Saturday, July 9, 2016

Double Sonnet of William James: Grace That Brings Good Order in the Head (Addition to "The Apology Box")

            Double Sonnet of William James

Descartes, pure mind and body can't be kept
Apart as claimed.  Drawn from experience,
They share a common nature, common sense
That both derive from shared experience.

I am therefore a monist.  I accept
That all is drawn from pure experience:
The body, mind, and all relations.  Hence,
Truth, too, must come from shared experience.

Truth is what works in shared experience.
With free will, physics is indifferent.  Hence,
Determinism turns on how we find

An absence of free will.  Because we find
Determinism horrid, we are led
To free will's higher order in the head.


Descartes, why suffer needless doubt except
When something fails to work.  There's little sense
In doubting for the sake of doubt. I've kept
So many years of James I see no sense

In doubting James.  Efficiencies accept
That James exists until experience
Astounds such thinking--I of course accept
Doubt when thought stumbles with experience.

For me, religious doubt makes little sense.
Belief in God disturbs no physics.  Hence,
If God brings better order to my mind,

I'd err denying God.  Of tender mind,
I savor God and angels overhead,
And grace that brings good order in the head.

© Harold Anthony Lloyd 2016
The current contents of "The Apology Box" can be found here.

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