The materialist empirical scientist denies the possibility of free will and free decisions arising from it. Such a scientist reduces the world and all in to law-compelled patterns of behaviour, and includes himself in his law-conditioned system. Thus he is, by his own hypothesis, unable to act in any unconditioned way. His view-point condemns him to conformity with natural law; he is enslaved by his belief in his own unfreedom.
But the man who believes in spirit as a real force of free self-determination, from his own understanding of himself, can bring himself to attain the freedom he believes in.
The question is raised for the human being:
Which is the most profitable belief; That man is unfree, or That he is free?
In both cases there must be study,
Either, because the unfree man is compelled by natural forces to think,
Or, because the relatively free man wills to extend his freedom.
The man of spirit, believing in the possibility of extending his freedom by acts of will, will study his own constitution. He wills to know how to eliminate the causes of further falling, and to increase the freedom he still retains. All the great religions and philosophies and true sciences teach ways to this freedom.
The great religions call the final freedom “Salvation“.
The great philosophies call it “Enlightenment“.
The great sciences will call it ultimate “Truth“.
The low-grade, old fashioned, materialist scientist confines his attention to study of what he believes to be “matter”. Mental inertia still binds him into the world of “atoms”, although these are now known not be the basic building bricks of reality.
The man of spirit continually returns his attention to the central principle of his own constitution, that is, to his initiative. He works always to regain his hold on his own real self, the hold that he partly lost at his fall.