Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/456

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best, and doing the best. It can not be built up on imitation. By imitation, suggestion, and conventionality the masses are formed and controlled. To build up a man is a nobler process, demanding materials and methods of a higher order. The growth of man is the assertion of individuality. Only robust men can make history. Others may adorn it, disfigure it, or vulgarize it.

The first relation of the child to external things is expressed in this: What can I do with it? What is its relation to me? The sensation goes over into thought, the thought into action. Thus the impression of the object is built into the little universe of his mind. The object and the action it implies are closely associated. As more objects are apprehended, more complex relations arise, but the primal condition remains—What can I do with it? Sensation, thought, action—this is the natural sequence of each completed mental process. As volition passes over into action, so does science into art, knowledge into power, wisdom into virtue.

It is thus evident that, with an animal as with an army, locomotion demands direction. The sensorium is built up as a director of motion. Natural selection causes the survival of those whose senses are adequate for the safe control of movement. The animal which conducts its life processes in insecurity perishes. The existence of an organism is the test of its adequacy. The continued existence of a series of organisms is the ultimate proof of the truth of the senses.

With the lower animals we have automatic obedience to the demand of external conditions. The greater the stress of the environment the more perfect the automatism, for impulses to safe action must always be adequate for the duty which in the ancestral past they have had to perform. To automatic mind processes inherited from generation to generation the name instinct has been given. Whether instinct is in any degree "inherited habit" or whether it is the product simply of natural selection acting upon the varying methods of automatic response destroying those whose responses are inadequate, need not concern us now.

The homing instinct of the fur seal, concluding its long swim of three thousand miles by a return on a little island hidden in the arctic fogs, to the very spot from which it was driven by the ice six months before, excites our astonishment. But this power is not an illustration of animal intelligence. The homing instinct with the fur seal is a simple necessity of life. Without it the individual would be lost to its species. Only those which have the instinct in perfection can return; only those who return can leave descendants. As to the others, the rough sea tells no tales. We know that not all of the fur seals who set forth return. To those who do return the homing instinct has proved adequate. And this it must always be, so long