Thought-Culture or Practical Mental Training

_Judgment_ is that faculty of the Mind whereby we determine the agreement or disagreement between two concepts, ideas, or objects of thought, by comparing them with each other. From this comparison arises the judgment, which is expressed in the shape of a logical _proposition_: “The horse is an animal;” or “the horse is not a cow.” Judgment is also used in forming a concept, in the first place, for we must _compare qualities_ before we can form a _general idea_.

_Reasoning_ is that faculty of the Mind whereby we compare two Judgments, one with the other, and from the comparison deduce a third Judgment. This is a form of indirect or mediate comparison, whereas the Judgment is a form of immediate or direct comparison. From this process of Reasoning arises a result which is expressed in what is called a Syllogism, as for instance: “All dogs are animals; Carlo is a dog; therefore, Carlo is an animal.” Or expressed in symbols: “A equals C; and B equals C;” therefore, “A equals B.” Reasoning is of two kinds or classes; _viz._, Inductive and Deductive, respectively. We have explained these forms of Reasoning in detail in another volume of this series.

_The Feelings_ are the mental faculties whereby we experience emotions or feelings. Feelings are the experiencing of the agreeable or disagreeable nature of our mental states. They can be defined only in their own terms. If we have never experienced a feeling, we cannot understand the words expressing it. Feelings result in what are called emotion, affection and desire. An emotion is the simple feeling, such as joy, sorrow, etc. An affection is an emotion reaching out toward another and outside object, such as envy, jealousy, love, etc. A desire is an emotion arising from the _want_ of some lacking quality or thing, and the inclination to possess it.

_Memory_ is the faculty of the Mind whereby we retain and reproduce, or consciously revive any kind of past mental experience. It has two sub-phases; _viz._, Retention and Recollection, respectively. It manifests in the storing away of mental images and ideas, and in the reproduction of them at a later period of time, and also of the recognition of them as objects of past experience.

_Imagination_ is the faculty of the Mind whereby we represent (_re-pre-sent_) as a mental image some previously experienced idea, concept or image. Its activities are closely allied and blended with those of the Memory. It has the power not only of reproducing objects already perceived but also another power of _ideal creation_ whereby it _creates_ new combinations from the materials of past experience. It is a faculty, the importance of which is but little understood by the majority of men. Inasmuch as the mental image must always precede the material manifestation, the cultivation of the Imagination becomes a matter of great importance and worthy of the closest study.

_Intuition_ is the faculty of the Mind whereby it evolves what have been called Primary Truths or Primary Ideas. By Primary Ideas are meant the ideas of Space, Time, Cause, Identity, etc. By Primary Truths are meant the so-called “Self-Evident Truths” of geometry, mathematics and logic. Under the head of Intuition are also sometimes included the activities of the Subconscious or Superconscious regions of the mind, of which we have spoken in detail in a volume under that name of this series. Some authorities hold to the older idea of “Innate Ideas” by which is meant that every human being is born with the knowledge of certain fundamental truths, unconnected with any experience. Others hold that these ideas are simply the result of the experience of the race, transmitted to us as “germ ideas” which must grow by experience and exercise.

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That each and every faculty of the Mind may be strengthened and developed by Culture and Exercise is now held to be a fact by nearly every authority worthy of that name. Just as the physical muscle may be cultivated by the proper methods, so may the mental faculties be strengthened and cultivated by the appropriate methods and means. Inasmuch as the majority of the race are deficient in the development of one or more of the leading mental faculties, it becomes a matter of great interest and importance that all should acquaint themselves with the means whereby their deficiencies may be corrected and remedied. We shall now proceed to the consideration of Thought-Culture in general, and then to the consideration of the culture of each particular general faculty, in detail.