248 PSYCHOLOGY AND PREACHING
develop a considerable measure of mental unity among themselves, so as to act concertedly; their reaction against the contagious influence forces them, to some extent, into psychical fusion with one another. They are much more able to stem the general tide when close together and acting as a unit than when scattered throughout the crowd as iso lated centres of resistance. It is another case " of united we stand, divided we fall." But if there is a considerable number of such persons, and they come together so as to form a distinct group, there is always danger that the as sembly will develop into two opposing groups, each of which will be under the sway of the mob-mind forming a sort of double-headed mob. This not unfrequently happens, and then it is that irrational violence reaches, perhaps, its maximum. On the other hand, if such persons remain scattered throughout the crowd and from several centres undertake to resist the contagion and break up the unity by interruptions and counter-demonstrations of any sort, the situation is likely to become one of extreme agitation; the intellectual process will be inhibited in all, partially if not wholly; but the only emotion which will be dominant will be confused excitement, and there will be what may be called a chaotic crowd. In such a situation one part of the fusion process takes place the inhibition of the rational process. All individualities are reduced to a com mon denominator, but that is only a powerful, though vague, agitation caused by psychical cross-currents ; and in no other sense does mental unification take place.
We should turn now to consider the means and methods by which the process of fusion may be promoted.
The first is the close crowding of the people. Bodily proximity of a group of persons renders the passing of in fluences from one to another much more rapid and easy. Slight movements, subtile and fleeting changes of counte nance are more readily observed, and the ideas and feelings of which they are the expression are more surely and rapidly communicated. Wide separation tends to produce