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show by some statements and illustrations the connexion existirg between the body and mind, and the influence they reciprocally exert.
$ 329. The mind constituted on the principle of a connexion with the
body In endeavouring to illustrate the subject of the intimate connexion and the reciprocal influence of the mind and body, the first remark is, that the mind is evidently constituted on the principle of such a connexion. Whatever expansion the mind may afterward attain to, whatever greatness of power it may exhibit in the progress of its subsequent developement, there is no doubt that it possesses the seeds of its power and the elements of its expansion in the very beginnings of its existence. They are there, although at first they do not manifest themselves. They have an existence, although they are in some sense invisible and unappreciable. They are not only in silence and in darkness, but, in themselves considered, and independently of aid from other sources, they appear to be destitute of any capability of quickening into action and of bursting forth into light.
And how does this happen? Evidently because the mind is constituted on the principle of a connexion with the body. The human mind (and this is probably true of every mind that is morally accountable) exists in the threefold nature or threefold division of the Intellect, the Sensibilities, and the Will. The action of the Will depends upon the antecedent action of the Sensibilities; and that of the sensitive nature is based upon the antecedent action of the Intellect. The action of the Intellect or Understanding is twofold, External and Internal. And we have already endeavoured, on a former occasion, to show that the developement of the External Understanding is first in the order of time, as it is obviously first in the order of nature. It is here, so far as the mind is concerned, that we find the commencement of action; but it is well understood and is entirely undeniable, that all the action which takes place here, takes place in connexion with bodily action. The External intellect does not act, nor is it capable of acting, although the mind is
so constituted that the movement of all the other parts depends upon movement here, without the antecedent affection of the outward or bodily senses.
In some remarks on this subject in a former chapter, we suggested that the soul, considered in its relationship to external objects, might be compared to a stringed instrument. That comparison may help to illustrate the subject here. In the essence of its own nature the soul is unseen and unsearchable, although it not only has an existence, but possesses the capacity and elements of mental harmony. But God has erected around it, unseen and intangible as it is, an outward structure of visible chords and artificial framework, such as the wonder'ful system of the nerves, the eye,
the ear, and the senses generally. In accordance with this arrangement, the soul, although it has in itself the original and abundant source of harmony, will always be found (such is the law or principle on which it is constituted) to be utterly without music and without voice, until it is wakened into life and the utterance of appropriate sounds by an impulse communicated through the outward structure. The internal susceptibility must be interrogated through the openings of the exterior edifice; the tangible and visible chords must be smitten before the required response will be yielded by the mysterious and invisible agent beneath them. These are the facts; but, as this topic bas been particularly noticed upon a former occasion, we shall not further delay upon it here.
Ø 330. Illustration of the subject from the effects of old age. The existence of the connexion between the mind and body, and of their influence upon each other, appears, in the second place, from the effects which are witnessed in old age.
The effects of old age, it is true; are first experienced in the bodily system. The outward senses be- come blunted and dim ; the eye loses its keenness of
l sight; the ear its quickness of hearing ; the palate its nice discriminations of taste; and in various other ways the whole bodily system shows the rapid diminution of its activity and power. But it is well known, since it is a matter of every day's observation, that these effects are not restricted to that part of the human system where they first show themselves. The mind also is unfavourably affected at the same time, and through the influence of the same causes.
These results, it is true, are not experienced to a great extent in the Internal Intellect, or that division of the intellect which operates in the discovery of truth, independent in a great measure of the outward senses; but they are seen and felt, perhaps we may say without a singlo exception, and in a high degree, in that department of the mind which we have proposed to designate, in consequence of its depending in its action on the external senses, as the External Intellect. As the senses one after another are prostrated, this portion of the intellective nature, which, as was noticed in the last section, was brought into action through their instrumentality, seems to faii and lie prostrate with them. It seems to be hardly less deaf and blind, hardly less sensible to the intimations of touch and taste, and to stand less in need of crutches to support it, than the bowed and superannuated body which it had formerly employed as the medium of its activity. The higher departments of the soul, as has been intimated, remain essentially firm and unshaken ; but this, which has a particularly close connexion with the bodily nature, and is based,
were, upon a found ation of materiality, is necessarily blunted and disordered in its action by the dislocation and breaking up of the earthy materials.
0331. The connexion of the bodily system with the mental shown from
the effects resulting from diseases. In addition to what has been said, it may be remarked further, in confirmation of the same general views, that violent corporeal diseases in youth and manhood, before any decays take place from age, often affect the powers of thought. Persons have been known, for instance, after a violent fever or violent attacks of some other form of disease, to lose entirely the power of recollection. Thucydides, in his account of the plague of Athens, makes mention of some persons who had survived that disease; but their intense bodily sufferings had affected their mental constitution so much, that they had forgotten their families and friends, and had lost all knowledge of their own former history. It is a singular fact, also, that the result of violent disease is sometimes quite the reverse of what has now been sta:ed. While in one case the memory is entirely prostrated, we find in others that, under the influence of such attacks, the
is suddenly aroused, and restores the history of the past with a minuteness, and vividness unknown before. But both classes of cases confirm what we are now attempting to show, viz., the existence of a connexion between the mind and body, and a reciprocal influence between them.
$ 332. Shown also from the effects of stimulating drugs and gases.
If there be not a close connexion between the body and mind, and if there be not various influences propagated from one to the other, how does it happen that many things of a stimulating nature, such as ardent spirits and opium, strongly affect the mind when taken into the system in considerable quantities? But, without delaying upon the effects of drugs of this description, which, happily, can hardly fail to be noticed every day, we would instance particularly the results which are found to follow from the internal use of the nitrous oxide gas. This gas, when it is received into the system, operates, in the first instance, on the body. The effect is a physical one. In particular, it quickens the circulation of the blood; and also, as is commonly supposed, increases the volume of that fluid.' But its effects, which are first felt in the body, are afterward experienced in the mind, and generally in a high degree. When it is inhaled in a considerable quantity, the sensations are more acute, the conceptions of absent objects are more vivid, associated trains of thought pass through the mind with increased rapidity, and emotions and passions, generally of a pleasant kind, are excited, corresponding in strength to the increased acuteness of sensations and the increased vivid ness of conceptions.
There is another gas, the FEBRILE MIASMA, which is found, on being inhaled, to affect the mind also, by first
affecting the sanguineous fluid. But this gas diminishes instead of increasing the volume of blood, as is indicated by a small, contracted pulse, and an increasing con striction of the capillaries. As in the case of the nitrous oxide gas,
the mental exercises are rendered intense and vivid by the febrile miasma; but the emotions which are experienced, instead of being pleasant, are gloomy and painful. The trains of thought which are at such times suggested, and the creations of the imagination, are all of an analogous character, strange, spectral, and terrifying.*-We may add as a general remark here, that, whenever the physical condition of the brain, which is a prominent organ in the process of sensation and external perception, is affected, whether it be from a more than common fulness of the bloodvessels or from some other cause, the mind itself will be found to be affected also, and oftentimes in a high degree.
333. Influence on the body of excited imagination and passion. The powers
of the mind are not only liable to be powerfully affected by certain conditions of the corporeal system, but the body also, on the other hand, even to the functions of the vital principle itself, is liable to corresponding affections, superinduced by certain conditions of the mind. When the passions, for instance, are excited, particularly that of fear, the body at once feels the influence; and instances have occurred where, under the influence of the last-named passion, even death itself has followed. In the city of New York a few years since, a little child was left in the evening in the care of a maidservant, the mother having gone out. "As the child was disposed to be troublesome and to cry after being placed at the usual time in bed in another room, the domestic resorted to the expedient of quieting it by making and placing before it the image of some frightful object. The fears of the little child were greatly excited ; and when, in the latter part of the evening, the mother returned and went to the room, she found it dead ; its eyes being open, and fixed with a singularly wild and maniac kind of stare on the frightful image which the girl had so cru
* Sew Hibbert's Philosophy of Apparitions, pt. ii., ch. 1.