James, William - The Varieties of Religious Experience - On adversity
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James
Passive happiness is slack and insipid, and soon grows mawkish and intolerable. Some austerity and wintry negativety, some roughness, danger stringency and effort, some no! no! must be mixed in, to produce the sense of an existence with character and texture and power.
The range of individual differences in this respect is enormous; but whatever the mixture of yeses and noes may be, the person is infallibly aware when he has struck it in the right proportion for him. This, he feels, is my proper vocation, this is the optimum, the law, the life for me to live. Here I find a degree of equilibrium, safety, calm and leisure which I need, or here I find the challenge, passion, fight and hardship without which my soul’s energy expires.