The Divine Presence
For William James, much of the interest in the varieties of religious experience lies in their effects on human beings, and their ability to cause the human being to respond and change. In his own life, James dealt with emotional problems which were not assuaged until his own conversion experience, although that was not a conversion to conventional Christianity or anything like it. In this study, James explored religious experience in order to understand its origins and its effects. He seems to have correctly concluded that the sense of divine presence, or a larger power friendly to human beings, is an accurate one for others and for himself. The intention in the following pages is to examine some of James’ discussion of this issue.