Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/331

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which we before dwelt on with delight, now excite no feelings hut those of pain, or at best of insouciance.

Now, there are many persons in whom these opposite Emotional states are induced by Meteorological conditions; the one by a dry, clear, bright atmosphere; the other by that close, damp, "muggy" state of the air, which seems to lay a "wet blanket" upon all their enjoyment, both bodily and mental. And precisely the same depressing influence is often experienced from deficient action of the liver, causing an accumulation of the materials of bile in the blood; and it is just as apparent to the Physician that the elimination of these by appropriate remedies, so as to restore the Blood to its normal purity, thereby removes the Moral depression, as it is that the introduction of a minute quantity of Hashish into the Blood produces a Moral exaltation.

In these days of eager competition, again, it is extremely common for a psychical state to be induced by the overtasking of the Brain, which every intelligent medical practitioner recognizes as essentially physical in its origin, but which yet manifests itself chiefly in moral, and not unfrequently, also, in intellectual perversion. The excess of activity is followed, as its natural result, by a state of depression; in which the subject of it looks at every thing, past, present, and future, in a gloomy light, as through a darkened glass. His whole life has been evil; he has brought ruin on his affairs; his dearest friends are in league to injure him. At first this moral perversion extends itself only to a misinterpretation of actual occurrences, which only differs in degree from that which we observe in persons of a morose temper. But, with the advance of the disorder, the mind dwells on its own morbid imaginings, till they come to take the place of actual facts; and in this way hallucinations are generated—i. e., creations of the imagination, which are accepted as real occurrences. Now, here there is no primary intellectual perversion; the reasoning powers are not disturbed; the patient can discuss with perfect sanity any question that does not touch his morbid feelings; but the representations shaped by his own mind, under the influence of these feelings, being received as truths to the exclusion of his common-sense, all his actions are based on those erroneous data. This condition is merely an intensification of that just described; and the Physician can no more doubt that it depends upon an unhealthy condition of the bodily frame, than that the delirium of fever and the fantasia of Hashish are dependent upon the presence of a poison in the blood.


The Psychologist who neglects such phenomena as these, merely because the inferences drawn from them by the Physiologist have a dangerous flavor of "materialism," seems to me just as blameworthy as the Physiologist who ignores the facts of consciousness, when they do not happen to fit in with his own conclusions. The true Psychologist is he who lays the foundations of his science broad and deep in