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Page 78

DISSOCIATION AND THE ATTENTION
The News Censorship of Interest

senses had faithfully reported the street noise to his mind, but his discriminating attention had vigilantly diverted them from consciousness.
The countryman newly arrived in a great city gawks about, all eyes. and ears. Almost every sense-impression means to him something new and strange or beautiful. Yet in a short time these things cease to interest him, , until, in the midst of the city's turmoil, he is able to become absorbed in conversation with a friend.
The whispered sound of one's own name will attract his attention amid a babel of loud voices. The rumble of a passing street-car will be unperceived by one who will nevertheless be annoyed by the hum of a mosquito.

Page 79

DISSOCIATION AND THE ATTENTION
The News Censorship of Interest

In all these cases a feeble sensation is allowed to become active in consciousness and is perceived with great clearness, while a throng of much stronger sensations occurring at the same time is forced to pass unnoticed. The hum of the mosquito is as nothing compared to the noise of the passing car, yet the car goes by unperceived.
Is it possible, then, that the light and sound vibrations coming from these external objects first awaken the senses, and that the senses then arouse the consciousness? Not at all: the senses and consciousness were all awake and active all the time, and they received these ether vibrations and disposed of them; but that part o f the mind called consciousness, and capable ,of looking in

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