Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/353

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
 

cabin'd and confinM by the imperious requirements of examination standards, involves not only the discipline of those faculties whose powers have been cultivated, but also, and more especially of those which are weak or which have been overlooked and neglected. To secure, so to speak, the symmetric development of the mind, the due balance and training of its several powers should be aimed at. By careful observation alike of the strong and of the weak points of your mental organisation, you will be able to select such lines of study as shall tend to develop the weak and to corroborate the strong. Whatever of mental training your antecedent studies may have effected for you, you may rest assured that you have intellectual faculties which stand in need of further exercise and discipline. In the earnest effort to "know thyself" you may find, for example, that the faculty of imagination is stronger than that of reasoning; that the power of association is greater than that of generalisation ; or that the faculty of memory is developed out of all proportion to that of judgment. And here I may be permitted to observe that the remarkable power of memory which most native students undoubtedly possess is frequently rather a hindrance than a help to them in making the results of study their own. Materials of thought collected and recalled by memory alone too frequently fail to pass further into the mind. They are consequently neither digested nor assimilated. The bare materials of knowledge may be accumulated, but it is thinking alone which makes what we read ours. The philosophic Locke puts this truth forcibly thus, — "We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections ; unless we chew them over again, they will not give us sti^ngth and nourishment." Above all, you may find that your mental training is defective, not from lack of capacity, but from some remediable or irremediable weakness of the will which robs you of the power of controlling your own minds. Never let it be forgotten that with steady effort, aided by the cumulative power of habit, the processes of the intellect can be brought under the control of the will. Set out, then, with a determination not only to comprehend but also to master your own minds. Many an educated man passes through life the possessor of a mind of more than average power, which, because unmastered by the will, is useless and dangerous in proportion to its power and impulse. The frivolous, the wandering, the prejudiced, the uncertain, the impulsive, and the vitiated, not to speak of the diseased, are examples among many of minds which have escaped from the necessary autocracy of the will. "This due