When a creature develops to the point that it

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Unformatted text preview: humiliated man is anhedonic, even if he is a philosopher. The most striking cases are seen in men who have been swung from humdrum existence to the exciting, disagreeable life of war and then back to their former life. The former task cannot be taken up or is carried on with great effort; the zest of things has disappeared, and what was so longed for while in the service seems flat and stale, especially if it is now realized that there are far more interesting fields of effort. In a lesser degree, the romances that girls feed on unfit them for sober realities, and the expectation of marriage built up by romantic novel and theater do far more harm than good. The triangle play or story is less mischievous than the one which paints married life as an amorous glow. CHAPTER XI. 87 One could write a volume on eagerness, enthusiasm and passion, satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Life, to be worth the living, must have its enthusiasms, must swing constantly from desire to satisfaction, or else seems void and painful. Great purposes are the surest to maintain enthusiasm, little purposes become flat. He who hitches his wagon to a star must risk indeed, but there is a thrill to his life outweighing the joy of minor success. To reenthuse the apathetic is an individual problem. When the lowered pressure of the energy feeling is physical in origin, then rest and exercise, massage hydrotherapy, medicines (especially the bitter tonics), change of scene are valuable. And even where the cause is not in illness, these procedures have great value for in stimulating the organism the function of enthusiasm is recharged. But one does not neglect the value of new hopes, new interests, friendship, physical pleasure and above all a new philosophy, a philosophy based on readjustment and the nobility of struggle. Not all people can thus be reached, for in some, perhaps many cases, the loss of these desires is the beginning of mental disease, but patient effort and intelligent sympathetic understanding still work...
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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 Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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