--William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
I woke up this past Thursday morning feeling unmotivated and lazy, but I read a few lectures in The Varieties and felt a lot more creative and positive afterwards. Hard to say why. I think it's as simple as saying that in James I see somebody with a true gift for articulating ideas that generally defy description. If you think about it, a shitload of experiences are too complicated for an average person to describe. Maybe only a small fraction of the things we experience can be adequately described, with the rest being a sort of "dark matter" of observations, feelings, and ideas. William James seems to just camp out in the dark matter, explaining with unbiased lucidity how the general human condition translates into religion. I just feel elevated reading him.