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Unformatted text preview: tem, our impulses, instincts, and reflexes have their own policy of action and therefore need, for
the good of the entire organism, discipline and coordination. It may sound as if the body were made up of
warring entities and states and that there gradually arose a centralized good, and though the analogy may lead
to error, it offers a convenient method of thinking.
 Roux, the great French biologist, has shown that each tissue and each cell competes with the other tissues
and the other cells. The organism, though it reaches a practical working unity as viewed by consciousness, is
nevertheless no entity; it is a collection, an aggregate of living cells which are organized on a cooperation
basis just as men are, but maintain individuality and competition nevertheless.
Moreover, the organizing energy seems often to be at work when consciousness itself is at rest, as in sleep.
Often enough a man debates and debates on lines of conduct and wakes up with his problem solved. Or he
works hard to learn and goes to bed discouraged, because the matter is a jumble, and wakes up in the morning
with an orderly and useful arrangement of the facts. A writer seeks to find the proper opening,--and gives up
in a frenzy of despair. He is perhaps walking or driving when suddenly he lifts his head as one does who is
listening to a longed-for voice, and in himself he finds the phrases that he longs for. Something within has set
itself, so it seems, the task of bringing the right associations into consciousness. What we call quickness of
mind, energy of mind, is largely this function.
It is this which adapts us to different situations, different groups, by calling into play organized modes of
talking or acting. We pass from a group of ladies in whose presence we have been friendly but decorous,
perhaps unconventionally formal, to a group of business intimates, men of long acquaintance. Without even
being conscious of it we lounge around, feet on the table, carelessly dropping cigarette ash to the floor, using
language chosen for force rather than elegance;...
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- Spring '11