Let us watch that infant as it sprawls in its little

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Unformatted text preview: of modesty, a modified sex impulse, have made it immoral for a woman to show her leg above the calf while in her street clothes,[1] though she may wear a bathing suit without reproach. [1] This is, of course, not quite so true in 1921 as in 1910. Whatever a desire is basically, it tends quickly to organize itself in character. It gathers to itself emotions, sentiments, intelligence; it plans and it wills, it battles against other desires. I say IT, as if the desire were an entity, a personality, but what I mean is that the somatic and cerebral activities of a desire become so organized as to operate as a unit. A permanent excitability of these nervous centers as a unit is engendered, and these are easily aroused either by a stimulus from the body or from without. Thus the sex impulse arises directly from tensions within the sex organs but is built up and elaborated by approval of and admiration for beauty, strength and intelligence, by the desire for possession and mastery, by competitive feeling, until it may become drawn out into the elaborate purpose of marriage or the family. What is the ego that desires and plans? I do not know, but if it is in any part a metaphysical entity of permanent nature in so far it does not become the subject matter of this book. For as a metaphysical entity it is uncontrollable, and the object of science is to discover and utilize the controllable elements of the world. I CHAPTER XI. 89 may point out that even those philosophers and theologians to whom the ego is an entity of supernatural origin deny their own standpoint every time they seek to convince, persuade or force the ego of some one to a new belief or new line of action; deny it every time they say, "I am tired and I shall rest; then I shall think better and can plan better." Such a philosopher says in essence, "I have an entity within me totally and incommensurably different from my body," and then he goes on to prove that this entity operates better when the body is rested and fed than otherwise...
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