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Unformatted text preview: haracter of man. As we see him in operation, the
synthesis is so complete that we can hardly discern the component parts. Inheritance, social pressure,
excitement, interest, love, hate, self-interest, duty and obligation, --these are not unitary in the least and there
is constantly a false dissection to be made, an artefact, in order that clearness in presentation may be obtained.
We see men as discharging energy in work and play, in the activities that help or hurt themselves and the race.
They obtain that energy from the world without, from the sunshine, the air, the plants and the animals; it is
built up in their bodies, it is discharged either because some inner tension builds up a desire or because some
outer stimulus, environmental or social, directs it. Though we have no way of measuring one man's energy
against another, we say, perhaps erroneously, "He is very energetic," or "He is not"; "He is tireless," or "He
breaks down easily." As students of character, we must take this question of the energies of men into account
as integral in our study.
Granting that the human being takes in energy as food and drink and builds it up into dischargeable tissues,
we are not further concerned with the details of its physiology. How does the feeling of energy arise, what
increases the energy discharge and what blocks, inhibits or lowers it? For from day to day, from hour to hour,
we are conscious either of a desire to be active, a feeling of capacity or the reverse. We depend on that feeling
of capacity to guide us, and though it is organic, it has its mysterious disappearances and marvelous
It arises, so we assume, from the visceral-neuronic activities, subconsciously, in the sense we have used that
word. It therefore fluctuates with health, with fatigue, with the years. We marvel at the energy of childhood
and youth, and the deepest sadness we have is the depletion of energy-feeling in old age. We love energy in
ourselves and we yield admiration, willing o...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11