528 VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
nates what his make-up would make out of, or abstract from, x. When another event y happens, the reaction of the child is no longer,
because this new event is usually taken by the child in the light of the former experience Thus, the effect on the child would be
different; namely, If a new event z should happen, the
child would react in his 'feelings'., as ,. We see, then, that
'hurts' and, in general, s.r are not simply additive but may follow some other higher degree function. This process appears general, perhaps necessary, and yet it involves many dangers which can be completely eliminated only by the acquired consciousness of abstracting.
In practice, when we train a child in the consciousness of abstracting, we begin to check this devastating semantic process of piling up 'hurts' on 'hurts'. Let us assume that before we begin to train the child, the child has already had painful experiences. His memories are still fresh, still fluid; he has little difficulty in dwelling on them. With the consciousness of abstracting, and so proper evaluation, dawning upon him, further 'hurts' would 'hurt' less and less until the hurting process would stop altogether. In case some semantic harm had been done to the child before he became conscious of abstracting, the memories would be still fresh and he could apply his newly acquired semantic evaluational immunity to the harmful 'hurts'. New 'hurts' in practice are usually related or similar to the old ones; they would 'revive' the older hurts. Accordingly, he could not only 'live through' the older experiences but at once revise them, and after re-evaluation eliminate the harmful effects.
Semantic 'emotional pains' absorb nervous energy and prevent a full development of our capacities. Directly the consciousness of abstracting is acquired, the vast field of 'uwconsciousness' is diminished, and the nervous energy which was engaged in fighting semantic phantoms is released. We should expect keener and sustained attention, strengthened interest, and other creative manifestations. Consciousness of abstracting, as it leads to proper evaluation, not only eliminates many unnecessary sufferings and semantic disturbances, but, by doing so, actually releases stores of energy for useful and creative purposes.
The human brain has vast areas which, at present, have no definitely known functions. Perhaps, with the older lack of consciousness of abstracting, the flow of nervous energy was misdirected or absorbed by the older ways of 'feeling' and 'thinking' in the lower centres. Thus, the available energy left was not sufficient to utilize the higher centres to the full extent.
Personal semantic difficulties always seem very personal, and no outsider can ever fully grasp the situation. One of the benefits of the