The Philosophy and Writing of
James Harvey Stout
Jump to the following topics:
- Who am I?
write primarily for people who want to have a mainstream life.
- I do not tell
you how you must live.
- My writing is eclectic.
am not trying to create a new religion or a new school or
psychology or philosophy.
approach is both psychological and spiritual.
- My approach is
- I do not deal
with social issues.
write technical manuals, not religious books.
in my writing is "speculation and perspective."
Who am I? The definition which I present to
the public is the same definition which I present to myself: "I am a
smart, intuitive person who writes good books." Although I write
spiritually oriented books, I do not claim any special wisdom; I have
only the same wisdom which we all have. But my regular insight is
amplified into high-quality books by my ability to organize commonly
known ideas into perspectives which are fresh and inclusive. My
particular viewpoints might interest you.
write primarily for people who want to have a mainstream life. These
are people who have a busy life, family, career, friends,
recreational activities, hobbies, the natural desire for a better
material life, etc. -- and also a feeling that spirituality is an
innate part of a balanced life. Spiritual growth and fulfillment can
be found in every lifestyle. There is no reason to be "religious" or
to withdraw from life in any way; on the contrary, I believe that we
are in this world to learn through through real-life experience --
rich and varied, with a normal, healthy personality which makes us
accessible to the widest range of people and opportunities.
I do not tell
you how you must live. I do not know what is best for you. I have
neither talent nor skill nor training in any type of counseling. All
that I do is explain the dynamics of the psyche and of spirit to the
best of my ability, and then I leave you to your own intuition,
intelligence, and experience, to decide how you might apply the
principles to your life. The most important part of my book deals
with the development of intuition, so that you can create the life
which feels right to you.
My writing is eclectic. The
ideas come from many different sources -- religions, psychology,
philosophy, metaphysics, and other means by which we learn about
life. But I believe that intuition provides the best ideas (including
my concept of archetypal fields), and it also provides the models
which tie the ideas together; I read other people's books to gather
bits of data with which to fill in these models.
am not trying to create a new religion or a new school or psychology
or philosophy. Instead, I am explaining the generic dynamics which I
perceive in the foundations of every belief system. I do not attempt
to convince you of anything; your beliefs belong to your own private
life, and I have no reason to "convert" you to my beliefs. I do not
have an agenda; therefore, I can look at the topics with some
objectivity. I am not trying to change you; I am not trying to change
approach is both psychological and spiritual. There are many
qualities which we associate with both spirituality and psychological
well-being: love, balance, inner calm, openness, creativity, etc.
Those qualities can be developed from the perspective of either the
spirit or the psyche. Generally, my books take the psychological
approach -- more specifically the "cognitive" approach (i.e.,
changing our viewpoint as a way of changing our life) -- because this
approach gives us something to do -- mentally, physically, and
socially -- while we simultaneously explore the dynamics of matter
and spirit. But the same results can be attained -- perhaps to a
deeper and more long-lasting level -- through the natural action of
spirit flowing through us, gradually shaping us into alignment with
its nature, and so I try not to over-psychologize (and
over-secularize) the ultimately sacred matter of personal growth.
My approach is natural. I
believe that enlightenment is the natural state of being, and so the
path to enlightenment is a natural one, as we follow our innate
drives, and we free our inborn love and wisdom. Nothing is repressed;
nothing is rejected; contrarily, nothing is presented as an ideal to
which we must conform. We are not expected to be gods or saints; we
are not expected to live anything but a human life -- full of
feeling, warmth, and the mistakes of a person who loves life enough
to be willing to take the chances which might seem wrong or
I do not deal with
social issues. There are two reasons for this stance:
- I believe that individuals' psychological problems are the
basis of all social problems -- crime, war, drug addiction, etc.
-- and that social reform and legislation offer little more than a
- Many social plans require the manipulation and control of the
populace, and they sometimes result in the extermination of people
who do not fit into the plan, as we have seen in the examples of
many political and social "visionaries."
write technical manuals, not religious books. Other writers use a
devotional and poetic approach, based on the valid belief that some
things can be expressed (and understood) only through the heart.
While spirit does indeed "flow like a river" in a seemingly
non-logical manner, these teachers give us flowery metaphors when,
instead, we want technical information and analysis. And we can have
that "tech support" when we distinguish spirit from mind, and we
understand the different dynamics of the two -- the linear movement
of mind, and the non-linear movement of spirit. Many of the
experiences which others have relegated to the "ineffable" are indeed
explainable in the clear, crisp words of logic and mechanics (without
denying the accompanying "fluid dynamics" of spirit); thus I can
present unambiguous definitions, underlying principles, synergistic
systems overviews, and the type of technical precision which you
might expect from a well-written computer manual. We can learn as
adults, not as children who have been told to be content with
superstition, blind faith, mystification, superficial rituals, and
foggy explanations. My books do not teach religion; they teach
physics. This is something which makes sense, something we can work
with, and something which we can use as a tool for achieving
spiritual and psychological maturity. And yet, with the heart of a
mystic, and the mind of a scientist, I have learned that everything
is not reducible to formulas and methods; in the end, illumination
comes to us through the unfathomable gift of "grace."
Everything in my writing is
"speculation and perspective." I do not believe that we can know
anything for certain (although I am not certain about that
<grin>). In my writing, all ideas are presented as speculation
-- whatever rings true to me at this time, whatever is "the best that
I have come up with so far." I feel that all closure is "premature
closure." If you are looking for a writer who will confidently tell
you the ultimate truth on any subject, you will need to go elsewhere;
there are many such teachers who will be happy to take you in. I try
not to settle into dogma, and thus I continue to learn -- and I
acknowledge your dignity as intelligent, intuitive individuals who
are expected to challenge and test every word in my books, as you
incorporate whatever you want on your personal journey through life.