1. “It Whistles Itself”
A boy who was whistling loudly as he walked down the street was told to "stop that whistling." He replied, "I ain't whistlin'; it whistles itself." It is much so with a large part of the thinking that is done. It thinks itself.
The aforesaid boy was almost as automatic as another kind of whistling buoy, though his whistling was less useful. As the winds and waves set the buoy into action, so the automatic thinker thinks, mainly because something stirs him from the outside.
There are mechanical automatons made in the shape of a man, which, by proper winding, not only will whistle but play a musical instrument.
Who wants to be an automaton?
Ready-made thoughts are much like ready-made or second-hand clothes. They do not fit. If some one hits me, the ready-made thought says, hit back. I do not say that, but the automaton puts in his oar and answers for me.
Am I going to do my own thinking or let an automaton do it for me? Automatic thinking is not wise, well proportioned, or helpful. One cannot tell what it will bring. There may come:
"Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray,
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may."
The witches' cauldron in Macbeth did not contain a more ill assorted mixture, and the
"Something wicked this way comes.
of the second witch well illustrates the invitation of the automaton to all corners.
As thinking is the fountain for all action, it should not be turned loose to run at large. What a disorderly mob of thoughts smuggle themselves into the mind! Stand at the gateway of consciousness and see the procession enter. Could it be pictured upon a moving panorama or be acted upon the stage, what a dramatic medley would appear! It is all because they think themselves. It is true that but a small part of them ever reach the climax of seen form, but they all tend that way, and are fluttering to get loose. Every one of them wants to be hatched, have a body and try its wings. Those which succeed will have the stripe and color of the average that is within.
The brain is like a menagerie. Its caged mental forms bear close resemblance, in their nature, to various beasts, birds, and reptiles, tamed and untamed, gentle and savage. Perchance there may be a sideshow of monstrosities, but we will not look in.
Mind is peopled with all this motley assembly because it has left the door swinging on its hinges and the windows wide open.
The governor has abdicated, and the door-keeper is off duty.
A mind floating in a chaotic sea of of thoughts, without a ruling aim and positive ideal, is like a rudderless ship, at the mercy of winds, waves, and breakers.