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John Bascom - Creator of Science of Mind - progenitor of New Thought

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John Bascom's

Science of Mind

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Introduction - Intellect - Mental Science's Divisions - Intellect's Divisions and Perceptions - The Understanding - The Reason - The Dynamics of the Intellect - Physical Feelings - Intellectual Feelings - Spiritual Feelings - Dynamics of Feelings - The Will - The Nervous System - Nervous System of Man - Executive Volition - Primary Volition, or Choice - Dynamics of the Will and the Mind - The Relations of the Systems Here Offered to Prevalent Forms of Philosophy - Index - Contents -

Lesson 36 - 8. How cultivated The word conception - p.151

8. The strength of the imagination, aside from original gift, (1) depends on exercise. This faculty cannot fail to be called forth; the point of interest is chiefly the direction and degree of its employment. When made to minister to the judgment chiefly, it seems to be somewhat overshadowed by that graver power, and its action oftentimes appears to be less than it really is. Philosophy may be as impassioned as poetry. "When, on the other hand, the fancy is left to construct its imagery at the beck of desire, bound down to no useful artistic end, it leaves the mind extravagant in its conceptions, wayward and fickle in its purposes. Persons characterized by the unguarded, ungoverned action of this faculty, are inefficient and visionary. The most perfect and exclusive training of the imagination, is found in the fine arts. Here it is put to its boldest, yet most restrained and governed efforts. The sense of the beautiful calls it forth, and guides it, and the combined vigor and poise of its action yield the highest works of art, the statue, painting, cathedral. The energetic exercise of our intellectual powers, especially elicit this faculty. All forms of expression seek its lustre. (2) The power of the imagination is also increased by a cultivation of the senses. These give it material. If physical and mental phenomena are appreciatively received in the first instance, the imagination will restore them with corresponding clearness. The imagination is thus closely associated with the sensitive force and sportive freedom of the mental life.

There is, in this connection, a very misleading use of the word conception, to which we wish to draw attention. That an idea is conceivable or inconceivable, is constantly brought forward in philosophical discussion as a reason for its acceptance or rejection. There are other uses of the word to which we shall revert later, but the use which connects conception with imagination, and calls that conceivable

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