It was on this date, January 11, 1842, that American psychologist William James was born in New York, the son of a Swedenborgian theologian, Henry James, Sr. Emanuel Swedenborg was the 18th century Swedish mystic who entered ecstatic trances, claimed to have therein visited heaven and hell, but was found by his contemporaries to be sane and sensible. In modern analysis, his trances have been explained by a severely repressed sexuality.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Cicero may have adopted only a public profession of belief in immortality. “On the Nature of the Gods” gives the arguments for and against, but like a politician he takes neither side.