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inhibited, elaborated and checked. Often enough faulty, it is the chief instrument by which man has become
the leading figure on the world stage. CHAPTER VII.
EXCITEMENT, MONOTONY AND INTEREST
No matter what happens in the outside world, be it something we see, hear or feel, in any sense-field there is
an internal reverberation in our bodies,--excitement. Excitement is the undifferentiated result of stimuli,
whether these come from without or from within. For a change in the glands of the body heaps up changes
within us, which when felt, become excitement. Thus at the mating period of animals, at the puberty of man,
there is a quite evident excitement demonstrated in the conduct of the animal and the adolescent. He who
remembers his own adolescence, or who watches the boy or girl of that age, sees the excitement in the
readiness to laugh, cry, fight or love that is so striking. CHAPTER VII. 54 Undoubtedly the mother-stuff of all emotion is the feeling of excitement. Before any emotion reaches its
characteristic expression there is the preparatory tension of excitement. Joy, sorrow, anger, fear, wonder,
surprise, etc., have in them as a basis the same consciousness of an internal activity, of a world within us
beginning to seethe. Heart, lungs, blood stream, the great viscera and the internal glands, cerebrum and
sympathetic nervous system, all participate in this activity, and the outward visage of excitement is always the
wide-open eye, the slightly parted lips, the flaring nostrils and the slightly tensed muscles of the whole body.
Shouts, cries, the waving of arms and legs, taking the specific direction of some emotion, make of excitement
a fierce discharger of energy, a fact of great importance in the understanding of social and pathological
phenomena. On the other hand, excitement may be so intensely internal that it shifts the blood supply too
vigorously from the head and the result is a swoon. This is more especially true of the excitement that
accompanies sorrow and fear than joy or anger, but even in these emotions it occurs.
There are some very important...
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- Spring '11