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Doug's Prereview Comments

for his

William James'

Varieties of Religious Experience

Probably some William James Sidis-relevant comments will appear in this prereview commentary.

By the
Preface Contents I II III IV, &
VI, &
XII, &
XVIII XIX XX Postscript Index

Move to any Lecture of William James' Varieties of Religious Experience,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links

Varieties of Religious Experience prereview comments by Doug...

We used this text as a template for VoRE from our review of James' SPoP.

We will fill in our prereview comments as our review progresses over next several months...

This is a work in progress from 16Jan2005 until about mid-year ???...

We feel obliged to be up front with our readers here... We try to do that throughout our site, however, we seldom say it. Why? Do we need to? Seldom, is our response, but here in VoRE we sense it is higher quality to just say it rather than demure. Say what?

Doug does n¤t believe in God!

Doug issi bæliævings ihn G¤d!

Former is classical, state-ic, monist, dialectical, mechanical, architected, manufactured, Aristotelian, Thomist, Baconian, Descartesian, Newtonian.

Latter issi quantum: animate, heterogeneous, fractalings, sorso~recapitulatings, emerscitectings, emerscenturings, Heraclitean, Hamannian, Bergsonian, Jamesian... quantum!

God is for fundamentalists. G¤d is f¤r quantumihsts!

Our pending review of William James Sidis' The Animate and the Inanimate (AIA) mandates this review. Our goal is to "get inside William James' head," and thus to enhance our inferential capabilities interpreting what WJS means in AIA.

Please note, reader, that this, our review of VoRE, is our second experience of William James' works other than hearsay of other references and philosophologists.

Those of you familiar with Pirsig's works and their interrelationships with both Sidises may sample and savour many multi-fibrous weavings of their spiritual and philosophical learning and thinking their mental whole cloth affected greatly by William James' own thinking modes.

And those of you who are students of Quantonics, will detect shared fibres among our own derivative and extrapolated Quantonic Thinking Modes (QTMs).

One issue which grabs our attention, immediately, as we start this review, is James' religious terminology. We want to offer some of his words and try to guess what he meant by them, and side-by-side offer our closest quantum entendre (see our understanding; 'ana log ue' is a poor choice in quantum comtexts due that infix, 'log'):


Initially, these are in no specific order.

A Guess at James' Intended Semantic A Quantonics Quantum Entendre


Latin for spir is breath. Spirit is then breath of life. If life is in spirit and spirit is in life, then we have a Jamesian included~middle.

French is esprit: spirit, mind, sense, wit, pragma~tic wisdom, etc.

Greek is pneumatic.

Gnostics' topos~ranked orders of mankind in three levels highest to lowest:

  1. pneumatic, pneumatism (spiritual, hermeneutic, quantum (animate EIMA heterogeneous quantum~c¤hærænt superposition~straddling), god~like, hermeneutic, gnostic, Sophial, anabasic, anabiotic (animately recapitulative), anaintotic, unintelligible, enthymeme unsaid, etc.) "the elect"
  2. psychic, psychism (mental, literal, statemental, human-like, dialectical, anti-heretical, catholic, intelligible, notion said, etc.) "the called"
  3. hylic, hylicism, hylism (material, materialism, thing-like, object-like, stuck, Ionic, dull, dumb, anti qua, etc.) "the uncalled"

We see DQ and absolute quantum flux as a Bergsonian quantum 'breath of life' vital impetus, "elan vitale." We say "DQ is in us and we are in DQ." Quantum flux is in reality and reality is in quantum flux, so we have another unsubtle tell of a quantum included~middle.

If we interpret a French entendre of spirit we can infer now-isticity and k~now~isticity. We can further make a nexus that spirit is Value and thus we can m¤dal it as quantum likelihood and thence quantum likelihood omnistributions. QLOs are ch3ing many futurings. Spirit issi quantum pr¤cess breathing life into many quantum futurings.

Heraclitus' spirit is what he calls "logos." Wæ w¤uld QELR iht as "l¤g¤s."

Compare Greek gnostic first level pneumatic (Jesus' elect) to gnostic second-level psychic (Jesus' the called).


Classical judgment is ideal. Our classical fundamentalist notions of law, ethics, morality, logic, etc. all depend upon a reality which sees truth as absolutely assessable, one time, for all time.

James' own view here we see as migrating from a plural ideology toward a more quantum perspective. He certainly is no monist (an apparent prerequisite for any belief in ideals and one size fits all), by his own declaration. Heterogeneity of perspective disallows any single view as absolutely correct.

See our judge. See our truth. See our reality. See our Bases of Judgment. See our uncertainty. See our intelligence.
Devil Classically the Devil ('Lived' backwards.) is the anti Christ. This is a naïve realism (often called "local realism") based upon an assumption that reality is dialectical. It is also H5W some Muslims call folk in USA "Satan." One is dialectically either a Muslim or else one must be Satan: dichon(Satan, Muslim) and EOOO(Santa, Muslim). St. Thomas Aquinas believed similarly, dichon(infidel, Christian). HyperBoole! In quantum reality, closest semantic we have for 'Devil' is Pirsig's ESQ. Quantum reality is an absolute flux, absolute change reality. That which refuses to change is thus 'devilish' and its reward is to become 'extinct.' There is no ideal classical EOOO dialectical heaven or hell dichotomy in quantum reality.

James uses 'religion' like that, in single quotes, a lot. For most of us those single quotes imply, "as used." James is a pluralist at this phase of his 'spiritual' development, ~1901, so he appears to be showing us that religion has heterogeneous meanings and semantics among groups and individuals. We agree.

Re: definitions of religion, "...they are so many and so different from one another is enough to prove that the word 'religion' cannot stand for any single principle or essence, but is rather a collective name." James, VoRE, p. 26. We see his inherent understanding of reality as heterogeneity, as plurality. In his Some Problems of Philosophy, he tells us of reality's flux. See SPoP I, SPoP II, SPoP IV, etc.

Closest we can come here is to say, "quantum reality issi n¤t a religion." But then we also may offer, "quantum reality issi currently, at Millennium III's commencement, man's best m¤dal of creation, and creationings' pr¤cessings."

Quantum creation issi emerscenture, n¤t classical manufacture.

We hear James saying, simply, "Religion is what one believes." So atheism is a also a religion. Classical science is a religion. Quantonics is a religion. Etc. James speaks of emotional level as an indicator of one's 'religion.' He appears most interested in this extreme emotion associated with what one believes. But he avers that spiritual belief appears unique to some very special people who are, for want of a better word, ethereal compared to 'ordinary' folk.

Also compare what classical science says about emotion: "emotion has no place in scientific 'logic.'"

Quantum science comsiders emotion one of its most powerful entendres. See Geertz on emotion. Ponder Al Queda's attack on USA (logical? emotional?). Weigh GW Bushagain's reactions to said attack (logical? emotional?).

Page top index.


James appears to miss a vital conundrum that societal groups, especially organized religions, have an almost irresistable tendency to turn generalities into specificities and then refer latter as "general." Laws are an example. Morality is another. Ethics, truth, belief, etc.

Allow us to quote Julian Jaynes here:

"Applied to the world as representative of all the world, facts become superstitions."

Julian Jaynes
in his
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,
page 443 of 491 total pages including index,
HMP paperback, 1969 (1st presented as an APsychA essay), 1976, 1990.

For us gender (like direction, valency, ethics, morality, choice, etc.) is a general quantum likelihood omnistribution (QLO). For fundamentalists gender is a specific EOOO dichon(female, male). For us all earth's cultures moralities are general to Earth, but specific to any local culture. See general.

Classically, 'concrete' usually means specific, real, actual, thing, instance, material, object, substantial, not abstract, coalescence, particle, particulate, massive, solid, mechanical cohesion, etc. Classical reality is a concrete reality.

Classicists thingk concretely. Concrete reality to any classicist is true reality.

Quantum reality finds its bases in fuzzonic n¤ntransverse and yet diffuse omni~waves which we represent as Quantum Likelihood Omnistributions. In Quantonics we use fuzzons to exemplify quantum attraction ensembles of (pea)QLOs. There issi n¤ quantum entendre for 'concrete!' See our QELR of understand.

We have found it quite a common practice for philosophers and metaphysicians and scientists of James and Bergson's times to use 'state' in an Aristotelian manner. James appears to use 'state' relentlessly. Bergson too. Yet Bergson argued against any classical notions of stoppability. Strange.

See our apple metaphor of Aristotelian 'state' and 'event.'

There issi n¤ quantum entendre for 'state!'

See Zeno on stoppability.

(as a prefix) di-

James uses, for example, distinguish.

But does he mean di stinguish? He is a self avowed pluralist, thus he cannot intend an ideal, binary, bipolar, dialectical assessment.

This is English Language imposing its innate dialectic grammar upon its users. We see a similar problematic with 'di verse,' 'di fference,' 'di solve,' 'di lute,' 'di stort,' and so on...

Classical 'un-' as a prefix offers similar issues which need and beg QELR. E.g., 'unit' vis-à-vis more quantum 'omnit.'

See our omnistinguish.

Classically, the systematic study of the nature of God.

Following may be offensive to some fundamentalists...we warned you...

We think this is what James means when he uses said word, 'Theology.'

Similarly, Metaphysics: classically the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality.

Metaphorically and analogously: Theology is to God as Metaphysics is to Reality.

Is James asking, "Is God Reality?" Is God Santa-Clausian naïve realism?

We might ask, "Is Reality God?" and if so, "Which God is which Reality?" and "Which Reality is which God?"

But then, we have committed a grievous classical error of dialectical reason, haven't we? An assumption that there is only one God, the God. And, perhaps that some anthropocentric being may claim to know what and who that God is, and what and why that God wants what they say s-he wants.

Does Allah = God? Does God = Allah? Do Allah and God form a Poisson bracket? Does the Holy Trinity = Allah? Does Allah = Holy Trinity? Why? Why not? Are you classically certain, or are you quantumly uncertain? Why? Why not?

Oh! You say, it doesn't matter! But, but, but, does not what you believe matter? Is that a dichon(it_does_matter, it_does_not_matter)? Is it a quanton(it_probably_matters,however_I_am_unsure_whether_it_does)?

Sort of makes one think of Dan Quayle and Lloyd Benson. "I knew God, and you're no God!" J Or, "I knew Good and you're no Good." (can't you just hear Falwell, Swaggart, and Graham?) There's that damned English language and its dialectical negation and passive voice again... Extreme bias toward dichotomy and past predicting future... Ugh! Induction-deduction, analysis-synthesis, extreme objectivity. Ultimate linguistic bilge!

Can we use dialectic to talk about God? Do you think God is a diealectician?

Can any human systematically study the nature of God? We saw that arrogance in Aquinas and he failed massively.

Isn't that like saying an ant can systematically study the nature of a human?

We have, and offer, n¤ quantum entendres for 'theology' ihn Quantonics, other than our discussion re: MoQ and Christianity.

Clerical. Hu(wo)man of (which?) God.

We can only assume that James' semantic is such: "man of God" means a cleric means ecclesiastic.

Quantonics has no quantum entendre for and of ecclesiastic.

Doug bæliævæs ihn G¤d. However, Doug's belief is closer to Judaic than to Christian. Closer to Buddhic (excepting Buddha's anthropocentricity) than to Judaic. Note that Judaism questions any human's ability to say "Adoni." We agree!

Rationalism William James simply rebukes rationalism and scientism. See Doug's 2007-2008 Is Quantonics Rational?

According to William James Durant, William James said, "Truth is a process, and 'happens to an idea;' verity is verification. Instead of asking whence an idea is derived, or what are its premises, pragmatism examines its results; it 'shifts the emphasis and looks forward;' it is 'the attitude of looking away from first things, principles, ‘categories,’ supposed necessities, and of looking towards last things, fruits, consequences, facts.' Scholasticism asked, What is the thing, — and lost itself in 'quiddities;' Darwinism asked, 'What is its origin?' — and lost itself in nebulas; pragmatism asks, 'What are its consequences?' — and turns the face of thought to action and the future."

Page 558, Durant's
The Story of Philosophy,
2nd ed., 1926, 1927, 1933, 592 total pages.
Durant's James reference is, Pragmatism, p. 54.

This is one of few places, that we know about, where pragmatism receives a subjective description. We have yet to read, let alone review, James' Pragmatism.

You may imagine Doug's excitement when he first (~2003-2004) read Durant describing William James' version of pragmatism...

Pragma issi action. Quantum action issi h-bar: quantum flux.

Observe, please, how verification is an implicit of recursive recapitulation which is wholly antithetical classical concrete 'state.' Quantal, energy~welling holograms intrinsically h-bar pragma (as a verb) recursive recapitulation!

Quanta, then, we may choose to perceive as "Truthings ihn pr¤græss' pr¤cæss." Won't you agree that is (almost) both a sublime and a robust description of better? 11Aug2007 - Doug.

David Bohm quote on quantum holism:

"We are led, instead, to a new point of view, based on [an] idea that [] quanta connecting object and environment constitute irreducible links that belong, at all times, as much to one part as to [an] other."

See Chapter 8, Sec. 24, Quantum Theory, by David Bohm, Dover, 1979 (originally published by Prentice Hall, 1951). (Doug's brackets to remove thelogos.

To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2005-2010 Rev. 15Sep2008  PDR Created: 16Jan2005  PDR
(27Mar2005 rev - Correct spelling of Ham[m]an to Hamann. Repair massive spelling mistakes.)
(2,28Apr2005 rev - Repair some typos. Add 'A Quantum God' anchor to Doug's "up front" remarks. Update our tabular list of terms.)
(26Sep2005 rev - Typos.)
(7May2006 rev - Add Jaynes quote under James' terms 'general.')
(15Sep2007 rev - Update 'spirit.')
(5Mar2007 rev - Repair misspellings of 'heterogeneous.')
(3,10-11Aug2007 rev - Reset legacy red text markup highlights. Update topos under 'spirit.' Update 'truth.')
(15Sep2008 rev - Add 'Is Quantonics Rational' link under 'Rational.')

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