Mental Tidal Waves





"We know how great waves of feeling spread over a town, city, or county,

sweeping people off their feet, and causing them to lose their balance.

Great waves of political enthusiasm, or war-spirit or prejudice for or

against certain people, or groups of people, sweep over places and cause

men to act in a manner which they afterward often regret when they come

to themselves and consider the matter in the light of cold reason.

People are swayed by demagogues or magnetic leaders who wish to capture

their votes or patronage; and they are often led into acts of mob

violence, or similar atrocities, by yielding to these waves of

contagious thought. On the other hand, we know equally well how great

waves of religious emotion spread out over the community upon the

occasion of some great 'revival' excitement or religious fervor."





Immunity to Thought Influences



Persons becoming acquainted for the first time with the above recited

facts of mental vibrations, mental currents, mental waves, and mental

contagion, frequently raise the objection that if all this be true, why

are we not constantly swept off of our feet by these great waves of

mental vibrations, whereas, in fact, we are seldom or never aware of

them? The question is a natural one, and is capable of a satisfactory

answer. In the first place, many of these mental currents NEUTRALIZE

each other, and thus both cease to exert any marked effect. And again,

most persons are really "immune" to most of the thought waves reaching

them, this by reason of the protective resistive power bestowed by

Nature, and acquired during the evolution of the race.



To understand this, we have but to think of our immunity to the great

majority of sounds and sights on the streets of a busy city. On a busy

street corner, we are assailed by an infinitude of sounds and

sights--but we hear but few of these, and see still fewer. The rest of

these impressions are lost to us, although we have ears to hear and eyes

to see. We hear and see only those impressions which are strong enough

to awaken our ATTENTION. In the same way we fail to perceive the

numerous thought vibrations and mental currents constantly surrounding

us, and our attention is attracted and awakened by those sufficiently

strong and vigorous to awaken our attention. The analogy is a very close

one, and the understanding of one set of phenomena gives us the key to

the other.





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