[Footnote 61: Ibid, p. 43.]
[Footnote 62: Ibid, p. 5.]
=Subconscious Symbolism.= Sometimes, as we have seen, the form which a hypersensitiveness assumes is not determined by any physical sensation, either past or symbolism which acts out in the body the drama of the soul.
=Facing the Facts.= Whatever the motives and whatever the determining causes, hypersensibility is in any case a feeling of feelings which is not warranted by the present situation. Hypersensitiveness is never anything but a makeshift kind of satisfaction. Despite certain subconscious reasoning, it does not make one more important nor more beloved. Neither does it furnish a real expression for that great creative love-instinct whose outlet, if it is to bring satisfaction, must be a real outlet into the external world. An understanding of the motives is helpful only when it makes clear that they are short-sighted motives and that the real desires back of them may be satisfied in better ways.
As the public appetite for specific cases appears to be insatiable, we will give from real life some examples of low thresholds which were raised through re-education. One hesitates to write down these examples because when they are on paper they sound like advertisements of patent medicines. However, there is no magic in any of these cures, but only the working out of definite laws which may be used by other sufferers, if they only know. Re-education through a knowledge of oneself and the laws at work really does remarkable things when it has a chance.
="Danger-Signals” without the Danger.= There was the man who had queer feelings all over his body, especially in his head and stomach, and who considered these sensations as danger-signals warning him to stop. This man had worked up from messenger boy to a position next to the president in one of the transcontinental railroad systems. On the appearance of these “danger-signals” he had tried to resign but had been given a year’s leave of absence instead. Half the year had gone in rest-cure, but he was still afraid to eat or work, and believed himself “done for.” After three weeks of re-education he saw that instead of having overdrawn his capital, he had in another sense overdrawn his sensations. He went away as fit as ever, finished his leave of absence doing hard labor on his farm, and then went back to even harder tasks, working for the Government in the administration of the railroads during the war. He is still at work.
=Enjoying Poor Health.= There was the woman who had been an invalid for twenty years, doing little else during all that time than to feel her own feelings. Because of the distressing sensations in her stomach, she had for a year taken nothing but liquid nourishment. She had queer feelings in her solar-plexus and indeed a general luxury of over-feeling. She could not leave her room nor have any visitors. She was the star invalid of the family, waited on by her two hard-working sisters who earned the living for them all.