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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
September 10, 1924     The Catalina Islander
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September 10, 1924

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PAGE FOUR THE CATALINA IMPULSES AND EMOTIONS Anent the recent query in these col- umns regarding information on "Hu- man hnpulses and Emotions," we have had several questions asked during the past few days. Among some of the readers of the Catalina Islander there seems to be a desire for psychological information--a desire to better under- stand the basis of human activities, to understand why human actions depart from "good resolutions" and cause all a "world of trouble." It was with this thought in mind that we wrote to the noted Long Beach ipsychp-ana!yist Mr. Joseph Ralph. Below follows Mr. Ralph's reldy to our letter: Long Beach, California September 2, 1924. Editor Catalina Islander: I have yours of the 30th nit. No one can get very far in appre- hending the motivating influences of human conduct unless he or she com- mences at the beginning. Unless one is grounded in fundamentals there can be no superstructure of concepts of much use. We speak of "our" emotions," "nly" feelings, etc., in doing which we see,ll to act as if we were describing a pos- session or attribute. :,ks a matter of fact, we are what we are because of our emotions and feelings. Emotions and feelings constitute the very foun- dations of the personality. And then for the conscious part of that person- ality to pretend to analyze the very foundations upon which it is reare.,t is similar to one trying to fly by the process of tugging at one's shoestrings. When you say "I," what do you mean ? \Xc'ho are "you .~" Of what is the 'T' and "you" constituted? These are fundamentals which must be cleared up before one can very well aspire to undcrstand the relation of the personality to environment and the cosmos in general. Human Personality The following is a rough outline of the psycho-analytic concept of the hu- man personality : At birth there is no personality. of bobbed hair. ping, waving, and curling with greatest skill, ing healthy growth. "Charmingly Different" HOTEL Phone for Nothing exists but impulses in embryo. From the first breath of life these im- pulses begin to unfold. At .the same time they are being moulded, for en- vironmental influences conamence to have their effects with the first breath of life also. There are therefore two streams of influences which we must visualize: First there is the stream of the arch- aic impulses, containing the ancestral menaories, and which have definite trends. Then there is the endless, ceaseless, ceaseless and varied stream of environmental influences which blend with that other stream--the an- cestral strains. And from this blend- ing of those two streams of llfe there emerges a personality. The human personality is therefore the product of our ancestral strains, n|odified by enviromnental conditions (education plus self-efforts). The personality is therefore a pro- duct. it is something which ha~ ~lnerged from two basic influences. For that same personality to peer down into the sub-strattnns of psychi- cal conditions from which it has emerged, and to very gravely pretend to analyze its own foundations is con- seq~lently a huge joke. "Convictions" and "Opinions" Here we haxe the reason for so many grotesque conccplions masquer- ading under the labels of "convic- tions," "beliefs" and "opiniol~.s." Very funny. In the first place there are feelings. These feelings becon~e in- tellectualized. And then the intellect- hal end of the personality has the sol- emn impudence to pretend those con- vict[ons, beliefs and opinions are in- tellectual products, when, as a matter of fact, they constitute factors from which the reasoning, conscious self has become built up. One must be able to vistlalize these fundamental principles o[ empirical psychology before he or she will get very far in apprehending why it is that we think, feel and act as we do. People arc prone to put the cart in front of the gee-gee. It doesn't make any differencewhe- ther it is a question of religion, poli- tics, marital love, or the liking or dis- taste for living by the sea, or for eat- ing or abhoring onions. All of such trends are feelings intellectualized. In other words, they reflect the manner in which we rationalize our submerged trends with environmental require- nlents . Have you ever run across a person with "deep convictions" on religion or politics who hasn't the most elaborate chain of rationalizations to explain the whys and wherefores of his psychical anchorage ? And yet, without knowing it, the individual is motivated in all of such conclusions, by inner influences of which he has little apprehension. The . aforegoing constitute a few "chunks" of psychology--not pre-di- gested. You will therefore have to masticate them well in order to avoid psychical dyspepsia. Have you any wonderment why psy- cho-analysis is not popular ? And yet it is the only master-key which ena- bles the individtlal to unlock the nays- tery of his being, and thereby become better stabilized. But those who have become used to "spoon-fed" psychical nutriment had best let it alone. Fine stuff, though, for us hardy psychical "rough-necks" who have mastered the principles of psychical metabolism. Kind regards Faithfully,~" JOSEPH RALPH. SAYS: (Sunshine Psychology Service) "The good opinion some men .have of themselves is aboLlt the only visi- ble 'goo~.t' they ever show." "Apparently, some folks do not like to sce Avalon clean, it makes them uncomfortable." "'I always think of the sea as a place of yearning,' a man told me the othe~" day. 'Yes,' he continue(t, 'it makes you yearn for the ship to get back to land, or you are yearning for a good meal, or to get rid of the last Inca].' " "When you study a nlan's motives, impt~lses and emotions, you can easily tell whether he is going to be ~ 'fish hog' or a sportsu~an." " '['sychical anchorages,' or 'anchors for the mind,' are just as important to every human being as are the marine eqt~il,ment used for safety on ships at sea. ]-[e is a careless mariner who neglects his gronn~l tackle." ' "What trouble we shonld all be spare(t," The weary angler barks, "lf father Noah ha(! not had Two sh:trks aboard that ark." "There is only one rule for success in the a~lgling ~:al~e : 'Be a sports- nlan.' " "A man asked *~~e tl~e other day if all dead fish decayed and smelled bad. And I tom him that everything, cnce alive, except 'dcad silence,' usnal!y formal its way through the regular channels of putrefaction." "When a man gets so that he can distingt~ish hi.~ own impulses and emo- tions before he acts, he will prevent for himself a lot of human mistakes. Science has taught him that poisons in his stomach will cause his death. Science is also teaching man that cer- tain associations of thought will cause men to commit murder, or he will be- come despondent and take his own life. The man who knows himself, his im- pulses, emotions and inner flrges, know them as familiarly as the arti- eles of clothing for his body, soon learns to overcome his mental weak- nesses--if he desires so to do." Idealist--What is your philosophy of life ? Iky--Get the money! FLOCK O7 FLYING FISH BREAK TELEGRAPH WIRES Ocean City, N. J., Sept 3.--Flying fish, believed by anglers to have been driven inland by heavy storms at sea, invaded this city and Cape May today, breaking down telegraph wires in their flight and crippling service, it is be- lieved there were several hundred of them. "Keep Avalon a Spotless Town" We pledge our help! Renew your subscription to The Catalina Islander, ,$2 per year. Chew it every |! appetite aids dI it makes food do good. Not6 It re.lleves that stufl~ alter hearty eaUng. Whitens Squibbs' Milk of DENTAL The Best Tooth Paste Counteracting Acidity 50 Cents AVALON DRUO 405 Crescent Avenue /r ON-A-O FOR EVERYONE A B~illiantine that DANDRUFF, Promotes Growth of I-lair, and It stays Combe:l as you ONAOLgMOTOR Prevents and Relieves Try it and see the Ask your Barber or They Know ! LYLE PENDEGAST Attorney at 622 Stock Exchange 639 So. SPRING ST. Los Angeles Phone VAndike The Catalina Islander will correspondence on,problems of ~ chological nature. ERNEST WINDLI NOTARY Loga| Documents Promptly Executed News Stand, Opp. Boos BUBBARB AUTO SALES AUTHORIZED FORD AND LINCOLN MOTORS R And Returned in Three CLAUDE WALTON AVALON