118:8 Control and Overcontrol
118:8.1 In the time-space creations, free will is hedged about with restraints, with limitations. Material-life evolution is first mechanical, then mind activated, and (after the bestowal of personality) it may become spirit directed. Organic evolution on the inhabited worlds is physically limited by the potentials of the original physical-life implantations of the Life Carriers.
118:8.2 Mortal man is a machine, a living mechanism; his roots are truly in the physical world of energy. Many human reactions are mechanical in nature; much of life is machinelike. But man, a mechanism, is much more than a machine; he is mind endowed and spirit indwelt; and though he can never throughout his material life escape the chemical and electrical mechanics of his existence, he can increasingly learn how to subordinate this physical-life machine to the directive wisdom of experience by the process of consecrating the human mind to the execution of the spiritual urges of the indwelling Thought Adjuster.
118:8.3 The spirit liberates, and the mechanism limits, the function of will. Imperfect choice, uncontrolled by mechanism, unidentified with spirit, is dangerous and unstable. Mechanical dominance insures stability at the expense of progress; spirit alliance liberates choice from the physical level and at the same time assures the divine stability produced by augmented universe insight and increased cosmic comprehension.
118:8.4 The great danger that besets the creature is that, in achieving liberation from the fetters of the life mechanism, he will fail to compensate this loss of stability by effecting a harmonious working liaison with spirit. Creature choice, when relatively liberated from mechanical stability, may attempt further self-liberation independent of greater spirit identification.
118:8.5 The whole principle of biologic evolution makes it impossible for primitive man to appear on the inhabited worlds with any large endowment of self-restraint. Therefore does the same creative design which purposed evolution likewise provide those external restraints of time and space, hunger and fear, which effectively circumscribe the subspiritual choice range of such uncultured creatures. As man's mind successfully overstrides increasingly difficult barriers, this same creative design has also provided for the slow accumulation of the racial heritage of painfully garnered experiential wisdom—in other words, for the maintenance of a balance between the diminishing external restraints and the augmenting internal restraints.
118:8.6 The slowness of evolution, of human cultural progress, testifies to the effectiveness of that brake—material inertia—which so efficiently operates to retard dangerous velocities of progress. Thus does time itself cushion and distribute the otherwise lethal results of premature escape from the next-encompassing barriers to human action. For when culture advances overfast, when material achievement outruns the evolution of worship-wisdom, then does civilization contain within itself the seeds of retrogression; and unless buttressed by the swift augmentation of experiential wisdom, such human societies will recede from high but premature levels of attainment, and the "dark ages" of the interregnum of wisdom will bear witness to the inexorable restoration of the imbalance between self-liberty and self-control.
118:8.7 The iniquity of Caligastia was the by-passing of the time governor of progressive human liberation—the gratuitous destruction of restraining barriers, barriers which the mortal minds of those times had not experientially overridden.
118:8.8 That mind which can effect a partial abridgment of time and space, by this very act proves itself possessed of the seeds of wisdom which can effectively serve in lieu of the transcended barrier of restraint.
118:8.9 Lucifer similarly sought to disrupt the time governor operating in restraint of the premature attainment of certain liberties in the local system. A local system settled in light and life has experientially achieved those viewpoints and insights which make feasible the operation of many techniques that would be disruptive and destructive in the presettled eras of that very realm.
118:8.10 As man shakes off the shackles of fear, as he bridges continents and oceans with his machines, generations and centuries with his records, he must substitute for each transcended restraint a new and voluntarily assumed restraint in accordance with the moral dictates of expanding human wisdom. These self-imposed restraints are at once the most powerful and the most tenuous of all the factors of human civilization—concepts of justice and ideals of brotherhood. Man even qualifies himself for the restraining garments of mercy when he dares to love his fellow men, while he achieves the beginnings of spiritual brotherhood when he elects to mete out to them that treatment which he himself would be accorded, even that treatment which he conceives that God would accord them.
118:8.11 An automatic universe reaction is stable and, in some form, continuing in the cosmos. A personality who knows God and desires to do his will, who has spirit insight, is divinely stable and eternally existent. Man's great universe adventure consists in the transit of his mortal mind from the stability of mechanical statics to the divinity of spiritual dynamics, and he achieves this transformation by the force and constancy of his own personality decisions, in each of life's situations declaring, "It is my will that your will be done."