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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 -


secondary volitions springing out of consciousness, though properly phenomena of mind, become inseparably blended with those automatic, unconscious movements by which most vital action, and the larger share even of what is termed voluntary action, are sustained.

Lesson 95 - 2. Interaction of voluntary and involuntary stimuli - p.392

2. The voluntary and conscious region of action is evidently very much more limited in the lower animals than in man. We might expect this from the much larger relative development of the secondary, nervous centres, as compared with the cerebrum the seat or instrument of conscious activity in the one case than in the other. A command of limbs, a power and discipline of muscle, which with man are the result of protracted training, are spontaneous in the young of animals. No conscious, tentative effort seems to lie back of their powers. They develop themselves spontaneously, with the precision, certainty and rhythm of automatic life. Stimuli, sensations do their work directly, and when as feelings they enter consciousness, they seem to depart thence with an automatic, rather than with a voluntary impulse, with the decision and certainty of a self -sustained movement, rather than with the hesitancy and uncertainty of choice. With primary volitions, secondary volitions also disappear, and the conscious and unconscious feelings, or, more properly, the feelings and unrecognized physical states, blend with each other in securing fitting muscular action.

In man, in connection with choice, there enters into action a large element of both conscious and voluntary impulses, and these mingle with, and modify, and are sustained by, the involuntary action of lower nervous centres. Indeed, the acquisition of skill seems to consist in transferring the nervous impulse from the conscious to the unconscious centres, or at least in sustaining the one by the automatic action of the other. The distinct, conscious, voluntary

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