"Summing up in the broadest possible way the characteristics of the religious life, as we have found them, it includes the following beliefs:—
1. That the visible world is part of a more spiritual universe from which it draws its chief significance;
2. That union or harmonious relation with that higher universe is our true end;
3. That prayer or inner communion with the spirit thereof— be that spirit "God" or "law"—is a process wherein work is really done, and spiritual energy flows in and produces effects, psychological or material, within the phenomenal world.
Religion includes also the following psychological characteristics:—
4. A new zest which adds itself like a gift to life, and takes the form either of lyrical enchantment or of appeal to earnestness and heroism.
5. An assurance of safety and a temper of peace, and, in relation to others, a preponderance of loving affections."
William James was an American philosopher, historian, and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. The Varieties of Religious Experience, an investigation of different forms of religious experience, is one of his most influential books.