Henry James, Sr.

James, Sr.

American Theologian and Swedenborgian, Father of William and Henry James

Author Quotes

The man whose acquisitions stick is the man who is always achieving and advancing whilst his neighbors, spending most of their time in relearning what they once knew but have forgotten, simply hold their own.

Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

History is a bath of blood.

If you want a quality, act as if you already had it. Try the as if technique.

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make very small use of their possible consciousness and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.

Religion must be considered vindicated in a certain way from the attacks of her critics.

The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that minute he begins to be old.

Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or by thought.

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.

Impulse without reason is not enough, and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift.

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.

Religion, whatever it is, is a man's total reaction upon life.

Circumstance does not make me, it reveals me.

Human beings, by changing the inner attitude of their minds, can change the outer aspect of their lives.

In modern eyes, precious though wars may be they must not be waged solely for the sake of the ideal harvest. Only when forced upon one, is a war now thought permissible.

My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.

The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.

I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible, loving, human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.

In the deepest heart of all of us there is a corner in which the ultimate mystery of things works sadly.

My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing.

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our mental and physical resources.

I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.

In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.

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James, Sr.
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American Theologian and Swedenborgian, Father of William and Henry James