Action is so manifestly the outcome of volition that the...

The Christian Science Monitor

Action is so manifestly the outcome of volition that the human mind claims, without contradiction, the ability of producing, continuing, or stopping almost any action of the human being at will. When it comes to what it calls inanimate matter, however, the human mind is obliged to admit that it cannot explain the action of wind, wave, gravity, or growth; and so it classifies the action which it assumes to control as voluntary, while all other action is called involuntary action, or operation that is extraneous to the human mind. If action is ever dependent upon volition, however, it must always so depend; and the fact that the human mind does not understand the volition behind natural phenomena, does not disprove the existence of it. The obvious contradictions involved in the belief that mind is in matter leave the human mind powerless to explain many of the phenomena of the material universe. Action apart from volition is nevertheless impossible, although volition is certainly not to be found in matter. "By its own volition," Mrs. Eddy writes on page 191 of Science and Health, "not a blade of grass springs up, not a spray buds within the vale, not a leaf unfolds its fair outlines, not a flower starts from its cloistered cell."

There is indeed no satisfactory explanation of the action of the natural world except in the fact that real nature is spiritual and that the will, or creative source, whence man and nature emanate, is Spirit, God. No least or greatest idea of action exists without Principle; all real activity, growth, and power express the infinite volition of Mind. Upon this understanding, that there is but one infinite will or divine Principle, Mrs. Eddy clearly based her declaration, on page 187 of Science and Health, that "there is no involuntary action. The divine Mind includes all action and volition, and man in Science is governed by this Mind. The human mind tries to classify action as voluntary and involuntary, and suffers from the attempt."

When it is admitted that infinite Principle has set in motion all the forces of the universe, and that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good," the human mind is shorn of a favorite evasion in attributing the evils of the material world to God. If, then, action and power are wholly spiritual and good, how are the violences of matter to be accounted for? By precisely the same determinative element of the human will through which a mortal chooses to find pleasure in sin. It is impossible, that is to say, to assume that man is created by some inscrutable will to exist in a material body, without admitting the action of that material will in evil as well as material good. The moment you conceive of a material universe you conceive of something outside of divine Principle, outside of spiritual law and harmony; therefore the material universe and material man are the unreal phenomena of an unreal mortal mind, and express the fluctuations and passions of that mind.

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