William James

I came across this quote in Michael Stone’s book Awake in the World, and thought it provided a thoughtful echo to Katagiri Roshi’s Peaceful Life:

‘Now can we tell more precisely in what the feeling of the central active self consists?… First of all, I am aware of a constant play of furtherances and hindrances in my thinking… Among the matters I think of, some range themselves on the side of the thought’s interests [passions], whilst others play an unfriendly part thereto [aggression]. The mutual inconsistencies and agreements, reinforcement and obstructions… produce… incessant reactions of my spontaneity upon them, welcoming or opposing, appropriating or disowning, striving with or against, saying yes or no. This palpitating inward life is, in me, that central nucleus [of the self].’

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