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Dear all,

 

The following text is being offered at no charge in it's entirety. 

 

This book is a classic on manifesting and 'right thinking' from 1902.

 

It is one of the first books talking about the connection between how we think, how we live and how we manifest.  It encourages us to observe and control our thoughts first, and then live our lives with clear intentions.

 

Enjoy with peace.

 

Love, Love, Love,

 

Jenifer

____________________________________

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE - These texts are being offered in their entirety for personal use only.  Redistribution in any part is not authorized and NO REVENUE in any form is to be obtained from the use of these files.  PLEASE RESPECT THIS POLICY. 

 

____________________

 

 

AS A MAN THINKETH

 

BY

 

JAMES ALLEN

 

Author of "From Passion to Peace"

 

_Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,

And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes

The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,

Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:--

He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:

Environment is but his looking-glass._

 

Authorized Edition

 

New York

 

CONTENTS

 

THOUGHT AND CHARACTER

 

EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON CIRCUMSTANCES

 

EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON HEALTH AND THE BODY

 

THOUGHT AND PURPOSE

 

THE THOUGHT-FACTOR IN ACHIEVEMENT

 

VISIONS AND IDEALS

 

SERENITY

 

FOREWORD

 

THIS little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not

intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject

of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory,

its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and

perception of the truth that--

 

"They themselves are makers of themselves."

 

by virtue of the thoughts, which they choose and encourage; that

mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character

and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have

hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in

enlightenment and happiness.

 

JAMES ALLEN.

 

BROAD PARK AVENUE,

 

ILFRACOMBE,

 

ENGLAND

 

AS A MAN THINKETH

 

THOUGHT AND CHARACTER

 

THE aphorism, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," not only

embraces the whole of a man's being, but is so comprehensive as to

reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is

literally _what he thinks, _his character being the complete sum of

all his thoughts.

 

As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so

every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and

could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those

acts called "spontaneous" and "unpremeditated" as to those, which

are deliberately executed.

 

Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits;

thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own

husbandry.

 

"Thought in the mind hath made us, What we are

By thought was wrought and built. If a man's mind

Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes

The wheel the ox behind....

 

..If one endure

In purity of thought, joy follows him

As his own shadow--sure."

 

Man is a growth by law, and not a creation by artifice, and cause

and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of

thought as in the world of visible and material things. A noble and

Godlike character is not a thing of favour or chance, but is the

natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of

long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts. An ignoble and

bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the

continued harbouring of grovelling thoughts.

 

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armoury of thought he

forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions

the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy

and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of

thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and

wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the

beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character,

and man is their maker and master.

 

Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been

restored and brought to light in this age, none is more gladdening

or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this--that man is

the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and

shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

 

As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of his own

thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within

himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may

make himself what he wills.

 

Man is always the master, even in his weaker and most abandoned

state; but in his weakness and degradation he is the foolish master

who misgoverns his "household." When he begins to reflect upon his

condition, and to search diligently for the Law upon which his being

is established, he then becomes the wise master, directing his

energies with intelligence, and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful

issues. Such is the _conscious _master, and man can only thus become

by discovering _within himself _the laws of thought; which discovery

is totally a matter of application, self analysis, and experience.

 

Only by much searching and mining, are gold and diamonds obtained,

and man can find every truth connected with his being, if he will

dig deep into the mine of his soul; and that he is the maker of his

character, the moulder of his life, and the builder of his destiny,

he may unerringly prove, if he will watch, control, and alter his

thoughts, tracing their effects upon himself, upon others, and upon

his life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient

practice and investigation, and utilizing his every experience, even

to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining

that knowledge of himself which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power. In

this direction, as in no other, is the law absolute that "He that

seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened;" for

only by patience, practice, and ceaseless importunity can a man

enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge.

 

EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON CIRCUMSTANCES

 

MAN'S mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently

cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or

neglected, it must, and will, _bring forth._ If no useful seeds are

_put _into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will _fall

_therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

 

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds,

and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man

tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and

impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and

fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this

process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the

master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also

reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with

ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements

operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny.

 

Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest

and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer

conditions of a person's life will always be found to be

harmoniously related to his inner state. This does not mean that a

man's circumstances at any given time are an indication of his

_entire _character, but that those circumstances are so intimately

connected with some vital thought-element within himself that, for

the time being, they are indispensable to his development.

 

Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which

he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the

arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is

the result of a law which cannot err. This is just as true of those

who feel "out of harmony" with their surroundings as of those who

are contented with them.

 

As a progressive and evolving being, man is where he is that he may

learn that he may grow; and as he learns the spiritual lesson which

any circumstance contains for him, it passes away and gives place to

other circumstances.

 

Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to

be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he

is a creative power, and that he may command the hidden soil and

seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes

the rightful master of himself.

 

That circumstances grow out of thought every man knows who has for

any length of time practised self-control and self-purification, for

he will have noticed that the alteration in his circumstances has

been in exact ratio with his altered mental condition. So true is

this that when a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects

in his character, and makes swift and marked progress, he passes

rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes.

 

The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it

loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its

cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened

desires,--and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives

its own.

 

Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to

take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into

act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance.

Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.

 

The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of

thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are

factors, which make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the

reaper of his own harvest, man learns both by suffering and bliss.

 

Following the inmost desires, aspirations, thoughts, by which he

allows himself to be dominated, (pursuing the will-o'-the-wisps of

impure imaginings or steadfastly walking the highway of strong and

high endeavour), a man at last arrives at their fruition and

fulfilment in the outer conditions of his life. The laws of growth

and adjustment everywhere obtains.

 

A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of

fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of grovelling thoughts and

base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by

stress of any mere external force; the criminal thought had long

been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity

revealed its gathered power. Circumstance does not make the man; it

reveals him to himself No such conditions can exist as descending

into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious

inclinations, or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness

without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations; and man,

therefore, as the lord and master of thought, is the maker of

himself the shaper and author of environment. Even at birth the soul

comes to its own and through every step of its earthly pilgrimage it

attracts those combinations of conditions which reveal itself, which

are the reflections of its own purity and, impurity, its strength

and weakness.

 

Men do not attract that which they _want,_ but that which they _are._

Their whims, fancies, and ambitions are thwarted at every step, but

their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own food, be it

foul or clean. The "divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves;

it is our very self. Only himself manacles man: thought and action

are the gaolers of Fate--they imprison, being base; they are also

the angels of Freedom--they liberate, being noble. Not what he

wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His

wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they

harmonize with his thoughts and actions.

 

In the light of this truth, what, then, is the meaning of "fighting

against circumstances?" It means that a man is continually revolting

against an _effect_ without, while all the time he is nourishing and

preserving its _cause_ in his heart. That cause may take the form of

a conscious vice or an unconscious weakness; but whatever it is, it

stubbornly retards the efforts of its possessor, and thus calls

aloud for remedy.

 

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to

improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. The man who does

not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the

object upon which his heart is set. This is as true of earthly as of

heavenly things. Even the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth

must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can

accomplish his object; and how much more so he who would realize a

strong and well-poised life?

 

Here is a man who is wretchedly poor. He is extremely anxious that

his surroundings and home comforts should be improved, yet all the

time he shirks his work, and considers he is justified in trying to

deceive his employer on the ground of the insufficiency of his

wages. Such a man does not understand the simplest rudiments of

those principles which are the basis of true prosperity, and is not

only totally unfitted to rise out of his wretchedness, but is

actually attracting to himself a still deeper wretchedness by

dwelling in, and acting out, indolent, deceptive, and unmanly

thoughts.

 

Here is a rich man who is the victim of a painful and persistent

disease as the result of gluttony. He is willing to give large sums

of money to get rid of it, but he will not sacrifice his gluttonous

desires. He wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viands

and have his health as well. Such a man is totally unfit to have

health, because he has not yet learned the first principles of a

healthy life.

 

Here is an employer of labour who adopts crooked measures to avoid

paying the regulation wage, and, in the hope of making larger

profits, reduces the wages of his workpeople. Such a man is

altogether unfitted for prosperity, and when he finds himself

bankrupt, both as regards reputation and riches, he blames

circumstances, not knowing that he is the sole author of his

condition.

 

I have introduced these three cases merely as illustrative of the

truth that man is the causer (though nearly always is unconsciously)

of his circumstances, and that, whilst aiming at a good end, he is

continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts

and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end. Such

cases could be multiplied and varied almost indefinitely, but this

is not necessary, as the reader can, if he so resolves, trace the

action of the laws of thought in his own mind and life, and until

this is done, mere external facts cannot serve as a ground of

reasoning.

 

Circumstances, however, are so complicated, thought is so deeply

rooted, and the conditions of happiness vary so, vastly with

individuals, that a man's entire soul-condition (although it may be

known to himself) cannot be judged by another from the external

aspect of his life alone. A man may be honest in certain directions,

yet suffer privations; a man may be dishonest in certain directions,

yet acquire wealth; but the conclusion usually formed that the one

man fails _because of his particular honesty, _and that the other

_prospers because of his particular dishonesty, _is the result of a

superficial judgment, which assumes that the dishonest man is almost

totally corrupt, and the honest man almost entirely virtuous. In the

light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience such judgment is

found to be erroneous. The dishonest man may have some admirable

virtues, which the other does, not possess; and the honest man

obnoxious vices which are absent in the other. The honest man reaps

the good results of his honest thoughts and acts; he also brings

upon himself the sufferings, which his vices produce. The dishonest

man likewise garners his own suffering and happiness.

 

It is pleasing to human vanity to believe that one suffers because

of one's virtue; but not until a man has extirpated every sickly,

bitter, and impure thought from his mind, and washed every sinful

stain from his soul, can he be in a position to know and declare

that his sufferings are the result of his good, and not of his bad

qualities; and on the way to, yet long before he has reached, that

supreme perfection, he will have found, working in his mind and

life, the Great Law which is absolutely just, and which cannot,

therefore, give good for evil, evil for good. Possessed of such

knowledge, he will then know, looking back upon his past ignorance

and blindness, that his life is, and always was, justly ordered, and

that all his past experiences, good and bad, were the equitable

outworking of his evolving, yet unevolved self.

 

Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad

thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but

saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from

nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural world,

and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral

world (though its operation there is just as simple and

undeviating), and they, therefore, do not co-operate with it.

 

Suffering is _always_ the effect of wrong thought in some direction.

It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with

himself, with the Law of his being. The sole and supreme use of

suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure.

Suffering ceases for him who is pure. There could be no object in

burning gold after the dross had been removed, and a perfectly pure

and enlightened being could not suffer.

 

The circumstances, which a man encounters with suffering, are the

result of his own mental in harmony. The circumstances, which a man

encounters with blessedness, are the result of his own mental

harmony. Blessedness, not material possessions, is the measure of

right thought; wretchedness, not lack of material possessions, is

the measure of wrong thought. A man may be cursed and rich; he may

be blessed and poor. Blessedness and riches are only joined together

when the riches are rightly and wisely used; and the poor man only

descends into wretchedness when he regards his lot as a burden

unjustly imposed.

 

Indigence and indulgence are the two extremes of wretchedness. They

are both equally unnatural and the result of mental disorder. A man

is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy, healthy, and

prosperous being; and happiness, health, and prosperity are the

result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer, of

the man with his surroundings.

 

A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile,

and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his

life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases

to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself

up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against

circumstances, but begins to _use_ them as aids to his more rapid

progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and

possibilities within himself.

 

Law, not confusion, is the dominating principle in the universe;

justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life; and

righteousness, not corruption, is the moulding and moving force in

the spiritual government of the world. This being so, man has but to

right himself to find that the universe is right; and during the

process of putting himself right he will find that as he alters his

thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people

will alter towards him.

 

The proof of this truth is in every person, and it therefore admits

of easy investigation by systematic introspection and self-analysis.

Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at

the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions

of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it

cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies

into circumstance. Bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of

drunkenness and sensuality, which solidify into circumstances of

destitution and disease: impure thoughts of every kind crystallize

into enervating and confusing habits, which solidify into

distracting and adverse circumstances: thoughts of fear, doubt, and

indecision crystallize into weak, unmanly, and irresolute habits,

which solidify into circumstances of failure, indigence, and slavish

dependence: lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness

and dishonesty, which solidify into circumstances of foulness and

beggary: hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits

of accusation and violence, which solidify into circumstances of

injury and persecution: selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize

into habits of self-seeking, which solidify into circumstances more

or less distressing. On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all

kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindliness, which

solidify into genial and sunny circumstances: pure thoughts

crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control, which

solidify into circumstances of repose and peace: thoughts of

courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into manly habits,

which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom:

energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and

industry, which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness: gentle

and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness, which

solidify into protective and preservative circumstances: loving and

unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for

others, which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding

prosperity and true riches.

 

A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad,

cannot fail to produce its results on the character and

circumstances. A man cannot _directly_ choose his circumstances, but

he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his

circumstances.

 

Nature helps every man to the gratification of the thoughts, which

he most encourages, and opportunities are presented which will most

speedily bring to the surface both the good and evil thoughts.

 

Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will

soften towards him, and be ready to help him; let him put away his

weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo, opportunities will spring up on

every hand to aid his strong resolves; let him encourage good

thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and

shame. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations

of colours, which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are

the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts.

 

"So You will be what you will to be;

Let failure find its false content

In that poor word, 'environment,'

But spirit scorns it, and is free.

 

"It masters time, it conquers space;

It cowes that boastful trickster, Chance,

And bids the tyrant Circumstance

Uncrown, and fill a servant's place.

 

"The human Will, that force unseen,

The offspring of a deathless Soul,

Can hew a way to any goal,

Though walls of granite intervene.

 

"Be not impatient in delays

But wait as one who understands;

When spirit rises and commands

The gods are ready to obey."

EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON HEALTH AND THE BODY

 

THE body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the

mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically

expressed. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks

rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful

thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty.

 

Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought.

Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body.

Thoughts of fear have been known to kill a man as speedily as a

bullet, and they are continually killing thousands of people just as

surely though less rapidly. The people who live in fear of disease

are the people who get it. Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole

body, and lays it open to the, entrance of disease; while impure

thoughts, even if not physically indulged, will soon shatter the

nervous system.

 

Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigour and

grace. The body is a delicate and plastic instrument, which responds

readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed, and habits of

thought will produce their own effects, good or bad, upon it.

 

Men will continue to have impure and poisoned blood, so long as they

propagate unclean thoughts. Out of a clean heart comes a clean life

and a clean body. Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and

a corrupt body. Thought is the fount of action, life, and

manifestation; make the fountain pure, and all will be pure.

 

Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.

When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure

food.

 

Clean thoughts make clean habits. The so-called saint who does not

wash his body is not a saint. He who has strengthened and purified

his thoughts does not need to consider the malevolent microbe.

 

If you would protect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew

your body, beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy,

disappointment, despondency, rob the body of its health and grace. A

sour face does not come by chance; it is made by sour thoughts.

Wrinkles that mar are drawn by folly, passion, and pride.

 

I know a woman of ninety-six who has the bright, innocent face of a

girl. I know a man well under middle age whose face is drawn into

inharmonious contours. The one is the result of a sweet and sunny

disposition; the other is the outcome of passion and discontent.

 

As you cannot have a sweet and wholesome abode unless you admit the

air and sunshine freely into your rooms, so a strong body and a

bright, happy, or serene countenance can only result from the free

admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy and goodwill and

serenity.

 

On the faces of the aged there are wrinkles made by sympathy, others

by strong and pure thought, and others are carved by passion: who

cannot distinguish them? With those who have lived righteously, age

is calm, peaceful, and softly mellowed, like the setting sun. I have

recently seen a philosopher on his deathbed. He was not old except

in years. He died as sweetly and peacefully as he had lived.

 

There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills

of the body; there is no comforter to compare with goodwill for

dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow. To live continually in

thoughts of ill will, cynicism, suspicion, and envy, is to be

confined in a self made prison-hole. But to think well of all, to be

cheerful with all, to patiently learn to find the good in all--such

unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven; and to dwell day

by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring

abounding peace to their possessor.

 

THOUGHT AND PURPOSE

 

UNTIL thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent

accomplishment. With the majority the bark of thought is allowed to

"drift" upon the ocean of life. Aimlessness is a vice, and such

drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of

catastrophe and destruction.

 

They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to

petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are

indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately

planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness,

and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe.

 

A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set

out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing

point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or

it may be a worldly object, according to his nature at the time

being; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his

thought-forces upon the object, which he has set before him. He

should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself

to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into

ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road

to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if he fails

again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must

until weakness is overcome), the _strength of character gained_ will

be the measure of _his true_ success, and this will form a new

starting-point for future power and triumph.

 

Those who are not prepared for the apprehension of a _great_ purpose

should fix the thoughts upon the faultless performance of their

duty, no matter how insignificant their task may appear. Only in

this way can the thoughts be gathered and focussed, and resolution

and energy be developed, which being done, there is nothing which

may not be accomplished.

 

The weakest soul, knowing its own weakness, and believing this truth

_that strength can only be developed by effort and practice,_ will,

thus believing, at once begin to exert itself, and, adding effort to

effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength, will never

cease to develop, and will at last grow divinely strong.

 

As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and

patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong

by exercising himself in right thinking.

 

To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with

purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only

recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all

conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly,

and accomplish masterfully.

 

Having conceived of his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a

_straight_ pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right

nor the left. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded; they

are disintegrating elements, which break up the straight line of

effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless. Thoughts of

doubt and fear never accomplished anything, and never can. They

always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong

thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.

 

The will to do springs from the knowledge that we _can_ do. Doubt

and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages

them, who does not slay them. thwarts himself at every step.

 

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His

every, thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are

bravely met and wisely overcome. His purposes are seasonably

planted, and they bloom and bring forth fruit, which does not fall

prematurely to the ground.

 

Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force: he who

_knows_ this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a

mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations; he who

_does _this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his

mental powers.

 

THE THOUGHT-FACTOR IN ACHIEVEMENT

 

ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the

direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe,

where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual

responsibility must be absolute. A man's weakness and strength,

purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man's; they are

brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be

altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own,

and not another man's. His suffering and his happiness are evolved

from within. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he

remains.

 

A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is _willing_ to

be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself;

he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires

in another. None but himself can alter his condition.

 

It has been usual for men to think and to say, "Many men are slaves

because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor." Now,

however, there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse

this judgment, and to say, "One man is an oppressor because many are

slaves; let us despise the slaves."

 

The truth is that oppressor and slave are co-operators in ignorance,

and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality afflicting

themselves. A perfect Knowledge perceives the action of law in the

weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor;

a perfect Love, seeing the suffering, which both states entail,

condemns neither; a perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and

oppressed.

 

He who has conquered weakness, and has put away all selfish

thoughts, belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. He is free.

 

A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his

thoughts. He can only remain weak, and abject, and miserable by

refusing to lift up his thoughts.

 

Before a man can achieve anything, even in worldly things, he must

lift his thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. He may not, in

order to succeed, give up all animality and selfishness, by any

means; but a portion of it must, at least, be sacrificed. A man

whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think

clearly nor plan methodically; he could not find and develop his

latent resources, and would fail in any undertaking. Not having

commenced to manfully control his thoughts, he is not in a position

to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities. He is not

fit to act independently and stand alone. But he is limited only by

the thoughts, which he chooses.

 

There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice, and a

man's worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his

confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of

his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and

self-reliance. And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more manly,

upright, and righteous he becomes, the greater will be his success,

the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements.

 

The universe does not favour the greedy, the dishonest, the vicious,

although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so; it

helps the honest, the magnanimous, the virtuous. All the great

Teachers of the ages have declared this in varying forms, and to

prove and know it a man has but to persist in making himself more

and more virtuous by lifting up his thoughts.

 

Intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to

the search for knowledge, or for the beautiful and true in life and

nature. Such achievements may be sometimes connected with vanity and

ambition, but they are not the outcome of those characteristics;

they are the natural outgrowth of long and arduous effort, and of

pure and unselfish thoughts.

 

Spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations. He

who lives constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts,

who dwells upon all that is pure and unselfish, will, as surely as

the sun reaches its zenith and the moon its full, become wise and

noble in character, and rise into a position of influence and

blessedness.

 

Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of

thought. By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity,

righteousness, and well-directed thought a man ascends; by the aid

of animality, indolence, impurity, corruption, and confusion of

thought a man descends.

 

A man may rise to high success in the world, and even to lofty

altitudes in the spiritual realm, and again descend into weakness

and wretchedness by allowing arrogant, selfish, and corrupt thoughts

to take possession of him.

 

Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by

watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly

fall back into failure.

 

All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or

spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought, are

governed by the same law and are of the same method; the only

difference lies in _the object of attainment._

 

He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would

achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must

sacrifice greatly.

 

VISIONS AND IDEALS

 

THE dreamers are the saviours of the world. As the visible world is

sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and

sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of

their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it

cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows

them as they _realities_ which it shall one day see and know.

 

Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, these are the

makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is

beautiful because they have lived; without them, labouring humanity

would perish.

 

He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart,

will one day realize it. Columbus cherished a vision of another

world, and he discovered it; Copernicus fostered the vision of a

multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe, and he revealed it;

Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty

and perfect peace, and he entered into it.

 

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that

stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the

loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will

grow all delightful conditions, all, heavenly environment; of these,

if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

 

To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to, achieve. Shall man's basest

desires receive the fullest measure of gratification, and his purest

aspirations starve for lack of sustenance? Such is not the Law: such

a condition of things can never obtain: "ask and receive."

 

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your

Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your Ideal is

the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

 

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The

oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the

highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the

seedlings of realities.

 

Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long

remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. You

cannot travel _within_ and stand still _without._ Here is a youth

hard pressed by poverty and labour; confined long hours in an

unhealthy workshop; unschooled, and lacking all the arts of

refinement. But he dreams of better things; he thinks of

intelligence, of refinement, of grace and beauty. He conceives of,

mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life; the vision of a

wider liberty and a larger scope takes possession of him; unrest

urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means,

small though they are, to the development of his latent powers and

resources. Very soon so altered has his mind become that the

workshop can no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmony

with his mentality that it falls out of his life as a garment is

cast aside, and, with the growth of opportunities, which fit the

scope of his expanding powers, he passes out of it forever. Years

later we see this youth as a full-grown man. We find him a master of

certain forces of the mind, which he wields with worldwide influence

and almost unequalled power. In his hands he holds the cords of

gigantic responsibilities; he speaks, and lo, lives are changed; men

and women hang upon his words and remould their characters, and,

sunlike, he becomes the fixed and luminous centre round which

innumerable destinies revolve. He has realized the Vision of his

youth. He has become one with his Ideal.

 

And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the Vision (not the idle

wish) of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both,

for you will always gravitate toward that which you, secretly, most

love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own

thoughts; you will receive that which you earn; no more, no less.

Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or

rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as

small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant

aspiration: in the beautiful words of Stanton Kirkham Davis, "You

may be keeping accounts, and presently you shall walk out of the

door that for so long has seemed to you the barrier of your ideals,

and shall find yourself before an audience--the pen still behind

your ear, the ink stains on your fingers and then and there shall

pour out the torrent of your inspiration. You may be driving sheep,

and you shall wander to the city-bucolic and open-mouthed; shall

wander under the intrepid guidance of the spirit into the studio of

the master, and after a time he shall say, 'I have nothing more to

teach you.' And now you have become the master, who did so recently

dream of great things while driving sheep. You shall lay down the

saw and the plane to take upon yourself the regeneration of the

world."

 

The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the

apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of

luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, "How

lucky he is!" Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim,

"How highly favoured he is!" And noting the saintly character and

wide influence of another, they remark, "How chance aids him at

every turn!" They do not see the trials and failures and struggles

which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their

experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of

the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have

exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable,

and realize the Vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness

and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it

"luck". They do not see the long and arduous journey, but only

behold the pleasant goal, and call it "good fortune," do not

understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it

chance.

 

In all human affairs there are _efforts,_ and there are _results,_

and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance

is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual

possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed,

objects accomplished, visions realized.

 

The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you

enthrone in your heart--this you will build your life by, this you

will become.

 

SERENITY

 

CALMNESS of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the

result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is

an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary

knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

 

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a

thought evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the

understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops

a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal

relations of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to

fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast,

serene.

 

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to

adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual

strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The

more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his

influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find

his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater

self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal

with a man whose demeanour is strongly equable.

 

The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a

shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a

storm. "Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered,

balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or

what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are

always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character,

which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture, the fruitage

of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired

than gold--yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money

seeking looks in comparison with a serene life--a life that dwells

in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of

tempests, in the Eternal Calm!

 

"How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is

sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of

character, and make bad blood! It is a question whether the great

majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness

by lack of self-control. How few people we meet in life who are well

balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of

the finished character!

 

Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with

ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt only the wise

man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the

winds and the storms of the soul obey him.

 

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever

conditions ye may live, know this in the ocean of life the isles of

Blessedness are smiling, and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits

your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the

bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep:

wake Him. Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery;

Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, "Peace, be still!"

 

The End.

 

 

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