HUMAN FACULTY 275
omit many details, doubting the accuracy of my own memory in those respects. There can be no impropriety now in publishing the name hitherto withheld.
I gave in the lecture many examples of guiding " stars " and the like, and referred to the fact that the visionary temperament has manifested itself largely at certain historical times, and under certain conditions of national life, and endeavoured to account for this by the following considerations:
That the visionary tendency is much more common among sane people than is generally suspected.
I n early life it seems to be a hard lesson for an imaginative child to distinguish between the real and the visionary world. If the fantasies are habitually laughed at and otherwise discouraged, the child soon acquires the power of distinguishing them ; any incongruity or nonconformity is quickly noted, the fact of its being a vision is found out ; it is discredited, and no further attended to. I n this way the natural tendency to see visions is blunted by repression. Therefore, when popular opinion is of a matter-of-fact kind, the seers of visions keep quiet ; they do not like to be thought fanciful or mad, and they hide their experiences, which only come to light through inquiries such as those I have been making. But let the tide of opinion change and grow favourable to supernaturalism, then the seers of visions come to the front. I t is not that a faculty previously non-existent has been suddenly evoked, but that a faculty long smothered in secret has been suddenly allowed freedom to express itself, and it may be to run into extravagance owing to the removal of reasonable safeguards.