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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 108 - 1. The will strengthened by use - p.425

1. THE will is so nearly single, that little is to be said of the form of its activity. There is but one line of exertion, executive volitions resting back on a choice. This endures as a permanent impulse, and finds execution in mingled voluntary and vital action. From what has been said, it is evident that animals are destitute of all proper power of choice. Their action is the unconscious or the involuntary resolution of physical states and feelings into muscular impulse. The feelings which arise in consciousness are as directly connected with action as those physical states which never there present themselves, but, in the darkness and concealment of a purely vital force, accomplish their purpose.

The will is strengthened chiefly by use, and that not alone by its own activity, but even more by the restraint and check thus imposed on the appetites and passions. These, allowed control for any length of time, assume so domineering and persistent a form, that the will regains only with the utmost difficulty the ground that it has lost. This anarchy of the soul is, of all forms of confusion, the least susceptible of a remedy, as aid cannot come from abroad, and the chronic weakness of the powers that offer resistance to the mob of impulses, and establish authority over them, speedily passes beyond all cure. Some sudden shock of the moral nature, in rare cases the awakening of a strong desire, is the only spring of hope.

In speaking of the activities of the mind as a whole, we

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