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Introduction to the Science of Sociology - старонка 47

Principles of Psychology. Ansel Bourne was an itinerant preacher living at Greene, Rhode Island. On January 19, 1887, he drew $551.00 from a bank in Providence and entered a Pawtucket horse car and disappeared. He was advertised as missing, foul play being suspected.

On the morning of March 24, at Norristown, Pennsylvania, a man calling himself A. J. Brown awoke in a fright and called on the people of the house to tell him who he was. Later he said he was Ansel Bourne. Nothing was known of him in Norristown except that six weeks before he had rented a small shop, stocked it with stationery, confectionery, and other small articles, and was carrying on a quiet trade "without seeming to anyone unnatural or eccentric." At first it was thought he was insane, but his story was confirmed and he was returned to his home. It was then deemed that he had lost all memory of the period which had elapsed since he boarded the Pawtucket car. What he had done or where he had been between the time he left Providence and arrived in Norristown, no one had the slightest information.

In 1890 he was induced by William James to submit to hypnotism in order to see whether in his trance state his "Brown" memories would come back. The experiment was so successful that, as James remarks, "it proved quite impossible to make him, while in hypnosis, remember any of the facts of his normal life." The report continues:

He had heard of Ansel Bourne, but "didn't know as he had ever met the man." When confronted with Mrs. Bourne he said that he had "never seen the woman before," etc. On the other hand, he told of his peregrinations during the lost fortnight, and gave all sorts of details about the Norristown episode. The whole thing was prosaic enough; and the Brown-personality seems to be nothing but a rather shrunken, dejected, and amnesic extract of Mr. Bourne himself. He gave no motive for the wandering except that there was "trouble back there" and he "wanted rest." During the trance he looks old, the corners of his mouth are drawn down, his voice is slow and weak, and he sits screening his eyes and trying vainly to remember what lay before and after the two months of the Brown experience. "I'm all hedged in," he says, "I can't get out at either end. I don't know what set me down in that Pawtucket horse-car, and I don't know how I ever left that store or what became of it." His eyes are practically normal, and all his sensibilities (save for tardier response) about the same in hypnosis as in waking. I had hoped by suggestion to run the two personalities into one, and make the memories continuous, but no artifice would avail to accomplish this, and Mr. Bourne's skull today still covers two distinct personal selves.

An interesting circumstance with respect to this case and others is that the different personalities, although they inhabit the same body and divide between them the experiences of a single individual, not only regard themselves as distinct and independent persons but they exhibit marked differences in character, temperament, and tastes, and frequently profess for one another a decided antipathy. The contrasts in temperament and character displayed by these split-off personalities are illustrated in the case of Miss Beauchamp, to whose strange and fantastic history Morton Prince has devoted a volume of nearly six hundred pages.

In this case, the source of whose morbidity was investigated by means of hypnotism, not less than three distinct personalities in addition to that of the original and real Miss Beauchamp were evolved. Each one of these was distinctly different and decidedly antipathetic to the others.

Pierre Janet's patient, Madam B, however, is the classic illustration of this dissociated personality. From the time she was sixteen years of age, Léonie, as she was called, had been so frequently hypnotized and subjected to so much clinical experimentation that a well-organized secondary personality was elaborated, which was designated as Léontine. Léonie was a poor peasant woman, serious, timid, and melancholy. Léontine was gay, noisy, restless, and ironical. Léontine did not recognize that she had any relationship with Léonie, whom she referred to as "that good woman," "the other," who "is not I, she is too stupid." Eventually a third personality, known as Léonore, appeared who did not wish to be mistaken for either that "good but stupid woman" Léonie, nor for the "foolish babbler" Léontine.

Of these personalities Léonie possessed only her own memories, Léontine possessed the memories of Léonie and her own, while the memories of Léonore, who was superior to them both, included Madam B's whole life.

What is particularly interesting in connection with this phenomenon of multiple personality is the fact that it reveals in a striking way the relation of the subconscious to the conscious. The term subconscious, as it occurs in the literature of psychology, is a word of various meanings. In general, however, we mean by subconscious a region of consciousness in which the dissociated memories, the "suppressed complexes," as they are called, maintain some sort of conscious existence and exercise an indirect though very positive influence upon the ideas in the focus of consciousness, and so upon the behavior of the individual. The subconscious, in short, is the region of the suppressed memories. They are suppressed because they have come into conflict with the dominant complex in consciousness which represents the personality of the individual.

"Emotional conflicts" have long been the theme of literary analysis and discussion. In recent years they have become the subject of scientific investigation. In fact a new school of medical psychology with a vast literature has grown up around and out of the investigations of the effects of the suppression of a single instinct--the sexual impulse. A whole class of nervous disorders, what are known as psychoneuroses, are directly attributed by Dr. Sigmund Freud and the psychoanalytic school, as it is called, to these suppressions, many of which consist of memories that go back to the period of early childhood before the sexual instinct had attained the form that it has in adults.

The theory of Freud, stated briefly, amounts to this: As a result of emotional conflicts considerable portions of the memories of certain individuals, with the motor impulses connected with them, are thrust into the background of the mind, that is to say, the subconscious. Such suppressed memories, with the connected motor dispositions, he first named "suppressed complexes." Now it is found that these suppressed complexes, which no longer respond to stimulations as they would under normal conditions, may still exercise an indirect influence upon the ideas which are in the focus of consciousness. Under certain conditions they may not get into consciousness at all but manifest themselves, for example, in the form of hysterical tics, twitchings, and muscular convulsions.

Under other circumstances the ideas associated with the suppressed complexes tend to have a dominating and controlling place in the life of the individual. All our ideas that have a sentimental setting are of this character. We are all of us a little wild and insane upon certain subjects or in regard to certain persons or objects. In such cases a very trivial remark or even a gesture will fire one of these loaded ideas. The result is an emotional explosion, a sudden burst of weeping, a gust of violent, angry, and irrelevant emotion, or, in case the feelings are more under control, merely a bitter remark or a chilling and ironical laugh. It is an interesting fact that a jest may serve as well to give expression to the "feelings" as an expletive or any other emotional expression. All forms of fanaticism, fixed ideas, phobias, ideals, and cherished illusions may be explained as the effects of mental mechanisms created by the suppressed complexes.

From what has been said we are not to assume that there is any necessary and inevitable conflict among ideas. In our dreams and day-dreams, as in fairyland, our memories come and go in the most disorderly and fantastic way, so that we may seem to be in two places at the same time, or we may even be two persons, ourselves and someone else. Everything trips lightly along, in a fantastic pageant without rhyme or reason. We discover something of the same freedom when we sit down to speculate about any subject. All sorts of ideas present themselves; we entertain them for a moment, then dismiss them and turn our attention to some other mental picture which suits our purpose better. At such times we do not observe any particular conflict between one set of ideas and another. The lion and the lamb lie down peacefully together, and even if the lamb happens to be inside we are not particularly disturbed.

Conflict arises between memories when our personal interests are affected, when our sentiments are touched, when some favorite opinion is challenged. Conflict arises between our memories when they are connected with some of our motor dispositions, that is to say, when we begin to act. Memories which are suppressed as a result of emotional conflicts, memories associated with established motor dispositions, inevitably tend to find some sort of direct or symbolic expression. In this way they give rise to the symptoms which we meet in hysteria and psychasthenia--fears, phobias, obsessions, and tics, like stammering.

The suppressed complexes do not manifest themselves in the pathological forms only, but neither do the activities of the normal complexes give any clear and unequivocal evidence of themselves in ordinary consciousness. We are invariably moved to act by motives of which we are only partially conscious or wholly unaware. Not only is this true, but the accounts we give to ourselves and others of the motives upon which we acted are often wholly fictitious, although they may be given in perfect good faith.

A simple illustration will serve, however, to indicate how this can be effected. In what is called post-hypnotic suggestion we have an illustration of the manner in which the waking mind may be influenced by impulses of whose origin and significance the subject is wholly unaware. In a state of hypnotic slumber the suggestion is given that after awaking the subject will, upon a certain signal, rise and open the window or turn out the light. He is accordingly awakened and, at the signal agreed upon while he was in the hypnotic slumber but of which he is now wholly unconscious, he will immediately carry out the command as previously given. If the subject is then asked why he opened the window or turned out the light, he will, in evident good faith, make some ordinary explanation, as that "it seemed too hot in the room," or that he "thought the light in the room was disagreeable." In some cases, when the command given seems too absurd, the subject may not carry it out, but he will then show signs of restlessness and discomfort, just for instance as one feels when he is conscious that he has left something undone which he intended to do, although he can no longer recall what it was. Sometimes when the subject is not disposed to carry out the command actually given, he will perform some other related act as a substitute, just as persons who have an uneasy conscience, while still unwilling to make restitution or right the wrong which they have committed, will perform some other act by way of expiation.

Our moral sentiments and social attitudes are very largely fixed and determined by our past experiences of which we are only vaguely conscious.

"This same principle," as Morton Prince suggests, "underlies what is called the 'social conscience,' the 'civic' and 'national conscience,' 'patriotism,' 'public opinion,' what the Germans call 'Sittlichkeit,' the war attitude of mind, etc. All these mental attitudes may be reduced to common habits of thought and conduct derived from mental experiences common to a given community and conserved as complexes in the unconscious of the several individuals of the community."

Sentiments were first defined and distinguished from the emotions by Shand, who conceived of them as organizations of the emotions about some particular object or type of object. Maternal love, for example, includes the emotions of fear, anger, joy, or sorrow, all organized about the child. This maternal love is made up of innate tendencies but is not itself a part of original nature. It is the mother's fostering care of the child which develops her sentiments toward it, and the sentiment attaches to any object that is bound up with the life of the child. The cradle is dear to the mother because it is connected with her occupation in caring for the child. The material fears for its welfare, her joy in its achievements, her anger with those who injure or even disparage it, are all part of the maternal sentiment.

The mother's sentiment determines her attitude toward her child, toward other children, and toward children in general. Just as back of every sensation, perception, or idea there is some sort of motor disposition, so our attitudes are supported by our sentiments. Back of every political opinion there is a political sentiment and it is the sentiment which gives force and meaning to the opinion.

Thus we may think of opinions merely as representative of a psycho-physical mechanism, which we may call the sentiment-attitude. These sentiment-attitudes are to be regarded in turn as organizations of the original tendencies, the instinct-emotions, about some memory, idea, or object which is, or once was, the focus and the end for which the original tendencies thus organized exist. In this way opinions turn out, in the long run, to rest on original nature, albeit original nature modified by experience and tradition.

C. THE FOUR WISHES: A CLASSIFICATION OF SOCIAL FORCES

1. The Wish, the Social Atom[166]

The Freudian psychology is based on the doctrine of the "wish," just as physical science is based, today, on the concept of function. Both of these are what may be called dynamic concepts, rather than static; they envisage natural phenomena not as things but as processes and largely to this fact is due their pre-eminent explanatory value. Through the "wish" the "thing" aspect of mental phenomena, the more substantive "content of consciousness," becomes somewhat modified and reinterpreted. This "wish," which as a concept Freud does not analyze, includes all that would commonly be so classed, and also whatever would be called impulse, tendency, desire, purpose, attitude, and the like, not including, however, any emotional components thereof. Freud also acknowledges the existence of what he calls "negative wishes," and these are not fears but negative purposes. An exact definition of the "wish" is that it is a course of action which some mechanism of the body is set to carry out, whether it actually does so or does not. All emotions, as well as the feelings of pleasure and displeasure, are separable from the "wishes," and this precludes any thought of a merely hedonistic psychology. The wish is any purpose of project for a course of action, whether it is being merely entertained by the mind or is being actually executed--a distinction which is really of little importance. We shall do well if we consider this to be, as in fact it is, dependent on a motor attitude of the physical body, which goes over into overt action and conduct when the wish is carried into execution.

It is this "wish" which transforms the principal doctrines of psychology and recasts the science, much as the "atomic theory" and later the "ionic theory" have reshaped earlier conceptions of chemistry. This so-called "wish" becomes the unit of psychology, replacing the older unit commonly called "sensation," which latter, it is to be noted, was a content of consciousness unit, whereas the "wish" is a more dynamic affair.

Unquestionably the mind is somehow "embodied" in the body. But how? Well, if the unit of mind and character is a "wish," it is easy enough to perceive how it is incorporated. It is, this "wish," something which the body as a piece of mechanism can do--a course of action with regard to the environment which the machinery of the body is capable of carrying out. This capacity resides clearly in the parts of which the body consists and in the way in which these are put together, not so much in the matter of which the body is composed, as in the forms which this matter assumes when organized.

In order to look at this more closely we must go a bit down the evolutionary series to the fields of biology and physiology. Here we find much talk of nerves and muscles, sense-organs, reflex arcs, stimulation, and muscular response, and we feel that somehow these things do not reach the core of the matter, and that they never can; that spirit is not nerve or muscle; and that intelligent conduct, to say nothing of conscious thought, can never be reduced to reflex arcs and the like--just as a printing press is not merely wheels and rollers, and still less is it chunks of iron. The biologist has only himself to thank if he has overlooked a thing which lay directly under his nose. He has overlooked the 2014-07-19 18:44
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