The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture XX – From William James

A Study In Human Nature

“Summing up in the broadest possible way the characteristics of the religious life, as we have found them, it includes the following beliefs:

  1. That the visible world is part of a more spiritual universe from which it draws its chief significance;
  2. That union or harmonious relation with that higher universe is our true end;
  3. That prayer or inner communion with the spirit thereof- be that spirit ‘God’ or ‘law’- is a process wherein work is really done, and spiritual energy flows in and produces effects, psychological or material, within the phenomenal world.

Religion includes also the following psychological characteristics:

  1. A new zest which adds itself like a gift to life, and takes the form either of lyrical enchantment or of appeal to earnestness and heroism.
  2. An assurance of safety and a temper of peace, and, in relation to others, a preponderance of loving affections.”

 

PDF of entire book: https://worldu.edu/library/william_james_var.pdf

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