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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 -


the weaker motive, grounds itself neither on experience nor philosophy. It is an ill-grounded affirmation under either view of it.

Lesson 102 - 5. Effect of liberty and responsibility of this view - p.407

5. Again, to what a mere shadow does it reduce liberty. We are free by virtue of a power never put forth. If we could not accept the rejected alternative, we should not be free; yet, one of the two alternatives always, before choice, stands in such relation to the will, that it never accepts it. The action of the will is practically as fixed by antecedent conditions as any line of causation. One might as well claim that a python should walk because of certain rudimentary limbs hidden under its skin, as to annex all the fearful consequences of sin to such a hypothetical power as this a power that has never found exercise, subserves no practical purpose, and is only possessed of a metaphysical existence. To sustain the ponderous chain of sin its interlocked links reaching through all eternity, its galling weight crushing the life of myriads by so theoretical and fanciful a support, can certainly never subserve the purposes of actual moral government.

Farther, a will of this sort, is wholly superfluous. If motives have superior efficiency, and this efficiency is always yielded to, why should any volition intervene? There is a power present able to secure action, and that does secure the action that actually follows. Why should not this surplus of power, this over-balance of influence, be left in an immediate, precise, inevitable way to reach its own results. Are we to insert another wheel, itself with no practical connections, only that we may band to it the moral universe, and assert responsibility? If so, let us, in the name of virtue and honesty, give it some other office than that of simply bearing inward a power already existing in completeness in the motive. To deal thus subtly with one's moral judgments, to practise upon them with these evanescent

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