In many ways, this is one of my most important Blog articles. If more people were to read this particular blog item, their lives and those of most of the world, would suddenly take a leap through time of enhanced living. At very least, if authors paid attention to this, especially, religious authors, their writing would do more good to more people than any religious tome preceding them.
William James, distrusted systems. One action, is a system, a simple system. Once it joins with another action/system, it triples in its complications; or more, but it doesn't just double in implications. Once it joins with a third system....
Trusting systems is all of useful, productive... and yet dangerous.
William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a medical doctor. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James.
"James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, his godson William James Sidis, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, Walter Lippmann, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr., Henri Bergson and Sigmund Freud.
"During his Harvard years, James joined in philosophical discussions with Charles Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Chauncey Wright that evolved into a lively group known as The Metaphysical Club in 1872. Louis Menand speculates that the Club provided a foundation for American intellectual thought for decades to come." [Wikipedia]
Below I have included some quotes of James, that I think are particularly interesting and useful, particularly in the endeavor of writing, not to mention, in scientific thought. They are in no particular order, as I will allow you that gracious and humbling activity within your own mind.
"Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results."
"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain."
"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
"A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him."
"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
"Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action."
"The 'I think' which Kant said must be able to accompany all my objects, is the 'I breathe' which actually does accompany them."
"The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one."
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."
"The essence of genius is to know what to overlook."
"The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought
"The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck."
"The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds."
"There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true Self."
"There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision."
"These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."
"We don't laugh because we're happy - we're happy because we laugh."
"Those thoughts are truth which guide us to beneficial interaction with sensible particulars as they occur, whether they copy these in advance or not."
[exactly what the Hell does this mean?]
"To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's being added to that being."
"To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal."
"Truth is what works."
[I believe by this, he means not simply that anything that works, is Truth. Rather that between two concepts, where one is faulty but supported by organized thought, and one is not faulty, then the one that is not faulty, the one that actually, "works", between those two, is the more reasonable choice, and thereby, Truth. As example, in the endeavor between religious or magical thought and scientific thought, when one points out what works, where it is "real" and verifiable, then it simply makes a better systemic choice than one that doesn't work as well (or at all), although it is based upon "faith", emotion, mythic beliefs, popular thought, or determined egoistic interpretation.]
"If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system."
[I believe that many of our modern society today, are living on another planet than the one I currently reside upon.]
"An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible."
"Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not."
[I wish I had read this years ago]
"We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood."
"We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be."
"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice."
"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude."
"Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings."
Quotes from Brainy Quotes