William James quote about morality from The Varieties of Religious Experience - And for morality life is a war, and the service of the highest is a sort of cosmic patriotism which also calls for volunteers.
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And for morality life is a war, and the service of the highest is a sort of cosmic patriotism which also calls for volunteers.
 William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). copy citation

Context

“A life is manly, stoical, moral, or philosophical, we say, in proportion as it is less swayed by paltry personal considerations and more by objective ends that call for energy, even though that energy bring personal loss and pain. This is the good side of war, in so far as it calls for «volunteers.» And for morality life is a war, and the service of the highest is a sort of cosmic patriotism which also calls for volunteers. Even a sick man, unable to be militant outwardly, can carry on the moral warfare. He can willfully turn his attention away from his own [pg 046] future, whether in this world or the next. He can train himself to indifference to his present drawbacks and immerse himself in whatever objective interests still remain accessible.” source

Meaning and analysis

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