Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/91

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

time past I have been working in an odd way; it is no longer I who am working, but only my hands. They get on pretty well, but I have no part in what they do. When it is over I do not recognize my work at all. I see that it is all right; but I feel that I am quite incapable of having accomplished it. If any one said, It is not you who did that! I would answer, True enough, it is not I. When I want to sing, it is impossible to me; yet at other times I hear my voice singing the song very well. It is certainly not I who walk; I feel like a balloon that jumps up and down of itself. When I want to write I find nothing to say; my head is empty, and I must let my hand write what it chooses, and it fills four pages, and if the stuff is silly I can not help it.' The curious point is that in this fashion she produces some really good things. If she makes up a dress or writes a letter, she sometimes shows real talent, but it is all done in a bizarre way. She looks absorbed in her work, but yet is unconscious of it; when she lifts her head she seems dazed, as if she were coming out of a dream, and does not recollect what she has been doing. . . . Although she still has activity, she has no longer the personal consciousness of this activity, and her acts therefore can no longer be called voluntary."

I have now briefly analyzed the leading types of what is known as double or multiple personality. Successive changes of personality are demonstrated facts. That subconscious states of some sort exist is also exceedingly probable. For the existence of simultaneous personalities there is also good evidence, and in some cases I am inclined to admit it. Yet I believe that we can not be too careful in making use of these conceptions. While the evidence upon which they are based is stong, it must not be forgotten that it is largely selected evidence, that multitudes of cases remain for which these theories afford no adequate explanation, and that the metaphysical basis upon which the theory itself rests is far from finally established. While formulating theories, we must not become theorists.


Raising bacteria for the general market is an entirely new business which a large German firm of color manufacturers has recently engaged in. They advertise that they will deliver, under the name of nitrazin, cultures of bacteria with which to inoculate various leguminous crops, to the increase of their yield and improvement of their quality. Their stock includes pure cultivations of nodule organisms suitable to the growth of seventeen varieties of beans, clover, and other crops of the family mentioned. Each bottle is labeled according to the crop for which it is intended, of which the botanical and the German name are given. Sixty-three cents will procure enough bacteria to inoculate half an acre of land.