The varieties of religious experiences

Critics of this approach generally find ways in which religious experiences are different from sensory experiences, and argue that those differences are enough to undermine the evidential value of the experiences.

What do we discover, and what do the findings tell us about the nature of religion. These arguments only corroborate our preexistent partialities. It is a plain historic fact that they never have converted any one who has found reasons for doubting God.

What seriousness can possibly remain in debating philosophic propositions that will never make an appreciable difference to us in action. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience "The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves have been flown for religious ideals.

Neo-Confucianism retains the Mencian doctrine that human beings are by nature good, but in need of purification.

The Varieties of Religious Experience Summary

In this shape, I think, we have to leave the subject. These he reaches with his tongue and licks them off with rapture. The intellectualism in religion which I wish to discredit assumes to construct religious objects out of the resources of logical reason alone.

In most books on religion, three things are represented as its most essential elements. After delimiting the kind of experiences with which he is concerned in his study, James turns to the testimony concerning concrete religious experiences, and this occupies the bulk of his lectures.

The new church, in spite of whatever human goodness it may foster, can be henceforth counted on as a staunch ally in every attempt to stifle the spontaneous religious spirit, and to stop all later bubblings of the fountain from which in purer days it drew its own supply of inspiration.

The "numinous" experience has two aspects: Religion is the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men, in relation to whatever they consider divine, which is always solemn. I had a long drive in a hansom to my lodging.

The traveler knows that he must perish; but while thus hanging he looks finds on the leaves of the bush some drops of honey. The believer discovers that he or she is not distinct from the cosmos, the deity or the other reality, but one with it.

Religious experience

These revelations form its significance to men and women, whatever be its duration. Both claim that, since the hidden psychological or economic explanations are sufficient to explain the origins of religious belief, there is no need to suppose, in addition, that the beliefs are true. In the end, it is hoped, the meditator will see in the object the unsatisfactory and impermanent nature of things and that there is no self to be found in them.

For some, even those momentary events that make up the flow of the world are understood to be empty of inherent existence the idea of inherent existence is understood differently in different traditions to the point that what one sees in the enlightenment experience is the ultimate emptiness sunyata of all things.

I recognized for certain that the Sufis are assuredly walking in the path of God. It is on the whole pantheistic and optimistic, and harmonizes best with twice-bornness and so-called other-worldly states mind.

Religious Experience

Richard Swinburne[ edit ] In his book Faith and Reason, the philosopher Richard Swinburne formulated five categories into which all religious experiences fall: Force destroys enemies; and the best that can be said of prudence is that it keeps what we already have in safety.

The next topic on which I must comment is Prayer - and this time less briefly. They are incapable of being expressed in words, but of immense importance to these who have them.

James claimed that, while mystical experiences proved authoritative grounds for belief in the person experiencing them, they cannot give grounds for a person to whom the experience is reported.

The Varieties of Religious Experience

They put her in the school, where the little girls cherished her but she was too absorbed inwardly to pay the necessary attention. But the deliverance must come in as strong a form as the complaint.

The meditator, as he or she makes progress along the way, sheds various delusions and attachments. Since the sense of Presence of a higher and friendly power seems to be the fundamental feature in the spiritual life, I will begin with that.

The slightest affront or neglect must be resented. This type of religious experience is characteristic for the shaman. The proofs are various. The experiences which we have been studying plainly show the universe to be a more many-sided affair than any sect, even the scientific sect, allows for.

As a result, it is a mistake to treat it like ordinary language, expecting evidence in the ordinary sense, in the same way that it would be a mistake to ask for the evidence for a joke. Others see Phillipsfor examplefollowing Wittgenstein, have tried to give an explanation of the strangeness of religious language by invoking the idea of a language-game.

When unbalanced, one of its vices is Fanaticism. A Court in Germany ordered that access to certain items in the Project Gutenberg collection are blocked from Germany.

Professor Ribot has proposed the name anhedonia to designate this condition. Epistemological Issues Since the subjects of religious experiences tend to take them to be real experiences of some external reality, we may ask what reason there is to think they are right.

But spiritual value seems undone if lowly origin be asserted. Dec 24,  · It isn’t Pascal’s famous bet on God’s very existence; rather, it’s a bet on God’s love for us, a wager that all the varieties of religious experience, wonderful and terrifying and.

The Varieties of Religious Experience Quotes

1. Types of Religious Experience. Reports of religious experiences reveal a variety of different kinds. Perhaps most are visual or auditory presentations (visions and auditions), but. The Varieties of Religious Experience "The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves have been flown for religious ideals.".

Complete summary of William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience.

The Varieties of Religious Experience

eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Varieties of Religious Experience. His concern is a. The Varieties of Religious Experience. William James ; to University of Edinburgh. In his opening lecture, James describes the methodology of his study. He explains that it would be of little benefit to base the research on common individuals who have confined religious experiences and imitate traditions which have been passed on to.

First published inThe Varieties of Religious Experience is a collection of lectures given at the University of Edinburgh in and William James was a psychologist and, as such, his interest in religion was not that of a theologian but of a scientist.

The varieties of religious experiences
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