Tag Archives: William James

The Trouble with Worldviews

I have been thinking about how challenging philosophical discussion can be and I think that part of that difficulty comes about when we are not discussing ideas within a single worldview, but are actually clashing one worldview against another. As I see it a worldview is a belief in a complete philosophical system. Discussing within […]

Nature Mystics and Scientific Progressives

The European Enlightenment produced two responses; Scientific Rationalism and Romanticism. The Scientific Rationalism represented in the science of Sir Isaac Newton and the philosophy of John Locke. Romanticism produced the writing of Goethe in Germany and the poems of Wordsworth and Coleridge in England. Newton and Locke advocated searching for truth in the empirical reality […]

July 12

From Mysticism to We-Mysticism

Mysticism is most often associated with the lone spiritual adventurer who separates from the world in order to turn his or her gaze inward and unite with the divine.  Yet there is also another form of mysticism – a we-mysticism – that is a spiritual journey that can only be accomplished with others. This We-Mystical […]

The Heart of the Mystic

A mystic is one who sees the deeper reality that lies hidden beneath our ordinary experience of reality. The mystic looks deeply into the nature of things by letting go of conventional wisdom and allowing their awareness to roam beyond the safety of the familiar. The mystic has tasted something that lies under the surface […]

Pluralism and Relativism

There are two other terms that many of us have heard which are good to look at more closely, because they are often misused – or only used partially for what they are. The terms are pluralism and relativism. Often they are used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing, but they do not. Pluralism is a […]

Is there One World or Many?

Our spontaneously arising experience of the present moment is a miraculous event that we are constantly in the middle of. In my last couple of posts I described the depth and majesty of all that is contained in our experience of now. Commonly we think of our experience by imagining that we take in raw […]

The Transformation of the Present Moment

Generally we assume that the world just exists – sitting there dead and meaningless – the object of our perceptions. The world doesn’t just exist – it shows up. It presents itself to us through layers of interpretation. William James talked about our experience of the world as being ‘thick’ – thick with layers of […]

William James and the Flow of Pure Experience –or– Why are two experiences better than one?

What you are experiencing right now is all there is – at least that is one of the implications of William James’ radical views on reality. William James was the first great American psychologist and one of founders of the philosophy of Pragmatism. The philosophical vision that was closest to his heart he called Radical […]

Did Modernism Isolate Us from the World?

The world doesn’t just exist, it shows up for us. It appears as the pure experience of the present moment. And one of the most amazing things about the world is that it changes – from age to age, generation to generation, over the course of a human lifetime, and through the duration of a […]

Are we just Thinking Things in a World?

What do we really know about the relationship between the world and our experience of it? That is an important question and there are at least three things that we can be sure of. We all know that we have a subjective experience of the world. We all see, hear, taste, smell and feel the […]