Summer School 1965 – Lecture 4
By J. G. Bennett


“My belief is that we have a legitimate place in the universe, not merely by being scientific objects, nor by being the puppets of an omnipotent Creator; but because we, in our present moment, have, not only the power of choice but even creative possibilities of bringing something into existence which could not exist without us. That is really the essential meaning of the present moment. If the present moment is a region in which the will is free to act, it follows that a limited being, capable of having a present moment large enough to be able to entertain purposes and to distinguish between values, has also to be a creator, And as I said, not merely a creator by permission, as it were, but a full-fledged real creator – making something which, without him, would not be there at all.”


(First published by the Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences. Note that the terminology of positive (+) and negative (-) as used in the original has been reversed here, for sake of clarity, and the text correspondingly adjusted. In the first paragraph on page 8 three significant changes are marked by asterisks, but they occur throughout. Readers of The Dramatic Universe Volume Four will find even there that the nomenclature of positive and negative or active and passive is somewhat difficult to follow and sometimes used inconsistently. The reason for this has to do with what is meant by a ‘determining condition’ – such as time, eternity, etc. – which we have no space to discuss here.)

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