The Illusion of Will, Self, and Time: William James’s Reluctant Guide to Enlightenment with Jonathan Bricklin

Apr 26, 2019

The Illusion of Will, Self, and Time: William James’s Reluctant Guide to Enlightenment with Jonathan Bricklin
April 26th, 2019 – 7:00pm

William James is often considered a scientist compromised by his advocacy of mysticism and psychical research – what he termed “the wild beasts of the philosophical desert.” But he can also be viewed as the Father of Transpersonal Psychology, compromised by his commitment to common sense. A co-founder and President of the American Society for Psychical Research, James believed that such research had “broken down… the limits of the admitted order of things.” But so had his classic explorations into the psychology of will, self, and time. Nonetheless, he waited ‘til the last year of his life to reveal what his deepest insights and research “suggested”: consciousness is “already there waiting to be uncovered,” revealing what “stood there always to be known.” That James lived his entire life championing a dynamic world, being created moment by moment, is what makes him a most valuable guide to all the evidence that suggests otherwise.


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April 26th,2019

Arrival Day



After a mystical experience on a Vipassana meditation retreat undermined his common-sense understanding of reality, Jonathan went on a quest to explore the nature of consciousness. He began with William James’s classic text, The Principles of Psychology. Reading this text, followed by 3 decades of reading other works of James, has been, he said, like falling down Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole. He is the author of The Illusion of Will, Self, and Time: William James’s Reluctant Guide to Enlightenment (SUNY Press), a Chicago Seminary Co-op Notable Book Award Winner for 2016, and the Editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Sciousness (Eirini Press). His radical reconstructions of James have been published in numerous international journals and magazines. Oliver Sacks has praised his work as “full of interest and originality… the ghost of William James is surely happy to see it.” Eugene Taylor, author of William James on Consciousness Beyond the Margin and the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award, wrote that “Bricklin advances James on consciousness farther than anyone.” Jonathan is a former Program Director of the New York Open Center.


Our menus are based on group preferences and budget. We offer delicious, balanced vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals which typically include raw salads and hot vegetable dishes. Upon request, we will gladly prepare unseasoned blanched or steamed dishes for lunch and dinner. We easily accommodate gluten/dairy free needs, and many of our seasonings and oils are provided on the side for guests to season meals to taste. Several rooms have refrigerators, so guests are welcome to bring food that suit their needs if they have issues we cannot accommodate. Please note that we are unable to reduce meal costs due to food allergies.

Payment Policy

A $50 non-refundable deposit is taken at the time registration occurs.
The full balance is collected 7 days prior to arrival.

Cancellation Policy

Other than the deposit, no fees are incurred if cancelled up to 7 days after reservation date.
50% of the total cost is retained if cancelled less than 4 days prior to event.
The $50 deposit given at registration is non-refundable.


“Jonathan’s humor, clarity and extraordinary range of knowledge make him a very impressive and engaging speaker.” –Ralph White, Co-founder of the New York Open Center

“A wonderful evening. People were truly enthralled, informed and inspired.” –Ed Rosenfeld,​ Co-founder of Poetry/Science Salon