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THE object of the pages that follow is, first, to show the importance of a study of creative thought and to develop an interest in it; next, to offer some suggestions as to the natural history of mind in its most inspired moments; finally, to institute a regime for the individual whereby he may secure the highest mental efficiency.
That the programme is ambitious I know only too well, but I desire to draw attention to the limits imposed upon my treatment of the subject. I have addressed myself to general readers of the more thoughtful type, not to psychological students, except in so far as all intelligent people are nowadays included in that category. This, whilst compelling an observance of the scientific method, bas naturally demanded a practical study of the mind at work-i.e. psychology caught in the very act, not the formal science of the text-book. Such a method, however, cannot be safely pursued without the assistance of experts, and my pages bear ample witness to the fact that I have consulted their views. But it is a method that selects practical values as the criterion of worth in preference to systematic treatment on theoretical lines.
The civilised world appears to be preparing for a new era in which the strategy and tactics of war are to be applied to Will the race go to the swift and the battle to the strong? Possibly; but I should prefer to say that the race will be won by those whose minds possess the finer
creative forces, especially as executive ability has now reached a high degree of efficiency. We may not care for the idea of continued warfare, even on a peaceful basis, but, despite the new cosmopolitanism which is bound to succeed the pronounced nationalism of the past, the nations are not yet likely to surrender their individuality as separate peoples; and in science, in literature, and in the fine arts generally, there is certain to be a renaissance of national traditions and ideals. In some respects this is a most desirable tendency, because it prevents the uniformity which is the accompaniment of large combinations. Herein the smaller nations will have an abundance of opportunity.
I have only touched the fringe of a great and ever fascinating subject, but the one thing I have aimed at in this book, apart from its discussions, is stimulus; and if I succeed in arousing an interest that shall bear fruit in practical endeavour I shall feel that my labours have received their reward.
The Trend of Modern Psychology-Is towards Specu-
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF GENIUS
I. CONSCIOUSNESS: SOME OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS
All Original Minds obey the same Laws-Superiority
Newman's Illative Sense-Schopenhauer's Idea of
The Limits of Introspection and Experiment—The
Law of the Conservation of Energy-Ostwald on
Psychical Energy-Dr Wildon Carr denies the Analogy
-Jung, Ribot, and Others take the Affirmative-We
know Physical Energy only by Mental Energy-What
is the Stream of Consciousness ?-Is there such a Thing
as Thought-Wastage ?-The Limits of Mind-Control-
No Subconscious Mind but a Subconscious Sphere-
The Work of Freud and its Value-Doctrine of the
"Complex "-The Continuity of Mental History-
Mental Energy, like the Blood, Circulates-Kostyleff
Hirsch says Genius is not a Psychological Term-
The Many-sided Mind of Da Vinci-Importance of the
Initial Impulse-Great Men and the Controlling Motive
-Inheritance does not account for Genius-Ease of
Attainment the First Characteristic-The Formation of