When the conception of the nature of our mental endowment and the interest in the understanding thereof are derived from the unusual, the abnormal, and the obscure, instead of from the normal, law-abiding observations systematized and illumi- nated by long and successful research, there is danger that the interest will become unwholesome and the conception misleading. It is quite natural that the plain man should be interested in the experiences of the world of mind which form an intrinsic part of his common humanity ; and it is equally natural that he should find attraction in less commonplace and seemingly anomalous mental phenomena. If thunderstorms were as rare as total eclipses of the sun, it is likely that they would attract equal attention, be looked upon as terrifying and portentous by superstitious human-ity, and be invested by tradition wath mysterious significance, under the influence of the interest in the unusual. The existence of this interest is itself a distinctive trait meriting a psychological interpretation, and one not likely to be overlooked.


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