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Driving Power Of Thought
BEING THE THIRD IN A SERIES OF TWELVE VOLUMES ON THE APPLICATIONS
OF PSYCHOLOGY TO THE PROBLEMS OF PERSONAL AND BUSINESS EFFICIENCY
© David De Angelis 2017 – all rights reserved
CHAPTER 1 JUDICIAL MENTAL OPERATIONS
CHAPTER 2. CAUSAL JUDGMENTS
CHAPTER 3. CLASSIFYING JUDGMENTS
CHAPTER 4. THE FOUR PRIME LAWS OF ASSOCIATION
CHAPTER 5. EMOTIONAL ENERGY IN BUSINESS
CHAPTER 6. HOW TO SELECT EMPLOYEES
One of the greatest discoveries of modern times is the impellent energy of thought. That every idea in consciousness is energizing and carries with it an impulse to some kind of muscular activity is a comparatively new but well-settled principle of psychology. That this principle could be made to serve practical ends seems never to have occurred to anyone until within the last few years.
Certain eminent pioneers in therapeutic psychology, such men as Prince, Gerrish, Sidis, Janet, Binet and other physician-scientists, have lately made practical use of the vitalizing influence of certain classes of ideas in the healing of disease. We shall go farther than these men have gone and show you that the impellent energy of ideas is the means to all practical achievement and to all practical success.
Preceding books in this Course have taught that—
All human achievement comes about through some form of bodily activity.
All bodily activity is caused, controlled and directed by the mind.
The mind is the instrument you must employ for the accomplishment of any purpose.
You have learned that the fundamental processes of the mind are the Sense-Perceptive Process and the Judicial Process.
So far you have considered only the former—that is to say, sense-impressions and our perception of them. You have learned through an analysis of this process that the environment that prescribes your conduct and defines your career is wholly mental, the product of your own selective attention, and that it is capable of such deliberate molding and adjustment by you as will best promote your interests.
But the mere perception of sense-impressions, though a fundamental part of our mental life, is by no means the whole of it.
The mind is also able to look at these perceptions, to assign them a meaning and to reflect upon them. These operations constitute what are called the Judicial Processes of the Mind.
The Judicial Processes of the Mind are of two kinds, so that, in the last analysis, there are, in addition to sense-perceptions, two, and only two, types of thought. One of these types of thought is called a Causal Judgment and the other a Classifying Judgment.
A Causal Judgment interprets and explains sense-perceptions. For instance, the tiny baby's first vague notion that something, no knowing what, must have caused the impressions of warmth and whiteness and roundness and smoothness that accompany the arrival of its milk-bottle—this is a causal judgment.
The very first conclusion that you form concerning any sensation that reaches you is that something produced it, though you may not be very clear as to just what that something is. The conclusions of the infant mind, for example, along this line must be decidedly vague and indefinite, probably going no further than to determine that the cause is either inside or outside of the body. Even then its judgment may be far from sure.
Yet, baby or grown-up, young or old, the first effort of every human mind upon the receipt and perception of a sensation is to find out what produced it. The conclusion as to what did produce any particular sensation is plainly enough a judgment, and since it is a judgment determining the cause of the sensation, it may well be termed a causal judgment.
Causal judgments, taken by themselves, are necessarily very indefinite. They do not go much beyond deciding that each individual sensation has a cause, and is not the result of chance on the one hand nor of spontaneous brain excitement on the other. Taken by themselves, causal judgments are disconnected and all but meaningless.
I look out of my window at the red-roofed stone schoolhouse across the way, and, so far as the eye-picture alone is concerned, all that I get is an impression of a flat, irregularly shaped figure, part white and part red. The image has but two dimensions, length and breadth, being totally lacking in depth or perspective. It is a flat, distorted, irregular outline of two of the four sides of the building. It is not at all like the big solid masonry structure in which a thousand children are at work. My causal judgments trace this eyepicture to its source, but they do not add the details of distance, perspective, form and size, that distinguish the reality from an architect's front elevation. These causal judgments of visual perceptions must be associated and compared with others before a real "idea" of the schoolhouse can come to me.
Taken by themselves, then, causal judgments fall far short of giving us that truthful account of the outside world which we feel that our senses can be depended on to convey.
If there were no mental processes other than sense-perceptions and causal judgments, every man's mind would be the useless repository of a vast collection of facts, each literally true, but all without arrangement, association or utility. Our notion of what the outside world is like would be very different from what it is. We would have no concrete
"ideas" or conceptions, such as "house," "book," "table," and so on. Instead, all our "thinking" would be merely an unassorted jumble of simple, disconnected senseperceptions.
What, then, is the process that unifies these isolated sense-perceptions and gives us our knowledge of things as concrete wholes?
A Classifying Judgment associates and compares present and past sense-perceptions. It is the final process in the production of that marvel of the mind, the "idea."
The simple perception of a sensation unaccompanied by any other mental process is something that never happens to an adult human being.