit these quotations without comment;
they speak for themselves.


"They can who think they can. Character is a perfectly educated will."

"Nothing can resist the will of a man who knows what is true and wills
what is good."

"In all difficulties advance and will, for within you is a power, a
living force, which the more you trust and learn to use will annihilate
the opposition of matter."

    "The star of the unconquered will,
       It rises in my breast,
     Serene and resolute and still,
       And calm and self-possessed.

    "So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
       So near is God to man,
     When duty whispers low, 'Thou must!'
       The youth replies, 'I can!'"

"The longer I live, the more certain I am that the great difference
between men, between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the
insignificant, is energy,--invincible determination,--a purpose once
fixed, and then death or victory. That quality will do anything that can
be done in this world, and no talents, no circumstances, no
opportunities will make a two-legged creature a man without

    "The human will, that force unseen,
       The offspring of a deathless soul,
       Can hew a way to any goal,
     Though walls of granite intervene.

    "You will be what you will to be;
       Let failure find its false content
       In that poor word environment,
     But spirit scorns it and is free.

    "It masters time, it conquers space,
       It cows that boastful trickster, chance,
       And bids the tyrant circumstance
     Uncrown and fill a servant's place."

"Resolve is what makes a man manifest; not puny resolve, not crude
determinations, not errant purpose, but that strong and indefatigable
will which treads down difficulties and danger as a boy treads down the
heaving frost lands of winter, which kindles his eye and brain with a
proud pulse beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men
giants."--_Donald G. Mitchell._

    "There is no chance, no destiny, no fate
     Can circumvent, or hinder, or control
     The firm resolve of a determined soul.
     Gifts count for nothing, will alone is great;
     All things give way before it soon or late.
     What obstacle can stay the mighty force
     Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
     Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
     Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.
     Let the fools prate of luck. The fortunate
     Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
     Whose slightest action, or inaction,
     Serves the one great aim. Why, even death itself
     Stands still and waits an hour sometimes
     For such a will."

     --_Ella Wheeler Wilcox._

"I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human
being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can
resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment."
--_Lord Beaconsfield._

"A passionate desire and an unwearied will can perform impossibilities,
or what may seem to be such to the cold and feeble."--_Sir John

"It is wonderful how even the casualties of life seem to bow to a spirit
that will not bow to them, and yield to subserve a design which they
may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate. When a
firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space
clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom."--_John Foster._

"The great thing about General Grant is cool persistency of purpose. He
is not easily excited, and he has got the grip of a bulldog. When he
once gets his teeth in, nothing can shake him off."--_Abraham Lincoln._

"I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things are
outside my door, _and I've got the key_. * * * Man was meant to be, and
ought to be, stronger and more than anything that can happen to him.
Circumstances, 'Fate,' 'Luck,' are all outside; and if he cannot change
them, he can always _beat_ them."--_Charles F. Lummis._

"The truest wisdom is a resolute determination."

"Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary of fools."

"Circumstances! I _make_ circumstances!"--_Napoleon._

"He who fails only half wills."--_Suwarrow._

"That which the easiest becomes a habit in us is the will. Learn, then,
to will strongly and decisively; thus fix your floating life, and leave
it no longer to be carried hither and thither, like a withered leaf, by
every wind that blows."

"Man owes his growth chiefly to that active striving of the will,--that
encounter which we call effort,--and it is astonishing to find how often
results apparently impracticable are thus made possible. * * * It is
will--force of purpose--that enables a man to do or be whatever he sets
his mind upon being or doing."

"A strong, defiant purpose is many-handed and lays hold of whatever is
near that can serve it; it has a magnetic purpose that draws to itself
whatever is kindred. * * * Let it be your first study to teach the world
that you are not wood and straw; that there is some iron in

"It's _dogged_ as does it."--_Yorkshire Proverb._

"One talent with a will behind it will accomplish more than ten without
it, as a thimbleful of powder in a rifle, the bore of whose barrel will
give it direction, will do greater execution than a carload burned in
the open air."--_O.S. Marden._

"Will may not endow man with talents or capacities; but it does one very
important matter--it enables him to make the best, the very best, of his

    "Tender-handed stroke a nettle,
       And it stings you for your pains.
     Grasp it like a man of mettle,
       And it soft as down remains."

"Don't flinch; don't foul; but hit the line hard."--_Roosevelt._

"The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the
more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be."

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious typographcial errors and printer errors have been corrected
without comment. Other than obvious errors, no attempt has been made
to correct unconventional spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. The
author's usage is preserved as printed in the original publication.

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