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Unformatted text preview: enting of this, and controlled thinking follows associations that are, as it were, laid down by the goal. In
fatigue, in illness, in certain of the mental diseases, the failure of the organizing energy brings about failure
"to concentrate" and the tyranny of casual associations annoys and angers. The stock complaint of the
neurasthenic that everything distracts his attention is a reversion back to the unorganized conditions of
childhood, with this essential difference: that the neurasthenic rebels against his difficulty in thinking, whereas CHAPTER VI. 50 the child has no rebellion against that which is his normal state. Minds differ primarily and hugely in their
power of organizing experience, in so studying and recording the past that it becomes a guide for the, future.
Basic in this is the power of resisting the irrelevant association, of checking those automatic mental activities
that tend to be stirred up by each sound, each sight, smell, taste and touch. The man whose task has no appeal
for him has to fight to keep his mind on it, and there are other people, the so-called absent-minded, who are so
over- concentrated, so wedded to a goal in thought, that lesser matters are neither remembered nor noticed. In
its excess overconcentration is a handicap, since it robs one of that alertness for new impressions, new sources
of thought so necessary for growth. The fine mind is that which can pursue successfully a goal in thought but
which picks en route to that goal, out of the irrelevant associations, something that enriches its conclusions.
Not often enough is mechanical skill, hand-mindedness, considered as one of the prime phases of intelligence.
Intelligence, en route to the conquest of the world, made use of that marvelous instrument, the human hand,
which in its opposable thumb and little finger sharply separates man from the rest of creation. Studying causes
and effects, experimenting to produce effect, the hand became the principal instrument in investigation, and
the prime verifier of belief. "Seeing is believing" is not nearly so accurate as "Handling is believin...
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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.
- Spring '11