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Unformatted text preview: to the state of the bowels. The
famous story of Voltaire and the Englishman, in which the sage agreed to suicide because life was not worth
living when his digestion was disordered and who broke his agreement when he purged himself, illustrates
how closely mood is related to the intestinal tract. And mood is the background of the psychic life, upon
which depends the direction of our thoughts, cheerful or otherwise, the vigor of our will and purpose. Mood
itself arises in part from the influences that stream into the muscles, joints, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys,
digestive tract and all the organs and tissues by way of the afferent nerves (sympathetic and cerebro-spinal).
Mood is thus in part a reflection of the health and proper working of the organism; it is the most important
aspect of the subconsciousness, and upon it rests the structure of character and personality.
 What is called coarse is frequently crudely true. Thus, in the streets, in the workshops, and where men
untrammeled by niceties engage in personalities the one who believes the other to be a "crank" informs him in
crude language that he has intestinal stasis (to put the diagnosis in medical language) and advises him
accordingly to "take a pill."
This does not mean that only the healthy are cheerful, or that the sick are discouraged. To affirm the
dependence of mind upon body is not to deny that one may build up faith, hope, courage, through example
and precept, or that one may not inherit a cheerfulness and courage (or the reverse). "There are men," says CHAPTER I. 14 James, "who are born under a cloud." But exceptional individuals aside, the mass of mankind generates its
mood either in the tissues of the body or in the circumstances of life.
Children, because they have not built up standards of thought, mood and act, demonstrate in a remarkable
manner the dependence of their character upon health.
A child shows the onset of an illness by a complete change in character. I remember one sociable, amiable la...
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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