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send out a motor order to raise the hand or speak a word.”
Now I will ask one of our wise teachers, Miss Dow, to show us by aid of a diagram from Prof. Hallock's book the location of the several areas of the brain.
Miss Dow. The impression of things seen by us are carried on sensory nerves to the area called “visual,” at the back of head. What is heard by us is carried to the "auditory" area, on both sides of the head, around the ears. When we are saying something, or doing something with our feet and hands, the nerves are at work in the "motor" area. When our thoughts are busy in the “sensory” area the facts are reported to the brain by the five senses of sight and hearing and smell and touch and taste. Notice that the front of the brain is called the “Higher psychical area.” It is here that we do our thinking about God and the Christian life and Heaven.
Tiny "furrows" or "ruts" or "tracks" are made in the brain by what we see and do-impressions which are never effaced. These "furrows" are made not only by thoughts, but by acts.
These “tracks” on the brain give a basis for the right
mental and moral training of children. I once heard a wonderful address about these brain “furrows" in a Sunday school by a pastor to an audience of several hundred children sitting with their teachers and parents.
"Perhaps you do not know it" said the pastor, "but everything you say and do, and think of is making tracks across the brain inside your head. The good things you say and do make good tracks. For example, the Bible verses you read make good tracks. The kind and helpful things you do make good tracks. Bad tracks are made by telling lies, or swearing, or by reading bad books, or looking at bad pictures, or by what you hear said by bad companions. These tracks on your heads are there to stay? They actually grow in. Unlike railroad tracks which are sometimes broken up, either to be destroyed or put elsewhere, the head tracks cannot be pulled up. I am sure you are all wanting to make good tracks on your heads, and that is what we are trying to teach you to do by our work in the Sunday school. And that is what your parents are trying to teach you to do. And you must keep a daily, an hourly watch over yourselves not to keep company
with anyone who will get you to make bad tracks.” CHAIRMAN. I suggest that every parent and teacher make a copy of this brain, and one more, and call one the brain of a bad boy or girl, and write the names of the bad tracks. “Seeing bad pictures” would go on "visual” area; "hearing bad words" on "auditory" area; "tasting beer" would go on "sensory" area; “stealing" would go on "motor” area.
On the other brain—that of a good boy or girl"prayer" would go on "higher psychical” area; “clean words" on "auditory” area; “clean pictures" on "visual” area; "tasting healthy food” on “sensory” area; and “kind, helpful acts” on “motor" area.
I will ask a mother, Mrs. Esther, to give us a digest of a book about these "tracks” entitled “The Secret of Character Building,” by Prof. John B. DeMotte. I recommend the book. It is published by S. C. Griggs & Co. of Chicago. It should be in every public library.
Wonderful Habit Tracks on the Brain That Make It Harder or Easier to Do Right MRS. ESTHER. We are told that the physical basis of a vicious life is a net work of trunk lines in which the incarrying waves of stimulation waken in the soul a host of accustomed activities, such as vile memories, alluring imaginations, craving appetites, all having well worn routes through the out-carrying nerves to whatever lines of conduct have been followed in their development. The physical basis of a virtuous life is a network of trunk lines, where the incoming waves of stimulation, on reaching the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, find these well worn tracks, with switches already set, leading to the God-given higher possessions, of the Soul; holy memories, pure imaginations, consecrated ambitious, righteous judgments and a will whose nerve connection with these higher faculties is so perfect that at once, unless the line of duty presents complications requiring consideration, the commands for right conduct are flashed out through the outgoing nerve tracks and instantly obeyed.
CHAIRMAN. There are many proofs that these tracks and ruts in the brain are formed by habitual action, bad, good or indifferent. De Motte tells of an old soldier bringing home a beefsteak in one hand and a basket of eggs in the other. A wag who knew something of psychology by observation, though he probably never heard the word, shouted "Halt! Attention," and the food fell to the street as the soldier quickly "obeyed orders." When a mob of slaves secured spears and swords to fight for freedom,
their masters, who also knew something of the psychology of habit without book study, armed themselves for a charge with their heavy whips, and the slaves dropped their new weapons and fell down in surrender, pleading for mercy. So when we have long been in the habit of obeying right orders or bowing as a slave to vices, we do so almost automatically at some sound or sight. For instance the pledged man who has never used alcoholic drinks and has put his personal relation to them into the category of settled issues, and is wont to turn down his glass or to say “I am a pledged teetotaler," meets a new temptation almost automatically with no struggle and no argument. President King, of Oberlin, quotes the great psychologist James as urging the good sense of settling as many plain issues of right and wrong as possible early in life, and making it known to associates that those issues are settled, which means to a gentleman or lady it is not good form to debate them further or urge us to do otherwise.
By special efforts for a few weeks one can put the right program of each day so plainly into brain tracks of good habits that one will do his various duties almost without effort. Accustom your child to rise promptly in the morning at the call of the alarm clock or of mother's voice, and to wash, and dress, and kneel to pray, and eat breakfast; and go straight to the tooth brush and the toilet, and all these things will almost unconsciously follow each other like the march of the minute hand of the clock. So at night let supper be followed by Bible reading for a few days, and that succession will become almost as automatic as putting one foot before the other in walking. Someone has said that one who goes fishing three Sundays will find it hard not to go on the fourth, and he who goes to church three Sundays will find it easy to go on the
fourth. The best way to keep out the bad tracks is to see to it that the good tracks get there first.
It is very hard to cut off drinking, smoking, gambling, fighting, stealing and sensual habits after they are once started because they become deep ruts in the nerve cells. Few people succeed in getting out of these bad ruts unless Jesus Christ comes into the soul, and he does not instantly remove the rúts; indeed they are never wholly removed. He re-enforces the new resolution with a new liking for the right way, but it is like driving an auto across four "trunk lines" with no filling in for crossings for a man used to swearing, drinking, gambling, sensual living to quit them all and follow the way of the cross. Continually the wheels get where they pull hard to some of the old ruts and the struggle of the 7th of Romans between evil habits on the one side, and the new spirit on the other, goes on. Many tire of the struggle, especially if the community leaves the old temptation all about. And those whose strong wills, re-enforced by the divine will, persist can never be the same as if they had not rutted their nerves with selfish and sinful habits; much less can anyone cancel the unceasing results of his bad influence
Jerry McCauley, thief and drunkard, became a Christian and helped to save other men, but he died prematurely saying: "Jerry McCauley the son of God is dying when he has lived out but half his days because of the sins of Jerry McCauley the son of Belial.” The “gladdest” life is when by a new nature received from God it becomes "second nature" to do God's will. When Jesus says “Follow me" it means, “Do as I do," and by so doing we put the same'tracks in our brains that were in his, which lead through glad service to joy on earth and Heaven beyond.