The Machinery of the Mind
by Violet Mary Firth, Dion Fortune
ISBN 1151674230 (1-151-67423-0)
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Softcover, RareBooksClub.com, 2012
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Book summary: This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI COMPLEXES Having studied the levels into which the mind is divided, we must next consider the nature of the material that is stored in them, and to do this we must study the workings of Memory. When an idea enters the mind it does not remain an independent unit for very long. It seems to be a fundamental characteristic of ideas that they form alliances among themselves, and these groups of ideas are technically known as Complexes. A complex may be compared to the branching growth of a pond-weed; it has a central startingpoint from which ramify threads that divide and subdivide, and branch in every direction, and connect it with other systems of ideas that have similar branching threads. Thus it is that if an idea on any subject enters our consciousness, we find that it is not an isolated unit, but one end of a chain which branches into all sorts of side issues; we have not touched a single line of thought, but a whole railway system. These systems of ideas spread and ramify through all the levels of the mind, but if we trace them far enough, we shall invariably find that they have their roots in one of the great primal instincts, deep down in the subconscious. It is from this that they derive the vitality that binds them together, for all complexes have a core of emotion, and it is from the instincts that the emotions spring. Let us take an example from actual life, and see how these principles work. A man may, for example, be a grocer; he will therefore have a Grocery Complex, that is to say, all his ideas connected with the buying and selling of household commodities will be linked together, so that if a train of thought be started in connection with any one aspect of his business, by an easy transition many other aspects may drift...
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