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On the other hand excitement may be so intensely

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Unformatted text preview: lengthened out, 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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