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 int
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.