Varieties of Religious Experience JPs book summary

by William James (1842 - 1910)



Donít look to the bible for scientific truths

††††††††††† Geniuses are doers.If genius and psycho possibly religious leader.Bible maybe refuted scientificallly.But not in terms of value.


Most religious value be judged by 3 things 1)Immediate luminousness 2)philosophical reasonableness and 3)moral helpfulness.

††††††††††† fetishism and magic create inward piety (which may be primitive science as easily as early religion.)†† Religion for this is feelings, acts and experiences of individualness in their solitude.So far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine (the divine being associated with solemnity in which no distinctions can really be drawn).This is prescientific there is never a question of degree or amount 44-46 compare marcus Auraleius and Germania theologies sharing the zest in religion, the sublime beyond the mundane.Religion believes in order and adjusted yourself to this universal order.Beliefs elicit reactions often stronger than realized.Kant and Plato noted and gave proper reality to these ideals that we live as if the were real.People often have religious experiences (mystical).Hedonism and if a creed makes one happy he almost inevitably adopts it.Some are always happy and see only good like Walt Whitman.Religion is scientifically proven true by mind cure.†† At least to that persons satisfaction.When I pray I get strength can and is proven each day.Science gives us lights and telephones.Religion gives mental and moral poise, happiness and cures.There are animal and regenerate forms of happiness.Evil law be thought of as a mistake to be corrected or as intrindinct and uneable on the whole latins take the former germanics take the latter.If so , might they need separate religions?If fate is precarious.If we could have been born in different situations isnít our happiness a snicleer.The greek and orientals acknowledge death and all as vanity.But the Greeks react masculinely and they know not the joy ofthe adherents of Buuddhusm or islam or christianity.Epicurus sought mostly to to avoid unhappines and strong joy which always brought an equal and opposite and so was avoided.Stoics said the mordy good and can get is free possession of eres soul.All other goods are lies this is an earthly simple repirement (epicurean) ormoral will (stoic) which seeks no unity on a higher plane.Historically rapturous joy comes from radical pesssimism.Science may be objective experiences subjective when one sees all horrible some say something most be concealed, thus a search, often beginning in extacy begins. Tolstoy 150 3 examples: The vanity of mortal things sense a sin, fear of the universe.So we have the mind cure and the evil view.The completest religion wouls have both pessimism and deliverence.Happy folks a re needed only to be once born. the sick twice internally this struggle is epitomized by augustine.Religion is one way of reconciling 1 or 2.Tolstoys resolution he found no justification for living in the finite and so had to look to the infinite.God is the only thing that keeps us 101yoi worth giving for.When the president goes fishing his agenda and mind transform, not convert(PS Tolstoy gets no happiness) Religious conversion is total reorder like that can happen vialove, anger, jealousy guilt and remorse.This happens to many between the ages of 14, 17 as their world view taked broadening leaps.Only religious ones in adolescents are more intense and shorter than secular growth spurts.Youth and drunkards have conversion from sin with little or no doctrinal reference.Some are conversion feeling boysen (though often are this type suprised) others convert by volition on self surrender. To excercize the perfect will is to live in the region where the imperfect self is the thing most emphasized.So surrender is really needed.Psychology and religion both say there is more than the conscious.But subconscious inside or force outside is where they part.Both require exhaustion conversion is often accompanied by the ending bad habits and isolation now we percieve a mental field which can be expanded or contracted. See all or only ones illness.If hes around us like a magnetic field inside of which our center of energy turns like a compass needle.

Our whole past store of memories flloats around this margin.This line is vague so what is actual and is potential is hard to say.Methodism and revivalism assume 2 times birth are needed such a large change is naturally seen as a miracle lights and voices are often heard.A sense of evil is needed for redemption.Has what is outside it is developed or or has great potential it can burst into our daily lives (that outside our field of cause).This may take the form of automatic speech by writing and his seem oblivious in post hypnotic suggestions results.Psychoanalysis has shown this murky underworld.But this is not degrading to the experience because again we cannot tell the eworth of something by its origin.If it is good then thats the is to be senemerated if it isnít worth while we shouldnít waste our time with it, supernatural or not and it is nearly impossible to tell those converted from those unconverted.Many non two timeborn are as radiant.The question is not how it happens but what is attained.The subconscious maybe the way through which God reaches us.It is needed in the train ending of the previously explained external control that oppress one.Three states associated with this 1) assuredness that all is right 2) percieving truths previously not seen 3) an objective change that newness beautifiesevery object (the opposite of melancholy hallucinations and extreme to the fruits religious experience are amongst the best things history has to show, highest happiness charity devotion trust and bravery.We are constantly in the throw between yes and no.If there is a conflict anger or indignation are great at pushing one over the top of another.Some naturally have more access to these.Someone with personal energy who is activated by spiritual enthusiasms differ from his previous self in numerous ways.Obstaining saintiness (under view that selfish interest) belief an ideal power existing and willingness to surrender toit an elation a loving yes-yes.This has the following practical consequences 1) asceticism strength of soul sensitivity to spiritual discord charity and tenderness (269) Stoicism hinduism buddhism and christianity stress the wholeness.Loving enemies, cleaning lepers, no fear and death.A stranger moral transformation has within the last century, swept the western world.We no longer think that we are called on to force physical pain with equinamity. Those who flagelate themselves bring fear, not admiration. But it is good to court the arduous will accompanied by reflective criticismhabit, stimulus innhibitions leaves a good or bad taste bringscharacter, texture and power beyond smiles theworldliness and passive happiness sainthood requires renunciationobedience and and poberty.†† sutor the obedience of ignatius layolas obedience catholics have fixed definitions of man and his saintliness and perfection.We cannot speak of the value of saintliness without belief in the diety involved.But when we historically cease to admire orapprove, what the definition and fuits of a diety are we toss it overboard.God used to need monarchy to inflict random cruelty to seem soveriegn enough.The need to placate by blood sacrifice we can no longer take seriously.†† They would have abhored our bland formless pantheism.He will test the fruits therefore by seeing whether or not the life style commends itself with our reference to the god.This anyhow is has it has always been adopted or discarded.This provisionalism isnít skeptical it is accepting our fallability and doing something about it. We speak again of this personal experience which often gets followers inmitiutions etc.This experience often first begets isolation. Though much is accomplished by one sidedness, we are thankfulfor diversity and neednít feel bad that we aren;tto unilaterally inclined.We appreciate reformers and michalangelo but others ways as well.Often it is the saints devotedness we honor and honoring him becomes the overiding concern to where honoring of any other seems apostacy.This leads to killing fanaticism is one bad of religion.10th? century saints like theresa only cared for what the lord would do for them and did nothing for others.To god purely concerned with minute accounts of our shortcomins is too small for us.Luther brought this to an end. So diverce fromintellectual concepts ains to hot.The next sainly virtue we find in excess is purity.Not making only order in the world or large, but obsessively in their own little world by excessive purity.Not making only order in the world at large, but obsessively in their own little world by excessive purity.All of society must be avoided in this pursuit.Minute monastic management follows.Catholicism of the 16th century was not concerned with saving others or social righteousness, just saving oneself.Concentraton on minutia is seen in scholasticism.The next areas of excess are charity and tenderness?Turn the other cheek isnít good in a world with evil.The whole history of constitutional government is a commentary on the excellence of resisting evil.But not having such a vision for the future would undoubtedly make it a worse world.Belief in peoples worth was saved many.They have saved us from spiritual stagnancy. The next topic is asceticism.Those who concentrate on total renunciation are still obsessed with the outide.We now have trouble relating.But it is valuable as a twice born modelof there being something wrong in this world overcomeable by will and god not by ignoring it helps those in dire circumstances be happy and knowing lifes tragic end though it is an escape not a solution for all.It is a profound way of handling the gift of existence.Can we incorporate it is we view crass materialism?This is somewhat realized in war but ascetics and warriors differ in that soldiers must weed out different feelings.Poverty may be the strenuous life out time lacks without crushing ďweakerĒ people.we should sing the praises of poverty as many operate out of a fear of it.Poverty to simplify and save ones inner life.Scarceity not scare city.Paying our way by what we are or do , not have.Thing on this tradition.Rich men cower at the thought of poverty, canít be happy unless their home is properly artistic.wonít have children until they have a big bankroll and dread the fate of manual labor. How unmanly and irreligious.Not fearing poverty would give us strength in unpopular causes, not fearing a loss of promotion, stocks falling etc.Fear of poverty among the educated class is one of the worst moral diseases from which we suffer.361-2 in their nichzie said we must fear those we pity more than those we fear.The battle between he and the saidn depends on whether we come from the seen or unseen. These can be more than are ideal type of person.The strong man is inferior because the weak man extrapointed makes you a higher type of society.The world would be so much worse without saints.. therefore we would do well to aspire towards them.

Mysticism definition can be narrowed via the 4 following

1) ineffability 2) noetic meaning they also seem to be states of knowledge and truth

the other 2 things less defined and essential are point of it.3) transciency it cannot be sustained long.grasped by a supperior power.There are levels of power from the epiphany which comes when you finally get something youíve heard many times before to deja vu to trance to alchohol (whose grip on man is due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties). alchohol stimulates the yeses and unites to the poor it fills the void of symphonies and literature.NO2 at least tells us these are other states simultaneously.We fuse with these different models as a hegelian dialectic.The present is pushed by the past and sucked by the future the present is a forgone conclusion we are ever too late to understand it.No account of the universe can be given in its totality which neglects mystical states but they are hard to include because they are discontinuous with normal consciousness.The keyword of them all seems to be reconciliation of opposition or oneness.