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Very likely for some folk heaven itself would have its Main Street.
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Here is a note which will appeal to bibliophiles - and bibliophilistines, too. DEAR ATLANTIC,
I had an experience in one of our bookstores that may interest Mr. Newton. I inquired for Frank Stockton's The Lady, or the Tiger? The salesman replied, 'I am sorry, madam, but we have neither.' Yours sincerely,
Edna L. TAYLOR. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
* * * The following inquiry suggests that the corporate octopus may still need an additional tentacle or two. DEAR ATLANTIC,
Will you please advise me concerning the possibility of my having a poem accepted by the Atlantic Monthly Company? Do you buy them from companies or from individuals? If from individuals, would you ignore the work of an unknown writer?
Very truly yours,
These rumors of Archæology in the Backyard make us long unseasonably to spade the garden. DEAR ATLANTIC,
Upon my return to-day to the little khaki tent on a big New Mexican ranch which constitutes my temporary home, I had the exhilarating experience of reading Mr. Moorehead's article in your September issue. May I be allowed a comment or two?
I, too, am an archæologist, and one of the younger school that went ‘West, South, or abroad.' Each one of us, when he reached the parting of the ways, chose that American culture which interested him most, as the subject for his life-work. The entire New World is roughly divided into large geographical areas, each of which was once the home of some distinct civilization. In nearly every case, these old civilizations differ one from the other as widely as ancient Egypt from Babylon in its prime. Each archæologist, in attacking the many and varied problems in his own area, soon becomes a specialist, and, as such, becomes incompetent to judge of the detailed problems of other areas. However, all of us have a sufficient knowledge of the general problems of American archæology to appreciate those of another area. When all is said and done, we are one in our desire to extend the history of the American Indian backward in the realm of time.
Mr. Moorehead has mentioned public interest in archæology. I quite agree with him that this interest should start at home. If, however, the antiquities of one area of our country have received a modicum of attention in excess of another, the men working in that area are to be congratulated. Even at its best, the interest our public takes in the history and archæology of its own country is discouragingly small. It is our great dream that some day the public as a whole will awaken to the great fund of romance and history that now lies hidden in the ruins, not only in one area, but in all parts of the country. The slogan 'See American First' should be changed to ‘Know America First,' in all that the change of the verb implies. A better knowledge of Indian history, and also of the remnants of that race still living, would certainly do much more good than harm.
These few sentences are not to be construed as a criticism in any way. They are simply in the form of a footnote. I congratulate my friend, Mr. Moorehead, and also the Atlantic, upon this article, which gives promise of a better, saner interest on the part of the public in our work, because it is a serious article, put before the right kind of a public. Sincerely yours,
CARL E. GUTHE.
By way of defining the policy of the magazine, we may state that, if any excellent company poems should ever come our way, we should doubtless accept them without inquiring too curiously into their authorship.
* * * This question is a poser, but we think the Apex wins. DEAR ATLANTIC,
Here's a new situation, and I want you to answer this all-important question.
This morning's mail brought the new Atlantic, which I am always anxious to peruse. The family washing had to be done. The ancient axiom ‘Duty before pleasure' again held sway, but I changed it.
Descending into the laundry, laden with the washing, surmounted by the Atlantic, I started my labors and then, while the Apex Electric Washing-Machine chug-chugged the clothes to snowy whiteness, I laughed over A. Edward Newton's 'Twenty-five Hours a Day.'
Here is the question: Would the above situation be a better 'Ad' for the Atlantic than for the Apex Electric Washing-Machine Co.? You tell! Sincerely,
HELEN DORCAS MAGEE.
Will any Atlantic reader in possession of letters from the distinguished painter, Abbott H. Thayer, be so good as to communicate with Mrs. Abbott H. Thayer, Monadnock, New Hampshire. All originals will be carefully returned.
BY A. CLUTTON-BROCK
I AM, I confess, astonished at the surrender above all things. In spite of lack of curiosity which even psycholo- the psychologists, we know that the gists, and they more than most men, sexual instinct is not the tyrant or the discover about the most familiar, yet chief source of those delusions to which most surprising, facts of the human we are all subject. It is because we are mind. They have their formulæ, as in love with ourselves, not because we that the human mind is unconsciously are in love with other people, that always subject to the sexual instinct; we make such a mess of our lives. and these formulæ, while they make Now, what we ask of psychology, if psychology easier for those who accept it is to be a true science, is that it shall them, utterly fail to explain the most help us to manage ourselves so that we familiar, yet most surprising facts. may achieve our deepest, most perma
There is, for instance, self-esteem, nent desires. Between us and those de-- egotism, - we have no precise scien- sires there is always this obstacle of
tific name for it; if we go by our own self-esteem, and if psychology will help experience, it seems to be far more pow- us to get rid of that, then, indeed, we erful and constant than the sexual in- will take it seriously, more seriously stinct, far more difficult to control, and than politics, or machinery, or drains, far more troublesome. The sexual in- or any other science. For all of these, stinct gets much of its power from however necessary, are subsidiary to this egotism, or self-esteem, and would the management of the self; and all be manageable without it; but self- would be a thousand times better manesteem is, for many of us, unmanageable. aged by a race of beings who knew how Often we suppress it, but still it is our to manage themselves. There is not a chief obstacle to happiness or any kind science, or an art, that is not hampered of excellence; and, however strong or by the self-esteem of those who practise persistent it may be in us, we never it; for it blinds us both to truth and to value it. In others we dislike it intense beauty, and most of us are far more unly, and no less intensely in ourselves conscious of its workings than we are when we become aware of it; and, if a of the workings of our sexual instinct. man can lose it in a passion for some- The Greeks were right when they said, thing else, then we admire that self- 'Know thyself'; but we have not tried
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to follow their advice. The self, in spite does not help us in the struggle for life, of all our attempts to analyze it away in any more than in the arts and sciences, physical terms, remains unknown, un- or in conduct, to be always esteeming, controlled, and seldom the object of admiring, and relishing the self. The scientific curiosity or observation. products of our egotism, open or sup
In the past, the great masters of re- pressed, are useless and unvalued; the ligion were well aware of self-esteem; very word vanity expresses our opinion and our deepest and most practical of them. But what a vast part of ourpsychology comes from them, though selves is just vanity — far vaster than we do not call it psychology. For them the part that is instinct or appetite. the problem was to turn self-esteem The demands of appetites cease, for the into esteem for something else; and to time, with their satisfaction, but the that all other human problems were demands of vanity never. Consider, subsidiary. By God they meant that for instance, how your whole opinion of in which man can utterly forget himself; any man is affected by the fact that he and they believed in God because the has wounded or flattered your vanity. If self can sometimes utterly forget and he does either unconsciously, the effect lose itself in something which cannot be on your opinion of him, on your whole seen or touched but which does cause feeling toward him, is all the greater; self-forgetfulness. They were sure that for your vanity knows that unconscious the self could not so forget itself except homage or contempt is the most sincere. in something more real than itself. The greatest villain in literature, Iago, With thy calling and shouting,' says acts from vanity. He did not know it; St. Augustine, 'my deafness is broken; we may not know it as we read the play; with thy glittering and shining, my but Shakespeare knew it by instinct; he blindness is put to Alight. At the scent saw the possibilities of his own vanity of thee I draw in my breath and I pant in that of Iago, saw that it was cruel as for thee; I have tasted and I hunger and the grave, and developed it in his tragthirst; thou hast touched me and I am edy of vanity. Those satanic criminals on fire for thy peace.' Augustine had, who seduce and murder woman after no doubt, an exorbitant self, which tor- woman are not sex-maniacs, but vanitymented him; and he was far more aware maniacs, and their conquests feed their of his self-esteem and its workings than vanity more than their lust. They are most men are, even to-day. He was imprisoned in the self, enslaved to it. concerned with a real, psychological And the great masters of religion, infact, and his Confessions are still inter- tensely aware of this tyrannical self in esting to us because of that concern. themselves, fear to be enslaved to it and And the Sermon on the Mount itself is cry to God for freedom. That is why also practical and psychological, con- they are almost morbidly, as it seems to cerned with the satisfaction of the self in us, concerned with sin. Sin means to something else, so that we are still inter- them this exorbitant self, this vanity ested in it, however little we may obey that may draw a man into any monit. But still, from this supreme object strous and purposeless villainy. They of self-control, we turn to other tasks will not allow the analysis of sin into and sciences, at best only subsidiary. other and more harmless things, or the
We might begin by asking, if once analysis of righteousness into other our curiosity were aroused - Why are things less lovely. For them there is one we born with this exorbitant self? It problem — to be free of the self and of seems to have no biological purpose; it vanity, to be aware of that which glit
ters and shines, which shouts and calls to the self comes into life with all kinds of the self to forget itself and be at peace. capacities or faculties itching to be exSin is the blindness, deafness, captivity ercised, and that the problem of life, for of the self when it is turned in upon some reason a very hard one, is to find a the self; righteousness is its peace and scope for their exercise. We are born happiness when it is aware of that su- with all these faculties and capacities, perior reality they call God.
but we are not born with a technique You may think them wrong in theory that will enable us to exercise them. And, but in practice they are right; they are if we never acquire it, then the self reconcerned with the real human difficul- mains exorbitant, because they all, as it ty, and aiming at that which all human were, fester and seethe within it. It is as beings do most deeply and constantly de exorbitant as when we have an abscess sire. The riddle of life is this riddle of at the root of a tooth and can think of the exorbitant self, which somehow or
nothing else. Any thwarting of a faculother must be satisfied, but can be sat- ty, capacity, or appetite produces this isfied only when it forgets itself in, a exorbitance and tyranny of the self, but, superior reality. I say satisfied, because since the satisfaction of faculties and casuppression or self-sacrifice, as it is pacities is, for most people, much hardcommonly understood, is no solution er than the satisfaction of appetites, the of the problem. You can almost kill the exorbitance of the self is more often self by lack of interest; but if you do caused by the thwarting of the former that, you will not satisfy it and, in than of the latter. The problem of the some indirect way, its egotism will still satisfaction of appetities is comparapersist and work mischief in you. tively simple, for it does not even need a
Ascetics are often the worst egotists technique of the mind. We can eat withof all, thinking about nothing but their out learning to eat; we can make love, own souls, which means their own even, without learning to make love; but selves, living a life of inner conquest when it comes to turning the mind outand adventure, which is all artificial ward and away from itself, then it is the because internal. Their interest, be mind itself that has to learn, has to realcause they refuse it to external reality, ize and discover its external interests by is the more intensely concentrated on means of a technique painfully acquired. themselves; their very God, to whom Civilization means the acquirement they incessantly pray, is but an idol of all the techniques needed for the full made and set up within the temple of exercise of faculties and capacities, and, the self and has no likeness to the real thereby, the release of the self from God, if there be one. Or it is like a me its own tyranny. Where men are vaindium, or the leading articles of a news est, there they are least civilized; and no paper, telling them what they wish to amount of mechanical efficiency or combe told, and persuading them that it is plication will deliver them from the suptrue because it seems to come from out- pression of faculties and the tyranny of side, whereas all the time it is really the self, or will give them civilization. only the voice of the self echoed back. But at present we are not aware how we By those methods we can attain to no are kept back in barbarism by the supfreedom because we attain to no self- pression of our faculties and the tyranknowledge or control or satisfaction. ny of our exorbitant selves. We shall dis
If one is concerned purely with psy- cover that clearly and fully only when chology, freed from all biological or oth- psychology becomes really psychology; er assumptions, one may conjecture that when it concerns itself with the practi
cal problems which most need solving; a herd animal, not only because it is not when it no longer tries to satisfy us with proved, but also because there is no promdogmas and formulæ taken from other ise of a remedy in it. There is somesciences.
thing in me, in all men, which rebels II
against this blind belief that all is good
in my nation, and evil in some other; And now I come to the practical part and what I desire is something to conof this article. I, like everyone else, am firm and strengthen this rebellion. When aware that we are kept back in barbar- we can explain the baser, sillier part of ism and cheated of civilization by war; ourselves, then it begins to lose its powbut behind war there is something in the er over us; but the hypothesis of the mind of man that consents to war, in herd-instinct is not an explanation — it spite of the fact that both conscience says, merely, that we are fools in the and self-interest are against it; and it very nature of things, which is not helpseems to me that a real, a practical science ful or altogether true. We are fools, no of psychology would concern itself with doubt, but we wish not to be fools; it is this something, just as the science of possible for us to perceive our folly, to medicine concerns itself with pestilence. discern the causes of it, and by that very Anda real, a practical science of psychol- discernment to detach ourselves from it, ogy would not be content to talk about to make it no longer a part of our minds, the herd-instinct, which is not a psycho- but something from which they have suflogical, but a biological hypothesis, and fered and begin to recover. Then it is only a hypothesis. It would not say, as if we had stimulated our own men"Man is a herdanimal; therefore it is nat- tal phagocytes against bacilli that have ural for herds of men to fight each oth- infected the mind from outside; we no er.' In the first place, it would remember longer submit ourselves to the disease that herds of animals do not necessarily as if it were health; but, knowing it to fight other herds; in the second, that we be disease, we begin to recover from it. do not know that man, in his remote ani- The habit of believing all good of our mal past, was a herd animal; and, in the own nation and all evil of another is a third place, that, as psychology, it is con- kind of national egotism, having all the cerned with the mind of man as it is, symptoms and absurdities and dangers not with what other sciences may con- of personal egotism, or self-esteem; yet jecture about the past history of man. it does not seem to us to be egotism, be
Now, if psychology asks itself what it cause the object of our esteem appears is in the present mind of man, of the to be, not ourselves, but the nation. Most peoples we call civilized, that consents of us have no conviction of sin about it, to war, it will at once have its attention such as we have about our own egotism; drawn to the fact that wars occur be- nor does boasting of our country seem tween nations, and that men have a cu- to us vulgar, like boasting of ourselves. rious habit of thinking of nations apart Yet we do boast about it because it is from the individuals who compose them; our country, and we feel a warm convicand of believing all good of their own na- tion of its virtues which we do not feel tion and all evil of any other which may, about the virtues of any other country. at the moment, be opposed to it. This is But, when we boast and are warmed by commonplace, of course; but, having this conviction, we separate ourselves stated the commonplace, I wish to dis- from the idea of the country, so that our cover the reason of it. And I cannot con- boasting and warmth may not seem to tent myself with the formula that man is us egotistical; we persuade ourselves that