As a Man Thinketh


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As a Man Thinketh
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Brings forth a thousand joys.] *END THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver. and additional characters may be used to indicate hypertext links.He thinks in secret.10/04/01*END* Edited by Charles Aldarondo Aldarondo@yahoo. shaping what he wills. Money should be paid to the: "Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. and evermore he takes The tool of Thought. [2] Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this "Small Print!" statement. And Man is Mind. public domain materials. Hart and may be reprinted only when these Etexts are free of all fees. The Project gratefully accepts contributions of money. and it comes to pass: Environment is but his looking-glass.] [Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be used in any sales of Project Gutenberg Etexts or other materials be they hardware or software or any other related product without express permission. please contact Michael Hart at: hart@pobox. or agree to also provide on request at no additional cost. and. Please contact us beforehand to let us know your plans and to work out the 6 [Portions of this header are copyright (C) 2001 by Michael S. for instance. although tilde (~).The Legal Small Print by the author of the work. WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine readable AS A MAN THINKETH BY JAMES ALLEN Author of "From Passion to Peace" _Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes. If you don't derive profits." If you are interested in contributing scanning equipment or software or other items. or royalty free copyright licenses. a copy of the etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC or other equivalent proprietary form). time. a thousand ills:-. EBCDIC or equivalent form by the program that displays the etext (as is the case. OR [*] You provide. with most word processors). OR [*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at no expense into plain ASCII. Royalties are payable to "Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation" the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return. [3] Pay a trademark license fee to the Foundation of 20% of the gross profits you derive calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey punctuation intended by the author. no royalty is due. fee or expense._ Authorized Edition New York .

Act is the blossom of thought. and could not have appeared without them. the seed. ENGLAND AS A MAN THINKETH THOUGHT AND CHARACTER THE aphorism. and could not be without.The Legal Small Print 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 7 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." by virtue of the thoughts. which are deliberately executed. as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness. both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance. ." not only embraces the whole of a man's being. It is suggestive rather than explanatory. BROAD PARK AVENUE. _his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. and joy and suffering are its fruits. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. that mind is the master-weaver. A man is literally _what he thinks. its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that-"They themselves are makers of themselves. and that. thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry. which they choose and encourage. JAMES ALLEN. so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought. As the plant springs from. This applies equally to those acts called "spontaneous" and "unpremeditated" as to those. ILFRACOMBE.

he descends below the level of the beast. he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. are gold and diamonds obtained. and will continue to produce their kind. tracing their effects upon himself. even in his weaker and most abandoned state. in the armoury of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. If a man's mind Hath evil thoughts. if he will watch. man holds the key to every situation. and man is their maker and master.. is the law absolute that "He that seeketh findeth. as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself which is Understanding. weeding out all the wrong. Just as a gardener cultivates his plot. control. . useful. By the right choice and true application of thought. Man is made or unmade by himself. Power. he then becomes the wise master. the moulder of character. and the builder of his destiny. and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. by the same process.The Legal Small Print 8 "Thought in the mind hath made us. but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking. and ceaseless importunity can a man enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge. everyday occurrence." Man is a growth by law. and destiny. Only by much searching and mining. and utilizing his every experience. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character. and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what he wills. and upon his life and circumstances. joy follows him As his own shadow--sure. Man is always the master. and to search diligently for the Law upon which his being is established. directing his energies with intelligence. by the abuse and wrong application of thought.. the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts.. and impure thoughts. and alter his thoughts." When he begins to reflect upon his condition. if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul. and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right. which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild. and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful issues. none is more gladdening or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this--that man is the master of thought. and man can find every truth connected with his being. Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age. which discovery is totally a matter of application. linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation. Wisdom. and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires. it must. the moulder of his life. is the result of the continued harbouring of grovelling thoughts. but in his weakness and degradation he is the foolish master who misgoverns his "household. EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON CIRCUMSTANCES MAN'S mind may be likened to a garden. a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul. By pursuing this process. so may a man tend the garden of his mind.If one endure In purity of thought. and will. A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favour or chance. and cause and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things. and the lord of his own thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character.. and Love. Intelligence. the director of his life." for only by patience. upon others. as in no other. and the maker and shaper of condition. man ascends to the Divine Perfection. and that he is the maker of his character. pain comes on him as comes The wheel the ox behind. As a being of Power. and not a creation by artifice. What we are By thought was wrought and built. He . practice. then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will _fall _therein. environment. In this direction. and experience. self analysis. and pure thoughts. he may unerringly prove. _bring forth. keeping it free from weeds. Such is the _conscious _master._ If no useful seeds are _put _into it. but whether cultivated or neglected. useless. even to the most trivial. and man can only thus become by discovering _within himself _the laws of thought.

So true is this that when a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects in his character. As a progressive and evolving being. aspirations. or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations. which make for the ultimate good of the individual. and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance. Good thoughts bear good fruit. and understands. but all is the result of a law which cannot err. the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart. within himself. circumstances. it reveals him to himself No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations. with ever-increasing accuracy. he then becomes the rightful master of himself. and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance. and as he learns the spiritual lesson which any circumstance contains for him. The laws of growth and adjustment everywhere obtains. Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind. and destiny. and makes swift and marked progress. Circumstance does not make the man. that which it loves. (pursuing the will-o'-the-wisps of impure imaginings or steadfastly walking the highway of strong and high endeavour). they are indispensable to his development. as the lord and master of thought. the outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. the laws of thought.--and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.The Legal Small Print also reveals. but by the pathway of grovelling thoughts and base desires. man is where he is that he may learn that he may grow. bad thoughts bad fruit. he passes rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes. A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance. This does not mean that a man's circumstances at any given time are an indication of his _entire _character. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of any mere external force. and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors. blossoming sooner or later into act. a man at last arrives at their fruition and fulfilment in the outer conditions of his life. The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought. man learns both by suffering and bliss. produces its own. and also that which it fears. and man. but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought-element within himself that. the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there. Following the inmost desires. The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours. and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power. and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance. As the reaper of his own harvest. but when he realizes that he is a creative power. for the time being. for he will have noticed that the alteration in his circumstances has been in exact ratio with his altered mental condition. it passes away and gives place to other circumstances. it falls to the level of its unchastened desires. it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. That circumstances grow out of thought every man knows who has for any length of time practised self-control and self-purification. 9 Thought and character are one. and to take root there. This is just as true of those who feel "out of harmony" with their surroundings as of those who are contented with them. by which he allows himself to be dominated. is the maker of himself the shaper and author of . how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character. Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions. Every man is where he is by the law of his being. and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow. therefore. thoughts.

he is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end. in the hope of making larger profits._ but that which they _are. Circumstances. deceptive. Such cases could be multiplied and varied almost indefinitely. but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own food. and the conditions of happiness vary so. but is actually attracting to himself a still deeper wretchedness by dwelling in. is the meaning of "fighting against circumstances?" It means that a man is continually revolting against an effect without. and until this is done. which assumes that the . That cause may take the form of a conscious vice or an unconscious weakness. He is extremely anxious that his surroundings and home comforts should be improved. and when he finds himself bankrupt. whilst aiming at a good end. not knowing that he is the sole author of his condition. are so complicated. if he so resolves. being noble. because he has not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life. what. be it foul or clean. and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life? Here is a man who is wretchedly poor. _is the result of a superficial judgment. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions. Here is a rich man who is the victim of a painful and persistent disease as the result of gluttony. Such a man is totally unfit to have health. and. The "divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves. a man may be dishonest in certain directions. A man may be honest in certain directions. which are the reflections of its own purity and. and is not only totally unfitted to rise out of his wretchedness. and ambitions are thwarted at every step.The Legal Small Print 10 environment. and thus calls aloud for remedy. Men do not attract that which they _want. indolent. however. and unmanly thoughts. then. He wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viands and have his health as well. vastly with individuals. and that. being base. reduces the wages of his workpeople. 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. fancies. yet suffer privations. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set. 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. _and that the other _prospers because of his particular dishonesty. but whatever it is. as the reader can. they therefore remain bound. while all the time he is nourishing and preserving its cause in his heart. but this is not necessary. but are unwilling to improve themselves. Here is an employer of labour who adopts crooked measures to avoid paying the regulation wage. its strength and weakness. Even the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object. Such a man is altogether unfitted for prosperity. it is our very self. In the light of this truth. Men are anxious to improve their circumstances. Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get. both as regards reputation and riches. yet acquire wealth. He is willing to give large sums of money to get rid of it. trace the action of the laws of thought in his own mind and life. but he will not sacrifice his gluttonous desires. and considers he is justified in trying to deceive his employer on the ground of the insufficiency of his wages. it stubbornly retards the efforts of its possessor. 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. This is as true of earthly as of heavenly things. he blames circumstances. thought is so deeply rooted._ Their whims. yet all the time he shirks his work. but the conclusion usually formed that the one man fails _because of his particular honesty. Only himself manacles man: thought and action are the gaolers of Fate--they imprison. Such a man does not understand the simplest rudiments of those principles which are the basis of true prosperity. but what he justly earns. they are also the angels of Freedom--they liberate. mere external facts cannot serve as a ground of reasoning. and acting out. impurity.

which a man encounters with blessedness. bitter. and always was. to burn out all that is useless and impure. can he be in a position to know and declare that his sufferings are the result of his good. and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer. and the honest man obnoxious vices which are absent in the other. that his life is. are the result of his own mental in harmony. not injustice. and it therefore admits of easy investigation by systematic introspection and self-analysis. nothing from nettles but nettles. The circumstances. bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. therefore. The dishonest man may have some admirable virtues. and he will be astonished at the rapid . wretchedness. Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction. Indigence and indulgence are the two extremes of wretchedness. and they. not confusion. and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer. were the equitable outworking of his evolving. the Great Law which is absolutely just. are the result of his own mental harmony. which the other does. of the man with his surroundings. and on the way to. yet unevolved self. and happiness. is the dominating principle in the universe. that supreme perfection. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn. not lack of material possessions. and the honest man almost entirely virtuous. not possess. A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile. he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition. evil for good. but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress. The dishonest man likewise garners his own suffering and happiness. and prosperous being. and not of his bad qualities. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify. but few understand it in the mental and moral world (though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating). which a man encounters with suffering. is the moulding and moving force in the spiritual government of the world. which his vices produce. and righteousness. justice. and work with it. Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results. healthy. not corruption. It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself. but not until a man has extirpated every sickly. do not co-operate with it. ceases to kick against circumstances. and which cannot. yet long before he has reached. and washed every sinful stain from his soul. he will then know. he may be blessed and poor. The honest man reaps the good results of his honest thoughts and acts. A man may be cursed and rich. not material possessions. and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself. A man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy. with the Law of his being. Law. The proof of this truth is in every person. is the measure of wrong thought. and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. and impure thought from his mind. Possessed of such knowledge. health. good and bad. Suffering ceases for him who is pure. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor. Men understand this law in the natural world. give good for evil. and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts. and the poor man only descends into wretchedness when he regards his lot as a burden unjustly imposed. In the light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience such judgment is found to be erroneous.The Legal Small Print 11 dishonest man is almost totally corrupt. things and other people will alter towards him. justly ordered. There could be no object in burning gold after the dross had been removed. looking back upon his past ignorance and blindness. The circumstances. is the soul and substance of life. and that all his past experiences. This being so. therefore. working in his mind and life. They are both equally unnatural and the result of mental disorder. Let a man radically alter his thoughts. is the measure of right thought. It is pleasing to human vanity to believe that one suffers because of one's virtue. he also brings upon himself the sufferings. Blessedness and riches are only joined together when the riches are rightly and wisely used. he will have found. 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. Blessedness.

which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances: pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control. yet surely. which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution: selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of self-seeking. Nature helps every man to the gratification of the thoughts. which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances: loving and unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for others. "So You will be what you will to be. plenty." EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON HEALTH AND THE BODY THE body is the servant of the mind. opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves. which solidify into circumstances of failure. which solidify into circumstances of success.' But spirit scorns it. "It masters time. beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindliness. and irresolute habits. at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty. Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts. cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. let him encourage good thoughts. Can hew a way to any goal. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body. which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay. When spirit rises and commands The gods are ready to obey. And bids the tyrant Circumstance Uncrown. and be ready to help him. The world is your kaleidoscope. and habit solidifies into circumstance. and opportunities are presented which will most speedily bring to the surface both the good and evil thoughts.The Legal Small Print 12 transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. and all the world will soften towards him. whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed. On the other hand. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances. and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame. indigence. that force unseen. are rooted in thought. and slavish dependence: lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty. shape his circumstances. and freedom: energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry. and decision crystallize into manly habits. "Be not impatient in delays But wait as one who understands. The offspring of a deathless Soul. which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace: thoughts of courage. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret. it rapidly crystallizes into habit. Chance. and indecision crystallize into weak. like circumstances. let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts. which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances: thoughts of fear. Though walls of granite intervene. A particular train of thought persisted in. and is free. Let failure find its false content In that poor word. which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness: gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness. It obeys the operations of the mind. which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts. self-reliance. Disease and health. and the varying combinations of colours. which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease: impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits. doubt. but it cannot. it conquers space. Bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of drunkenness and sensuality. unmanly. Thoughts of fear have been known to kill a man as speedily as a bullet. which solidify into circumstances of foulness and beggary: hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusation and violence. and fill a servant's place. 'environment. which solidify into circumstances more or less distressing. It cowes that boastful trickster. and they are continually . but he can choose his thoughts. and so indirectly. which he most encourages. "The human Will. and lo. be it good or bad.

He was not old except in years. others by strong and pure thought. If you would protect your body. even if not physically indulged. cynicism. 13 Men will continue to have impure and poisoned blood. I know a man well under middle age whose face is drawn into inharmonious contours. Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body. and all will be pure. upon it. so a strong body and a bright. The one is the result of a sweet and sunny disposition. They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries. there is no comforter to compare with goodwill for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow. passion. and self-pityings. A sour face does not come by chance. There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body. which lead. happy. The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it. and such drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction. unhappiness. he no longer desires impure food. peaceful. If you would renew your body.The Legal Small Print killing thousands of people just as surely though less rapidly. THOUGHT AND PURPOSE UNTIL thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. will soon shatter the nervous system. Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body. Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts. But to think well of all. the other is the outcome of passion and discontent. He died as sweetly and peacefully as he had lived. while impure thoughts. rob the body of its health and grace. to failure. When a man makes his thoughts pure. for weakness cannot persist in a power . life. On the faces of the aged there are wrinkles made by sympathy. With the majority the bark of thought is allowed to "drift" upon the ocean of life. Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body. Thoughts of malice. The so-called saint who does not wash his body is not a saint. and happy thoughts build up the body in vigour and grace. I know a woman of ninety-six who has the bright. and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor. Aimlessness is a vice. and manifestation. Strong. make the fountain pure. and softly mellowed. just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route). to patiently learn to find the good in all--such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven. beautify your mind. to be cheerful with all. disappointment. fears. envy. Clean thoughts make clean habits. suspicion. To live continually in thoughts of ill will. and lays it open to the. troubles. good or bad. or serene countenance can only result from the free admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy and goodwill and serenity. despondency. all of which are indications of weakness. and others are carved by passion: who cannot distinguish them? With those who have lived righteously. and envy. I have recently seen a philosopher on his deathbed. pure. and loss. so long as they propagate unclean thoughts. As you cannot have a sweet and wholesome abode unless you admit the air and sunshine freely into your rooms. Wrinkles that mar are drawn by folly. it is made by sour thoughts. is to be confined in a self made prison-hole. age is calm. entrance of disease. The body is a delicate and plastic instrument. Thought is the fount of action. and pride. which responds readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed. innocent face of a girl. like the setting sun. and habits of thought will produce their own effects. guard your mind. He who has strengthened and purified his thoughts does not need to consider the malevolent microbe.

and. so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking. His every. will never cease to develop. according to his nature at the time being. attempt fearlessly. and imaginings. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplished anything. useless. the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success. longings. individual responsibility must be absolute. and believing this truth _that strength can only be developed by effort and practice. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. he should steadily focus his thought-forces upon the object. they are disintegrating elements. 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. energy. at once begin to exert itself. which he has set before him. and they can only be altered by himself. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts._ will. no matter how insignificant their task may appear. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge. and who think strongly.The Legal Small Print evolving universe. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded. Those who are not prepared for the apprehension of a great purpose should fix the thoughts upon the faultless performance of their duty. 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. which does not fall prematurely to the ground. They always lead to failure. or it may be a worldly object. As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training. Only in this way can the thoughts be gathered and focussed. rendering it crooked. and never can. and will at last grow divinely strong. and accomplish masterfully. a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement. and not by another. A man's weakness and strength. His condition is also his own. The weakest soul. He should make this purpose his supreme duty. never by another. As . and this will form a new starting-point for future power and triumph. looking neither to the right nor the left. ineffectual. and to begin to think with purpose. but whichever it is. His purposes are seasonably planted. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome). who make all conditions serve them. are his own. and strength to strength. is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment. thwarts himself at every step. Having conceived of his purpose. The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. To put away aimlessness and weakness. thought is allied with power. there is nothing which may not be accomplished. and should devote himself to its attainment. and not another man's. knowing its own weakness. which being done. and not another man's. where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction. and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome. adding effort to effort. which break up the straight line of effort. and set out to accomplish it. who does not slay them. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal. patience to patience. and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in. and he who encourages them. power to do. he who _does _this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental powers. 14 A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart. purity and impurity. and they bloom and bring forth fruit. not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies. His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. and resolution and energy be developed. He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. they are brought about by himself. thus believing. Purpose.

but a portion of it must. which he chooses. and has put away all selfish thoughts. who dwells upon all that is pure and unselfish. but they are not the outcome of those characteristics. condemns neither. and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts. he must. indolence. there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment. he is not in a position to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities. they are the natural outgrowth of long and arduous effort. a perfect Love. let us hate the oppressor. upright. at least. while seeming to afflict each other. and. He can only remain weak. and well-directed thought a man ascends. the greater will be his success. by his own efforts. the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements. Achievement. He is not fit to act independently and stand alone. the diadem of thought. All the great Teachers of the ages have declared this in varying forms. and abject. purity. which both states entail. A man can only rise. is the crown of effort. and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance. and even then the weak man must become strong of himself. and a man's worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts. in order to succeed. will. he could not find and develop his latent resources. a perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed. become wise and noble in character. so he is. he must lift his thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. by any means. Intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for knowledge. Before a man can achieve anything. give up all animality and selfishness. belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. and rise into a position of influence and blessedness. "Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor. righteousness. A perfect Knowledge perceives the action of law in the weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor. He is free. of whatever kind." The truth is that oppressor and slave are co-operators in ignorance. The universe does not favour the greedy. the magnanimous. But he is limited only by the thoughts. Such achievements may be sometimes connected with vanity and ambition. so he remains. although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so. the more manly. are in reality afflicting themselves. and of pure and unselfish thoughts. and to say. or for the beautiful and true in life and nature. resolution. even in worldly things. and fixes his mind on the development of his plans. There can be no progress. By the aid of self-control. and righteous he becomes. He who has conquered weakness. 15 A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped. be sacrificed. It has been usual for men to think and to say. conquer." Now. . and to prove and know it a man has but to persist in making himself more and more virtuous by lifting up his thoughts. the vicious. And the higher he lifts his thoughts. let us despise the slaves. however. A man whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically.The Legal Small Print he thinks. None but himself can alter his condition. and would fail in any undertaking. He who lives constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts. the dishonest. no achievement without sacrifice. "One man is an oppressor because many are slaves. it helps the honest. Not having commenced to manfully control his thoughts. Spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations. the virtuous. develop the strength which he admires in another. seeing the suffering. by the aid of animality. as surely as the sun reaches its zenith and the moon its full. as he continues to think. He may not.

Very soon so altered has his mind become that the workshop . the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. without them. 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. and even to lofty altitudes in the spiritual realm. of grace and beauty. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers. To desire is to obtain. small though they are. the only difference lies in _the object of attainment. But he dreams of better things. he thinks of intelligence. He who cherishes a beautiful vision. Columbus cherished a vision of another world. to aspire is to. prophet." Dream lofty dreams. and he revealed it. achieve. sage. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. for out of them will grow all delightful conditions. he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.The Legal Small Print impurity. and again descend into weakness and wretchedness by allowing arrogant. so shall you become. painter. Many give way when success is assured. and corrupt thoughts to take possession of him. and confusion of thought a man descends. Shall man's basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification. unschooled. unrest urges him to action. confined long hours in an unhealthy workshop. an ideal condition of life._ Here is a youth hard pressed by poverty and labour. Composer. intellectual. he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. sculptor. You cannot travel within and stand still _without. VISIONS AND IDEALS THE dreamers are the saviours of the world. but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. All achievements. cherish the music that stirs in your heart. and he discovered it. A man may rise to high success in the world. and he entered into it. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible. of these. The world is beautiful because they have lived. of refinement. it lives in them. will one day realize it. are governed by the same law and are of the same method. to the development of his latent powers and resources. The oak sleeps in the acorn. all. 16 Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness. Your circumstances may be uncongenial. poet. if you but remain true to them. these are the makers of the after-world._ He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little. cherish your ideals. the vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope takes possession of him. the beauty that forms in your mind. the bird waits in the egg. Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe. your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. it knows them as they realities which it shall one day see and know. and he utilizes all his spare time and means. Cherish your visions. and rapidly fall back into failure. a lofty ideal in his heart. Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace. and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. He conceives of. heavenly environment. so men. corruption. your world will at last be built. mentally builds up. or spiritual world. and lacking all the arts of refinement. the architects of heaven. through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. it cannot let their ideals fade and die. are the result of definitely directed thought. and as you dream. whether in the business. labouring humanity would perish. are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. selfish.

this you will become. and. "How lucky he is!" Observing another become intellectual. We find him a master of certain forces of the mind. In all human affairs there are _efforts. Gifts. and call it "good fortune. and remains poised. you will receive that which you earn. and shall find yourself before an audience--the pen still behind your ear. shall wander under the intrepid guidance of the spirit into the studio of the master. and the indolent. Seeing a man grow rich. remain. for you will always gravitate toward that which you.' And now you have become the master. and you shall wander to the city-bucolic and open-mouthed. and presently you shall walk out of the door that for so long has seemed to you the barrier of your ideals. talk of luck. your Ideal. youthful reader. Whatever your present environment may be. and call it "luck". will realize the Vision (not the idle wish) of your heart. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts. "You may be keeping accounts. intellectual. Chance is not.The Legal Small Print 17 can no longer hold him. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches. for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought._ and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. be it base or beautiful. 'I have nothing more to teach you. and chance. he becomes the fixed and luminous centre round which innumerable destinies revolve. or a mixture of both. and as he develops a right understanding. and. sunlike. the ignorant. lives are changed. And you. most love. which he wields with worldwide influence and almost unequalled power. and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. You may be driving sheep. The Vision that you glorify in your mind. but only behold the pleasant goal._ and there are _results. who did so recently dream of great things while driving sheep. he passes out of it forever. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience. they remark. but only perceive the result. the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart--this you will build your life by. they only see the light and joy. which fit the scope of his expanding powers. he speaks. and call it chance. He has realized the Vision of his youth. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. They do not see the long and arduous journey. or rise with your thoughts. they say. you will fall. of the undaunted efforts they have put forth. as great as your dominant aspiration: in the beautiful words of Stanton Kirkham Davis. and lo. have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made. with the growth of opportunities. objects accomplished. SERENITY CALMNESS of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. You will become as small as your controlling desire. visions realized. "How highly favoured he is!" And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another. "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. powers. In his hands he holds the cords of gigantic responsibilities. A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought evolved being. that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable. secretly. . and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought. 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. no less. He has become one with his Ideal. they exclaim. and after a time he shall say. they are thoughts completed. You shall lay down the saw and the plane to take upon yourself the regeneration of the world. of fortune. and realize the Vision of their heart. seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves. steadfast. of the faith they have exercised." The thoughtless." do not understand the process. no more. too. material. serene. Years later we see this youth as a full-grown man. It has become so out of harmony with his mentality that it falls out of his life as a garment is cast aside. your Vision. men and women hang upon his words and remould their characters. the ink stains on your fingers and then and there shall pour out the torrent of your inspiration.

"Who does not love a tranquil heart. Say unto your heart. in turn. or what changes come to those possessing these blessings. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life--a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth. the greater is his success. balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines. is tumultuous with ungoverned grief. his influence. who destroy their poise of character. The strong. humanity surges with uncontrolled passion. who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers. wherever ye may be. or a sheltering rock in a storm. a sweet-tempered. the fruitage of the soul. He does but sleep: wake Him. and calm. for they are always sweet. and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. 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 . How few people we meet in life who are well balanced. and they.The Legal Small Print 18 The calm man. reverence his spiritual strength. serene. makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him. beyond the reach of tempests. more to be desired than gold--yea. having learned how to govern himself. is blown about by anxiety and doubt only the wise man. Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity. than even fine gold. and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. Tempest-tossed souls. Calmness is power. The more tranquil a man becomes. in the Eternal Calm! "How many people we know who sour their lives. "Peace. calm man is always loved and revered. for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanour is strongly equable. be still!" End of the Project Gutenberg Etext of As A Man Thinketh. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land. by James Allen As a Man Thinketh from http://manybooks. only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified. That exquisite poise of character. In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master. which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture. who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character! Yes. his power for good. know this in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling. It is precious as wisdom. knows how to adapt himself to others. Right Thought is mastery. Self-control is strength. under whatsoever conditions ye may live. beneath the waves. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought.

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