William James Quotes

William James Quotes: Since belief is measured by action, he who forbids us to believe religion to be true, necessarily also forbids us to act as we should if we did believe it to be true.
Most men have a good memory for facts connected with their own pursuits.
Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification processes
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
From a pragmatic point of view, the difference between living against a background of foreigness (an indifferent Universe) and one of intimacy (a benevolent Universe) means the difference between a general habit of wariness and one of trust.
Divinity lies all around us, but society remains too hidebound to accept that fact...The mother sea and the fountain-head of all religions lies in the mystical experiences of the individual.
The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
The simplest rudiment of mystical experience would seem to be that deepened sense of the significance of a maxim or formula which occasionally sweeps over one.
All that we need explicitly to note is that, the more the passive attention is relied on, by keeping the material interesting; and the less the kind of attention requiring effort is appealed to; the more smoothly and pleasantly the classroom work goes on.
We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all.
The baby, assailed by eyes, ears, nose, skin, and entrails at once, feels it all as one great blooming, buzzing confusion.
Modern war is so expensive that we feel trade to be a better avenue to plunder; but modern man inherits all the innate pugnacity and all the love of glory of his ancestors.
The mind, in short, works on the data it receives very much as a sculptor works on his block of stone. In a sense the statue stoodthere from eternity. But there were a thousand different ones beside it, and the sculptor alone is to thank for having extricated this one from the rest.
Lets take full advantage of this discovery
Tell him to live by yes and no - yes to everything good, no to everything bad.
The war for our Union, with all the constitutional issues which it settled, and all the military lessons which it gathered in, has throughout its dilatory length but one meaning in the eyes of history. It freed the country from the social plague which until then had made political development impossible in the United States. More and more, as the years pass, does the meaning stand forth as the sole meaning.
Focus on increasing service. Becoming great where you are. Pile in the wood. The heat will follow.
We divert our attention from disease and death as much as we can; the slaughterhouses are huddled out of sight and never mentioned, so that the world we recognize officially in literature and in society is a poetic fiction far handsomer, cleaner and better than the world that really is.
Selection is the very keel on which our mental ship is built. And in this case of memory its utility is obvious. If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing.
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.