Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of by G. William Barnard

By G. William Barnard

Demonstrates convincingly the level to which James's mental and philosophical views additionally remain a wealthy source for these in particular drawn to the examine of mysticism. A critically-sophisticated, but gripping, immersion into the interior worlds of 1 of America's premier thinkers. Exploring Unseen Worlds is a severely refined, but gripping immersion into the interior worlds of 1 of America's most appropriate thinkers. It demonstrates convincingly the level to which James's mental and philosophical views remain a wealthy source for these particularly attracted to the examine of mysticism. The publication specializes in James's enduring fascination with mysticism and never merely finds James's lesser-known works on mysticism, but additionally probes into the tacit mystical dimensions of James's own existence and uncovers the magical implications of his many years lengthy curiosity in psychical examine.

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Those in my case were Christian, but I have grown so out of Christianity that entanglement therewith on the part of a mystical utterance has to be abstracted from and overcome, before I can listen. Call this, if you like, my mystical germ. It is a very common germ. It creates the rank and file of believers. 13 James's "mystical germ" appears to have been nurtured by a few personal experiences that could certainly, in James's sense of the word, be called mystical. One of these experiences occurred in 1898.

As he points out: It is impossible to convey an idea of the torrential character of the identification of opposites as it streams through the mind in this experience. I have sheet after sheet of phrases dictated or written during the intoxication, which to the sober reader seem meaningless drivel, but which at the moment of transcribing were fused in the fire of infinite rationality. 37 Depending upon one's aesthetic sensibilities, it is possible to conclude that James was perhaps overly harsh in his judgment of what he wrote while intoxicated.

For instance, below is one excerpt from the journal of the Swiss writer and philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel: One day, in youth, at sunrise, sitting in the ruins of the castle of Faucigny; and again in the mountains, under the noon day sun, above Lavey, lying at the foot of a tree and visited by three butterflies; once more at night upon the shingly shore of the Northern Ocean, my back upon the sand and my vision ranging through the milky way;such grand and spacious, immortal, cosmogonic reveries, when one reaches to the stars, when one owns the infinite!

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