SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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508          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
It appears as a product of evolution just as stratified as rocks appear. This stratification appears as a crucial, structural m.o fact, though generally disregarded, except partially in mathematics and psychiatry. Its realization necessitates the elimination of the 'is' of identity and results in the consciousness of abstracting, so fundamental for sanity.
Section C. Infantilism.
As has already been mentioned, the main symptoms of physical and 'mental' illnesses are few and simple. This would suggest the possibility of simple and more general theories relating to the fundamental symptoms. The colloidal structure of protoplasm accounts for this peculiar simplicity and for the small number of the fundamental symptoms. In the 'mental' field these fundamental symptoms are accounted for by a simple structural, functional principle of 'copying animals' in our nervous processes, which must be harmful, and which is characterized by the lack of consciousness of abstracting, implying colloidal disturbances. Psychogalvanic experiments show clearly that every 'emotion' or 'thought' is always connected with some electrical currents, and that electricity seems fundamental for colloidal behaviour, and, therefore, for physical symptoms and the behaviour of the organism.
In the colloidal processes we find the bridge between the 'physical' and the 'mental', and the mutual link seems mainly electricity. It is more than mere coincidence that all illnesses, 'physical' or 'mental', have only a few fundamental symptoms; and we should no longer be surprised to find that physical ills result in 'mental' symptoms, and that 'mental' ills may also involve 'physical' symptoms.
If a simple symptom is completely general, it indicates that it is structurally fundamental, and we shall be repaid if we devote special attention to it. As a rule, in 'mental' ills we observe a striking appearance of symptoms which have a sinister parallel with the behaviour of infants. Arrested development or regression in grown-ups also exhibits these infantile characteristics. In other words, whenever infantile characteristics appear in grown-ups it indicates that the 'adult' has not grown up fully in some semantic respects, or has already started on the way of regression, implying some colloidal or m.o structural injury.
When we speak of 'infantilism' in 'adults', we include symptoms which belong to the period of childhood in its organ erotic or autoerotic and narcissistic stages. It should be recalled that in children these semantic phases are natural; they become pathological only when the individual does not outgrow them and exhibits them as a grown-up. The term 'infantilism' is a rather sinister one, and should never be applied to