CHAPTER VIII
DISSOCIATION AND ALLIED PHENOMENA

He who is fatally diseased in one organ necessarily pays the penalty with his life, though all the others be in perfect health. -- DRUMMOND

In all our discussions hitherto we have tried to emphasize the notion that no function of the organism is a strictly local affair but that the functions we have described are illustrations of the unity of the organism. Our observations concerning the developing of the vast network of conditioned reactions that is implied in acquiring education and skill suggest the interdependence of all of a vast number of part systems of nerve-muscle-gland connections -- many more indeed than can be traced by laboratory technique of the most refined order that has been devised to the present. For even our higher mental processes are conceived as one aspect of processes within such systems, even though they be temporary and less firmly knitted as compared with the bases of, for example, our prepotent reflexes and the like. This means that every act of thinking, as well as every emotional stirring, every act of observing, etc. is the only act that can occur in view of all the attendant circumstances in the organism as a whole. And this in turn means that there are organized systems within systems. We are more ready to demonstrate our knee jerk reactions when we find ourselves in the reaction chair in the laboratory than when we are sitting at dinner, though we may make the demonstration in the latter situation, too. And are we not much more predisposed to think out our problems in chemistry when we are in the laboratory confronted by our array of test tubes than when we are on the golf links? But we may, nevertheless, revert to these problems on the green. Moreover, at our study desk we are all set to think of our scientific hobby and we pursue it with persistence and determination. Other subjects are not likely to break in, although they may do so. We may turn aside in our thinking from our scientific to our literary hobby or to a prospective game of golf. All this is saying that, after a manner of speaking, our personalities are composed of compartments that are more or less insulated against one another.

-131-

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