January 15, 2022

1. “On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings”

William James wrote an essay called “On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings.” This essay can be found in James’ book Talks for Teachers. The “blindness” that James is referring to is our inability to see into other people; we don’t know what other people are thinking/feeling. “What most horrifies me in life,” James wrote, “is our brutal ignorance of one another.”1 As an example of this ignorance/blindness, James mentions the relationship between dogs and people:

Take our dogs and ourselves, connected as we are by a tie more intimate than most ties in this world; and yet, outside of that tie of friendly fondness, how insensible, each of us, to all that makes life significant for the other! — we to the rapture of bones under hedges, or smells of trees and lamp-posts, they to the delights of literature and art.

James describes how he misunderstood NorthCarolina settlers, who were clearing land, and creating what appeared to James to be a barren, ugly landscape. But the settlers saw this as progress, victory, home. James couldn’t understand them, and they couldn’t understand him: “I had been as blind to the peculiar ideality of their conditions as they certainly would also have been to the ideality of mine, had they had a peep at my strange indoor academic ways of life at Cambridge.”

James concludes, “We are doomed... to be absolutely blind and insensible to the inner feelings, and the whole inner significance of lives that are different from our own. Our opinion of the worth of such lives is absolutely wide of the mark, and unfit to be counted at all.”

No one person can grasp the whole truth, James argues, everyone sees only a part of the truth. “The truth is too great for any one actual mind... to know the whole of it. The facts and worths of life need many cognizers to take them in. There is no point of view absolutely public and universal.” For James, this is an important truth, this is the foundation of his “pluralistic or individualistic philosophy.”

Since we don’t understand others, we shouldn’t presume to dictate to them: “The practical consequence of such a philosophy is the well-known democratic respect for the sacredness of individuality — is, at any rate, the outward tolerance of whatever is not itself intolerant.” In our domestic affairs, James says, our “ancient national doctrine” is “live and let live.” In our foreign affairs, however, we sometimes presume to impose our beliefs on others; James speaks of, “the pretension of our nation to inflict its own inner ideals and institutions vi et armis [by force and by arms] upon Orientals.” James was writing in 1899, when the U.S. was fighting a Philippine independence movement; James was critical of American policy, and sympathetic toward the Filipinos.

2. “The Lantern-Bearers”

William James was a big fan of an essay by Robert Louis Stevenson called “The Lantern-Bearers.” He quotes Stevenson’s essay at length in “On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings.” In his essay, Stevenson reminisces about his boyhood on the east coast of Scotland:

These boys congregated every autumn about a certain easterly fisher-village, where they tasted in a high degree the glory of existence. The place was created seemingly on purpose for the diversion of young gentlemen.... There was nothing to mar your days, if you were a boy summering in that part, but the embarrassment of pleasure.

The village looked out on Bass Rock, and was within walking distance of a castle named Tantallon, and a hill called The Law.

You might climb The Law, [Stevenson writes] where the whale’s jawbone stood landmark in the buzzing wind, and behold the face of many counties, and the smoke and spires of many towns, and the sails of distant ships.... Or perhaps pushing to Tantallon, you might lunch on sandwiches and visions in the grassy court, while the wind hummed in the crumbling turrets.... The Bass, in the eye of fancy, still flew the colors of King James; and in the ear of fancy the arches of Tantallon still rang with horse-shoe iron, and echoed to the commands of Bell-the-Cat.... You might bathe, now in the flaws of fine weather, that we pathetically call our summer, now in a gale of wind, with the sand scourging your bare hide, your clothes thrashing abroad from underneath their guardian stone.

Stevenson at 37

Stevenson’s prose has a clarity, simplicity, and poetry that Henry James can’t match. Henry James was a close friend of Stevenson’s; William James never met Stevenson. Stevenson died in Samoa at the age of 44. In an earlier issue, I quoted the epitaph that Stevenson wrote for himself:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

This is how a great writer copes with death: he makes literature out of it. Even imminent death couldn’t quench what Henry James called the “gaiety” of Stevenson’s writing. This gaiety is characteristic of Zen. The Zen poet Basho wrote a haiku that expresses the same attitude toward death — the same positive spirit in the face of imminent death:

Nothing in the voice of the cicada
How soon it will die

Stevenson calls his essay “The Lantern-Bearers” because it describes how the boys walked abroad at night with a small lantern (a “bull’s-eye lantern”) under their coats.

We wore them buckled to the waist upon a cricket belt, and over them, such was the rigor of the game, a buttoned top-coat. They smelled noisomely of blistered tin; they never burned aright, though they would always burn our fingers; their use was naught; the pleasure of them merely fanciful; and yet a boy with a bull’s-eye under his top-coat asked for nothing more.

Once the boys had gathered,

The coats would be unbuttoned and the bull’s-eyes discovered; and in the chequering glimmer, under the huge windy hall of the night, and cheered by a rich steam of toasting tinware, these fortunate young gentlemen would crouch together in the cold sand of the links or on the scaly bilges of the fishing-boat, and delight themselves with inappropriate talk.

For Stevenson, the hidden lantern is a metaphor for the joy and poetry that’s hidden in the individual. For Stevenson, as for William James, the inner life of other people is a closed book.

One of the purposes of Stevenson’s essay is to criticize the realistic novelists who describe a person’s external life, but miss the hidden joy. Stevenson was a neo-Romantic who took a dim view of realism. In Stevenson’s time, the leading realist was Zola. Stevenson says that, if Zola described the lantern-bearers, he would miss their hidden joy. “To the eye of the observer,” Stevenson writes, “they are wet and cold and drearily surrounded; but ask themselves, and they are in the heaven of a recondite pleasure, the ground of which is an ill-smelling lantern.”

Realists like Zola say that they don’t depict artists, they depict The People. Realists say (according to Stevenson) “our works must deal exclusively with... the average man, who was a prodigious dull fellow, and quite dead to all but the paltriest considerations.” But the average man has a hidden poetry, Stevenson says. While Stevenson criticizes Zola, he praises Whitman, he says that Whitman grasped the average man: “Whitman knew very well, and showed very nobly, that the average man was full of joys and full of poetry of his own.”

Stevenson’s essay appealed to William James because it reinforced his view that each individual has a unique perspective, and it’s hard for us to understand another person. Realism gives us only the outer man, only the surface. “No man lives in external truth,” Stevenson writes, “among salts and acids, but in the warm, phantasmagoric chamber of his brain, with the painted windows and the storied walls.”

When we dig into the most prosaic life, when we dig into the mind of a miser, “which seems at first a dust-heap, we unearth some priceless jewels,” such as a “disdain of many pleasures,” a “disdain of the inevitable end,” and a “scorn of men’s opinions.” The miser may have an inner life that belies his outer life:

Looking in the bosom of the miser, consideration detects the poet in the full tide of life, with more, indeed, of the poetic fire than usually goes to epics; and tracing that mean man about his cold hearth, and to and fro in his discomfortable house, spies within him a blazing bonfire of delight. And so with others, who do not live by bread alone, but by some cherished and perhaps fantastic pleasure; who are meat salesmen to the external eye, and possibly to themselves are Shakespeares, Napoleons, or Beethovens; who have not one virtue to rub against another in the field of active life, and yet perhaps, in the life of contemplation, sit with the saints.2

Great literature doesn’t give us drab “reality,” it gives us “the quick of life,” it gives us dreams and passions. Sometimes it depicts ecstasy, sometimes suffering. “These are notes that please the great heart of man.... We love to think of them, we long to try them, we are humbly hopeful that we may prove heroes also.”

Stevenson uses a parable to contrast the passionate life with the mechanical life:

There is one fable that touches very near the quick of life: the fable of the monk who passed into the woods, heard a bird break into song, hearkened for a trill or two, and found himself on his return a stranger at his convent gates; for he had been absent fifty years, and of all his comrades there survived but one to recognize him.

This monk was transported by song, by natural beauty, and time disappeared.

All life that is not merely mechanical is spun out of two strands: seeking for that bird and hearing him. And it is just this that makes life so hard to value, and the delight of each so incommunicable; and just a knowledge of this, and a remembrance of those fortunate hours in which the bird has sung to us, that fills us with such wonder when we turn the pages of the realist. There, to be sure, we find a picture of life in so far as it consists of mud and of old iron, cheap desires and cheap fears, that which we are ashamed to remember and that which we are careless whether we forget; but of the note of that time-devouring nightingale we hear no news.

Stevenson is a Zennish writer; he focuses on the moment, the moment of joy; he makes time disappear.

Stevenson’s essay ends with a somewhat puzzling paragraph: “We have heard, perhaps, too much of lesser matters. Here is the door, here is the open air. Itur in antiquam silvam [Going to the ancient wood].” Perhaps this means, “Let’s go outside, and experience the beauty of nature — enough of words and books.”

I’m a big fan of Stevenson’s essay, and I can understand why William James was a big fan of it. Stevenson is an extraordinary prose writer. All good prose is poetic, and no one writes more poetic prose than Stevenson. He probably over-states his case, the average man probably doesn’t conceal a hidden Shakespeare. But his argument is at least partly true, and on the whole, this is an extraordinary essay.

* * * * *

Stevenson and Henry James first met in 1879, when Stevenson was 29, and James 36. They weren’t impressed with each other. Stevenson said that James was “a mere club fizzle... and no out-of-doors, stand-up man whatever.”3 James described Stevenson as “a shirt-collarless Bohemian and a great deal (in an inoffensive way) of a poseur.”

A few years later, James praised Treasure Island in his essay “The Art of Fiction.” James said he had been a child, but had never sought buried treasure. Stevenson responded with an essay of his own, remarking that if James “had never been on a quest for buried treasure, it can be demonstrated that he has never been a child.”3B Youthful romanticism is the source of Stevenson’s work.

James had argued that the novel “competes with life... the novel is history.”4 Stevenson responded, the novel “could not compete with life. It had to be ‘make-believe.’”5 The novel takes one aspect of life, Stevenson said, and simplifies it; life is monstrous and infinite, while a literary work is a neat package. James is defending the realistic novel, Stevenson the neo-Romantic novel.

After reading Stevenson’s essay, James sent him a letter, saying he enjoyed everything Stevenson wrote; “the current of your admirable style floats pearls and diamonds.” Stevenson wrote back, inviting James to visit him at Bournemouth; Stevenson said he liked visitors because he was bedridden (Stevenson’s health had always been precarious). Stevenson had dubbed his Bournemouth house “Skerryvore” after a lighthouse built by his uncle (Stevenson came from a family of lighthouse-builders).6

At one point, James himself was living in Bournemouth, so he visited Stevenson and his wife daily. James moved to Bournemouth to be near his ailing sister, Alice. James would spend part of the day working on his latest novel, The Princess Casamassima, and part of the day visiting the two invalids, Alice and Stevenson.

Stevenson greatly enjoyed James’ visits. Stevenson wrote two poems about James’ visits. One pretends that James is visiting with a group of women — fictional women from his stories.

Lo, how these fair immaculate women walk
Behind their jocund maker.

The other poem is written from the perspective of a Venetian mirror, an actual mirror that James had given Stevenson.

Where the bells peal far at sea
Cunning fingers fashioned me.
There on palace walls I hung
While that Consuelo sung...
In my grey face, faces fair
Shone from under shining hair...
So awhile I glowed, and then
Fell on dusty days and men;
Long I slumbered packed in straw,
Long I none but dealers saw;
Till before my silent eye
One that sees came passing by.
Now with an outlandish grace,
To the sparkling fire I face
In the blue room at Skerryvore;
Where I wait until the door
Open, and the Prince of Men,
Henry James, shall come again.

Stevenson admired many of James’ works, but criticized Washington Square. James himself took a dim view of Washington Square, and didn’t include it in the “New York Edition” of his works. Stevenson objected to the harsh, lemon-juice realism of Zola, but he didn’t object to James’ realism, which might be called classical realism or upbeat realism.

James stays close to life; in the last issue, I discussed James’ “London Life,” which is based on an actual divorce, a much-publicized divorce. Stevenson, on the other hand, didn’t get his plots from the contemporary world; like Walter Scott, Stevenson often set his stories in past ages.7 At the end of his life, however, Stevenson turned toward realism, partly because he was angry at the conduct of the Western powers in the South Pacific, and he wanted to publicize the plight of the natives.

James’ Princess Casamassima deals with the political turmoils of the 1880s. James was horrified that politics was coming to dominate England’s national consciousness, but he was also fascinated by the political situation. In 1885, James wrote,

The ministry is still in office but hanging only by a hair, Gladstone is ill and bewildered, the mess in the Sudan unspeakable, London full of wailing widows and weeping mothers, the hostility to Bismarck extreme, the danger of complications with Russia imminent, the Irish in the House of Commons more disagreeable than ever, the dynamiters more active, the income tax threatening to rise to its maximum, the general muddle, in short, of the densest and darkest.8

3. Flournoy

Théodore Flournoy was a Swiss psychologist, born in 1854, about 10 years after William James and 20 years before Jung. Flournoy was influenced by William James, and Flournoy in turn influenced Jung. Flournoy was on friendly terms with both James and Jung. Like Jung, Flournoy studied mediums and other occult phenomena. Perhaps Flournoy’s best-known book is From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality With Imaginary Languages.9

In 1909, James went to Worcester, where a Psychology conference was taking place at Clark University. James met Freud, and felt he was somewhat narrow-minded, “a man obsessed by fixed ideas.” Freud apparently dismissed “mind cure” and “religious therapy” as “unscientific.” Freud’s attitude elicited from James a scornful “Bah!”

James also met Jung in Worcester. James said that Jung “made a very pleasant impression.” Jung said that he and James “got along excellently with regard to the assessment of the religious factor in the psyche.” James seemed to reinforce Jung’s doubts about Freud. “After his second conversation with James, Jung even found himself beginning to have doubts about certain aspects of Freud’s work.”10

Jung and James would probably agree that man isn’t just a physical being responding to physical stimuli. Human nature works toward goals, such as the goal of balance between conscious and unconscious. As I said in an earlier issue, “Jung believed that any exaggeration, any one-sidedness in one’s conscious attitude, would beget an unconscious reaction.” The unconscious aims at balance, wholeness; it compensates for any exaggerated conscious attitude, it tries to pull us back to the center. Man has goals, the unconscious has goals, all of nature has goals; in my view, the scientific community is too contemptuous of “teleology.”

The unconscious sometimes impels us toward life, survival. Flournoy noticed that people on the brink of suicide often have a vision, coming from the unconscious, that affirms the value of life, and steers them away from suicide.11 Elsewhere I mentioned the philosopher Eric Hoffer, who was “jobless, became depressed, and decided to commit suicide. He bought some poison, walked out on the highway, and started to drink the poison. Then he had a vision of life on the road, [and] spat out the poison.”

I also mentioned Craig Venter, who’s known for his research on the human genome. When Venter was working in an Army hospital in Vietnam, he “decided to commit suicide by swimming out to sea. When he was a mile out, however, he changed his mind, chose to live, and swam back.” His unconscious probably produced some vision or thought that made life appealing.

A man named Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, then decided he wanted to live; he managed to survive the fall, a fall that few people survive.

Jung’s view of human nature is optimistic since he believes there are unconscious drives toward life, wholeness, personal growth, etc. There’s a wisdom in the unconscious, a wisdom that conduces to The Good Life.

* * * * *

William James felt, as Jung did, that religion is something that wells up from the unconscious, not something that comes down from the intellect. One doesn’t reach a belief in God through a process of reasoning, but rather through feelings, voices, visions from the unconscious. James and Jung used a different vocabulary — James didn’t speak of “archetypes” — but their views are much the same.

The mother sea and fountain-head of all religion [James wrote] lies in the mystical experiences of the individual, taking the word mystical in a very wide sense. All theologies, and all ecclesiasticisms are secondary growths superimposed. [Mystical experiences] have no proper intellectual deliverance of their own, but belong to a region deeper, and more vital and practical than that which the intellect inhabits.... I attach the mystical or religious consciousness to the possession of an extended subliminal self with a thin partition through which messages make irruption. We are thus made convincingly aware of the presence of a sphere of life larger and more powerful than our usual consciousness, with which the latter is nevertheless continuous.11B

4. God and the Occult

Who had the most impact on history in the last 50 years? Probably Osama bin Laden. Without the 9/11 attacks, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan, and probably no invasion of Iraq. In the previous 50 years, Hitler probably had the most influence, and in the 50 years before that, Lenin probably had the most influence.

All three of these figures — bin Laden, Hitler, and Lenin — expressed a worldview, a philosophy. You can’t separate philosophy from politics; politics is the expression of philosophy. You can’t separate bin Laden from his belief in God, and you can’t separate Lenin from his disbelief in God. The question of God has a big impact on politics, and the question of God has been at the center of philosophy since the days of Socrates.

Our struggle with people like bin Laden, Hitler, and Lenin is a battle of ideas, a battle for hearts and minds. And it’s not over. Isn’t it likely that some new leader will arise, expressing a new philosophy, and challenging our civilization as these three leaders did? We need a philosophy of our own to meet this challenge. It’s unlikely that you can satisfy the human soul by simply allowing people to vote and start a business. People need to feel that there’s a meaning in life, a meaning in history, and a role for them to play.

Philosophy needs to give an account of the universe in general, an account that’s plausible and consistent with science. Earlier philosophers dealt with God rather than the universe; or perhaps I should say, their theory of God was their theory of the universe. Emerson and William James conceived of divinity as “not a deity in concreto, not a superhuman person, but the immanent divinity in things, the essentially spiritual structure of the universe.”12 In our time, philosophers can dispense with the word “God,” and directly address the “spiritual structure of the universe.” We can develop a theory of the universe that doesn’t lean on the concept of God.

I’ve argued that the most fundamental property of the universe is connectedness (also called “entanglement”). Quantum physics has shown that paired particles (entangled particles) can communicate instantly over vast distances. In other words, quantum physics has shown that the world is connected to an astounding degree, connected in a way that the rational mind can’t fathom. In these quantum experiments, we see space disappear, though we can’t explain how that’s possible.

When we turn our attention from particles to people, we find the same mysterious connectedness, we find instantaneous communication over vast distances through telepathy, through occult phenomena. And we find anticipations of the future, we see time disappear. When we study occult phenomena, we see space and time disappear, we see things that are baffling to the rational mind. So quantum experiments and occult experiments point to the same conclusion, they reveal the “spiritual structure of the universe,” which is what Emerson and James called God.

The word “spiritual” is appropriate because these phenomena aren’t physical, and can’t be explained in physical terms. What Emerson and James call “God” is very close to what I call the occult. What all three of us are really talking about is the essence of the universe, the structure of the universe.

When Emerson talked about the essence of the universe, he often used moral language. He believed, “The universe has a divine soul of order, which soul is moral, being also the soul within the soul of man.”13 Is there a place for morality in the Philosophy of Today? How can subatomic particles have any morality?

I’ve argued that there is some sort of karma in human events, a justice that destroys Macbeths and Hitlers. I’ve also argued that we’re free to give the world a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down,” and therefore we have a moral obligation to give it a “thumbs up,” we have an obligation to put a “positive spin” on the world, to have a positive attitude, to make the best of things. Surely it doesn’t make sense to say that non-existence is preferable to existence. So I see a future for morality — not the old-fashioned, God-centered morality, but a morality that each person imposes on himself because he believes in it.

What do Lenin, Hitler, and bin Laden have in common? They share a tendency toward extremism and utopianism. The Philosophy of Today is moderate, not revolutionary, so it can act as a brake on extremism and utopianism.

Is connectedness synonymous with love, and if so, can it be argued that love is embedded in the universe? Connectedness/entanglement can exist in all sorts of relationships — relationships based on love, on animosity, on lust, doctor-patient relationships, etc., etc. We’re as close to our enemies as we are to our friends. Love and charity can be viewed as moral obligations, but it would be difficult to argue that they’re embedded in the universe, that they’re synonymous with the connectedness we see in particles. If love and charity were embedded in the universe, would we have wars and pandemics?

William James had a broad definition of God, a definition that could include my theory of connectedness. James wrote, “Whatever [were] most primal and enveloping and deeply true might [be] treated as godlike, and a man’s religion might thus be identified with his attitude... towards what he felt to be the primal truth.” My theory of connectedness, which starts with subatomic particles and applies to people, civilizations, and the universe as a whole, has this all-enveloping quality, it could be called a “primal truth.”

And what “attitude” should we take to this “primal and enveloping” truth? Since it’s a mind-boggling theory, a theory that baffles reason and logic, perhaps an attitude of awe and a feeling of mystery is natural — in short, the same attitude, and the same feeling, that a person might have toward God.

William James also had a broad definition of “religion,” a definition that could include meditation, yoga, karate, etc., etc. Discussing Emerson’s philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, James wrote, “We must [call] these godless or quasi-godless creeds ‘religions’... we must interpret the term ‘divine’ very broadly, as denoting any object that is godlike, whether it be a concrete deity or not.”

Nietzsche said “God is dead,” and Freud said religion is a neurosis. But if we broaden our definition of “God” and “religion,” perhaps we can reconcile monotheism and atheism, perhaps we can think in terms of gradual spiritual evolution, rather than a sharp break between belief and unbelief.

5. David Brooks

David Brooks recently published a column entitled “America Is Falling Apart at the Seams.” The column mentions various negative trends, many of which seem related to the pandemic:

Brooks concludes that American society is “dissolving from the bottom up as much as from the top down.” He says he doesn’t know why American society is dissolving.

I’m reminded of Thucydides’ famous description of the epidemic/plague in Athens:

The plague marked the beginning of a decline to greater lawlessness in the city.... What was pleasant in the short term, and what was in any way conducive to that, came to be accepted as honorable and useful. No fear of the gods or law of men had any restraining power, since it was judged to make no difference whether one was pious or not as all alike could be seen dying.

The current pandemic isn’t nearly as severe as the epidemic in ancient Athens, in which around 30% of Athenians died. But the current pandemic has some of the same effects that the Athenian epidemic had.

6. Fungi

Fantastic Fungi (2019) is an excellent documentary about mushrooms. Some of the ideas are wild, but on the whole, it’s a top-notch film. It focuses on a mycologist named Paul Stamets, who explains how fungi can stop infection, induce a mystical experience, clean up oil spills, kill termites, etc. It also interviews Michael Pollan, who has written several bestsellers on food, agriculture, mushrooms, etc. And it interviews Suzanne Simard, whom I discussed in an earlier issue; Simard studies how trees communicate and cooperate, using a fungal network.

The documentary says that, because fungi can kill harmful bacteria, they’re used to create antibiotics. Penicillin, for example, was made from fungi. Antibiotics were unknown at the time of the Civil War, but people did have a vague understanding of the properties of fungi and mold, so they sometimes put moldy bread on wounds, to prevent infection.

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1. Letter to Pauline Goldmark, quoted in Richardson’s biography of James, Ch. 61 back
2. I myself exemplify Stevenson’s theory since my external life may seem dreary to an observer, but I have all sorts of dreams and ambitions within — I have a bull’s-eye lantern attached to my belt. back
3. This resembles Hemingway’s criticism of T. S. Eliot: “He never hit the ball out of the infield in his life.” Is there an affinity between Hemingway and Stevenson, as there is between Eliot and Henry James? back
3B. Stevenson used the same reasoning in a fable called “The Tadpole and the Frog”:

“Be ashamed of yourself,” said the frog. “When I was a tadpole, I had no tail.”
“Just what I thought!” said the tadpole. “You never were a tadpole.” back

4. This quote is partly from Edel, partly from James. See p. 122 of Edel’s Henry James: The Middle Years. back
5. I’m quoting Edel, p. 124

Stevenson was friends with the novelist George Meredith, and he was a big fan of Meredith’s novels, such as The Egoist. Stevenson wrote, “I have just re-read for the third and fourth time The Egoist. When I shall have read it the sixth or seventh, I begin to see I shall know about it. You will be astonished when you come to re-read it; I had no idea of the matter — human, red matter, he has contrived to plug and pack into that strange and admirable book.”

Meredith used Stevenson as the model for Gower Woodseer, a character in Meredith’s novel The Amazing Marriage. back

6. James’ friend John Singer Sargent got to know Stevenson before James did. Sargent wrote to James, “I was very much impressed by [Stevenson]; he seemed to me the most intense creature I had ever met.”(Edel, Henry James: The Middle Years, p. 149)

Stevenson’s cousin and biographer, Graham Balfour, described how Stevenson played billiards: “He played with all the fire and dramatic intensity that he was apt to put into things. The balls flew wildly about, on or off the table as the case might be, but seldom indeed ever threatened a pocket.”(quoted in Blyth, Zen in English Literature, Ch. 4, p. 62)

Balfour joined Stevenson on Samoa, and remained there until Stevenson died. back

7. Stevenson’s grandfather was apparently a friend and traveling-companion of Walter Scott.

Stevenson’s wife, Fanny, was an American, divorced with three children, made a living writing for magazines, and was ten years older than Stevenson. back

8. Quoted in Edel, Henry James: The Middle Years, p. 85 back
9. Robert Richardson says, “The 1994 Princeton University Press edition [of Flournoy’s book] has particularly helpful commentary.” back
10. Robert Richardson’s biography of James, Ch. 90 back
11. Wikipedia: “Jung [was] influenced by Flournoy’s concept of a prospective element in the unconscious, laid out most clearly in his 1908 paper on ‘Anti-Suicidal Teleological Automatisms,’ where he argued that last-minute visions in suicides confirming the value of living served the (unconscious) purpose of preserving life.” back
11B. See Richardson’s biography of James, Ch. 66. Richardson is quoting one of James’ letters. back
12. This is a quote from James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 2. See also the interpretation of Robert Richardson in his biography of James, Ch. 63. back
13. This is James’ summary of Emerson. See Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 2. back