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Consciousness In Delirium

At this time of our study it will suffice to say that in delirium and in
insanity, which we might very broadly call a prolonged delirium, the
toxic brain becomes a house in disorder. The censor is sick, and
sequence and coherence are lost as the thronging thoughts of the
unconscious mind press beyond the portals into consciousness, disordered
and confused. We shall later find, however, that this very disorder
falls into a sort of order of its own, and a dominant emotion of pain or
ecstasy, of depression or fear, of exaltation or depreciation calls
steadily upon the stored away incidents and remembered, related
feelings of the past and interprets them as present reality. The censor
of the sick brain is stupefied by toxins, shock, or exhaustion, and the
citadel he is supposed to guard is thronged with besiegers from every
side. The strongest--i. e., those equipped with most associations
pertinent to the emotional status at the time--win out, occupy the brain
by force, and demand recognition and expression from all the senses,
deluding them by their guise of the reality of external matter.

We find consciousness, then, determined by all past experience, by an
external world, and by its organ of expression--the brain.

Consequently, our psychology leads us into anatomy and physiology,
which, probably, we have already fairly mastered. In rapid review, only,
in the following chapter we shall consider the organs of man's
consciousness, the brain, spinal cord, and the senses, and try to
establish some relation between the material body and its mighty
propelling force--the mind.

Next: Organs Of Consciousness

Previous: Consciousness In Sleep

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