If thought is a product of the brain activated by the

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Unformatted text preview: y. He then receives the credit that belonged to Nature. Medical men understand this,--that many diseases are "self-limited" and pass through a cycle influenced but little by treatment. But faith curists do not so understand, and neither does the mass of people, so that neither one nor the other CHAPTER I. 15 separates "post hoc" from "propter hoc." If the truth were told, most of the miracle and faith cures that are not of hysterical origin are due to coincidence. Faith curists report in detail their successes, but we have no statistics whatever of their failures. If thought is a product of the brain activated by the rest of the organism, it would be perfectly natural to expect that thought would influence the organism. That thought is intimately associated with impulses to action is well known. This action largely takes place in the speech muscles but also it irradiates into the rest of the organism. Especially is this true if the thought is associated with some emotion. Emotion, as we shall discuss it later, is at least in large part a bodily reaction, a disturbance in heart, lungs, abdominal organs, blood vessels, sympathetic nervous system, endocrines, etc. The effect of thought and emotion upon the body, whether to heighten its activity or to lower its activity, is, from my point of view, merely the effect of one function of the organism upon others. We are not surprised if digestion affects thinking and mood, and we need not be surprised if thought and mood disturb or improve digestion. And we may substitute for digestion any other organic function. As a working basis, substantiated by the kind of proof we use in our daily lives in laboratories and machine shops, we may state that mind, character and personality are organic in their origin and are functions of the entire organism. What a man thinks, does and feels (or perhaps we should reverse this order) is the result of environmental forces playing upon a marvelously intricate organism in which every part reacts on every other part, in which nervous energy influences digestion and digestion influences nervous energy, in which enzym...
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