And one does not have to worry about how one will sustain oneself and one's
family if one does not get reward or return from one's
kARm....WHY?...Because in bhgvD
giitaa, creator bRH`m
in the form of SRii kRUSH`AN says
that if one opts for nishkaami way of life
then it means that one has taken refuge in creator
bRH`m and the refuge in creator
bRH`m guarantees that all the
sNsaarik life needs (worldly daily life needs including
personal, family, communal, etc) will be provided for by the rewards and return
that comes to one unsought from the performance of
The above lifestyle philosophy has been with humanity since eternity and will
be there for eternity.....And this nishkaami way
of life has been expressed by William
James (1842 -1910) who was an American psychologist and philosopher
and an original thinker in and between the disciplines of physiology, psychology
and philosophy. William did research on "Biological Consciousness and the
Experience of the Transcendent" which is the
veDik science of aaDH`yaat`maa
(see veD Page on this PVAF web site).
William James hints at his religious concerns in his earliest essays and in
The Principles, but they become more explicit in The Will to Believe and Other
Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897), Human Immortality:
Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine (1898), The Varieties of Religious
Experience (1902) and A Pluralistic Universe (1909). James oscillated between
thinking that a "study in human nature" such as Varieties could contribute to a
"Science of Religion" and the belief that religious experience involves an
altogether supernatural domain, somehow inaccessible to
science but accessible to the individual human subject.
James made some of his most important philosophical contributions in
the last decade of his life. In a burst of writing in 1904-5 (collected in
Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912)) he set out the metaphysical view most
commonly known as "neutral monism," according to which
there is one fundamental "stuff" which is neither material
nor mental. (From web site:
Like The Principles of Psychology, Varieties is "A Study in Human Nature," as
its subtitle says. But at some five hundred pages it is only half the length
of The Principles of Psychology, befitting its more restricted, if still
immense, scope. For James studies that part of human nature that is, or is
related to, religious experience. His interest is not in religious
institutions, ritual, or, even for the most part, religious ideas, but in "the
feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as
they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider
the divine" (V, 31).
James sets out a central distinction of the book in early chapters on "The
Religion of Healthy-Mindedness" and "The Sick Soul." The healthy-minded
religious person -- Walt Whitman is one of James's main examples -- has a deep
sense of "the goodness of life," (79) and a soul of "sky-blue tint" (80).
Healthy-mindedness can be involuntary, just natural to someone, but often
comes in more willful forms. Liberal Christianity, for example, represents the
triumph of a resolute devotion to healthy-mindedness over a morbid "old
hell-fire theology" (91).
James also cites the "mind-cure movement" of Mary
Baker Eddy, for whom "evil is simply a lie, and any one who mentions it is a
liar" (107). This remark allows us to draw the contrast with the religion of
"The Sick Soul," for whom evil cannot be eliminated. From the perspective of
the sick soul, "radical evil gets its innings" (163). No matter how secure one
may feel, the sick soul finds that "unsuspectedly from the bottom of every
fountain of pleasure, as the old poet said, something bitter rises up: a touch
of nausea, a falling dead of the delight, a whiff of melancholy...." These
states are not simply unpleasant sensations, for they bring "a feeling of
coming from a deeper region and often have an appalling convincingness" (136).
James's main examples here are Leo Tolstoy's "My Confession," John Bunyan's
autobiography, and a report of terrifying "dread" -- allegedly from a French
correspondent but actually from James himself. Some sick souls never get well,
while others recover or even triumph: these are "twice-born." In chapters on
"The Divided Self, and the Process of Its Unification" and on "Conversion,"
James discusses St. Augustine, Henry Alline, Bunyan, Tolstoy, and a range of
popular evangelists, focusing on what he calls "the state of assurance" (241)
they achieve. Central to this state is "the loss of
all the worry, the sense that all is ultimately well with one, the peace, the
harmony, the willingness to be, even though the outer conditions should remain
the same" (248).
Varieties' classic chapter on "Mysticism" offers "four marks which, when an
experience has them, may justify us in calling it mystical..." (380).
The first is ineffability: "it defies expression...its quality must be
directly experienced; it cannot be imparted or transferred to others."
Second is a "noetic quality": mystical states present themselves as states
Thirdly, mystical states are transient; and,
fourth, subjects are passive with respect to them: they cannot control
their coming and going.
Are these states, James ends the chapter by asking, "windows through which
the mind looks out upon a more extensive and inclusive world[?]" (428).
In chapters entitled "Philosophy" -- devoted in large part to pragmatism --
and "Conclusions," James finds that religious
experience is on the whole useful, even "amongst the most important biological
functions of mankind," but he concedes that this does not make it
true. James articulates his own belief -- which he does not claim to prove:
-- that religious
experiences connect us with a greater, or further, reality not accessible in
our normal cognitive relations to the world: "The further limits of our
being plunge, it seems to me, into an altogether other dimension of
existence from the sensible and merely ‘understandable’ world"