William James: How do I get In touch with the “real me”?

William James: How do I get In touch with the “real me”?

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive. Along with that comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me.’ When you have found that attitude, follow it.” — William James 

“It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.” — William James 

William James was also one of the first writers to use the term self-esteem, which he described as a self-feeling that depends on what one decides to be and to accomplish.

He is considered by many to be the principal source of the metaphysical foundation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was also the godson of Ralph Waldo Emerson who was a close friend of the James family.
About William James—
James was an American philosopher who in 1872 joined the Harvard faculty as a lecturer on anatomy and physiology, continuing to teach until 1907, after 1880 in the department of psychology and philosophy. In 1890 he published his brilliant and epoch-making "Principles of Psychology," in which the seeds of his philosophy are already discernible. His fascinating style,  broad culture and cosmopolitan outlook made him the most influential American thinker of his day.

  • Celestino Beltran
    Posted at 21:18h, 08 September Reply


    I am very impressed with your website. I am especially pleased with your short introduction to William James on your website.

    Mr. James said that the discovery of the “subconscious” was the greatest discovery of the 19th century. Where can I go to learn more about authors who contributed to understanding the conscious mind and subconscious mind. Author, like US Anderson and Neville Goddard, claim that we are all one and therefore all part of God’s essence. We are GOD?

    I also would be grateful to hear your view on how we befriend “Evil” in ourselves? Deepak Chopra and other authors attempted to address this issue in their book: The Shadow Effect.

    • nlundgren
      Posted at 16:05h, 25 September Reply

      Hello Celestino,

      The early psychoanalytical circle of Sigmund Freud begins the dialogue and it would come into full force with Carl Jung and his associates.
      Rather than befriending “evil”, one might say that the shadow within ourselves (those rejected parts of the psyche) need to be integrated.
      So it looks like you’re on the right track! I would highly recommend Robert Bly’s little book Befriending the Shadow and James Hillman’s
      The Soul’s Code.
      take care,
      Neale Lundgren

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