Monday, June 25, 2007

William James and Doubt - It's a Good Thing

"This review not only clearly records James's impatience with determinism but shows his new agility - which owes much to Renouvier in particular - in turning pejorative terms into positive concepts. 'Doubt itself is an active state,' says James, and he quotes Renouvier for support: 'The radical sign of will, the essential mark of that achieved development which makes man capable of speculating on all things and raises him to his dignity of an independent and autonomous being, is the possibility of doubt.' "

from page 177 ch 27 The Trouble with Herbert Spencer of "William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism" by R. D. Richardson.

So it seems that doubt is a path to knowledge and progress.

William James was Depressed

I suppose I've always had the subconscious opinion that famous productive people live their entire lives self confident and psychologically healthy. It has been helpful to me to learn that the famous psychologist William James was depressed for most of the time from his twenties until his late thirties. He wrestled with it for a long time. I'm reading a biography of him ( "William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism" by R. D. Richardson.) and he is now in his late thirties, recently married, and it looks like he is finally going to win this battle.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Meister Eckart

Why do I find this fascinating? It is a quote from Meister Eckart.

I am as certain as I live that nothing is so close to me as God. God is nearer to me than I am to my own self; my life depends upon God's being near me, present in me. So is he also in a stone, a log of wood, only they do not know it.

This is from page 511 of Campbell's book cited in the two previous posts.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Erich Smallwood

A close friend of two of my nephews in Northeast Arkansas is killed in Iraq. His name was Erich Smallwood. We honor you Erich.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cool Quotes while thumbing through Soul Tsunami

Knowledge is both objective and participatory - Chemist Ilya Prigogine

Live with your century, but do not be its creature; render to your contemporaries what they need, not what they praise. - Poet Frederich von Schiller

from the first chapter of Soul Tsunami by Leonard Sweet

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