I’ll Have What He’s Having

Re-reading William James and came across this “conversion” story, which is enviable, to say the least.

“At the urgent request of friends, and with no faith and hardly any hope (possibly owing to a previous unsuccessful experience with a Christian Scientist), our little daughter was placed under the care of a healer, and cured of a trouble about which the physician had been very discouraging in his diagnosis.  This interested me, and I began studying earnestly the method and philosophy of this method of healing.  Gradually an inner peace and tranquillity came to me in so positive a way that my manner changed greatly.  My children and friends noticed the change and commented upon it.  All feelings of irritability disappeared.  Even the expression of my face changed noticeably.

“I had been bigoted, aggressive, and intolerant in discussion, both in public and private.  I grew broadly tolerant and receptive toward the views of others.  I had been nervous and irritable, coming home two or three times a week with a sick headache induced, as I then supposed, by dyspepsia and catarrh.  I grew serene and gentle, and the physical troubles entirely disappeared.  I had been in the habit of approaching every business interview with an almost morbid dread.  I now meet every one with confidence and inner calm.

“I may say that the growth has all been toward the elimination of selfishness.  I do not mean simply the grosser, more sensual forms, but those subtler and generally unrecognized kinds, such as express themselves in sorrow, grief, regret, envy, etc.  It has been in the direction of a practical, working realization of the immanence of God, and the Divinity of man’s true, inner self.”


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