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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -10



Though Humanity's progressive organization on the basis of better distribution of wealth and betterment of the conditions of labour and life is possible only to intelligence or rationality consistently and purposefully applied, a great part of Humanity is, as it were, immune to the appeals of Reason. Factors there are within the human being that refuse to be so cavalierly treated. They insist upon their rights within the human society. The great upheavals in society reveal that the progress of reason has not been as much as desirable, and that at the end of each of these we remain as we were.

What happens in society is mostly a rationalisation of sentiments and instincts. Mystification happens and a mythology is set up. Reason too is made to come to man in the form of sentiments and mythology. Hence there is so much excellence in mythology and so much of truth in its metaphorical utterances. This latter process of reason appearing in the forms of taboo and totem, in superstitious forms is very clearly demonstrated in the highest civilizations. The most prominent example of this sentimentalized rationality is the Hindu practice of Soucha and Yoga. Here reason has to gain sentimental value to be useful to society. But we would rather have this mode of organization than that sentiment should parade as reason. There is, however, a danger in the sense that man does not understand the purpose of a sentimentalized reason, and ends in blind acceptance.

In the definition of intelligence and its measurement, we are not in the presence of the equally important factor, the emotional and personal quality that alone can reveal the positive value of the individual to the society. Reason pure and simple is not a dynamic farce of transformation: emotion alone gives it impetus and a hold on the human consciousness. If Industrial Psychology has helped the invention of methods of measurement of intelligence, classification of work, and conditions of work which would not only make for better output and humanize industrial conditions at the same time, it has not found the difference in emotional quality. The factor of interest has been investigated, but it has not been linked properly or even scientifically with emotional conditions. There has been immense increase of insanity due to maladjustment of conditions of labour and unsanitary conditions of life of the working classes. Better feeding, better environment, that is, a feeding and an environment not dependent upon the precarious earnings of a father or widowed mother, has led to a remarkable fall in the mortality rate in many industrial towns. It has been found also that the fever and haste of modern life with its craze for speed and excitement has not a little to do with nervous prostration and utter breakdown. This has led to emotional disturbances.

We have found one supreme physiological truth that emotional disturbance is obviated by nervous organization and control. Putting this in psychological terms, what the nerves are to the emotional centres, the glands, that is intellection are to emotion. Prof. McDougall's theory of emotional drainage is a statement of the conditions under which emotions occur. Emotion occurs in the manner of an explosion or out letting through nervous channels, muscles. glands etc, when there is a damming up of energy in the nerves due to excessive nervous exhibition, in one direction and excessive nervous demand in another direction. Clearly, then, the entire dynamic centre of man's life consists in the emotional instability or stability dependent upon the demand for energy. But it is also seen that the overflow, explosion and drainage of this vital factor it not identical in all persons.

No doubt, the prude, the sentimentalist, the meticulous, and the society-lady and even the animals register the fundamental emotions in an identical manner. The science of expression in emotions is identical for any one emotion. But it is not known, nor will it ever be known by what particular stimulus they could be made to register it. Habit and environment determine a lot, especially in the case of minor emotions. An object, which appears dangerous, may provoke fear and then intense action. Rage may be produced by an object or person who interferes with action. But as to what objects are dangerous and what objects do interfere with action, that is altogether individual selection. What one detests and gets wild with may not be what another likes and enjoys or what still another person is indifferent to. The indeterminacy of the explosive moment is the most important psychological fact.

There is in spite of this indeterminacy a factor of universality in emotion. That is what every one recognizes as fear, anger, rage or joy when he sees it. Men can communicate with each other through their emotional expressions. Great psychologists like Darwin, Ribot, McDougall have analysed these signs and the total form, gestalt of these emotions. But then emotional indeterminacy and its explosive force have been eluding them.

Even in the best organization of society, alteration in the environment, feed, etc., have made emotions not feeble but infrequent. Though the animal expression of it has gone, there is none the less an expression of it in the more disorganised units of nationality and community in a very similar manner. The instinct of self-preservation and fear have alone been able to keep men away from the expression of diabolic frenzy and utmost cruelty. In the vaster organization of our national and communal life we are not on firmer ground. We have tried to impose a standard ethics, an ethics of restraint on the members and have succeeded in checking full expression in its animal way, but we have not been able to arrest expression as such. In the family, because of a mixture of instincts we are able to live in peace. In a community, because of our gregarious instinct, we are able to live without conflict. We give up some of our methods lest the same methods be meted out to us. On the whole, we are restrained in our less desirable instincts. But when we come to conflict between communities and families we are not on firm ground. A geographical boundary may guarantee the same unity that we find in the family and maintain the peace through affection for the members. It is, however, only in times of danger to the entire community or to the boundary we unite in one body and subscribe our wills to the preservation of our inviolability. In all these what happens is the restraint of our emotions. But as would be seen instincts check instincts: they limit emotions, and not reason. Reason comes in later to justify the control, or the morality, and this on the basis of utility. There is also the protective frenzy at work in the community and the nation. Irrational control pleads for a rational existence here. All the same even in the society, there is needed an outlet for the dynamism of emotion. Sports, competitions etc., just exist for these explosions of emotion. But when in a Puritanical society the strain on the nervous mechanism is maximum, or the limit of repression is reached, there is a terrific outburst of emotion. Emotion seen under these conditions is not linked up with any particular instinct nor idea. It is impossible to canalise it into any channel other than hatred and greed, nor with either of these could this be permanently linked. Emotion is polyandrous, in its being there is neither faith nor sanctity. Its frenzy is always primitive, repressive, barbaric and sudden. No wonder despite all attentions to its study on its physiological side by Prof. Cannon and Pavlov, and on its psychological side by McDougall, Ribot, Claparde, Lange and James it remains as mysterious and baffling as ever.

The fundamental determination of emotion as extrovert or introvert by Psycho-analysts like Adler and Jung has not produced a more satisfactory result. Measurement of Emotion with the aid of Galvanometer etc., has been most unscientific as William Brown and others have shown. It is one of the most credulous piece of psychological fiction. It does not measure the quantity, nor nature of emotion. In what sense it could be considered to be a measurement God only knows. It shows at most that the neural discharge in emotion is electrical. In muscular activity the heat and the activity done could be measured. But not the amount of electrical energy released. As to the very specious claim that the discharge of electricity enables us to determine the criminal from the innocent, well, it is only one of the American yarns.

The measurement of intelligence itself is an attempt to arrive at a constant for each individual and at a dependable statement of a man’s maximum capacity for work and organization. This itself is arrived at by determining the standard for the age and comparing it with a particular individual. The emotional measurement does not depend upon a standard for an age, nor could the standard be arrived at. In fact it appears to work at an inverse ratio. As age advances, there is more nervous control and, therefore, less emotion display. Nutrition and better environment and education do lessen fierceness, and the direction of emotion is also regulated. Despite all these difficulties, there is a need and a vital need for determining the emotional quotient of an individual.

Intelligence quotient has been found necessary on the belief of a maximum or limit of intelligence of each individual. Behind this belief is Spearman's proposition that here is a maximum power invested in each individual to which he could attain, but beyond it he could not go. But it is possible to diminish the power by malnutrition and prostitution of energy. On the truth of this proposition of limit also depends the truth of the emotional maximum. We could only arrive at this truth by statistics brought out by investigation. That would be our step. We have, however, stated, at the outset, our a priori reasons for its non-acceptance. But we have also found that they do not sufficiently warrant our giving up the search for the emotional quotient. We have proved that men are not equal in intelligence. That they may be lifted to equality by better adjustment is a probability on which we stake our experiments. "Intelligence and Passion are very close to genius. Who in our century will have the honour of bringing them together?" asks the artist and painter Albert Bernard. Emotional quotient then is a necessity that we perceive in the very success of the I. Q.