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I have always noticed a prevalent want of courage, even among persons of

superior intelligence and culture, as to imparting their own

psychological experiences when those have been of a strange sort. Almost

all men are afraid that what they could relate in such wise would find

no parallel or response in a listener's internal life, and might be

suspected or laughed at. A truthful traveller who should have seen some

extraordinary creature in the likeness of a sea-serpent, would have no

fear of mentioning it; but the same traveller having had some singular

presentiment, impulse, vagary of thought, vision (so-called), dream, or

other remarkable mental impression, would hesitate considerably before

he would own to it. To this reticence I attribute much of the obscurity

in which such subjects are involved. We do not habitually communicate

our experiences of these subjective things, as we do our experiences of

objective creation. The consequence is, that the general stock of

experience in this regard appears exceptional, and really is so, in

respect of being miserably imperfect.

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