As A Man Thinketh

by James Allen

Introduction Chapter 1..........Thought and Character Chapter 2..........Effects of Thought on Circumstances Chapter ..........Effects of Thought on !ealth and "ody Chapter #..........Thought and $urpose Chapter %..........The Thought&'actor in Achie(ement Chapter )..........*isions and Ideals Chapter +..........,erenity

Introduction
Mind is the Master-power that molds 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: nvironment is !ut his looking-glass" Allen has a positive !asis for his philosophical thought in that he says law, justice, righteousness are the molding and moving forces in the spiritual governing of the world" #hen man rights himself humanity, in turn, learns that the universe is right and in focus" $ne must attain a spiritual focus to learn that as things are viewed, in turn one is viewed !y things" The focal point of view changes as things are viewed in one light and perspective and then another, while simultaneously, when !eing viewed, the focus again is ever changing" All these elements, actions, interactions, gradations flow one into and out of the other to create a spiritual focus"

%ntroduction This little volume &the result of meditation and e'perience is not intended as an e'haustive treatise on the much-written-upon su!ject of the power of thought" %t is suggestive rather than e'planatory, its o!ject !eing to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that-(They themselves are makers of themselves( !y virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage) that mind is the masterweaver, !oth 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" *ames Allen

Chapter 1

Thought And Character
The aphorism- .As a man thinketh in his heart so is he-. not only embraces the /hole of a man0s being- but is so comprehensi(e as to reach out to e(ery condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally /hat he thinks- his character being he complete sum of all his thoughts. As the plant springs from- and could not be /ithout- the seed- so e(ery act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought- and could not ha(e appeared /ithout them. This applies e1ually to those acts called .spontaneous. and .unpremeditated. as to those /hich are deliberately e2ecuted. Act is the blossom of thought- and 3oy and suffering are its fruit4 thus does a man garner in the s/eet and bitter fruitage of his o/n husbandry. Man is a gro/th by la/- and not a creation by artifice- and cause and effect are as absolute and unde(iating in the hidden realm of thought as in the /orld of (isible and material things. A noble and 5od&like character is not a thing of fa(or or chancebut is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking- the effect of long& cherished association /ith 5od&like thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character- by the same process- is the result of the continued harboring of gro(eling thoughts. Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the /eapons by /hich he destroys himself. !e also fashions the tools /ith /hich he builds for himself hea(enly mansions of 3oy and strength and peace. "y the right choice and true application of thought- man ascends to the di(ine perfection. "y the abuse and /rong application of thought he descends belo/ the le(el of the beast. "et/een these t/o e2tremes are all the grades of character- and man is their maker and master. 6f all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul /hich ha(e been restored and brought to light in this age- none is more gladdening or fruitful of di(ine promise and confidence than this&&that man is the master of thought- the molder of characterand the maker and shaper of condition- en(ironment- and destiny. As a being of po/er- intelligence- and lo(e- and the lord of his o/n thoughtsman holds key to e(ery situation- and contains /ithin himself that transforming and regenerati(e agency by /hich he may make himself /hat he /ills. Man is al/ays the master- e(en in his /eakest and most abandoned state. "ut in his /eakness and degradation he is foolish master /ho misgo(erns his .household.. 7hen he begins to reflect upon his condition and search diligently for the la/ upon /hich his being is established- he then becomes the /ise master- directing his energies /ith intelligence and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful issues. ,uch is the conscious master- and man can only thus become by disco(ering /ithin himself the la/s of thought. This disco(ery is totally a matter of application- self&analysis and e2perience. 6nly by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained- and man can find e(ery truth connected /ith his being- if he /ill dig deep into the mine of his soul. That he is the maker of his character- the molder of his life- and the builder of

his destiny- he may unerringly pro(e- if he /ill /atch- 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 in(estigation. And utili8ing his e(ery e2perience- e(en the most tri(ial- e(eryday occurrence- as a means of obtaining that kno/ledge of himself /hich is understanding- /isdompo/er. In this direction is the la/ of absolute that .!e that seeketh findeth4 and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.. 'or only by patience- practice- and ceaseless importunity can a man enter the door of the temple of kno/ledge.

Chapter 2

Effect 6f Thought 6n Circumstances
A man0s mind may be likened to a garden- /hich may be intelligently culti(ated or allo/ed to run /ild4 but /hether culti(ated or neglected- it must- and /ill bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it- then an abundance of useless /eed&seeds /ill fall therein- and /ill continue to produce their kind. Just as a gardener culti(ates his plot- keeping it free from /eeds- and gro/ing the flo/ers and fruits /hich he re1uires so may a man tend the garden of his mind/eeding out all the /rong- useless and impure thoughts- and culti(ating to/ard perfection the flo/ers and fruits of right- useful and pure thoughts. "y pursuing this process- a man sooner or later disco(ers that he is the master&gardener of his soul- the director of his life. !e also re(eals- /ithin himself- the fla/s of thought- and understands- /ith e(er&increasing accuracy- ho/ the thought&forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of character- circumstances- and destiny. Thought and character are one- and as character can only manifest and disco(er itself through en(ironment and circumstance- the outer conditions of a person0s life /ill al/ays be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. This does not mean that a man0s circumstances at any gi(en time are an indication of his entire character- but that those circumstances are so intimately connected /ith some (ital thought&element /ithin himself that- for the time being- they are indispensable to his de(elopment. E(ery man is /here he is by the la/ of his being4 the thoughts /hich he has built into his character ha(e brought him there- and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance- but all is the result of a la/ /hich cannot err. This is 3ust as true of those /ho feel .out of harmony. /ith their surroundings as of those /ho are contented /ith them. As a progressi(e and e(ol(ing being- man is /here he is that he may learn that he may gro/4 and as he learns the spiritual lesson /hich any circumstance contains for him- it passes a/ay and gi(es place to other circumstances. Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he belie(es himself to be the creature of outside conditions- but /hen he reali8es that he is a creati(e po/er- and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of /hich circumstances gro/4 he then becomes the rightful master of himself. That circumstances gro/ out of thought e(ery man kno/s /ho has for any length of time practiced self&control and self&purification- for he /ill ha(e noticed that the alteration in his circumstances has been in e2act ratio /ith his altered mental condition. ,o true is this that /hen a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects in his character- and makes s/ift and marked progress- he passes rapidly through a succession of (icissitudes. The soul attracts that /hich it secretly harbors4 that /hich it lo(es- and also that /hich it fears4 it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations4 it falls to the le(el of its unchastened desires and circumstances are the means by /hich the soul recei(es it o/n. E(ery thought&seed so/n or allo/ed to fall into the mind- and to take root thereproduces its o/n- blossoming sooner or later into act- and bearing its o/n fruitage of

opportunity and circumstance. 5ood thoughts bear good fruit- bad thoughts bad fruit. The outer /orld of circumstances shapes itself to the inner /orld of thought- and both pleasant and unpleasant e2ternal conditions are factors /hich make for the ultimate good of the indi(idual. As the reaper of his o/n har(est- man learns both of suffering and bliss. 'ollo/ing the inmost desires- aspirations- thoughts- by /hich he allo/s himself to be dominated 9pursuing the /ill&o0&the /isps of impure imaginings or steadfastly /alking the high/ay of strong and high endea(or:- a man at last arri(es at their fruition and fulfillment in the outer conditions of his life. The la/s of gro/th and ad3ustment e(ery/here obtain. A man does not come to the alms&house or the 3ail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance- but by the path/ay of gro(elling thoughts and base desires. ;or does a pure&minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of any mere e2ternal force4 the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart- and the hour of opportunity re(ealed its gathered po/er. Circumstance does not make the man4 it re(eals him to himself. ;o such conditions can e2ist as descending into (ice and its attendant sufferings apart from (icious inclinations- or ascending into (irtue and its pure happiness /ithout the continued culti(ation of (irtuous aspirations4 and mantherefore- as the lord and master of thought- is the maker of himself and the shaper of and author of en(ironment. E(en at birth the soul comes of its o/n and through e(ery step of its earthly pilgrimage it attracts those combinations of conditions /hich re(eal itself- /hich are the reflections of its o/n purity and impurity- its strength and /eakness. Men do not attract that /hich they /ant- but that /hich they are. Their /himsfancies- and ambitions are th/arted at e(ery step- but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed /ith their o/n food- be it foul or clean. Man is manacled only by himself4 thought and action are the 3ailors of 'ate&&they imprison- being base4 they are also the angels of 'reedom&&they liberate- being noble. ;ot /hat he /ished and prays for does a man get- but /hat he 3ustly earns. !is /ishes and prayers are only gratified and ans/ered /hen they harmoni8e /ith his thoughts and actions. In the light of this truth /hat- then- is the meaning of .fighting against circumstances.< It means that a man is continually re(olting against an effect /ithout- /hile all the time he is nourishing and preser(ing its cause in his heart. That cause may take the form of a conscious (ice or an unconscious /eakness4 but /hate(er it is- it stubbornly retards the efforts of it possessor- and thus calls aloud for remedy. Men are an2ious to impro(e their circumstances- but are un/illing to impro(e themsel(es4 they therefore remain bound. The man /ho does not shrink from self& crucifi2ion can ne(er fail to accomplish the ob3ect upon /hich his heart is set. This is as true of earthly as of hea(enly things. E(en the man /hose sole ob3ect is to ac1uire /ealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his ob3ect4 and ho/ much more so he /ho /ould reali8e a strong and /ell&poised life< It is pleasing to human (anity to belie(e that one suffers because of one0s (irtue4 but not until a man has e2tirpated e(ery sickly- bitter- and impure thought from his

soul- can he be in a position to kno/ and declare that his sufferings are the result of his good- and not of his bad 1ualities4 and on the /ay to- yet long before he has reached that supreme perfection - he /ill ha(e found- /orking in his mind and lifethe great la/ /hich is absolutely 3ust- and /hich cannot- therefore- gi(e good for e(il- e(il for good. $ossessed of such kno/ledge- he /ill then kno/- looking back upon his past ignorance and blindness- that his life is- and al/ays /as- 3ustly orderedand that all his past e2periences- good and bad- /ere the e1uitable out/orking of his e(ol(ing- yet une(ol(ed self. 5ood thoughts and actions can ne(er produce bad results4 bad thoughts and actions can ne(er produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn- nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this la/ in the natural /orld- and /ork /ith it4 but fe/ understand it in the mental and moral /orld 9though its operation there is 3ust as simple and unde(iating:- and they- therefore- do not cooperate /ith it. ,uffering is al/ays the effect of /rong thought in some direction. It is an indication that the indi(idual is out of harmony /ith himself- /ith the la/ of his being. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify- to burn out all that is useless and impure. ,uffering ceases for him /ho is pure. There could be no ob3ect in burning gold after the dross had been remo(ed- and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer. The circumstances /hich a man encounters /ith suffering are the result of his o/n mental inharmony. The circumstances /hich a man encounters /ith blessedness are the result of his o/n mental harmony. "lessedness- not material possessions- is the measure of right thought4 /retchedness- not lack of material possessions- is the measure of /rong thought. A man may be cursed and rich4 he may be blessed and poor. "lessedness and riches are only 3oined together /hen the riches are rightly and /isely used. And the poor man only descends into /retchedness /hen he regards his lot as a burden un3ustly imposed. Indigence and indulgence are the t/o e2tremes of /retchedness. They are both e1ually unnatural and the result of mental disorder. A man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy- healthy- and prosperous being4 and happiness- health- and prosperity are the result of a harmonious ad3ustment of the inner /ith the outer of the man /ith his surroundings. A man only begins to be a man /hen he ceases to /hine and re(ile- and commences to search for the hidden 3ustice /hich regulates his life. And 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 thoughts4 ceases to kick against circumstances- but beings to use them as aids to his more rapid progress- and as a means of disco(ering the hidden po/ers and possibilities /ithin himself. =a/- not confusion- is the dominating principle in the uni(erse4 3ustice- not in3ustice- is the soul and substance of life. >ighteousness- not corruption- is the molding and mo(ing force in the spiritual go(ernment of the /orld. This being soman has but to right himself to find that the uni(erse is right. And during the process of putting himself right- he /ill find that as he alters his thoughts to/ards things and other people- things and other people /ill alter to/ards him.

The proof of this truth is in e(ery person- and it therefore admits of easy in(estigation by systematic introspection and self&analysis. =et a man radically alter his thoughts- and he /ill be astonished at the rapid transformation it /ill effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret- but it cannot. It rapidly crystalli8es into habit- and habit solidifies into circumstance. "estial thoughts crystalli8e into habits of drunkenness and sensuality- /hich solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease. Impure thoughts of e(ery kind crystalli8e into ener(ating and confusing habits- /hich solidify into distracting and ad(erse circumstances. Thoughts of fear- doubt- and indecision crystalli8e into /eakunmanly- and irresolute habits- /hich solidify into circumstances of failureindigence- and sla(ish dependence. =a8y thoughts crystalli8e into /eak- habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty- /hich solidify into circumstances of foulness and beggary. !ateful and condemnatory thoughts crystalli8e into habits of accusation and (iolence- /hich solidify into circumstances of in3ury and persecution. ,elfish thoughts of all kinds crystalli8e into habits of self&seeking- /hich solidify into distressful circumstances. 6n the other hand- beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystalli8e into habits of grace and kindliness- /hich solidify into genial and sunny circumstances. $ure thoughts crystalli8e into habits of temperance and self&control- /hich solidify into circumstances of repose and peace. Thoughts of courage- self&reliance- and decision crystalli8e into manly habits- /hich solidify into circumstances of success- plentyand freedom. Energetic thoughts crystalli8e into habits of cleanliness and industry/hich solidify into circumstances of pleasantness. 5entle and forgi(ing thoughts crystalli8e into habits of gentleness- /hich solidify into protecti(e and preser(ati(e circumstances. =o(ing and unselfish thoughts /hich 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. ;ature helps e(ery man to gratification of the thoughts /hich he most encourages- and opportunities are presented /hich /ill most speedily bring to the surface both the good and the e(il thoughts. =et a man cease from his sinful thoughts- and all the /orld /ill soften to/ards him- and be ready to help him. =et him put a/ay his /eakly and sickly thoughts- and the opportunities /ill spring up on e(ery hand to aid his strong resol(es. =et him encourage good thoughts- and no hard fate shall bind him do/n to /retchedness and shame. The /orld is your kaleidoscope- and the (arying combinations of colors /hich at e(ery succeeding moment it presents to you are the e21uisitely ad3usted pictures of your e(er&mo(ing thoughts.

Chapter 3

Effects 6f Thoughts 6n !ealth And "ody
The body is the ser(ant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind/hether they be deliberately chosen or automatically e2pressed. At the bidding of unla/ful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay4 at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed /ith youthfulness and beauty . ?isease and health- like circumstances- are rooted in thought. ,ickly thoughts /ill e2press themsel(es through a sickly body. Thoughts of fear ha(e been kno/n to kill a man as speedily as a bullet and they are continually killing thousands of people 3ust as surely though less rapidly. The people /ho li(e in fear of disease are the people /ho get it. An2iety 1uickly demorali8es the /hole body- and lays it open to the entrance of disease4 /hile impure thoughts- e(en if not physically indulged/ill sooner shatter the ner(ous system. ,trong pure- and happy thoughts build up the body in (igor and grace. The body is a delicate and plastic instrument- /hich responds readily to the thoughts by /hich it is impressed- and habits of thought /ill produce their o/n effects- good or badupon it. Men /ill continue to ha(e impure and poisoned blood- so long as they propagate unclean thoughts. 6ut of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body. 6ut of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body. Thought is the fount of action- life and manifestation4 make the fountain pure- and all /ill be pure. Change of diet /ill not help a man /ho /ill not change his thoughts. 7hen a man makes his thoughts pure- he no longer desires impure food. Clean thoughts make clean habits. The so&called saint /ho does not /ash his body is not a saint. !e /ho has strengthened and purified his thoughts does not need to consider the male(olent. If you /ould perfect your body- guard your mind. If you /ould rene/ your body- beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice- en(y- and disappointmentdespondency- rob the body of its health and grace. A sour face does not come by chance4 it is made by sour thoughts. 7rinkles that mar are dra/n by folly- passionpride. I kno/ a /oman of ninety&si2 /ho has the bright- innocent face of a girl. I kno/ a man /ell under middle age /hose face is dra/n into in harmonious contours. The one is the result of a s/eet and sunny disposition4 the other is the outcome of passion and discontent. As you cannot ha(e a s/eet and /holesome 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 3oy and good/ill and serenity. 6n the faces of the aged there are /rinkles made by sympathy others by strong and pure thought- and others are car(ed by passion4 /ho cannot distinguish them< 7ith those /ho ha(e li(ed righteously- age is calm- peaceful- and softly mello/edlike the setting sun. I ha(e recently seen a philosopher on his death&bed. !e /as not old e2cept in years. !e died as s/eetly and peacefully as he had li(ed.

There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body4 there is no comforter to compare /ith good/ill for dispersing the shado/s of grief and sorro/. To li(e continually in thoughts of ill&/ill- cynicism- suspicion- and en(y- is to be confined in a self&made prison hole. "ut to think /ell of all- to be cheerful /ith all- to patiently learn to find the good in all&&such unselfish thoughts are the (ery portals of hea(en4 and to d/ell day by day in thoughts of peace to/ard e(ery creature /ill bring abounding peace to their possessor.

Chapter 4

Thought And $urpose
@ntil thought is linked /ith purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. 7ith the ma3ority the bark of thought is allo/ed to .drift. upon the ocean of life. Aimlessness is a (ice- and such drifting must not continue for him /ho /ould street clear of catastrophe and destruction. They /ho ha(e no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty /orriesfears- troubles- and self&pityings- all of /hich are indications of /eakness- /hich lead- 3ust as surely as deliberately planned sins 9though by a diff route:- to failureunhappyness- and loss- for /eakness cannot persist in a po/er&e(ol(ing uni(erse. A man should concei(e of a legitimate purpose in his heart- and set out to accomplish it. !e should make this purpose the centrali8ing point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal- or it may be a /orldly ob3ect- according to his nature at the time being. 7hiche(er it is- he should steadily focus his thought&forces upon the ob3ect he had set before him. !e should make this purpose his supreme duty and should de(ote himself to its attainment- not allo/ing his thoughts to /ander a/ay into ephemeral fancies- longings- and imaginings. This is the royal road to self&control and true concentration of thought. E(en if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose&&as he must until /eakness is o(ercome&&the strength of character gained /ill be the measure of his true success- and this /ill form a ne/ starting point for future po/er and triumph. Those /ho are not prepared for the apprehension of a great purpose- should fi2 the thoughts upon the faultless performance of their duty- no matter ho/ insignificant their task may appear. 6nly in this /ay can the thoughts be gathered and focussed- and resolution and energy be de(eloped. 6nce this is done- there is nothing /hich may not be accomplished. The /eakest soul kno/ing its o/n /eakness- and belie(ing this truth&&that strength can only be de(eloped by effort and practice&&/ill- thus belie(ing- at once begin to e2ert itself. And- adding effort to effort- patience to patience- and strength to strength- /ill ne(er cease to de(elop and /ill at last gro/ di(inely strong. As the physically /eak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training- so the man of /eak thoughts can make them strong by e2ercising himself in right thinking. To put a/ay aimlessness and /eakness and to begin to think /ith purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones /ho only recogni8e failure as one of the path/ays to attainment. 7ho make all conditions ser(e them- and /ho think strongly- attempt fearlessly- and accomplish masterfully. !a(ing concei(ed of his purpose- a man should mentally mark out a straight path/ay to its achie(ement- looking neither to the right nor left. ?oubts and fears should be rigorously e2cluded. They are disintegrating elements /hich break up the straight line of effort- rendering it crooked- ineffectual- useless. Thoughts of doubt and fear can ne(er accomplish anything. They al/ays lead to failure. $urposeenergy- po/er to do- and all strong thoughts cease /hen doubt and fear creep in. The /ill to do springs from the kno/ledge that /e can do. ?oubt and fear are the great enemies of kno/ledge- and he /ho encourages them- /ho does not slay

them- th/arts himself at e(ery step. !e /ho has con1uered doubt and fear has con1uered failure. !is e(ery thought is allied /ith po/er- and all difficulties are bra(ely met and o(ercome. !is purposes are seasonably planted- and they bloom and bring forth fruit that does not fall prematurely to the ground. Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creati(e force. !e /ho kno/s this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a bundle of /a(ering thoughts and fluctuating sensations. !e /ho does this has become the conscious and intelligent /ielder of his mental po/ers.

Chapter 5

The Thought&'actor In Achie(ement
All that a man achie(es and all that he fails to achie(e is the direct result of his o/n thoughts. In a 3ustly ordered uni(erse- /here loss of e1uipoise /ould mean total destruction- indi(idual responsibility must be absolute. A man0s /eakness and strength- purity and impurity- are his o/n and not another man0s. They are brought about by himself and not by another4 and they can only be altered by himself- ne(er by another. !is condition is also his o/n- and not another man0s. !is sufferings and his happiness are e(ol(ed from /ithin. As he thinks- so is he4 as he continues to think- so he remains. A strong man cannot help a /eaker unless that /eaker is /illing to be helped. And e(en then the /eak man must become strong of himself. !e must- by his o/n efforts- de(elop the strength /hich he admires in another. ;one but himself can alter his condition. It has been usual for men to think and to say- .Many men are sla(es because one is an oppressor4 let us hate the oppressorA. "ut there is amongst an increasing fe/ a tendency to re(erse this 3udgment and to say- .6ne man is an oppressor because many are sla(es4 let us despise the sla(es.. The truth is that oppressor and sla(es are cooperators in ignorance- and- /hile seeming to afflict each other- are in reality- afflicting themsel(es. A perfect kno/ledge percei(es the action of la/ in the /eakness of the oppressed and the misapplied po/er of the oppressor. A perfect lo(e- seeing the suffering /hich both states entail- condemns neither4 a perfect compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed. !e /ho has con1uered /eakness and has pushed a/ay all selfish thoughts belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. !e is free. A man can only rise- con1uer- and achie(e by lifting up his thoughts. !e can only remain /eak- ab3ect- and miserably by refusing to lift up his thoughts. "efore a man can achie(e anything- e(en in /orldly things- he must lift his thoughts abo(e sla(ish animal indulgence. !e may not- in order to succeed- gi(e up all animality and selfishness- necessarily- but a portion of it must- at least- be sacrificed. A man /hose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically. !e could not find and de(elop his latent resources and /ould fail in any undertaking. ;ot ha(ing begun to manfully control his thoughts- he is not in a position to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities. !e is not fit to act independently and stand alone. "ut he is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses. There can be no progress nor achie(ement /ithout sacrifice- and a man0s /orldly success /ill be by the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts- and fi2es his mind on the de(elopment of his plans- and the strengthening of his resolution and self&reliance. The higher his he lifts his thoughts- the greater /ill be his success- the more blessed and enduring /ill be his achie(ements. The uni(erse does not fa(or the greedy- the dishonest- the (icious... although on the mere surface it sometimes may appear to do so. It helps the honest- the magnanimous- the (irtuous. All the great teachers of the ages ha(e declared this in (arying /ays- and to pro(e it and to kno/ it a man has but to persist in making

himself increasingly (irtuous by lifting his thoughts. Intellectual achie(ements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for kno/ledge or for the beautiful and true in nature. ,uch achie(ements may sometimes be connected /ith (anity and ambition- but they are not the outcome of those characteristics. They are the natural outgro/th of long and arduous effort- and of pure and unselfish thoughts. ,piritual achie(ements are the consummation of holy aspirations. !e /ho li(es constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts- /ho d/ells upon all that is pure and selfless- /ill- as surely as the sun reaches its 8enith and the moon its fullbecome /ise and noble in character and rise into a position of influence and blessedness. Achie(ement of any kind is the cro/n of effort- the diadem of thought. "y the aid of self&control- resolution- purity- righteousness- and /ell&directed thought a man ascends. "y the aid of animality- indolence- impurity- corruption- and confusion of thought a man descends. A may may rise to high success in the /orld- e(en to lofty attitudes in the spiritual realm- and again descend into /eakness and /retchedness by allo/ing arrogant- selfish- and corrupt thoughts to take possession of him. *ictories attained by right thought can be maintained only by /atchfulness. Many gi(e /ay /hen success is assured- and rapidly fall back into failure. All achie(ements- /hether in the business- intellectual- or spiritual /orld- are the result of definitely directed thought- are go(erned by the same la/- and are of the same method. The only difference is in the ob3ect of attainment. !e /ho /ould accomplish little- need sacrifice little4 he /ould achie(e muchmust sacrifice much. !e /ho /ould attain highly must sacrifice greatly.

Chapter 6

*isions And Ideals
The dreamers are the sa(iors of the /orld. As the (isible /orld is sustained by the in(isible- so men- through all their trials and sins and sordid (ocations- are nourished by the beautiful (isions of their solitary dreamers. !umanity cannot forget its dreamers4 it cannot let their ideals fade and die4 it li(es in them4 it kno/s them as the realities /hich it shall one day see and kno/. Composer- sculptor- painter- poet- prophet- sage&&these are the makers of the after&/orld- the architects of hea(en. The /orld is beautiful because they ha(e li(ed. 7ithout them- laboring humanity /ould perish. !e /ho cherishes a beautiful (ision- a lofty ideal in his heart- /ill one day reali8e it. Columbus cherished a (ision of another /orld and he disco(ered it. Copernicus fostered the (ision of a multiplicity of /orlds and a /ider uni(erse- and he re(ealed it. "uddha beheld the (ision of a spiritual /orld of stainless beauty and perfect peace- and he entered into it. Cherish your (isions4 cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart- the beauty that forms in your mind- the lo(eliness that drapes your purest thoughts. 'or out of them /ill gro/ all delightful conditions- all hea(enly en(ironment4 of these- if you but remain true to them- your /orld /ill at last be built. To desire is to obtain4 to aspire is to achie(e. ,hall man0s basest desires recei(e the fullest measure of gratification- and his purest aspirations star(e for lack of sustenance< ,uch is not the =a/. ,uch a condition can ne(er obtainB .Ask and recei(e.. ?ream lofty dreams- and as you dream- so shall you become. Cour (ision is the promise of /hat you shall one day be4 your ideal is the prophecy of /hat you shall at last un(eil. The greatest achie(ement /as at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn4 the bird /aits in the egg. And in the highest (ision of a soul a /aking angle stirs. ?reams are the seedlings of realities. Cour circumstances may be uncongenial- but they shall not remain so if you only percei(e an ideal and stri(e to reach it. Cou can0t tra(el /ithin and stand still /ithout. !ere is a youth hard pressed by po(erty and labor. Confined long hours in an unhealthy /orkshop4 unschooled and lacking all the arts of refinement. "ut he dreams of better things. !e thinks of intelligence- or refinement- of grace and beauty. !e concei(es of- mentally builds up- an ideal condition of life. The /ider liberty and a larger scope takes possession of him4 unrest urges him to action- and he uses all his spare times and means to the de(elopment of his latent po/ers and resources. *ery soon so altered has his mind become that the /orkshop can no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmony /ith his mind&set that it falls out of his life as a garment is cast aside. And /ith the gro/th of opportunities that fit the scope of his e2panding po/ers- he passes out of it altogether. Cears later /e see this youth as a gro/n man. 7e find him a master of certain forces of the mind that he /ields /ith /orld&/ide influence and almost une1ualed po/er. In his hands he holds the cords of gigantic responsibilities4 he speaks and li(es are changed4 men

and /omen hang upon his /ords and remold their characters. ,un&like- he becomes the fi2ed and uminous center around /hich innumerable destinies re(ol(e. !e has become the (ision of his youth. !e has become one /ith his ideal. And you too- youthful reader- /ill reali8e the (ision 9not 3ust the idle /ish: of your heart- be it base or beautiful- or a mi2ture of both. 'or you /ill al/ays gra(itate to/ard that /hich you- secretly- most lo(e. Into your hands /ill be placed the e2act results of your o/n thoughts. Cou /ill recei(e that /hich you earn4 no more- no less. 7hate(er your present en(ironment may be- you /ill fall- remain- or rise /ith your thoughts&&your (ision- your ideal. Cou /ill become as small as your controlling desire4 as great as your dominant aspiration. The thoughtless- the ignorant- and the indolent- seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themsel(es- talk of luck- of fortune- and chance. ,eeing a man gro/ rich- they say- .!o/ lucky he isA. 6bser(ing another become skilled intellectually- they e2claim- .!o/ highly fa(ored he isA. And noting the saintly character and /ide influence of another- they remark- .!o/ chance helps him at e(ery turnA. They do not see the trials and failures and struggles /hich these men ha(e encountered in order to gain their e2perience. They ha(e no kno/ledge of the sacrifices they ha(e made- of the undaunted efforts they ha(e put forth- of the faith they ha(e e2ercised so that they might o(ercome the apparently insurmountable and reali8e the (ision of their heart. They do not kno/ the darkness and the heartaches4 they only see the light and 3oy- and call it .luck.. ?o not see the long- arduous 3ourney- but only behold the pleasant goal and call it .good fortune.. ?o not understand the process- but only percei(e the result- and call it .chance.. In all human affairs there are efforts- and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Change is not. 5ifts- po/ers- materialintellectual- and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed- ob3ecti(es accomplished- (isions reali8ed. The (ision that you glorify in your mind- the ideal that you enthrone in your heart&&this you /ill build your life by4 this you /ill become.

Chapter 7

,erenity
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful 3e/els of /isdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self&control. Its presence is an indication of ripened e2perience- and of a more than ordinary kno/ledge of the la/s and operations of thought. A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought& e(ol(ed being. 'or such kno/ledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought- and as he de(elops a right understanding- and sees e(er more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect- he ceases to fuss- fume/orry- and grie(e. !e remains poised- steadfast- serene. The calm man- ha(ing learned ho/ to go(ern himself- kno/s ho/ to adapt himself to others. And they- in turn re(erence his spiritual strength. They feel that they can learn from him and rely upon him. The more tran1uil a man becomes- the greater is his successhis influence- his po/er for good. E(en the ordinary trader /ill find his business prosperity increase as he de(elops a greater self&control and e1uanimity- for people /ill al/ays prefer to deal /ith a man /hose demeanor is e1uitable. The strong- calm man is al/ays lo(ed and re(ered. !e is like a shade&gi(ing tree in a thirsty land- or a sheltering rock in a storm. 7ho does not lo(e a tran1uil heart< a s/eet& tempered- balanced life< It does not matter /hether it rains or shines- or /hat changes come to those /ho possess these blessings. 'or they are al/ays serene and calm. That e21uisite poise of character that /e call serenity is the last lesson of culture. It is the flo/ering of life- the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as /isdom&&more desirable than fine gold. !o/ insignificant mere money&seeking looks in comparison /ith a serene life. A life that d/ells in the ocean of truth- beneath the /a(es- beyond the reach of the tempests- in the eternal calmA !o/ many people /e kno/ /ho sour their li(es- /ho ruin all that is s/eet and beautiful by e2plosi(e tempers- /ho destroy their poise of character and make bad bloodA It is a 1uestion /hether the great ma3ority of people do not ruin their li(es and mar their happiness by lack of self&control. !o/ fe/ people /e meet in life /ho are /ell balanced/ho ha(e that e21uisite poise /hich is characteristic of the finished character.. Ces- humanity surges /ith uncontrolled passion- is tumultuous /ith ungo(erned grief- is blo/n about by an2iety and doubt. 6nly the /ise man- only he /hose thoughts are controlled and purified- makes the /inds and the storms of the soul obey him. Tempest&tossed souls- /here(er you may be- under /hate(er conditions you may li(e- kno/ thisB In the ocean of life the isles of blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal a/aits your coming. Deep your hands firmly upon the helm of thought. In the core of your soul reclines the commanding Master4 !e does but sleep4 /ake !im. ,elf&control is strength. >ight thought is mastery. Calmness is po/er. ,ay unto your heart- .$eace. "e still.. The End