Henry James, Sr.

Henry
James, Sr.
1811
1882

American Theologian and Swedenborgian, Father of William and Henry James

Author Quotes

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.

Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us; our hour of triumph is what brings the void. Not the Jews of the captivity, but those of the days of Solomon's glory are those from whom the pessimistic utterances in our Bible come.

The best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: 'This is the real me!'

Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.

I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences.

It is a fact that in each of us, when awake (and often when asleep), some kind of consciousness is always going on. There is a stream, a succession of states, or waves, or fields (or of whatever you please to call them), of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc., that constantly pass and re-pass, and that constitute our inner life. The existence of this stream is the primal fact, the nature and origin of it form the essential problem, of our science.

Author Picture
First Name
Henry
Last Name
James, Sr.
Birth Date
1811
Death Date
1882
Bio

American Theologian and Swedenborgian, Father of William and Henry James