Groups and Individual Brain Centers, Part 4
THE REFLECTIVE GROUP
Causality, Comparison and Mirthfulness are strongly marked in all who possess the powers of analysis, classification, reason, logic and general philosophic judgment in large degree.
Causality. - This faculty was localized by Dr. Gall. It lies on either side of comparison. It is the how, why, whence and whither unit of the mental faculties; considers cause and effect and with constructiveness large, invents and contrives ways and means. It gives a cliff-like formation to the upper part of the forehead, especially when mirthfulness is also prominent.
This faculty is remarkably developed in philosophers as the examination of their heads will verify. Plato was so called because of the breadth of his forehead; but it must be remembered that mere breadth will count for little if the actual length of the anterior brain, measuring from the opening of the ear, is deficient. Dr. Spurzheim in writing of this faculty declares, "It is the fountain of resources," while Dr. Gall says, "I have long observed that great philosophers had the anterior superior part of the forehead singularly large and prominent, as in Socrates, Democritus, Cicero, Bacon, Montaigne, Galileo, Leibnitz, Condillac, Diderot, Mendelssohn, and others."
When excessively developed, especially when unsupported by keen observing and executive powers, there is a tendency to much theory and speculation without practical application and results. The remedy lies not in restraint, but in cultivating a more practical mind.
Deficiency results in a sparcity of ideas, shallow reasoning and helplessness in the face of unexpected circumstances.
Cultivate by a study of philosophy and by forming the habit of thinking things out from cause to effect.
Comparison. - This faculty was localized by Dr. Gall. It lies between eventuality and human nature.
In normal action it gives the power of inductive reasoning, analysis and discrimination. Dr. Spurzheim sums up the activities of this faculty as follows: "Its aim is to form abstract ideas, generalize and establish harmony among the operations of the other faculties." Excess or Perversion results in hyper-criticism, fault-finding and hair-splitting illustration.
Restrain by avoiding metaphors and similes. Strive to make all criticism kindly and constructive.
Deficiency of this faculty can be overcome by deliberate practice of reasoning and careful analysis of persons and affairs.
Mirthfulness.-Was localized by Dr. Gall. It is situated outward from causality and above the brain center of time. In regard to the functioning of this faculty, Dr. Gall writes:
In all persons I have examined, eminently endowed with this faculty, I have found the anterior superior lateral parts of the forehead considerably prominent in a segment of a sphere. It carries with it an irresistible propensity to ridicule everything, sparing neither friend nor foe, its possessors even launching their satire at themselves. Aristophanes was so bitter that he did not spare his own family, and ridiculed even Socrates. Henry IV has been reproached for jesting and gaiety even in battle, and the untimely sallies of 11is lively mind. Diogenes amused himself with all the follies of his age. Cicero had an extreme inclination to raillery, as had Horace and J uvenal; and this organ is large in all of them. There is no longer any doubt that this talent is indicated by this organism.
This faculty has been looked upon by many as a mere mirth or ridicule-producing faculty; but I am convinced that it is one of the most brilliant of our intellectual faculties adding pith and point to all mental processes.
Functioning Normally it supplies perception of wit, humor, fun, the absurd and the ludicrous, revealing as with a searchlight, all the incongruities, fallacies, pretenses and foibles in our own lives and those of others.
Perversion. - When this faculty is not influenced by patience and kindness it results in sarcasm, ridicule, untimely merriment or crude jokes, clownishness, etc.
Restrain by considering the feeling of others. Many a life has been crushed or warped by thoughtless ridicule. Many a good friend has been estranged through untimely merriment.