424 VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
and, at my suggestion, he said, 'Please have a seat'. I remained standing while explaining how, if I were not 'conscious of abstracting', to me his word 'seat' would be identified with the chair (objectification) and my s.r would be such that I would sit down with great confidence. If the chair were to collapse I would have, besides the bump, an affective shock, 'fright'., which might do harm to my nervous system. But if I were conscious of abstracting, my s.r would be different. I would remember that the word, the label 'seat' is not the thing on which I am supposed to sit. I would remember that I am to sit on this individual, unique, un-speakable object, which might be strong or weak,. Accordingly, \ would sit carefully. In case the chair should collapse, and I should hurt myself physically, I would still have been saved an affective nervous shock.
During all these explanations I was handling the little chair and shaking it. I did not notice that the legs were falling out, and that the chair was becoming unfit for use. Then, when I actually sat on the relic, it gave way under me. However, I did not jail on the floor. I caught myself in the air, so to say, and saved myself from a painful experience. It is important to notice that such physical readiness requires a very elaborate, nervous, unconscious co-ordination, which was accomplished by the semantic state of non-identification or consciousness of abstracting. When such a consciousness of abstracting is acquired, it works instinctively and automatically and does not require continual effort. Its operation involves a fraction of a second's delay in action, but this small delay is not harmful in practice; on the contrary, it has very important psycho-logical and neurological 'delayed action' effects.
It seems that 'silence' on the objective levels involves this psychophysiological delay. No matter how small, it serves to unload the thalamic material on the cortex. In a number of clinical cases, Dr. Philip S. Graven has demonstrated that the moment such a delay can actually be produced in the patient, he either improves or is entirely relieved. The precise neurological mechanism of this process is not known, but there is no doubt that this 'delayed action' has many very beneficial effects upon the whole working of the nervous system. It somehow balances harmful s.r, and also somehow stimulates the higher nervous centres to more physiological control over the lower centres.
A very vital point in this connection should be noticed. That this 'delayed action' is beneficial is acknowledged by the majority of normally developed adults in the form of delay in action and finds its expression in such statements as 'think twice', 'keep your head', 'hold your horses', 'keep cool', 'steady', 'wait a minute'., and such functional