When I was attending a religious high school (something my parents insisted on), I took what I thought was a significant intellectual risk by reading, between classes and during lunch, my newly purchased copy of William James’ “Varieties of Religious Experience”. However, my courage failed when too many of my classmates wanted to know what that other book was that I was carrying around. I created my own blank book cover to prevent those with stronger religious convictions than mine from reading the cover. I finished reading “Varieties” and, even though I liked it quite a lot, it did not lead me, unfortunately, to read more psychology. Instead, I picked up on the philosophical aspects of the work. Sometime thereafter, I read a translation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” and, the world hears it for the first time here, I will confess that I did not understand it at all.
By Ed Hughes