William James quote about happiness from The Varieties of Religious Experience - How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
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How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
 William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). copy citation

Context

“[pg 078] Lectures IV and V. The Religion Of Healthy-Mindedness. If we were to ask the question: «What is human life's chief concern?» one of the answers we should receive would be: «It is happiness.» How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure. The hedonistic school in ethics deduces the moral life wholly from the experiences of happiness and unhappiness which different kinds of conduct bring; and, even more in the religious life than in the moral life, happiness and unhappiness seem to be the poles round which the interest revolves.” source

Meaning and analysis

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