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As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen

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04/30/2006 05:52 PM
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As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
As A Man Thinketh
James Allen

Chapter One
Thought and Character

We are what we think we are. This not only affects the way we feel, but affects every condition and circumstance in our lives. We are literally what we think, our character being the complete sum of all our thoughts.

Just as plants could not exist without a seed, every act of mankind 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 deliberate.

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

Thought in the mind has made us what we are.
We use thought to form and create ourselves

If we have evil thoughts, pain comes on us

As surely as the funeral procession follows the hearse

If we have joyous thoughts

Happiness follows us as our own shadow.

Mankind is a growth by law, and not a mechanical creation, and cause and effect is just as real in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things. A noble and Godlike creature is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in positive thought. And it is the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts. A beastly character, by the same process, is the result of constant negative and lustful thoughts.

We are made or unmade by ourselves; with thought we make the weapons of slow deliberate(although uncoscious) suicide. Also with thought, we make the tools to create heavenly mansions of joy, strength and peace. By the true application of thought, we ascend to Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, we descend below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and we are their maker and master.

Of all the great truths there is to discover, there is none mightier than knowing that we are the master of thought, the molder of character, and maker and shaper of our condition, environment, and destiny.

As beings of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the captain of our own thoughts, we hold the key to every situation. And we have the power to make ourselves into anything we wish.

We are always in control, even in our weakest and most abandoned state; but in our weakness and degradation, we are foolish masters that misgovern our "household." When we begin to reflect upon our condition, and to search diligently for the Law upon which our existence is established, we then become the wise master, directing our energies with intelligence, and thinking more productive thoughts. We can only become the wise master by discovering the laws of thought. That discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis, and experience.

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

can find every hidden truth about ourselves if we will dig deep into the mine of our soul. We can prove that we are the maker of our character, the molder of our lives, and the builder of our destiny. How? All we need to do is watch, control, and alter our thoughts, and trace their effects on others and the outside world. With a little patience and investigation, we can link everything in our lives to cause and effect.

"All that seeketh shall findeth; and to all that knocketh it shall be opened". For only by patience, practice, and ceaseless effort can we open the Door to the Temple of Knowledge.

Chapter Two
Effect of Thought on Circumstances

A mind is like a garden, which may be cultivated or allowed to grow wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, produce something. If no useful seeds are planted, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall into it, and you will have an unproductive crop.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits that he wants, we may tend the garden of our mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.

By pursuing this process, we sooner or later discover that we are the master gardener of the soul, the director of life. This also reveals how thought forces and mind factors operate in the shaping of 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 the inner state. This does not mean that our circumstances at any given time are an indication of our entire character, but those current circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought element that, for the time being, they are indispensable to our development.

The laws of thought govern our very existence. Thoughts that we have built into our character have brought us to where we are today. And in the arrangement of life there is no such things as chance, but every event in our lives is the result of a law that cannot error. It never makes a mistake. It doesnít matter whether you feel "out of harmony" with your surroundings or if you are contented with them. You are responsible.

As progressive and evolving beings, we are here to learn the spiritual lesson from all circumstances. And as we discover them, they pass away and give place to other circumstances.

We are knocked about by circumstances so long as we believe we are creatures of outside conditions. And when we realize that we may command the hidden soil and seeds of our being (out of which circumstances grow), we then become the rightful master of our world.

Circumstances grow out of thought. If we practice self-control and self-purification, we will notice that the alteration in our circumstances have been in exact ratio with our altered mental condition. When we earnestly apply ourselves to remedy defects in our character, we make swift progress and pass rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes. (Sudden change from one circumstance to another, and another)

The soul attracts that which it secretly holds on to; that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished dreams. It falls to the level of its carnal desires - and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives knowledge.

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 fruit 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 that make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the reaper of our own harvest, we learn as much from suffering as we do from bliss.

A person does not end up in prison by fate or circumstance, but by continued negative and immoral thoughts. Nor do the pure-minded fall into crime by stress or external force; the criminal thought had long been in mind, and at the hour of opportunity, materialized.

Circumstance does not make us; it shows us our true selves. Even at birth the soul knows everything, and through every step of its earthly journey it attracts conditions it desires. All conditions are the reflections of our own purity and impurity, strength and weakness.

We do not attract that which we want, but that which we are. Our whims, fancies, and ambitions are thwarted at every step, but our inmost thoughts and desires will materialize, whether good or bad. The "divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves; it is our very self.

Only our thoughts can truly shackle us. Thought and action are the jailers of Fate - they imprison. They are also the angels of Freedom - they liberate. We get what we justly earn, no more no less. Our wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with our thoughts and actions.

So what does "fighting against circumstances,Ē mean? It means that we are constantly fighting things we do not want, while all the time, nourishing and preserving them in our hearts. It may be 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.

We long to improve our circumstances, but are unwilling to improve our selves. We therefore remain bound. We must stop destroying ourselvevs, to accomplish our heartís desire. This is as true of earthly as of heavenly things. We must make great personal sacrifices before we can accomplish great wealth; and even more so, to have a strong and well-poised life.

Here is a man who is wretchedly poor. He is extremely anxious that his surroundings and home comforts improve. Yet all the time he shirks his work, and considers he is justified in trying to deceive his employer on the grounds of the low wages. Such a man does not understand the simplest of principles that are the basis of true prosperity. He 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, lazy, deceptive, and negative 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 foods 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 who cheats to avoid paying a proper wage, and, in the hope of making larger profits, reduces the wages of his work force. Such a man is unfit 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 we are the cause (though nearly always unconsciously) of our circumstances. That, while striving for good things, we are continually frustrating our accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires, which cannot possibly harmonize with what, we want. I could show you thousands of similar cases, but this is not necessary. Until you trace the action of the laws of thought in your own mind and life, you will not grasp this type of reasoning.

Circumstances are so complicated; thought is so deeply rooted, that conditions of happiness vary widely. Therefore, we cannot judge another person just by looking at their external conditions.

A man may be honest in certain directions, yet dishonest in others. A woman may be dishonest in certain directions, yet acquire wealth. But the conclusion usually formed that the one person fails because of honesty, and that the other prospers because of dishonesty, is the result of a superficial judgment. This assumes that the dishonest are almost totally corrupt, and honest, almost entirely virtuous. In the light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience, such judgment is found to be wrong. The dishonest may have some admirable virtues, which the other does not possess; and the honest may have obnoxious vices that are absent in the other.

Honest people reap good results, due to honest thoughts and acts; their vices are the cause of their suffering. The dishonest likewise bring about their agony and happiness.

It is pleasing to human vanity to believe that one suffers because of one's virtue. Unless you have gotten rid of every sick, bitter, and impure thought from your mind, and washed every sinful stain from your soul, you canít be in a position to know and declare that your sufferings are the result of your good, and not of your bad qualities. The one Great Law is absolutely just, and cannot give good for evil, evil for good. If you will, look back on your past ignorance and blindness, you will see that this life is, and always was, justly ordered, and that all past experiences, good and bad, were the outworking of your evolving, yet un-evolved self. It is simply that and nothing more.

Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results. Bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. Nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from weeds but weeds. We 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).

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 those who are pure. There is no reason in throwing away the trash barrel with the trash, and likewise, a perfectly pure and enlightened being cannot suffer.

Suffering is the direct result of our own mental disharmony. 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.

Destitution and over-indulgence are the two extremes of wretchedness. They are both equally unnatural and the result of mental disorder. We are not properly conditioned until we are happy, healthy, and prosperous. And happiness, health, and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner world with the outer world.

Only when we stop complaining can we bring about our desires. When we forgive others, we stop seeing them as the cause of our problems. We then cease to kick against circumstances, but begin to use them as aids to more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within.

Law, not chaos, is the dominating principle in the universe. Justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life. And righteousness, not corruption, is the molding and moving force in the spiritual government of the world. This being so, we have to but put ourselves right to find that the universe is right; and during the process of putting ourselves right, we will find that, as we alter our thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter toward us.

The proof of this truth is in every person, and it is easily understood 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.

We imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot. It rapidly materialize into habit, and habit solidifies into habits like drunkenness and sensuality, which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease. Impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into weakening and confusing habits, which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances. Thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision materialize into weak, and uncertain habits, which solidify into failure, apathy, and dependence.

Lazy thoughts come into being as habits of sloppiness and dishonesty, which solidify into circumstances of poverty and begging. Hateful and condemnatory thoughts materialize into habits of accusation and violence, which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution. Selfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-seeking, which solidify into distressing circumstances.

On the other hand, beautiful thoughts crystallize into habits of grace and kindness, which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances. Pure thoughts materialize into habits of temperance and self-control, which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace. Thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into strong 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 turn into habits of gentleness, which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances. Loving and unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of not worrying about what others do or think, which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches.

A particular train of thought persisted in, whether good or bad, cannot fail to produce that result. We cannot directly choose our circumstances, but we can choose our thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, we shape our world.

Nature helps everyone to satisfy the thoughts that they most encourage, and opportunities are presented which will most speedily bring to the surface both the good and evil events.

If we stop our immoral thoughts, the entire world will soften toward us, and be willing to help. Just put away our weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo! Opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid us. Encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind you down to sadness and shame. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors that it at every succeeding moment presents to you, are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts.

Chapter Three
Effect of Thought on Health and the Body

The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the mind, whether it gives deliberate or unconscious commands. When we think negative thoughts, the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it is 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. Impure thoughts will shatter the nervous system.

Good, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace. The body is a delicate instrument, which responds readily to the thoughts it receives, and habits of thought will produce their own effects, good or bad, upon it.

We will continue to suffer sickness and disease as long as we cultivate unclean thoughts. From out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body. Out of a corrupt mind proceeds a corrupt life and tainted body. Thought is the fountain of action, life and manifestation of reality. Make the fountain pure, and all will be pure.

Change of diet will not help a person that will not change their thoughts. When we make our thoughts pure, we no longer desire impure food.

If you would perfect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, and despair, rob the body of its health and grace. A sour face does not come by chance; it is made by sour thoughts. Wrinkles that alter our appearance are drawn by stupidity, passion, and egotism.

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 hideous contours. One is the result of a sweet and sunny disposition; the other is the outcome of rage and discontent.

You cannot have a healthy house unless you open the windows and let in sunshine and fresh air. Therefore, you canít have a strong body and mind, unless you open your heart and let in the sunshine and fresh air of serene and joyous thoughts.

On the faces of the elderly, are wrinkles made by sympathy, some by strong and pure thought, others are carved by rage. Who canít tell the difference? 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 good will 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. 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 if you dwell day to day in thoughts of peace toward every creature, you will bring abounding peace to your life and those around you.

Chapter Four
Thought and Purpose

Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. Most of the time, the bark of thought is allowed to "drift" upon the ocean of life. A vice is aimless, and such drifting must not continue for those who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction.

Those who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead to failure, unhappiness, and loss. For weakness cannot persist in a power-evolving universe.

We should think of a definite purpose in our hearts, and set out to accomplish it. We should make this purpose the main focus of our thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, whichever it is, we should steadily focus our thought forces upon the object that is before us. We should make this purpose our supreme duty, and should devote ourselves to attaining it, not allowing our thoughts to wander away into daydreams. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if we fail again and again to accomplish this purpose (as we must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of our true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and victories.

Those who are not ready for a great destiny should fix their 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 focused, and power be developed. Nothing is impossible to those that accomplish this.

The weakest soul, knowing its weaknesses, and believing this truth - that strength can only be developed by effort and practice, will 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 strong.

As the physically weak can become strong by careful and patient training, the mentally weak, will become strong by exercising proper 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 roads to success. Those people make all conditions serve them, and they think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.

Having conceived of a main purpose, we should focus on that so strongly that we can see nothing else. Doubts and fears should be excluded, they murk up the clear waters of effort. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, and never will. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all good 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 whoever encourages them, and not defeat them, is hindered at every step.

Those who have conquered doubt and fear have conquered failure. Their thoughts are so powerful that all difficulties are overcome. Their intentions are seasonably planted, and bloom and bring forth fruit, which does not fall prematurely to the ground.

Thought and purpose, when blended, become creative force. All who know this will become much more than a mere mass of wavering atoms and fluctuating electrons. Those who mix thought with purpose will become the creator of their reality.

Chapter Five
The Thought-Factor in Achievement

Every failure and every achievement are the direct result of our own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equilibrium would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. Our weaknesses and strengths, purity and impurity, are our own, and no one elseís. We have brought them upon ourselves; and we are the only ones that can alter them. Our suffering and happiness have evolved from within. As we think, so we are; as we continue to think, so we shall remain.

The strong cannot help the weak unless the weak want to be helped, and even then the weak must become strong on their own. It is something only they can do, and no one can do for them.

Some people think, "Many are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor." Now, however, there are a few people with a tendency to reverse this judgment, and to say, "One is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves." The truth is that oppressor and slave are cooperators in ignorance, and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality afflicting themselves. A perfect Knowledge sees the law in action within the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor. A perfect Love, sees the suffering, which both states entail, and condemns neither. A perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed.

Those who have conquered weakness, and has put away all selfish thoughts, are neither oppressor nor oppressed. They are free.

We can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up our thoughts. We can only remain weak, and hopeless, and miserable by refusing to lift up our thoughts.

Before we can achieve anything, especially in worldly things, we must lift our thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. We may not, in order to succeed, give up all animalism and selfishness, by at least part of it. If our primary thoughts are bestial indulgence we can neither think clearly nor plan effectively. We will never develop our latent talents, and will fail in any undertaking. We would not be fit to act independently and stand alone, but would be limited by our thoughts.

There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice. Our success will be equal to our sacrifices of carnal thoughts. We must concentrate completely on a definite purpose, and this will strengthen our resolve and self-reliance. By lifting up our thoughts for the good of all mankind, our success will be that much greater and our achievements that much more enduring.

The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, and the vicious, although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so; it helps the honest, the generous, and the virtuous. All the great Teachers over the ages have declared this in varying forms.

Intellectual achievements are the result of thought dedicated 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 an 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 apex of thought. By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity, righteousness, and well-directed thought we ascend. By the aid of animalism, idleness, impurity, corruption, and confusion of thought we fall.

We 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 us.

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 concentrated thought. They 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 a great deal.

Chapter Six
Visions and Ideals

The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible world of thought, humanity, (with all its trials and tribulations), is nourished by the beautiful visions of the solitary dreamers. Mankind cannot forget its dreamers. It cannot let their ideals fade and die. It lives in them. It sees in them, the world, which it shall one day bring into reality.

Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, all these are the makers of the afterworld, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived; without them, laboring humanity would perish. Anyone that cherishes a beautiful vision, or a lofty ideal, will one day realize it.

Columbus cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it. Copernicus fostered the vision of a variety 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, and the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. For, if you will keep them steadfast in your heart, they will become the world.

To desire is to obtain; to seek is to achieve. Shall mankindís humblest desires be completely fulfilled, and his loftiest dreams starve for lack of nourishment? This is not the Law. The law is - "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 inside and stand still outside.

Here is a youth hard pressed by poverty and labor; confined long hours in an unhealthy workshop; unschooled, and lacking all the arts of refinement. However, he dreams of better things. He thinks of intelligence, of refinement, of elegance and beauty. He dreams up an ideal condition of life. The vision of more freedom and a better life 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 inner powers and resources.

Very soon, his mind becomes so strong that the workshop can no longer hold him. He outgrows his current environment, and as more opportunities present themselves, he sheds his old world as a snake sheds its skin.

Years later we see this youth as a full-grown man. His mastery of the forces of thought wields worldwide influence and unequaled power. In his hands he holds the lives of many people. He speaks, and lo! Lives are changed. Men and women hang upon his words and remold their characters, and, he controls the destiny of many. He has realized the Vision of his youth. He has become one with his dream.

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 dreams. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.

In the beautiful words of Stanton Kirkham Dave, "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 - rustic 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."

Those that want something for nothing see only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves. They talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. They see a man grow rich, they say, "How lucky he is!" Observing a woman become intellectual, they exclaim, "How highly favored she is!" And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, the remark, "How chance aids this person at every turn!"

They do not see the trials and failures and struggles that these people have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience. They 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"; 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. There is no such thing as chance. "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.

Chapter Seven

A calm mind is one of the beautiful charms 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 of thought.

We become calm when we see ourselves as thought-evolved beings. This requires that we understand how other people think. As we watch cause and effect operating in the world, we cease to fuss, complain, worry and grieve. We remain poised, steadfast, and serene.

When you are calm (exhibiting self-control), you know instantly how to deal with other people; and they, in turn, reverence you spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn from you and trust you.

The more tranquil we become, the greater our success, influence, and ability to do good things. Merchants will find their business prosper and increase as they develop greater self-control and composure. People will always prefer to deal with someone that is even-tempered.

Strong calm people are always loved and revered. They are like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a shelter 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 learned; it is the flowering of life, the harvesting of the crops. 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 seems that most people 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 fine 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.

Storm-ridden souls, wherever you may be, under whatever conditions you may live, know this - in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and sunny the shore of your dreams awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the back of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep; wake Him. Self-control is strength; Proper Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.

Say unto your heart, "Peace, be still!"
The End
Anonymous Coward
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04/30/2006 05:56 PM
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
I dare ya to tell the truth; the real reason why some people think one way while others think another; the secret behind all other secrets.
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
 Quoting: Eyes Wide Open
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01/01/2011 11:42 PM
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Anonymous Coward
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01/01/2011 11:44 PM
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
thought forms and egregores.

part of why the internet is so dangerous to them.
I am Free? Maybe

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01/01/2011 11:46 PM
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
men do not think....I have proof and a link if you want it..

see the men only have an attention span of 2.2 seconds that is if they do not get that glazed look in thier eye..(they all live in space together you know)
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01/02/2011 12:03 AM
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Re: As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
I have that book.
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