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Riggall, R.M. (1927). General: William A. White. The Adjustments and Unity of the Organism. Psyche, 1926, Vol. VII, p. 5.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:79-80.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: William A. White. The Adjustments and Unity of the Organism. Psyche, 1926, Vol. VII, p. 5.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:79-80

General: William A. White. The Adjustments and Unity of the Organism. Psyche, 1926, Vol. VII, p. 5.

Robert M. Riggall

Simple cells show a lack of organization. In living matter there is a tendency for paths of energy to become permanent, and it is in this tendency that we find the beginning of structuralization of function or the formation of definite tracts by energy. These energy channels become permanently organized, the organization being transmitted to form part of the organism. Later, organization follows a definite plan and we find head and tail ends, etc. Experiments show that energy is highest at the point where the stimulus is received. The tapering of energy intensity is called the dynamic gradient. From these conclusions it is suggested that the single-celled organism has a head in effect, if not in structure, and the beginning

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of mind. Mind is the final representation of the function of the organism as a whole. In the single cell is found the commencement of psychological types of reaction just as is found the simplest types of structural organization. Having touched on the evolution of the nervous system, White expresses a belief that all the internal organs have reached the limit of their development, but that the cerebral hemispheres may continue to increase in size and complexity. Mind is a function which has not yet become structuralized. It is suggested that bodily structures were originally mental. In the lower types function appears long before structure. We cannot lay down functions in structure until they have been well tried through the ages. Mind being function without structure is very adaptable. Automatic mental processes such as control the viscera and endocrine glands represent stages which are intermediate between the fluid quality of mind and definitely laid down structures. Malignant growths are explained in terms of the organism's dynamic gradient, the controlling force at the head end being insufficient to affect all parts of the body equally: local irritation will thus develop an organization of its own. Instincts are divided into two main groups, the sex or life and ego or death instincts. In this connection no mention of Freud is to be found.

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Article Citation

Riggall, R.M. (1927). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:79-80

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