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| published Weekly 1 /\ |r I M nnesot & jgt&Ae J <! f Vol. XX.—No. 28 -Paper ffearl Before the Clmutauqva Circle IN ATTEMPTING to unveil the mysteries of man’s psychic elements we are confronted by many insur- mountable barriers —characteris- tics of Nature—chief among them the mind itself.' Xu other words, our intel lectual faculties and their physical tributaries have not yet attained a state of development perfect enough to know their own source. We cannot grasp the meaning ot anything in its entirety,because the subjective faculty of orientation, or higher discernment, is curbed by the physical senses. It is incapable of transcendency except thru the agency of trance or dreams, but in either of these it haunts diaphanous realms that reason, as yet, has failed to penetrate. * s V Normally, the subjective mind re tains only such impressions as have, in their natural aspect, become manifest to the objective senses; therelore, we comprehend things, time and place ad umbratively, empirically, if I may use the words. Inability to thoroughly understand a subject is not, however, a mental deficiency, but rather a physical defect arising from the retardation of nerve-energy thru both normal and pathological causes. The brain, uni versally accepted as the material seat of thought, is really only the rheostat, the refining center of a vastly compli cated system of nerves that attract, as similate and transmit the impressions received by the various senses. Roughly estimated, one-fourth of these embryo thoughts or thought waves entering the cerebellum, or organ controlling combined muscular activity, produce voluntary actions stimulated in intensity by the external excitation of the nerve receiving the impression. On the other hand, vibra tions attracting the nerves and enter ing the nerve centers by psychomotor processes pass into and thru the brain unperceived and are termed reflex acts. Reflex acts, unless meeting with re active energy in their passage along a nerve, are transmitted and recorded unconsciously, because they encounter no resistance ip either the objective mind or the corpus callosum. They may lie dormant for days, months and «ven years, materializing in thought or action and becoming conecious volun tary acts by a duplicate irritation of the nerve receiving, the first impres sion, or, thru the agency of dreams. Personal experience with nightmare has convinced me that dormant reflex acts, like limburger cheese,accumulate strength as their age increases. The wealth of phantasmogoria pass ing in dreams is due, probably, to a slight pressure on the corpus callosum, or nerve fibers intersecting the two hemispheres of the brain, and can be accounted for only by the increased flow of blood as it passes thru the sleeping muscular section of the cere bellum and enters the doubly active cerebrum. This, of course, is a theory; but I am, nevertheless, positive that an action of this nature would release the reflex matter and cause it to run riot with the conscious thoughts pre viously stored in the recording cells of memory and instinct, the mind proper. The number of impressions daily recorded in the cerebrum is incompre hensible, and the time consumed in attracting and transmitting them in conceivable. Prof. Betchereff, a Rus sian psychologist, states that: “The speed of association in consciousness varies, generally between one-fourth and one-eighth of a second which is an enormously long time compared with the rapidity of reflex actß.” He, evidently, arrives at this conclusion by estimating the number of vibrations constantly coming in contact with the external nerve diaphragms of the five or more senses. Theorematioally, we hear a hundred different sounds per minute, altho we cannot distinguish them; while in one sweep of the eye the retina will photo graph a thousand and be conscious of Cbe formation of Cbougbt. STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, JANUARY 24. 1907 less than one-tenth of that number. It would not be exaggerating to state that the nervous system of the average man attracts five thousand vibratory waves per hour; the majority of them coming thru the organs of hearing and sight, but being of a very simple nature about seventy per cent pass into and thru the brain by psycho-motor pro cesses, that is, unconsciously. 1 am not prepared to say how many of them remain reflex acts or how many are lost in transit, because it de pends on the complexity of the im pressions themselves, for unless they cause muscular contraction they can not become voluntary; besides, we go thru a thousand different movements that are purely automatic. Automatic movements arising from neuro-psychic energy or reflex acts, such as swinging the arms, winking, etc., seldom if ever become conscious; while those stimu lated by consciousness and becoming unconscious by repeated execution, remain so for a longer or shorter period, being arrested in their progress by a new transmission of energy; providing it is sufficiently complicated to cause muscular contraction. To put it dif ferently, the man who chews gum is conscious of the fact until he gets the wad in a pliable condition and in work ing harmony with the movements of his jaws. In some cases the conscious prelim inaries are attended by gracefulness, but the moment the objective idea is submerged by subjectiveness, the facial muscles go awry remaining so until, perhaps, he bites his tongue. Biting the tongue wi'l cause muscular con traction faster than anything I know of, sometimes wrenchiug the tendons of the neck in the fierce rebound of the ivories. The nerves of the tongue and eye, with the exception of those in the cor pus callosum, are the most sensitive in the entire system, and all matter attracting them is, invariably, checked or held in the objective section of the brain because their greater sensitive ness creates a quicker and more vital reaction than that of the coarser nerves. Impressions reaching the cor pus-callosum thru taste or sight and becoming voluntary acts can, however, by repeated application become depen dent on psycho-motor energy for a continuance of the functional move ments. The so-called mind, soul or spirit i 6 nothing more than millions of negative impressions, gathered in the passing fh»w of a life time and indelibly stamped on the cellular tissues of the cerebrum. They, alone, are the molc ers of character and their purity or contamination attests to the weakness or strength of physical functions that conveyed them there. It is their enor mous number that places new thoughts at a premium, for it is an undeniable fact that the average individual thinks less than four new thoughts per day; probably not that many in a week. VVe see, feel, hear, taste and smell the same old thing day in and day out; it may be changed in form but it is, nevertheless, the 6sme old thing. A new force attracting the nerves meets with resistance in the very first stage of its passage; it confuses the senses until we combine them all in a, usually, futile attempt to ascertain its nature or cause. A striking demon stration of this fact can be observed by presenting a child with a new toy; that is, something it has previously had no knowledge of. It need not, necessarily, be complicated or even attractive, be cause its strangeness alone will excite every nerve in the system and, in ten minutes, consume a quantity of nerve energy' equivalent to the natural twenty-four hours’ supply. Tbe brain of a child being in an embryo state of development, all nerve force entering the cerebellum causes muscular con traction, stimulated, by consciousness, because the subjective mind, or faculty of reason is in a still lower state of IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” development than the objective. It has recorded no impressions similar to the ones constantly assailing it, and therefore, cannot associate the ab stract with the concrete; hence, the cerebral modifications of thought in a child produce only admiration, aston ishment and pain. Unable to associate the past with the present, all new play things are subjected to a rigid outside inspection utilizing all the senses, and if this does not prove satisfactory, it proceeds to take out the insides and squawk. Undoubtedly, the first impression recorded in the cerebrum of the human brain is the infantile wail; it is the originator of the neo-pallial folds that constitute self-consciousness and mem ory and comes under the head of an terior associations or subjectiveness, altho it is never a reflex act. Every impression transmitted by the nerves during the initial growth of the neo-pallium is stimulated by conscious ness, producing voluntary muscular contraction whose resulting movement is manifested by a cry. In a child, tbe voltaic negative of this cry is the local izing center of ail reserve energy be longing to the various senses, and it is the only impression that can, at this stage of its - intellectual development, be recalled from memory; in fact, it i 6 the only one registered. Where we dwell on past associations in silence, the child dwells on his by yelling, evincing in this planner both his joys and pains and proving that while he thinks thoughts he cannot distinguish between them. With the growth of obstacles in the nerve centers —by this I mean vibrations that have attracted the nerves but whose action in passing was not perceptible to the senses re ceiving them, thus preventing their transmission—a radical change takes place in the heretofore inaccessible corpus callosum. Duplicate impres sions irritatißg the external nerve dia phragms and coalescing with the undefinable matter held in the nerve centers, vitalize, overcoming all pre vious reaction and enter the cerebrum as perfect thoughts; that is, perfect in construction. With the increase of these voltaic negatives the neo-pallial folds extend, and the child from a helpless automa ton rapidly develops into an intelli gent thinking machine. Altho he is, at this period, capable of consciously associating ideas, his tactile develop ment, is still far below that of an an thropoid ape of his own age; and were it not for his tendencies to laughter, he could not be classed higher than a congenital idiot. Laughter in a child is the first outward signification of his intelligence, but contrary to the gen eral belief he does not, voluntarily, control the nerves producing it. He laughs because he thinks thoughts; because the va6t number of these thoughts secrete reserve energy, stimu lating muscular depression and central reaction upon the entrance of a new one. Their constant multiplication enables him to form his own opinions, to distinguish right from wrong and to make comparisons that are radically and grotesquely at variance with his accepted views or beliefs. That is why he laughs. Laughter, genuine merriment, is the natural excrement of living psychic matter; the safety valve of reason, as it were. It consumes reserve energy that would otherwise prevent diversi fication of thought by concentrating its entire force on one idea, gradually submerging reason thru the interme diate stages of hypochondria preceding insanity. Literally, there is no 6«ch thing as a new thought reaching the cerebrum of an intelligent person after his twenty fifth year. He only records associa tions of things belonging to a single root; he sees, feels, hears, tastes and smells the material substances of an old impression in a new form. Ninety per cent of all impressions registered in the neo-pallial folds of the brain of the most intelligent man could be traced to the mineral, vegetable and It Is too late! All! Nothing Is too late TUI the tired heart shall cease to palpitate. Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers When each had numbered more thau fourscore years; And Theophrastus at fourscore and ten Had but begun his “Characters of Men ” Chauser, at Woodstock with the nightingales. At sixty wrote the “Canterbury Tales.” Goethe, at Weimer. toiling to the last, Completed “Faust” when eighty years were past. What then! Shall we sit idly down and say The night hath come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come, we are not quite Cut off from labor by the failing light; Something remains for us to do or dare. Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear, For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress; And as thp evening twilight fades away The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day. —Henry W. Longfellow animal world, each with their various branches and all with their countless thousands of mental associations. E.E. H. Don’t Whine. Someone said: “Whining is poor business; it identifies you at once with the under dog, and does not get you any sympathy at all.” The man who whines confesses his weakness, his inability to match his environment. He cannot command the situation. It is too much for him; all he can do is to kick and complain. The whiner never gets anywhere never accomplishes anything. The man or woman who uses up vitality in complaining, finding fault with circumstances, kicking against fate; who is always protesting that there is no justice in the world, that merit is not rewarded, that the times are out of joint, and that everything is wrong, is put down—rightly—as a weakling, with a small narrow mind. Large-minded men and women do not spend their energies in whining; if they meet an obstruction, they go t hru it, and pass on about their business. They know that all their time and strength must be concentrated on tbe work of making life. The whiner not only wastes his time and his strength but he prejudices peo ple against him. No one feels inclined to help a man who is always complain ing of conditions and blaming his “hard luck.” Somehow we get the feeling that he does not deserve help, so much as a good scolding. The practical business man has no sympathy with the man who complains that he “cannot get a job.” A great many employers object to having peo ple around who complain that “luck has always been against them,” they fear, perhaps, not without reason, that they will create evil conditions. The complaining person, the whiner, by his own conduct places himself at a fear ful disadvantage with a possible em ployer; nobody wants a man who poses as a victim of “hard luck,” who says he cannot get a job. Everybody wants the man who is in great demand.— Success. Admiral Togo’s Home Life. The admiral’s home is in a remote quarter of the city, and is as simple and unpretentious as anything else that belongs to him. I spent a long afternoon with Mme. Togo a little while ago and forced myself to notice the details which usually escape me when strong human interest is present. The little brown house stands back from the street in a small but a well kept garden. The first greeting I re ceived was from two fine setters, who have the privilege of accompanying their master on the long, solitary shoot ing expeditions which are his favorite recreation. As all good dogs speak English, even in Japan, these guardi ans received me amicably and a smil- THE WORTH OF YEARS. ing maid ushered me into a tiny hall, and thence into the sitting room, fash ioned in concession to modern ideas, with a few chairs and tables, and a car pet which relieves the foreign visitor from the uncomfortable necessity of removing his skoes. Mme. Togo is a gentle, intelligent looking woman, with very bright eyes and the quiet, charm ing manner of the old-fashioned Japa nese lady. The first thing she showed me was an object which had evidently given her great pleasure, and which, she said, her husband valued very highly—the little bust of Nelson, made of wood and copper from the Victory, and sent to the admiral by his English admirers a short time before. The curious par allel between the-achievements of the two great sailors and the coincidence of the centenary of Trafalgar occurring at the moment of Togo’s return and the visit of the British fleet has im pressed her, as it had all the Japanese, very deeply. She was still also under the domination of intense relief at her husband’s safe return, and told me that the period of his two absences had seemed unbearably long from the weight of daily and hourly anxiety.— World’s Work. Kept Pledge to Highwayman. The fourth Earl Stanhope, when on his homeward way late one dark night, was held up by the most gentlemanly of highwaymen, who preferred his re quest for money or the nobleman’s life in quite the nicest way. It happened that Lord Stanhope had not any money with him and was disinclined to yield the alternative. “Your watch, then,” suggested the gentleman at the opposite end of the pistol. That watch, the earl explained, was dear to him. He valued it at a hundred guineas, and he would not surrender it. “What I will do,” he said, “is to bring and deposit in this tree the worth of the watch in money, and you can call and get it tomorrow night.” “Done m’lord,”Baid the highwayman. The law knew nothing about this ar rangement, and the earl did as he had promised. He placed the hundred guineas where the highwayman might at his leisure collect it. And there, so far as he knew, the matter ended. Years afterward he attended a great banquet in the city, and found himself pleasantly entertained by an extremely well known man, whose signature was good for a sum in several figures. Next day came to Lord Stanhope a let ter enclosing the sum of one hundred guineas. Accompanying it was a note begging his acceptance of a loan granted some years previously to the man who now forwarded it. That loan, said the letter, had en abled the sender to gain a new start in life, to make a fortune and to renew acquaintance with his lordship. The city magnate and tbe highwayman of earlier days were one and the same.—v London Evening Standard. TERMS: J 111 auvance. 1 Six Months. bO cents.