MATHEMATICS AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEMS 299
physiological control of the s.r, effective not only as a therapeutic, but also as a preventive, educational means.
Identification as a factor of un-sanity seems to be a natural consequence of the evolution from 'animal' to 'man', particularly at our present stage, while the human race is so recent a product. The human cortex appeared only comparatively lately and is a young structure; the thalamic regions have a much longer history of functioning. It seems natural that the nervous impulses should pass the shorter, more phylogenetically travelled, paths in preference to comparatively newer and longer paths, a principle well known in neurology in connection with so-called 'Bahnung'. If education, and on human levels any kind of adjustment involving s.r involves some education, fails to force the nerve :urrents into their proper channels, or actively establishes in them semantic psycho-neural blockages through pathological evaluation acquired because of faulty training, we should expect either infantilism or regression to still lower levels. Whatever the correct explanation of the distribution of nerve currents, semantic blockages., may be, observation shows unmistakably that some such assumptions are necessitated by observed manifestations in behaviour. Experiments show, also, that such defects can be helped greatly by the proper re-training and re-education of the s.r.
To understand the structure of these semantic disturbances, we must become acquainted with the affective components which underlie mathematics and mathematical methods, hitherto disregarded, because of the el character of our old terminology. There is another striking connection. In severe 'mental' illnesses, we usually find a disorientation in 'space' and 'time', which are, by necessity, relational data of experience. In the semantic disturbances called identification, we also find, as a rule, relational disorientation about 'space' and 'time', more subtle but very vicious in effect, bordering on what are called 'philosophical' problems, which, as a matter of fact, represent psycho-neural disturbances. Since Einstein, the disturbances can be easily eliminated, provided we take into account structural non-el issues in connection with s.r and a ,?-system.
It is instructive to make a short survey of the methods by which the mechanism of the nervous cycle - 'senses', 'feelings'., first; 'mind', which again influences the 'feelings', next - works in mathematics. Weierstrass, the famous mathematician, says, in one of his writings, that a mathematician is a kind of poet. This is largely true. Mathematics is not only a rigorous linguistic relational pattern, but it uses the highest abstractions which we have reached at a given period from