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Heretofore, the race has always had a dumb recognition of this fact. That is why it has always sought leadership. Our Teutonic ancestors had a loose form of government. Much of the time life with them was devoid of complexities. Still, they had a few simple rules of action in their community relationship, and unquestionably these rules were imposed upon them by select minds of remotest antiquity.
This may be accepted as a fact when we consider the origin of the arts. The Hebrews, indeed, have made definite statements to this effect: "And his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.' Again: "And Zillah, she also bore Tubel-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron."
Jubal and Tubal-cain may be mere legendary creatures. The allusion to them attests the fact, however, that among all peoples the origin of the arts is attributed to select minds. We find another instance among the Incas of Peru, who traced the whole of their civilization back to Manco Capac. If, as the evolutionists tell us, the human race represents a step up-stairs from the brute creation (which in turn is but a development from the primordial ooze), the process being one of natural selection and of the survival of the fittest, we are inevitably forced to believe in the predominance of select minds. What else does natural selection mean?
It would be childish to assert that the process of natural selection ceased when the first distinctly human being was differentiated from the anthropoid apes. On the contrary, we are bound to assume that it continued to operate as effectually among humans as among pre-human forms of existence. It is, in short, to natural selection that we owe the origin and development of civilization.
What we have said about select minds with reference to the arts may be said with equal force with reference to political government. If select minds did not impose their rule on the commonalty, the latter deliberately chose them as rulers. Why? Because the masses saw that certain persons possessed all the instincts that all men possessed plus a certain instinct which only a few possessed.
What was that instinct? It was not the primary instinct to sense facts. All men have that. Everyone knows when he is hungry or cold; every one knows his peril when he sees or hears that someone is approaching to kill or captivate him.
It was not courage. Most persons have that when it is necessary to fight in order to avoid death or slavery.
The instinct which distinguishes the select mind from others is the instinct to think. This may seem passing strange. Thought, we shall be told, cannot be indentified with instinct. Why not? All our thoughts, as well as all our acts, are spontaneously generated. We think because we desire to think. But desire is purely a matter of instinct. We eat in order to overcome the feeling of hunger; we think in order to gain the end thought will effect. The most intelligent mind will today frequently refuse to think along certain lines because there is no desire for the end to which thought will lead. Some minds, indeed, deliberately refuse to think because of a passionate desire to do things which would be precluded by thought. All crime is of this character.
There is no getting away from the fact that thinking, the so-called noblest function of man- that which distinguishes him from the beasts—is the product of instinct. It will be said, perhaps, that we think because we can't help it. It may be said also that we eat, and drink, and seek shelter from the cold because we can't help it. Once in a while, however, somebody goes on a hunger strike and dies, and sometimes we see persons who refuse to think, and thus become a curse to themselves and to the community- the "Weary Willies" are of this sort.
It is impossible for life to stay in the body if the heart stops beating. Some say that it is just as impossible for the mind to exist devoid of thoughts; there is, they contend, never an interval when the mind is not occupied with a thought - it could not be otherwise.
The human mind is about as far from the ken of any of us as the constellation of Andromeda. The psychologists have skimmed the surface of it, and catalogued its more obvious functions. Some hold that aside from the ideas which the mind consciously formulates there is a vast domain of implicit ideas ideas that never come to the surface, and of which we can have no consciousness other than that which we have in a haunted house or when we are alone in the dark after listening to ghost stories. But our so-called ideas, whether explicit or implicit, are all the outcome of instinct.
Man is an observing animal. He cannot go beyond what the thing that he calls mind observes. His mind may make
pictures unlike anything ever seen or heard. Yet not a single element in these pictures can be at variance with what he has observed. As we remarked on a previous occasion, it is easy to imagine a purple cow, though no one ever saw such a creature. For purple is a familiar color and everybody has seen a cow. Nobody, however, could make a picture of two things occupying the same space at the same time. Why? Because the like of that has never been beheld by mortal eye two is two and not one, and that is all there is to it.
Now, does not a man think when he adds one to one and makes two? No more than the animals do. When a fox sees a second man approaching with a gun he knows that one and one make two. If the man thinks, the fox does; if the fox is governed wholly by instinct, the man is.
How much better, therefore, is a man than a horse? — as Scripture so pointedly asks. Are they not both, if what has been previously said is true, purely creatures of instinct? Yes. But with a difference.
What is the difference? It is this: a man can take in more things at a time than a horse can. And that is precisely the difference between select minds and ordinary minds. Select minds see more things than ordinary minds. They do more: what they see they see more clearly.
Any judge or lawyer, accustomed to listening to evidence, will tell you that the power of observation is not the same in all persons. Some excel others in this respect. The more clearly one perceives, the more clearly he recalls what he has perceived the more constantly it remains before his mind's eye. The man of select mind is merely one who sees as much as it is possible for him to see and who easily remembers it.
Dwell for a moment on one of the most select minds of all time. Can you say that Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation was a matter of instinct rather than of thought? Yes - even in this instance thought and instinct are identical. Newton saw an apple fall to the ground; and as he had previously seen one thing unquestionably attract another, he said in this case that the earth attracted the apple.
Having got as far as this, Newton was in the position of a man whose instinct should prompt him to paint a purple cow. He had observed the apple, the earth, the sun and moon and stars; what he next did was in his mind's eye, to substitute the earth for the apple, and then the sun and moon and
stars for the earth. We call it reason. Well, reason is only another name for balancing observations.
Back of every discovery and invention, however great, is always a prompting of instinct. Thought, reason, judgment are nothing but terms that express what the faculty we call mind sees, recalls, and instinctively co-ordinates. The discoverer or inventor makes one observation after another, puts them side by side, notes how they look in conjunction — in short, sees how they affect each other. We call this thinking; as a matter of fact, it is nothing but seeing. It is all a product of instinct, because what we call mind is itself ruled by instinct it is the servant of its preconceptions, which is another name for its instinct.
Mind can see no more than there is to see. Every principle by which the universe is operated was in force at the beginning if there was a beginning. At any rate they were all in force before man appeared on the planet; he is himself the product of them. To discover them has been the noblest task of man. But he has never discovered (or at least convinced himself that he has discovered) a single one of them except by the instinctive act of keeping his eyes open (employing sight as a symbol of all the senses) and comparing what he
If one says that comparing things is a difficult matter, the answer is that difficulty of comparing is due to the fact that the things seen are not clearly seen the power of observation is defective. The select mind sees straight, and it sees clearly. We have said that in minds of the first order instinct is akin to reflection. We may now reverse the statement and say that reflection is nothing more than instinct working on many, rather than a few, planes of observation with highest efficiency.
Now our Teutonic ancestors, like the ancestors of every race, chose certain men for leaders rather than others, because they recognized that the instinct of these men operated on more planes (in more directions) than their own, and more effectively. The simple instinct of self-preservation, in short, prompted them to select these particular men.
The select minds formulated the policies by which the mass should live. They shaped the events of their times. It was these minds that decreed the traditions to which social relationship should adhere.
Now, as we said at the start, the tendency today is to throw tradition overboard. But without tradition human existence must necessarily become chaotic. Tradition is the cord that binds the activities of the race together and gives the life of the race continuity and meaning. Break the cord and the race will be found in a condition analogous to that of a man who has lost the sense of time and space- that is, in a condition of insanity the co-ordinating faculty having taken flight.
Tradition, like everything else, always has been and always will be in a state of flux. The tradition of one generation is modified by the tradition of another. But the changes are slow, and seldom recognizable while taking place - it is by glancing backward rather than around us that we discover them. Civilization has been a slow process of climbing up-hill, and our traditions are the sign boards by the way to guide succeeding generations.
If we demolish our present body of tradition, we must begin the work of civilization over again. And if we do this, we must employ precisely the same means as in the past. We must build by our instinct. We may say that we shall build by our reason, but reason is only instinct working with higher rather than lower efficiency.
It only remains to ask if the instincts of the race are keener now than in the past. That is a very important question. For if we break completely with the past, it will mean that we discredit all the past co-ordination of instinct and fall back on the naive promptings of primitive instinct.
We shall then have opportunity to discover whether instinct is today fresh and strong and valid, or whether it is ageworn, stale, and uncertain. Old races, like old families, tend to go to seed, to lose the power of seeing broadly and straight, to breed idiosyncrasies that verge on insanity.
Let it not be supposed that by indentifying mind with instinct, and instinct with mere muscular activity, we necessarily reach the stage of gross materialism. On the contrary, we find ourselves in an antipodal haven.
The universe, or what some call an accumulation of universes, has all the evidence of design. If any of its operations appear fortuitous (the product of chance), it at least holds together, which is an evidence of design. Obliteration is inconceivable. If in our mind's eye we visualize nothingness,