Psychological Elements of Personality
such significance as that we have been describing.
In this connection it means,
rather, a group of mental states bound together by a common element
In normal life, all thoughts, all mental pictures, that come to
us out of the past, are recognized by consciousness
as part o f our past. They do not come
to us as new or strange. We know theri for what they are, a part
All our conscious mental states, past and present, are therefore
normally linked together by a mental sense of recognition not only
as to their individual elements but as to each other. They
merge into a flowing stream of consciousness.
Memory's recognition of the past as
How the Personality May be Disintegrated
past thus unifies all conscious experience and
enables us to think of our selves as one individual or being.
The man we were yesterday was but another manifestation of the man that we
are today. And, in normal life, each person has normally but one " personality." There
are, however, abnormal conditions in which one or more groups of mental states
become split off from the others with no power of recognition or recall on
the part of memory to bridge the gap.
A characteristic type of abnormal dissociation is that mental ailment known
as functional amnesia, or forgetfulness, by which, as we have seen, a long
period of time or an epoch in a man's life is blotted from his memory,