This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
Says one writer, referring to the cells of the inner or true skin: "As we look at them arranged there like a row of bricks, let us remember two things: first, that this row is actually in our skin at this moment; and, secondly, that each cell is a living being - it is born, grows, lives, breathes, eats, works, decays and dies. A gay time of it these youngsters have on the very banks of a stream that is bringing down to them every minute stores of fresh air in the round, red corpuscles of the blood, and a constant stream of suitable food in the serum. But it is not all pleasure, for every one of them is hard at work."
And again, speaking of the cells that line the air-tubes, he says: "The whole interior, then, of the air-tubes resembles nothing so much as a field of corn swayed by the wind to and fro, the principal sweep, however, being always upwards towards the throat. All particles of dust and dirt inhaled drop on this waving forest of hairs, and are gently passed up and from one to another out of the lungs. When we remember that these hairs commenced waving at our birth, and have never for one second ceased since, and will continue to wave a short time after our death, we are once more filled with wonder at the marvels that surround us on every side."
Remarkable confirmatory evidence of the fact that every organ of the body is composed of individual cell intelligences, endowed with an instinctive knowledge of how to perform their special functions, is found in the experiments of Dr. Alexis Carrel, the recipient of the Nobel prize for science for 1912.
Dr. Carrel has taken hearts, stomachs and kidneys out of living animals, and by artificial nourishment has succeeded in keeping them steadily at work digesting foods, and so on, in his laboratory, for months after the death of the bodies from which they were originally taken.
We see, then, that every human body-is an exceedingly complex association of units. It is a marvelously correlated and organized community of countless microscopic organisms. It is a sort of cell republic, as to which we may truthfully paraphrase: Life and Union, One and Inseparable.
Every human body is thus made up of countless cellular intelligences, each of which instinctively utilizes ways and means for the performance of its special functions and the reproduction of its kind. These cell intelligences carry on, without the knowledge or volition of our central consciousness - that is to say, subconsciously - the vital operations of the body.
Under normal conditions, conditions of health, each cell does its work without regard to the operations of its neighbors. But in the event of accident or disease, it is called upon to repair the organism. And in this it shows an energy and intelligence that " savor of creative power." With what promptness and vigor the cells apply themselves to heal a cut or mend a broken bone! In such cases all that the physician can do is to establish outward conditions that will favor the co-operative labors of these tiny intelligences.
The conclusion to be drawn from all this is obvious. For, if every individual and ultimate part of the body is a mind organism, it is very apparent that the body as a whole is peculiarly adapted to control and direction by mental influences.
Do not lose sight of the fact that in proving such control we are laying the foundation for a scientific method of achieving practical success in life, since all human achievement comes about through some form of bodily activity.
We assume now your complete acceptance of the following propositions, based as they are upon facts long since discovered and enunciated in standard scientific works: a. The whole body is composed of cells, each of which is an intelligent entity endowed with mental powers commensurate with its needs.
b. The fact that every cell in the body is a mind cell shows that the body, by the very nature of its component parts, is peculiarly susceptible to mental influence and control.
To these propositions we now append the following: c. A further examination of the body reveals a central mental organism, the brain, composed of highly differentiated cells whose intelligence, as in the case of other cells, is commensurate with their functions.
d. It reveals also a physical mechanism, the nervous system, peculiarly adapted to the communication of intelligence between the central governing intelligence and the subordinate cells.
e. The existence of this mind organism and this mechanism of intercommunication is additional evidence of the control and direction of bodily activities by mental energy.
The facts to follow will not only demonstrate the truth of these propositions, but will disclose the existence within every one of us of a store of mental energies and activities of which we are entirely unconscious.
The brain constitutes the organ of central governing intelligence, and the nerves are the physical means employed in bodily intercommunication.
Brain and nerves are in other words the physical mechanism employed by the mind to dominate the body.
Single nerve fibers are fine, threadlike cells. They are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye. Some of them are so minute that it would take twenty thousand of them laid side by side to measure an inch. Every nerve fiber in the human body forms one of a series of connecting links between some central nerve cell in the brain or spinal cord on the one hand and some bodily tissue on the other.
All nerves originating in the brain may be divided into two classes according as they carry currents to the brain or from it. Those carrying currents to the brain are called sensory nerves, or nerves of sensation; those carrying currents from the brain are called motor nerves, or nerves of motion.
Among the sensory nerves are the nerves of consciousness; that is, the nerves whereby we receive sense impressions from the external world. These include the nerves of touch, sight, pain, hearing, temperature, taste and smell. Motor nerves are those that carry messages from the brain and spinal cord on the one hand to the muscles on the other. They are the lines along which flash all orders resulting in bodily movements.