The Mastery of Destiny.

By James Allen

CONTENTS 1. 2. !. $. '. (. *. ,. .. Deeds, Character, and Destiny The Science of Self Control Ca"se and Effect in #"man Cond"ct Trainin% of the & ill Thoro"%hness Mind B"ildin% and )ife B"ildin% C"lti+ation of Concentration -ractice of Meditation The -o/er of -"r0ose

11. The Joy of Accom0lishment

1. DEEDS, C#A2ACTE2, AND DEST3N4 T#E2E is, and al/ays has 5een, a /ides0read 5elief in 6ate, or Destiny, that is, in an eternal and inscr"ta5le -o/er /hich a00ortions definite ends to 5oth indi+id"als and nations. This 5elief has arisen from lon% o5ser+ation of the facts of life. Men are conscio"s that there are certain occ"rrences /hich they cannot control, and are 0o/erless to a+ert. Birth and death, for instance, are ine+ita5le, and many of the incidents of life a00ear e7"ally ine+ita5le. Men strain e+ery ner+e for the attainment of certain ends, and %rad"ally they 5ecome conscio"s of a -o/er /hich seems to 5e not of themsel+es, /hich fr"strates their 0"ny efforts, and la"%hs, as it /ere, at their fr"itless stri+in% and str"%%le. As men ad+ance in life, they learn to s"5mit, more or less, to this o+err"lin% -o/er /hich they do not "nderstand, 0ercei+in% only its effects in themsel+es and the /orld aro"nd them, and they call it 5y +ario"s names, s"ch as 8od, -ro+idence, 6ate, Destiny, etc. Men of contem0lation, s"ch as 0oets and 0hiloso0hers, ste0 aside, as it /ere, to /atch the mo+ements of this mysterio"s -o/er as it seems to ele+ate its fa+orites on the one hand, and stri9e do/n its +ictims on the other, /itho"t reference to merit or demerit. The %reatest 0oets, es0ecially the dramatic 0oets, re0resent this -o/er in their /or9s, as they ha+e o5ser+ed it in Nat"re. The 8ree9 and 2oman dramatists "s"ally de0ict their heroes as ha+in% fore9no/led%e of their fate, and ta9in% means to esca0e it: 5"t 5y so doin% they 5lindly in+ol+e themsel+es in a series of conse7"ences /hich 5rin% a5o"t the doom /hich they are tryin% to a+ert. Sha9es0eare;s characters, on the other hand, are re0resented, as in Nat"re, /ith no fore9no/led%e <e=ce0t in the form of 0resentiment> of their 0artic"lar destiny. Th"s, accordin% to the 0oets, /hether the man 9no/s his fate or not, he cannot a+ert it, and e+ery conscio"s or "nconscio"s act of his is a ste0 to/ards it. Omar ?hayyam;s Moving Finger is a +i+id e=0ression of this idea of 6ate@

"The Moves

Moving on:

Finger nor all

writes, thy

and Piety

having nor

writ, W it










Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it "

Th"s, men in all nations and times ha+e e=0erienced in their li+es the action of this in+inci5le -o/er or )a/, and in o"r nation today this e=0erience has 5een crystalliAed in the terse 0ro+er5, BMan 0ro0oses, 8od dis0oses.B B"t, contradictory as it may a00ear, there is an e7"ally /ides0read 5elief in man;s res0onsi5ility as afree a%ent. All moral teachin% is an affirmation of man;s freedom to choose his co"rse and mold his destiny@ and man;s 0atient and "ntirin% efforts in achie+in% his ends are declarations of conscio"sness of freedom and 0o/er. This d"al e=0erience of fate on the one hand, and freedom on the other, has %i+en rise to the intermina5le contro+ersy 5et/een the 5elie+ers in 6atalism and the "0holders of free /ill Ca contro+ersy /hich /as recently re+i+ed "nder the term BDeterminism versus 6ree/ill.B Bet/een a00arently conflictin% e=tremes there is al/ays a Bmiddle /ayB of 5alance, D"stice, or com0ensation /hich, /hile it incl"des 5oth e=tremes, cannot 5e said to 5e either one or the other, and /hich 5rin%s 5oth into harmony: and this middle /ay is the 0oint of contact 5et/een t/o e=tremes. Tr"th cannot 5e a 0artisan, 5"t, 5y its nat"re, is the 2econciler of e=tremes: and so, in the matter /hich /e are considerin%, there is a B%olden meanB /hich 5rin%s 6ate and 6ree /ill into closerelationshi0 , /herein, indeed, it is seen that these t/o indis0"ta5le facts in h"man life, for s"ch they are, are 5"t t/o as0ects of one central la/, one "nifyin% and all em5racin% 0rinci0le, namely, the law of causation in its !oral as"ect . Moral ca"sation necessitates 5oth 6ate and 6ree /ill, 5oth indi+id"al res0onsi5ility and indi+id"al 0redestination, for the la/ of ca"ses m"st also 5e the la/ of effects, and ca"se and effect m"st al/ays 5e e7"al: the train of ca"sation, 5oth in matter and !ind , m"st 5e eternally 5alanced, therefore eternally D"st, eternally 0erfect. Th"s e+ery effect may 5e said to 5e a thin% "reordained , 5"t the 0redeterminin% 0o/er is a ca"se, and not the fiat of an ar5itrary /ill. Man finds himself in+ol+ed in the train of ca"sation. #is life is made "0 of ca"ses and effects. 3t is 5oth a so/in% and a rea0in%. Each act of his is a ca"se /hich m"st 5e 5alanced 5y its effects. #e chooses the ca"se <this is 6ree /ill>, he cannot choose, alter, or a+ert the effect <this is 6ate>: th"s 6ree /ill stands for the 0o/er to initiate ca"ses, and destiny is in+ol+ement in effects. 3t is therefore tr"e that man is 0redestined to certain ends, 5"t he himself has <tho"%h he 9no/s it not> iss"ed the mandate: that %ood or e+il thin% from /hich there is no esca0e, he has, 5y his o/n deeds, 5ro"%ht a5o"t. 3t may here 5e "r%ed that man is not res0onsi5le for his deeds, that these are the effects of his character, and that he is not res0onsi5le for the character, %ood or 5ad, /hich /as %i+en him at his 5irth. 3f character /as B%i+en himB at 5irth, this /o"ld 5e tr"e, and there /o"ld then 5e no moral la/, and no need for moral teachin%: 5"t characters are not %i+en ready made, they are e+ol+ed: they are, indeed, effects, the 0rod"cts of the moral la/ itself, that isC the 0rod"cts of deeds. Character res"lt of an acc"m"lation of deeds /hich ha+e 5een 0iled "0, so to s0ea9, 5y the indi+id"al d"rin% his life.

he is 5rin%in% e+il and s"fferin% to an end. and that. /hen he /ho is no/ "nD"st. for the 0resent is the synthesis of the entire 0ast: the net res"lt of all that a man has e+er tho"%ht and done is contained /ithin him. /as im0"re. B"t this is not all: he does not merely 0ay his de5ts: he ta9es care not to contract any f"rther de5ts. The %ood man /as not al/ays %ood: the 5ad man /as not al/ays 5ad. /as "nD"st: /hen he /ho is no/ 9ind. and e+ery time he acts he modifies his character. he is layin% "0 %ood acco"nts. and is not altered or s"5+erted 5y shallo/ concl"sions. /as D"st: /hen he /ho is no/ cr"el. and then it has 5ecome a mental characteristic. the res"lts of deeds. By 0"ttin% an end to his o/n sin. . and fr"ita%e. there /as a time in this life. 3t is this 9no/led%e of the -erfect )a/ /or9in% thro"%h and a5o+e all thin%s: of the -erfect J"stice o0eratin% in and adD"stin% all h"man affairs. in a n"m5er of instances. /as 0"re. And no/ let "s consider ho/ the )a/ o0erates in 0artic"lar instances in the o"t/or9in% of destiny thro"%h deeds and character. /hen the man /ho is no/ D"st. and /ith the modification of his character for %ood or e+il. %ro/th. he is 0redeterminin% for himself ne/ destiniesC destinies disastro"s or 5eneficent in accordance /ith the nat"re of his deeds. &hile 0ayin% off e+il acco"nts. it then seems to re0eat itself /itho"t any effort on the 0art of the doer. These res"lts lie hidden as moral seeds in the dar9 recesses of the character. tho"%h he 5e s"rro"nded 5y 0ersec"tors. the moral la/ e=ists. 6irst. #e has the 0o/er to modify and alter his deeds. #e /atches himself and ma9es his deeds fa"ltless. or a"tomaticC that is. in a lar%e n"m5er of instances. /e /ill loo9 at this 0resent life. Con+ersely. he is the molder and sha0er of his destiny. 5"t calmly recei+es his acco"nts. /as cr"el: /hen he /ho is no/ 0"re. and com0lainin%: for he 9no/s that only his o/n can come to him. Ne+ertheless. Character is destiny itself: as a fi=ed com5ination of deeds. many 0eo0le deny the o0eration of any D"st la/ in h"man life. Characteristics are fi=ed ha5its of mind. An act re0eated a lar%e n"m5er of times 5ecomes "nconscio"s. E+en in this life. resentment. and e+en declare that it is chiefly the "nD"st that 0ros0er. or a+ert 5y 0rayer. evolving being . /as 9ind: /hen he /ho is no/ im0"re. 3t is noticea5le that sometimes the %ood man fails and the "nscr"0"lo"s man 0ros0ersC a fact /hich seems to 0"t all moral ma=ims as to the %ood res"lts of ri%hteo"sness o"t of acco"ntC and 5eca"se of this. a/aitin% their season of %ermination. the %ood man /ho is o+erta9en /ith calamity today is rea0in% the res"lt of his former e+il so/in%: later he /ill rea0 the ha00y res"lt of his 0resent %ood so/in%: /hile the 5ad man is no/ rea0in% the res"lt of his former %ood so/in%: later he /ill rea0 the res"lt of his 0resent so/in% of 5ad. /as the relentless %ho"l of his o/n /ron% deeds demandin% and enforcin% restit"tion: those 5lessin%s and c"rses /hich come to him "n5idden are the re+er5eratin% echoes of the so"nds /hich he himself sent forth. /hich he /as 0o/erless to esca0e 5y effort. and 0atiently 0ays his moral de5ts. so that it seems to him almost im0ossi5le not to do it. 3t sho"ld 5e remem5ered that man is a changing. that ena5les the %ood man to lo+e his enemies. there /as a time. his enemies are 5"t the 5lind instr"ments of a fa"ltless retri5"tion: and so he 5lames them not.Man is the doer of his o/n deeds: as s"ch he is the ma9er of his o/n character: and as the doer of his deeds and the ma9er of his character. Th"s. it 5ears /ithin itself the res"lts of those deeds. and to rise a5o+e all hatred. Those thin%s /hich 5efall a man are the reflections of himself: that destiny /hich 0"rs"ed him.

#e tries hard. for the entire nation. and contin"es to fail. are slo/ly 5"t s"rely learnin% the lessons of /isdom. is the 8reat )a/. tear stained or smilin%. +ice and +irt"e. so /ith all the +aried conditions of life as /e see themC they are the destinies /ro"%ht 5y the tho"%hts and deeds of each 0artic"lar indi+id"al. ha+in% first esta5lished themsel+es in a lofty inte%rity of character. #is desire for ease is no/ %ratified. calmly and /ith infalli5le D"stice metin% o"t to mortals their fleetin% destinies. he /ill /onder /hy /or9 comes to him a00arently "nso"%ht. 5"t the fr"it for /hich he lon%ed. and no5ility can national 0ros0erity 0roceed. The condition /hich he aimed for. and lon%ed for ease. So also /ith the +ast +ariety of charactersC they are the ri0enin% and ri0ened %ro/th of the so/in% of deeds. his ceaseless searchin% and as9in% for it. %ood or 5ad. his 0resent condition /ill. /ill D"st as s"rely 5rin% a5o"t its o/n 5eneficent res"lt. namely. and there he is com0elled to remain till his lesson is thoro"%hly learned. Nothin% comes "n5idden: /here the shado/ is. and he desires it a5o+e all else. No lon%er desirin% idleness. so the nation. soon 0ass a/ay. /hile others /ho see9 it stren"o"sly fail to o5tain it. and is not a shir9er. and /hich he tho"%ht /o"ld taste so s/eet. shall direct the ener%ies of the nation to/ard the c"lt"re of +irt"e and de+elo0ment of character. T#E SC3ENCE O6 SE)6 CONT2O) & E li+e in a scientific a%e. analyAin%. inte%rity. . Then. 8reat /ill 5e the 0eace and 0ros0erity of a nation /hen there shall arise /ithin it a line of statesmen /ho. #e tho"%ht ho/ deli%htf"l it /o"ld 5e to ha+e nothin% to do. And he is s"rely learnin% that ha5it"al ease is de%radin%.s condition /hen he had 0lenty of /or9. Still. As the indi+id"al rea0s /hat he so/s. has t"rned to ashes in his mo"th. 2. if he does not "nderstand the la/ of ca"se and effect in h"man life. there also is the s"5stance. #e is honest. and he /ill o5tain em0loyment: and if his /hole mind is no/ set on /or9. and la5or shir9ed or "nderta9en discontentedly leads to a lesser de%ree of la5or and decreasin% 0ros0erity. the fa5ric of their hands. and he /ill 0ros0er in his ind"stry. a5o+e all. he has reached. #e did not a00reciate the 5lessedness of his lot. and they are ceaselessly searchin%. and that /or9 is a no5le and 5lessed thin%. Those /ho are in 0o/er set an e=am0le. 9no/in% that only thro"%h 0ersonal ind"stry. That /hich comes to the indi+id"al is the 0rod"ct of his o/n deeds. that to ha+e nothin% to do is a condition of /retchedness. Nations 5ecome %reat /hen their leaders are D"st men: they fall and fade /hen their D"st men 0ass a/ay. as an effect. and all. to ha+e nothin% to do.#ere is a 0oor man o"t of /or9. #e felt 5"rdened /ith it: he shir9ed it. 5ein% a comm"nity of indi+id"als. then /hen it comes he /ill 5e o+er/helmed /ith it: it /ill flo/ in to him from all sides. and cannot %et it. As cheerf"l ind"stry leads to %reater ind"stry and increasin% 0ros0erity. and e=0erimentin% /ith a +ie/ to disco+ery and the increase of 9no/led%e. )ife is a %reat school for the de+elo0ment of character. rea0s also /hat it so/s. s"ccess and fail"re. & here is the D"stice in his lotE There /as a time in this man. Men of science are n"m5ered 5y tho"sands. #e /ants /or9. #is former desires and deeds ha+e 5ro"%ht him /here he is: and no/ his 0resent desire for /or9. the ca"se of /hich is no lon%er 0ro0a%ated. thro"%h strife and str"%%le.

/ill. As in ordinary science. 5oth 0"5lic and 0ri+ate. that to this day they are held in re+erence as %ods. and /hich dominate and direct the 5lind mechanical forces of nat"re. A man cannot 5ecome an accom0lished scientist in a fe/ /ee9s or months. and its startlin% and ra0idly increasin% res"lts in the /orld of disco+ery and in+ention. on land or seaC there shall /e ha+e 5efore "s some mar+elo"s de+ice. 5"t 5y many years of 0atient la5or: a la5or /hich is all the more ard"o"s 5eca"se it is silent. some recent accom0lishment of science. /ith all o"r +ast store of scientific 9no/led%e. and so finds o"t /hat is "seless and /hat of +al"e: and he reDects the former and retains the latter. to "nderstand. & onderf"l as are the forces in nat"re. as far as any o"t/ard emol"ment is concerned. /ith certain facts. and intellect. %reat in himself. a man cannot ac7"ire self control. it follo/s that. desire. B"t only after many years of 0ainsta9in% in+esti%ation can he s0ea9 /ith a"thority. 5y re0eated o5ser+ations. the follo/in% fi+e orderly and se7"ential ste0s@ 1. The ancients st"died the elements and forces /hich /ere /ithin themsel+es.s destr"ctionC3 refer to the Science of Self#control . and 5oth "nreco%niAed and "na00reciated 5y others: and he /ho /o"ld 0"rs"e this science s"ccessf"lly m"st learn to stand alone. and the +ast reli%io"s or%aniAations of the /orld are 5ased "0on their achie+ements. /ith a +ie/ to the disco+ery of nat"ral la/s. #e 0"ts his facts thro"%h ri%id 0rocesses of analysis. he e=0eriments /ith those facts. /ith a +ie/ to controllin% and "tiliAin% them. %&"eri!ent @ #a+in% 5ecome ac7"ainted. in this a%e. and the ancients 0rod"ced s"ch mi%hty Masters of 9no/led%e in this direction. and 5e ran9ed amon% the masters of science. are hea+y /ith their load of im0osin% +ol"mes on scientific s"5Dects. and to toil "nre/arded.The shel+es of o"r li5raries. nay. there are. and %reat in his infl"ence on the /orld. and /itho"t /hich all science /o"ld 5"t s"5ser+e the ends of selfishness. in the meas"re that he is %reat in self control. not e+en in a fe/ years. and direct the inner forces of 0assion. there is. 2. )i9e/ise. ne+ertheless. Therefore. in co"ntry or to/n. and the /onderf"l achie+ements of modern science are al/ays 5efore "sC /hether in o"r homes or in o"r streets. . de%rees of attainment: and a man is %reat in 9no/led%e. he closely and 0ersistently o5ser+es the facts of nat"re. increasin% o"r s0eed. /hich is of %reater im0ortance than all the other sciences com5ined. 4et. o0erate also in %ainin% a 9no/led%e of internal +arieties. in ac7"irin% his 0artic"lar 9ind of 9no/led%e. and 5ecome 0ossessed of the /isdom and 0eace %i+in% 9no/led%e /hich that self control confers. O"r modern scientists st"dy the elements and forces /hich are o"tside themsel+es. and aid in man. #e /ho "nderstands and dominates the forces of e=ternal nat"re is the nat"ral scientist: 5"t he /ho "nderstands and dominates the internal forces of the mind is the di+ine scientist: and the la/s /hich o0erate in %ainin% a 9no/led%e of e=ternal a00earances. one 5ranch of science /hich has so far fallen into decay as to ha+e 5ecome almost for%otten: a science. is to 5e in 0ossession of the destinies of men and nations. /ith the o5Dect of controllin% and "tiliAin% them. The nat"ral scientist 0"rs"es. for addin% to o"r comfort. control. or sa+in% the la5or of o"r hands. they are +astly inferior to that com5ination of intelli%ent forces /hich com0rise the mind of man. in this di+ine science. $bservation @ that is.

/hich is the 5asis of all his actions. he co"ld not e+en enter the realm of 9no/led%e of nat"re. seem to 5e irreconcila5ly o00osed one to the other. forces a00ears conf"sedly: some of them stand. and essences of thin%s: 0ercei+es the central la/ or la/s /hich 5ind them to%ether in harmonio"s relationshi0. /ith the same self sacrificin% dili%ence. in direct conflict /ith each other. 5"t the "rocess is reversed . ser+ice. for no one co"ld ac7"ire either nat"ral or di+ine 9no/led%e. Th"s. instead of 5ein% centered "0on e=ternal thin%s. /itho"t any a00earance or ho0e of reconciliation: his mind in its entirety. 3t /ill 5e noted that the fi+e ste0s or 0rocesses en"merated follo/ in orderly s"ccession. and that no man can 5ecome a scientist /ho omits any one of them.s secrets. nor to 9ee0 it loc9ed secretly in their hearts. At first. '. and 5inds to%ether these facts. the increase of the comfort and ha00iness of the /orld. a00arently. and "nselfishly 5esto/s "0on man9ind the res"lts of all his la5ors. #e is a scientist. This com5ination of in+isi5le. and there is a00arent conf"sion: 5"t 5y 0atiently and la5orio"sly 0"rs"in% these fi+e 0rocesses. indeed. the searcher for di+ine 9no/led%e is confronted /ith that mass of desires. he %i+es the /orld the 5enefit of his 9no/led%e. The end of s"ch 9no/led%e is "se. $. too. Th"s. if he /ere con+inced that /itho"t st"dy or la5or he already 0ossessed it. so /ith the di+ine scientist: he m"st 0"rs"e. some hidden and "nifyin% 0rinci0le. emotions. and alto%ether there is a condition of 0ain and conf"sion from /hich he /o"ld fain esca0e. yet 0o/erf"l. (eduction @ Th"s he 0asses on to the fo"rth ste0 of ded"ction. 0assions. nat"re. and so 0"ts an end to conf"sion and i%norance. /ith his life /hich 0roceeds from that mind. These fi+e ste0s are the same as /ith the nat"ral scientist. and intellections /hich he calls himself. and th"s re+eals the hidden la/s of thin%s. self control. fi+e 0ro%ressi+e ste0s in the attainment of self 9no/led%e. ideas. 5eyond 9no/led%e. he disco+ers certain in+aria5le modes of action. a man of 9no/led%e. is t"rned 5ac9 "0on itself. the mind. the ri%ht and "nselfish "se of the 9no/led%e ac7"ired: the a00lication of 9no/led%e to in+ention for the common /eal. does not seem to ha+e any e7"ita5le relation to many other minds and li+es a5o"t him. 'lassification @ #a+in% acc"m"lated and +erified a mass of facts 5y n"m5erless o5ser+ations and e=0eriments. )nowledge @ #a+in% 0ro+en and esta5lished certain la/s. %reat as it is. he 5e%ins 5y 9eenly realiAin% his state of i%norance. /hich %o+erns.s o/n mind> instead of in that of matter. . li9e a 5ea"tif"l De/el in a dar9 chest. for instance. and the in+esti%ations are 0"rs"ed in the realm of mind <of one. Men do not attain 9no/led%e for themsel+es alone. re%"lates. he disco+ers the order. to arran%e them in orderly %ro"0s /ith the o5Dect of disco+erin% some "nderlyin% la/.!. he commences to classify those facts. and from /hich his life 0roceeds. As /ith the nat"ral scientist. B"t the attainment of scientific 9no/led%e is not the end. Th"s. /hen a man has 5ecome a scientist. there is a f"rther ste0 of *se @ that is. & itho"t the first ste0 of systematic o5ser+ation. the searcher for s"ch 9no/led%e has 5efore him a "ni+erse of things @ these thin%s he does not "nderstand: many of them. 6rom the facts and res"lts /hich are 5efore him. At first. it may 5e said of s"ch a man that he knows .

and 5y /hich they are re%"lated and 9e0t in their 0ro0er s0here. #e is familiar /ith e+ery /ea9 and selfish 0oint. cleanses and 0"rifies it 0re0aratory to so/in% the seeds of ri%hteo"s actions /hich shall 0rod"ce the har+est of a /ell ordered life. and the most s"5tle moti+es of his heart. standin% face to face /ith himself. is s"0reme in the /orld of mind: a la/ to /hich all tho"%hts and deeds are s"5ser+ient. . 3t is considered the hei%ht of /isdom to 5e a5le to see o"rsel+es as others see "s. #e is no lon%er in a state of conf"sion. and he no/ 5e%ins to ad-ust his mind in accordance /ith those la/s. /ith the 0artic"lar actions they 0rod"ce. for the searcher. li9e the la/ of %ra+itation in the nat"ral /orld. 3t is a 0rocess of testing and "roving .d-ust!ent . This is a 0rocess of weeding. he sees the f"ll ma%nit"de of the tas9 /hich lies 5efore him: sees dearly ahead the hei%hts of self control. and the no+ice in self control enters "0on the ascendin% 0ath/ay. the man has 5een 5lindly and im0otently 5orne alon% 5y the im0"lses of his nat"re. one. in order to o5ser+e.ighteousness . To this la/ he no/ conforms. is the 5e%innin% of self control. /ith the o5Dect of "nderstandin%. cleansing . sorro/ and 5liss. and 9no/s /hat /or9 he has to do to reach them. and are 0"t thro"%h a ri%id 0rocess of analysis. 5"t has %ained a %lim0se of the la/s /hich o0erate in the /orld of tho"%ht. As the farmer /eeds. 5e%ins to control. #itherto. +ntros"ection . The e+il tendencies <those that 0rod"ce 0ainf"l effects> are se0arated from the %ood tendencies <those that 0rod"ce 0eacef"l effects>: and the +ario"s tendencies. and no more c"rsed /ith self 0raise or self 0ity. e+ery stron% and +irt"o"s 7"ality. 5"t no/ he 0"ts a chec9 "0on his im0"lses and. #e no lon%er acts from self. !. cleans. as the nat"re is stim"lated and a00ealed to 5y o"t/ard thin%s. and its s"5tle and e+er +aryin% 0rocesses are o5ser+ed and caref"lly noted. "nrest and 0eace. and. the 0ractical st"dent of thin%s di+ine has clearly 5efore him e+ery tendency and as0ect of his nat"re. are %rad"ally %ras0ed 5y the "nderstandin%. #e is no lon%er the a5Dect sla+e of his nat"re and circ"mstances. from the e=citements of /orldly 0leas"res and am5itions. /hich is "ni+ersal and s"0reme. Th"s. the mere creat"re of thin%s and circ"mstances. not stri+in% to hide a/ay from any secret fa"lt: no lon%er defendin% himself /ith 0leasant flatteries: neither "nderratin% nor o+erratin% himself or his 0o/ers. #a+in% adD"sted his tho"%hts and deeds to those minor la/s /hich o0erate in mental acti+ities in the 0rod"ction of 0ain and 0leas"re. 5"t the 0ractitioner of self control %oes far 5eyond this@ he not only sees himself as others see him. there comes the desire for 9no/led%e. Self#analysis . instead of 5ein% controlled. This ste00in% aside from selfish %ratifications.& ith s"ch 0erce0tion of one. /hich is at last ena5led to follo/ them in their s/ift and s"5tle inter0lay and 0rofo"nd ramifications. . $.s nat"re. a 0eriod of 5ein% tested and 0ro+ed. and the definite res"lts /hich in+aria5ly s0rin% from these actions. in /hich are the follo/in% fi+e ste0s@ 1. There is not a s0ot or corner left. he is the master of his nat"re and circ"mstances. he no/ 0ercei+es that there is in+ol+ed in those la/s one 8reat Central )a/ /hich. they are then closely e=amined. do/n to the 0rofo"ndest 0rom0tin%s of his mind. and 0re0ares the %ro"nd for his cro0s. so the st"dent remo+es the /eeds of e+il from his mind. The mental eye is t"rned li9e a searchli%ht "0on the inner thin%s of the mind. /hich he has not e=0lored and ill"minated /ith the li%ht of self e=amination. 2. By this time. This coincides /ith the observation of the nat"ral scientist. sifting. he s"5ordinates his tho"%hts and deeds to this central 0rinci0le. . he sees hi!self as he is .s i%norance. 3nstead of thin9in% and actin% 5lindly. #a+in% o5ser+ed the tendencies of the mind. This is the la/ of J"stice or 2i%hteo"sness. but does what is right C /hat is "ni+ersally and eternally ri%ht.

5"t does /hat is ri%ht: his nat"re is in harmony /ith his conscience. and has 5ro"%ht 9no/led%e o"t of i%norance. 5y e=0erience. #e 9no/s %ood and e+il. is not %ained for one.s o/n life /hich em5races 9no/led%e of all li+e C as for all minds are the same in essence <differin% only in de%ree>. order o"t of conf"sion. /hich are fi+e sta%es of %ro/th. he /ho tho"%ht to %ain this 9no/led%e solely for his o/n ha00iness /o"ld most s"rely fail. therefore. that they cannot clearly distin%"ish 5et/een %ood and e+il. as in the case of the nat"ral scientist. Pure )nowledge . 5y 0erfectin% himself in self control. 5y 0eriodically 0assin% thro"%h se+ere s"fferin%s. there is a still f"rther one of Wisdo m. and lashin%s of conscience. th"s 9no/in% them. and they only disco+er ri%ht 0ainf"lly and in a fra%mentary /ay. and %ood is all in all. By thin9in% ri%ht and actin% ri%ht. and 0eacef"l. B"t he /ho 0ractices self control. 0assin% thro"%h the fi+e 0rocesses. li+es in accordance /ith %ood and ri%ht. E+ery scientist 9no/s <and no/ all men 5elie+e> that 0erfect harmony 0re+ails thro"%ho"t e+ery 0ortion of the 0hysical "ni+erse. the res"lt of one. and there is no remorse: his mind is in "nison /ith the 8reat )a/. 3t may 5e said of men /ho ha+e not %one 5ac9 into their o/n nat"re to control and 0"rify it. that he knows . E+ery/here there is e=7"isite adD"stment. the aim of e+ol"tion /o"ld 5e fr"strated. The so"rce of their actions is self. are framed "0on the same la/: and the same tho"%hts and acts. he ac7"ires di+ine 9no/led%e: he reaches the 0oint /here it may 5e said of him. Th"s. its +ast ne5"la. Th"s. and /hich is the %"idin% and "nifyin% 0rinci0le in all h"man affairs and e+ents. th"s acceleratin% 0ro%ress and "0liftin% h"manity. /hich is the ri%ht a00lication of the 9no/led%e ac7"ired: the 0o"rin% o"t "0on the /orld. /hether indi+id"al or national. he rises a5o+e the dominion of sin and sorro/. ha+in% his nat"re in control and s"5Dection. its seas . not thin9in% tho"%hts nor doin% deeds /hich o00ose the ri%hteo"s la/. that la/ ann"ls /ith s"fferin% and defeat.#e is no lon%er carried hither and thither on the forces of his mind: he controls and %"ides those forces to the accom0lishment of his 0"r0oses.s self alone: for if this /ere so. They reach after those thin%s /hich they thin9 /ill %i+e them 0leas"re. ri%ht and /ron%. /ill al/ays 0rod"ce the same res"lts. !. and /hich. #e no lon%er needs to consider /hat is 0leasant or /hat is "n0leasant. /ith its millions of s"ns rollin% maDestically thro"%h s0ace and carryin% /ith them their res0ecti+e systems of re+ol+in% 0lanets. "nselfishly and /itho"t stint. %ains that 9no/led%e /hich ena5les him to act from the moral la/ /hich s"stains the "ni+erse. and it is not in the nat"re of thin%s to fall short of ri0enin% and accom0lishment: and. CAFSE AND E66ECT 3N #FMAN CONDFCT 3T is an a=iom /ith the scientists that e+ery effect is related to a ca"se. 5y /hatsoe+er indi+id"al they are /ro"%ht. and is stron%. ri%ht and /ron%. indeed. 5eyond the fifth ste0 of -"re ?no/led%e. i%norance and do"5t. B"t this di+ine and 0eace 5esto/in% 9no/led%e. the e=istence of the di+ine la/ on /hich the mind is framed. he 0ro+es. A00ly this to the realm of h"man cond"ct. and there is re+ealed the 0rinci0le of /ustice . and. 3n the sidereal "ni+erse. '. and try to a+oid those thin%s /hich they 5elie+e /ill ca"se them 0ain. So.s la5ors. #e has ac7"ired that 9no/led%e of self /hich incl"des 9no/led%e of all men: that 9no/led%e of one. from the s0ec9 of d"st to the %reatest s"n. #e has mastered the science of self control. calm. as of the nat"ral scientist. and there is no more s"fferin% and sin: for him e+il is ended.

and its +ast army of comets tra+elin% thro"%h illimita5le s0ace /ith inconcei+a5le +elocity. 5"t the eye and s9ill of the teacher 7"ic9ly detect and e=0ose the fallacy. and 0erha0s h"ndreds. may <and fre7"ently does> think he has done it correctly. this infinite and eternal la/ of causation . and if he is an earnest and a0t 0"0il. and its infinite +ariety of forms. 3t is tr"e that the 0"0il. and s"0erior to. they e=ist 5y +irt"e of s"ch la/: and the hi%hest.of meteors. or esca0ed: it is irre+oca5le. 5"t his 0o/er ends /ith the act committed.s 0o/er is limited to. /hether secret or o0enC cannot esca0e it. it recom0enseth: do one /ron%. thro"%h i%norance. All thin%s. renders life sim0le. are s"5ser+ient to. o"tside. /hether they 5e men or %ods. )ife may 5e li9ened to a s"m in arithmetic. it 5ecomes as astonishin%ly sim0le as it /as formerly 0rofo"ndly 0er0le=in%. T/ice fi+e /ill ma9e ten to all eternity. and that /hen that ri%ht /ay is fo"nd the 0"0il knows it to be the right : his 0er0le=ity +anishes. 3f this "ni+ersal harmony co"ld 5e ar5itrarily 5ro9en. and fall /ithin the sco0e of. of /ays in /hich a s"m may 5e done /ron%. st"0idity. As all thin%s seen o5ey it. as they o5tain in the /orld today. and "nmista9a5le: all the croo9ed 0aths are strai%htened o"t. /hile doin% his s"m incorrectly. 5"t he is not s"re: his 0er0le=ity is still there. BDo ri%ht. . So in life. and /isest amon% all 5ein%s /o"ld manifest his %reater /isdom 5y his more com0lete o5edience to that la/ /hich is /iser than /isdom. 5"t he has no 0o/er o+er the results of those tho"%hts and deeds: these are re%"lated 5y the o+err"lin% la/. and his 5lessedness or misery is determined 5y his own conduct . Nor can it 5e 0ossi5le in s"ch a "ni+erse of la/ that there sho"ld e=ist any 0ersonal 0o/er /hich is a5o+e. Some idea of this relati+e sim0licity and com0le=ity of life may 5e %ras0ed 5y f"lly reco%niAin% and realiAin% the fact that.B -erfect D"stice "0holds the "ni+erse: 0erfect D"stice re%"lates h"man life and cond"ct. he /ill reco%niAe his o/n error /hen it is 0ointed o"t 5y the teacher. 5"t only "ni+ersal chaos. The e7"al retri5"tion m"st 5e made. "lain . or set it aside: for /hatsoe+er 5ein%s e=ist. Th"s man. so all thin%s "nseen C the tho"%hts and deeds of men. and /hat deeds he shall do. and he 9no/s that he has mastered the 0ro5lem. 0er0le=ity. Man can <and does> choose /hat ca"ses he shall set in o0eration. There are foolish and careless 0"0ils /ho /o"ld li9e to 0ass a s"m as correct 5efore they ha+e ac7"ired a tr"e 9no/led%e of fi%"res. /ith its m"ltit"dino"s as0ects of life. the "ni+erse /o"ld cease to 5e: there co"ld 5e no cosmos. /hether +isi5le or in+isi5le. and "nity and harmony eternally o5tain. there are the clearly defined limits of s0ecific la/s. To 9no/ this tr"th. 5est. All the +aryin% conditions of life. /hile there are scores. ann"lled. are the res"lt of this la/ reactin% on h"man cond"ct. and the o0en door to sal+ation from e+il and s"fferin% is 0ercei+ed and entered. or del"sion can 5rin% the res"lt "0 to ele+en. E+il tho"%hts and deeds 0rod"ce conditions of s"fferin%: %ood tho"%hts and deeds determine conditions of 5lessedness. to li+e /ron%ly: 5"t the 0resence of do"5t. 5"t he cannot chan%e the nat"re of effects: he can decide /hat tho"%hts he shall thin9. e+en in one small 0artic"lar. 0erfect order 0re+ails: and a%ain. men may thin9 they are li+in% ri%htly /hile they are contin"in%. The res"lt of the act cannot 5e altered. and no amo"nt of i%norance. s"ch la/ in the sense that it can defy it. So in life there can 5e no falsifyin% of res"lts: the eye of the 8reat )a/ re+eals and e=0oses. 3t is 5e/ilderin%ly diffic"lt and com0le= to the 0"0il /ho has not yet %ras0ed the 9ey to its correct sol"tion. thro"%h the o0eration of /hich all conf"sion is a+oided. the hei%hts of /isdom are re+ealed. 5"t once this is 0ercei+ed and laid hold of. and than /hich nothin% more 0erfect co"ld 5e de+ised. in the nat"ral /orld. Man has all 0o/er to act. and "nha00iness are s"re indications that the ri%ht /ay has not yet 5een fo"nd. there is only one way by which it can be done right .

&hat a man thin9s. Each man ma9es or mars his o/n life: it is not made or marred 5y his nei%h5or. 5"t if he %oes f"rther and in7"ires into its man"fact"re. or doin% a 9ind deedC an immediate no5ility and ha00iness attend it: the man is 5etter than he /as 5efore. There are action and reaction. 3t is this entire a5sence of conf"sion 5et/een the 0artic"lar threads /hich constit"tes the finished /or9 a "iece of cloth : any inharmonio"s commin%lin% of the thread /o"ld res"lt in a 5"ndle of waste or a "seless rag . ne+er 5ecomin% conf"sed /ith its sister thread.s actions: he is res0onsi5le only for his o/n deeds: he is the c"stodian of his o/n actions. each deed he does. and the threads of selfish tho"%hts and 5ad deeds /ill not 0rod"ce a "sef"l and 5ea"tif"l life C a life that /ill /ear /ell.s deeds: he is not the c"stodian of his nei%h5or. and the co"nter5alancin% reaction.s o/n e+il deeds. and not of the deeds of another. T2A3N3N8 O6 T#E &3)) & 3T#OFT stren%th of mind. ca"se and effect. conse7"ence. and it is sol+ed /hen those deeds are 0"rified. 5y the fa"ltless la/ of ca"se and effect.3f one loo9s s"0erficially at a 0iece of cloth. Th"s indi+id"al h"man cond"ct determines. "0on the instant that a man thin9s. each thread 0"rs"es its o/n /ay thro"%ho"t. Each tho"%ht he thin9s. $. that same instant he has in-ured his own !ind : he is not the same !an he /as the 0re+io"s instant: he is a little +iler and a little more "nha00y: and a n"m5er of s"ch s"ccessi+e tho"%hts and deeds /o"ld 0rod"ce a cr"el and /retched man. or does a cr"el deed. for there and no/here else is the so"rce of all his tro"5le. )ife is li9e a 0iece of cloth. deed and conse7"ence. or /retched. and the c"lti+ation of that steadfastness and sta5ility of character /hich is commonly called B/ill0o/erB is one of the . say. indi+id"al ha00iness or /retchedness. restless. #e is not res0onsi5le for his nei%h5or. The threads. A d"ra5le and satisfactory 0iece of cloth cannot 5e made from shoddy material. Says 2o"ssea"@ "Man. "nha00y. that he is. that he does: /hat he does. and 5ear close ins0ection. is another threadC shoddy or %en"ineC /o+en into the %arment of his life: and as he ma9es the %arment so m"st he /ear it. The B0ro5lem of e+ilB s"5sists in a man. yet harmonio"s. and form one 0erfect /hole. Each indi+id"al s"ffers and enDoys the conse7"ences of his o/n deeds. Th"s. /hile 5ein% interde0endent. Each follo/s its o/n co"rse. Emerson says@ "/ustice is not "ost"oned0 a "erfect e1uity ad-usts the balance in all "arts of life " And there is a 0rofo"nd sense in /hich ca"se and effect are sim"ltaneo"s. and effect is al/ays in e=act ratio /ith the initiatory im0"lse. The co"rse of each is sim0le and definite: the /hole formin% a com0licated. and the threads of /hich it is com0osed are indi+id"al li+es. com5ination of se7"ences. indi+id"al merit or demerit. indi+id"al %reatness or meanness. The same thin% a00lies to the contraryC the thin9in% of a 9ind tho"%ht. he sees that it is com0osed of a com5ination of indi+id"al threads. and that. 3f he is 0er0le=ed. seek no longer the origin of evil0 thou thyself art its origin " Effect can ne+er 5e di+orced from ca"se: it can ne+er 5e of a different nat"re from ca"se. and a n"m5er of s"ch deeds /o"ld 0rod"ce a %reat and 5lissf"l so"l. are not confo"nded one /ith the other. or 5y anythin% e=ternal to himself. he sees it as a 0iece of cloth. let him loo9 to himself. and e=amines it closely and attenti+ely. nothin% /orthy of accom0lishment can 5e done. /hile all the threads are interde0endent. a cr"el tho"%ht.

/hether in thin%s /orldly or s0irit"al. therefore. Brea9 off 5ad ha5its. and dili%ently 0ractices. sho"ld 5e a+oided and dis0elled. The increased stren%th of /ill /hich is %ained 5y s"ccess in o+ercomin% 5ad ha5its ena5les one to initiate %ood ha5its: for. and is /ea9enin% the /ill0o/er /hich he already 0ossesses. and 0ass tri"m0hantly thro"%h e+ery emer%ency. 5eca"se of the immediate 0leas"re /hich it affords. and loo9s a5o"t for some Bocc"lt secretsB for %ainin% /ill0o/er at the e=0endit"re of little or no effort on his 0art. 3f one ref"ses to ta9e the first ste0. Anyone /ho earnestly meditates "0on. #e /ho th"s a+oids self disci0line. 3t demands the 0"ttin% forth of %reat efforts. This is no easy tas9. The mystery /hich has 5een thro/n aro"nd the s"5Dect of c"lti+ation of the /ill 5y those /ho ad+ertise to sell Bocc"lt ad+iceB on the matter for so many dollars. or a s"ccession of efforts. *. /ill not fail to de+elo0 that 0"rity of 0"r0ose and 0o/er of /ill /hich /ill ena5le him to s"ccessf"lly co0e /ith e+ery diffic"lty. and it is 5y s"ch efforts that the /ill can alone 5e in+i%orated and fortified. for 5y s"5mittin% to a 5ad ha5it. and so o5+io"s and sim0le is it that the maDority. and is so far a /ea9 sla+e. 2. for its 0ossession is essentially necessary 5oth to his tem0oral and eternal /ell 5ein%. one forfeits the ri%ht to r"le o+er himself. 0ass it 5y "nnoticed. A little lo%ical tho"%ht /ill soon con+ince a man that he cannot 5e 5oth /ea9 and stron% at the same time. and at once. he cannot increase in /ill0o/er. 3t /ill 5e seen that the first ste0 is the 5rea9in% a/ay from 5ad ha5its. for nothin% co"ld 5e f"rther remo+ed from secrecy and mystery than the 0ractical methods 5y /hich alone stren%th of /ill can 5e de+elo0ed. a man m"st 5e . Do +i%oro"sly. Control the ton%"e. #e /ho has s"cceeded in %ras0in% this sim0le. and that. /hile the con7"erin% of a 5ad ha5it re7"ires merely stren%th of 0"r0ose. /ill 0ercei+e that the /hole science of /ill c"lti+ation is em5odied in the follo/in% se+en r"les@ 1. !. 8i+e scr"0"lo"s attention to the d"ty of the 0resent moment. (. To do this. and de0endent "0on others for that s"00ort /hich sho"ld 5e fo"nd /ithin himself. /hate+er has to 5e done. and /itho"t it man cannot 5e other/ise than /retched. the direct and only /ay to that %reater stren%th is to assail and con7"er his /ea9nesses. )i+e 5y r"le. 0reliminary tr"th. the formin% of a ne/ one necessitates the intelligent direction of "ur"ose . 5y attac9in% and +an7"ishin% /hich the necessary stren%th of /ill 5e de+elo0ed. is del"din% himself. Control the mind. $. '. the a5o+e r"les.foremost d"ties of man. All the means for the c"lti+ation of the /ill are already at hand in the mind and life of the indi+id"al: they reside in the /ea9 side of his character. loo9in% for somethin% com0licated and mysterio"s. that he cannot de+elo0 a stron%er /ill /hile remainin% a sla+e to /ea9 ind"l%ences. 6orm %ood ha5its. The tr"e 0ath of /ill c"lti+ation is only to 5e fo"nd in the common e+eryday life of the indi+id"al. 6i=edness of 0"r0ose is at the root of all s"ccessf"l efforts.

#e sho"ld li+e accordin% to 0rinci0le. and 0eace. The man /ho is to manifest a c"lti+ated /ill m"st also li+e 5y certain fi=ed r"les. not e+en for a fe/ min"tes. Sli0shod /or9 is an indication of /ea9ness. The fo"rth r"le C that of doin% +i%oro"sly. /hich is the most im0ortant of them all C namely. and 5rin% re0ose and Doy to their 0ossessor. and the tho"%ht that little thin%s can 5e ne%lected. and m"st 9ee0 a constant /atch "0on himself. The si=th r"le. sin%leness of 0"r0ose and intense concentration of mind are %rad"ally %ained C t/o mental 0o/ers /hich %i+e /ei%ht and /orth of character. s"ccess. so that he "tters nothin% in 0ee+ishness. if faithf"lly 0racticed. T#O2OF8#NESS T#O2OF8#NESS consists in doin% little thin%s as tho"%h they /ere the %reatest thin%s in the /orld. Nothing sho"ld 5e B0"t offB "ntil another time. #e sho"ld ma9e r"les for the ri%ht %o+ernment of his cond"ct in e+ery de0artment of his life. 5"t it is of far reachin% im0ortance. '. /ill learn. an%er. and at once. That the little thin%s of life are of 0rimary im0ortance. ho/ to control and train his mind. m"st 5e 0racticed "ntil one has 0erfect command of his s0eech. is at the root of that lac9 of thoro"%hness /hich is so common. That /hich o"%ht to 5e done no/ sho"ld 5e done no/. and /hat he /ill not eat and drin9 and /ear: ho/ many meals 0er day he /ill ha+e. or /ith e+il intent. The 5east in man m"st 5e sco"r%ed and disci0lined and 5ro"%ht into s"5Dection. and not a man /ith /ill and reason. 3dleness and a stron% /ill cannot %o to%ether. 3t leads to stren%th. eatin% and drin9in% and sens"ally ind"l%in% at the 5ec9 and call of a00etite and inclination. and /hich res"lts in im0erfect /or9 and "nha00y li+es. As a man s"cceeds in 0erfectin% himself in the second r"le. or sl"rred o+er. The man of stron% /ill does not allo/ his ton%"e to r"n tho"%htlessly and /itho"t chec9. yet least "nderstood: 5"t he /ho 0atiently 0ractices the r"les herein laid do/n. irrita5ility. Self control is the most essential thin% in life. and to earn there5y the s"0reme cro/n of manhood C the cro/n of a 0erfectly 0oised /ill. This seems a little thin%. The saint attains to holiness 5y not +iolatin% his +o/s. e+en in the smallest tas9. is stron% to accom0lish his 0"r0ose. that of controllin% the ton%"e. 5y his o/n e=0erience and efforts. and at /hat times he /ill ha+e them: at /hat time he /ill %o to 5ed. ri%htly controllin% the mind. #e sho"ld decide /hat he /ill eat and drin9 and /ear. 5rin%in% them into re7"isition in all his /ays and "nderta9in%s. 5"t %i+in% the /hole attention to each se0arate tas9 as it 0resents itself. and 0rocrastination is a total 5arrier to the ac7"isition of 0"r0osef"l action. and not accordin% to 0assion. that of %i+in% scr"0"lo"s attention to the d"ty of the 0resent moment. /hate+er has to 5e done C is e7"ally im0ortant. is a tr"th not %enerally "nderstood. and the man /ho li+es accordin% to %ood and fi=ed r"les. By not di+idin% the mind. it /ill not 5e +ery diffic"lt for him to o5ser+e the third. 5"t m"st school them to o5edience. Thoro"%hness is a ste0 in the de+elo0ment of the /ill /hich cannot 5e 0assed o+er. is to 5e a mere animal. -erfection sho"ld 5e aimed at. All these si= r"les.mentally acti+e and ener%etic. To li+e loosely and indiscriminately. and this can only 5e done 5y trainin% the mind and life on certain fi=ed r"les of ri%ht cond"ct. #e m"st not 5lindly %ratify his 0assions and im0"lses. thro/n aside. . and sho"ld reli%io"sly adhere to them. and at /hat time %et "0. /ill lead "0 to the se+enth.

/hile en%a%ed in their /orldly tas9. The ca"se of this common lac9 of thoro"%hness is not far to see9: it lies in that thirst for 0leas"re /hich not only creates a distaste for steady la5or. and 0ersistent 5reaches of d"ty C not to mention other +ices /hich ha+e no 5earin% on this s"5Dect: yet the +ast army of the "nem0loyed contin"es to cry o"t a%ainst the la/s. 5"t its consideration sho"ld not 5e allo/ed to enter the mind d"rin% those ho"rs /hich sho"ld 5e de+oted to d"ty. -leas"re has its o/n 0lace and time. 0erfection: it means doin% a thin% so /ell that there is nothin% left to 5e desired: it means doin% one. Gice is B5eaten /ith many stri0esB: if it /ere not so. for those /ho scam0 their /or9 today /ill. a%ainst society. #e th"s ac7"ires the 7"ality of thoro"%hness. She /as dischar%ed at the end of a month for ne%li%ence and incom0etence.B 3 9no/ those /ho ha+e. and a%ainst #ea+en. cannot do other/ise than 5"n%le thro"%h their /or9. another day. laAiness. a case came "nder my o5ser+ation <one of many s"ch>. then he 5e%ins to 0ay caref"l attention to those thin%s /hich he formerly re%arded as insi%nificant. the tho"%htf"l and ind"strio"s. if not 5etter than anyone else can do it. of a 0oor /oman /ho /as %i+en.s d"ty. for there are so many /ho are careless and ne%li%ent that the ser+ices of the thoro"%h man are al/ays in demand. a res0onsi5le and l"crati+e 0osition. S9ill and e=cellence are ac7"ired 5y fe/. She had 5een at her 0ost only a fe/ days /hen she 5e%an to tal9 of the B0leas"re tri0sB she /as %oin% to ha+e no/ she had come to that 0lace. ener%y. The la/ of the s"r+i+al of the fittest is not 5ased on cr"elty. and that /itho"t this a%%re%ation of small thin%s the %reat thin%s /o"ld 5e none=istent. 5"t /hich call chiefly for foretho"%ht. As t/o o5Dects cannot occ"0y the same s0ace at the same time. A short time a%o. and laAiness are s"ch common +ices that it sho"ld cease to a00ear stran%e that. incom0etence. in the ho"r of dee0 necessity. and one of misery and /ea9ness. Bad /or9manshi0 a5o"nds. so the mind that is occ"0ied /ith 0leas"re cannot also 5e concentrated "0on the 0erfect 0erformance of d"ty. 5"t renders one inca0a5le of doin% the 5est /or9. and of 0ro0erly f"lfillin% one. it is 5ased on D"stice@ it is one as0ect of that di+ine e7"ity /hich e+ery/here 0re+ails.s /or9. and conscientio"s care. and do it com0letely and satisfactorily. carelessness. loo9 and as9 for /or9 in +ain. or e+en ne%lect it /hen their 0leas"re seems to 5e at sta9e. A friend of mine tells me that his father %a+e all his children the follo/in% 0iece of ad+ice@ B&hate+er yo"r f"t"re /or9 may 5e. They ha+e dischar%ed one after another for ne%li%ence. and 5ecomes a man of "sef"lness and infl"ence: for the 0ossession or non 0ossession of this one 7"ality may mean all the difference 5et/een a life of 0eace and 0o/er. Those /ho. tried almost in +ain to sec"re com0etent /or9manshi0 in s0heres /hich do not re7"ire e=ce0tional s9ill. are contin"ally d/ellin% "0on antici0ated 0leas"res. ho/ co"ld +irt"e 5e de+elo0edE The tho"%htless and laAy cannot ta9e 0recedence of. for years.& hen one "nderstands that the %reat thin%s of the /orld and of life consist of a com5ination of small thin%s. or stand e7"ally /ith.B the ran9s of the "nem0loyed sho"ld contin"e to s/ell. in s0ite of Bsocial reform. 0"t yo"r /hole mind "0on it and do it thoro"%hly: yo" need then ha+e no fear as to yo"r /elfare. at her earnest a00eal. E+ery em0loyer of la5or 9no/s ho/ com0arati+ely rare this 7"ality is C ho/ diffic"lt it is to find men and /omen /ho /ill 0"t tho"%ht and ener%y into their /or9. Tho"%htlessness. Thoro"%hness is com0leteness. at least not /orse .

0erse+erance. so is he. is 5"ilt. let him attac9 it +i%oro"slyB: and another teacher said. and ne/ cells are formed to ta9e their 0lace. let a man do it. The arts. old cells are ceaselessly 5ein% 5ro9en "0. The man /ho 9ee0s one eye on /orldly 0leas"re and the other on reli%ion. also o5tains "ni+ersally in thin%s in+isi5le. By the aid of millions of 5ric9s a city is 5"ilt: 5y the aid of millions of tho"%hts a mind. sciences. /hether he reco%niAes it or not. the 0"ttin% forth of %reat ener%y. Character is 5"ilt in the same /ay as a tree or a ho"se is 5"iltC namely. 3t is 0refera5le to 5e thoro"%h. /hen they are torn do/n in order that some 5etter 0"r0ose may 5e ser+ed. M3ND BF3)D3N8 AND )36E BF3)D3N8 EGE24T#3N8. There is reci0rocal inte%ration and disinte%ration. do it /ith thy mi%ht. These t/o 0rocesses of 5rea9in% do/n and 5"ildin% "0 in Nat"re are called death and life : in the artificial /or9s of man they are called destruction and restoration . e+en if it 5e in a 5ad or selfish direction. As a 5ody is 5"ilt of cells.s mind is 5"ilt of tho"%hts. 5"t /ill ma9e a sorry 5"siness of 5oth. 5y the ceaseless addition of ne/ material. 5oth in nat"re and the /or9s of man. The 0rocess of 5"ildin% necessitates the alternate 0rocess of 5rea9in% do/n. E+ery man is a mind 5"ilder. and a 5oo9 is 5"ilt of letters. This d"al 0rocess. and a ho"se of 5ric9s. 3n all com0o"nded 5odies. A /orld is com0osed of a lar%e n"m5er of forms. and 5y m"ch self disci0line. #erein /e see the dee0 tr"th of the sayin%. B3f anythin% has to 5e done. the 0ersistent a00lication of the mind to its tas9. so a man. #e /ill not im0ro+e his character: /ill 5e /ea9 and half hearted in his reli%ion. and /ho thin9s he can ha+e the ad+anta%e of 5oth conditions. is 0rod"ced 5y a 0rocess of 5"ildin%. a character. and man are 5"ilt "0 of cells: a ho"se is 5"ilt of 5ric9s. the animal. Old forms that ha+e ser+ed their 0"r0ose are 5ro9en "0. rather than inefficient and s7"eamish in %ood directions. /ill not 5e thoro"%h either in his 0leas"re see9in% or his reli%ion. B& hatsoe+er thy hand findeth to do. for thoro"%hness leads more ra0idly to the de+elo0ment of character and the ac7"isition of /isdom: it accelerates 0ro%ress and "nfoldment: and /hile it leads the 5ad to somethin% 5etter. and a hi%h sense of d"ty. /ill also lac9 the same 7"ality in s0irit"al thin%s. BAs a man thin9eth in his heart. 3t means the e=ercise of m"ch tho"%ht.B #e /ho lac9s thoro"%hness in his /orldly d"ties. The history of a nation is the 5"ildin% of its deeds. they are fi=ed in the sense that they ha+e 5ecome s"ch an inte%ral 0art of the character that they can 5e only altered or remo+ed 5y a 0rotracted effort of the /ill. and a city of a lar%e n"m5er of ho"ses.B 3ndi+id"al characteristics are fi=ed "rocesses of thought : that is. E+ery man m"st 0erforce thin9. The /or9s of man also re7"ire to 5e contin"ally rene/ed "ntil they ha+e 5ecome old and "seless. /hich o5tains "ni+ersally in thin%s +isi5le. (. An ancient teacher said. and /ill not accom0lish any %ood and "sef"l end. the c"lti+ation of 0atience. The +ario"s characters of men are none other than com0o"nds of tho"%hts of +aryin% com5inations.than the 5est that others do. S"ch B5ric9 layin%B is done loosely and . The roc9 is 5"ilt "0 of atoms: the 0lant. and e+ery tho"%ht is another 5ric9 laid do/n in the edifice of mind. 3t is 5etter to 5e a /hole so"led /orldlin% than a half hearted reli%ionist: 5etter to %i+e the entire mind to a lo/er thin% than half of it to a hi%her. it s0"rs the %ood to hi%her and e+er hi%her hei%hts of "sef"lness and 0o/er. and the material of /hich they are com0osed enters into ne/ com5inations. and that material is thought . and instit"tions of a nation are 5"ilt "0 5y the efforts of indi+id"als.

and "nselfish life. The /hole +isi5le "ni+erse is framed on a fe/ mathematical 0rinci0les. also. $ !y soul3 . ha00y. are so many d"ra5le 5ric9s /hich /ill ne+er cr"m5le a/ay. /ill contin"e to %i+e shelter to many a str"%%lin% one /hen he has 0assed a/ay. he m"st 5"ild it on a sim0le. and 5e cherished 5y 0osterity. and )indness . ener+atin% tho"%hts concernin% "nla/f"l 0leas"res. of confidence. /ill neither add to his comfort. De5ilitatin% tho"%hts a5o"t one. Tryin% to /ea9ly shift the res0onsi5ility for his Derry 5"ildin% on to the de+il. if a man is to 5"ild "0 a s"ccessf"l. & hen he /a9es "0 to a sense of his res0onsi5ility. free. . stron%. )i9e/ise. nor hel0 him to 5"ild a 5etter ha5itation. is the 9no/led%e and a00lication of a fe/ sim0le. tric9ery. s"ch as the s7"are or the circle: if he i%nores this. the res"lt 5ein% "nsta5le and totterin% characters that are ready to %o do/n "nder the first little %"st of tro"5le or tem0tation. and /hich. 3f a man is to erect a 5"ildin% that is to resist the fiercest storms. /isely chosen and /ell 0laced. then he /ill commence to 5"ild li9e a tr"e /or9man. are "sef"l 5ric9s /ith /hich a s"5stantial mind tem0le can 5e raised: and the 5"ildin% of s"ch a tem0le necessitates that old and "seless ha5its of tho"%ht 5e 5ro9en do/n and destroyed. he is in the 0osition of a 5"ilder /ho ima%ines he can 5"ild a stron% and d"ra5le ha5itation /hile . "nfettered. "nde+iatin% moral 0rinci0les.s health. and e=em0lary life C a life that /ill sto"tly resist the fiercest storms of ad+ersity and tem0tation C it m"st 5e framed on a fe/ sim0le. and one /hich affords comfort and shelter for its 0ossessor.carelessly 5y a +ast n"m5er of 0eo0le. These fo"r ethical tr"ths are to the ma9in% of a life /hat the fo"r lines of a s7"are are to the 5"ildin% of a ho"se. or his forefathers. "2uild thee !ore stately !ansions. and selfishness. 6o"r of these 0rinci0les are /ustice . 3f a man i%nores them and thin9s to o5tain s"ccess and ha00iness and 0eace 5y inD"stice. 3f he is the occ"0ant of a Derry 5"ilt ho+el of a mind that lets in the rains of many tro"5les. of d"ty: ins0irin% tho"%hts of a lar%e. Some. 0"t into the 5"ildin% of their minds lar%e n"m5ers of im0"re tho"%hts: these are so many rotten 5ric9s that cr"m5le a/ay as fast as they are 0"t in. can 5e ra0idly erected. and thro"%h /hich 5lo/ the 9een /inds of oft rec"rrin% disa00ointments. or la/. let him %et to /or9 to 5"ild a more no5le mansion /hich /ill afford him 5etter 0rotection a%ainst those mental elements.ectitude . and one /hich can afford no comfort and no shelter for its 0ossessor. Bracin% tho"%hts of stren%th. /hile affordin% a ne+er failin% 0rotection for himself. root 0rinci0les. /ea9enin% tho"%hts of fail"re. lea+in% al/ays an "nfinished and "nsi%htly 5"ildin%. mathematical 0rinci0le. and sic9ly tho"%hts of self 0ity and self 0raise are "seless 5ric9s /ith /hich no s"5stantial mind tem0le can 5e raised. his edifice /ill to00le do/n e+en 5efore it is finished. All the /onderf"l /or9s of man in the material /orld ha+e 5een 5ro"%ht a5o"t 5y the ri%id o5ser+ance of a fe/ "nderlyin% 0rinci0les: and all that there is to the ma9in% of a s"ccessf"l. and an a00ro=imate estimate of his 0o/er. -"re tho"%hts. and 5ea"tif"l life. or anythin% or any5ody 5"t himself. Sincerity . and from /hich a finished and 5ea"tif"l 5"ildin%. and /ill 0rod"ce a symmetrical and finished character that /ill end"re.s the swift seasons roll " Each man is the 5"ilder of himself.

"ntil at last the 5"ildin% stands com0lete in its d"ra5ility. 3t is a common error to s"00ose that little thin%s can 5e 0assed 5y. 3t is totally im0ossi5le for a man to achie+e a tr"ly s"ccessf"l and ha00y life /ho i%nores the fo"r moral 0rinci0les en"merated. )i9e/ise. as come it m"st. E+en so it is /ith the life of a man. the strictest attention m"st 5e 0aid to e+ery detail. into e+ery momentary d"ty and tri+ial transaction. The maDority of those /ho fail and come to %rief do so thro"%h ne%lectin% the a00arently insignificant details. /ho raises the edifice of character "0on them. and his riches cr"m5le to r"ins. o5tain only disa00ointment and fail"re. and sho"ld recei+e all attention: 5"t a c"rsory %lance at the "ni+erse. layin% do/n the hidden fo"ndation of inte%rity of heart sec"rely and stron%ly. 3n all the "ni+ersal forms /hich are 5"ilt "0 5y the 8reat 3n+isi5le and "nerrin% -o/er. 0rofessional man. and it /ill 5e a so"rce of /ea9ness and tro"5le. stren%th. and firmly 9nit that it cannot 0ossi5ly 5e 5ro"%ht to r"in. as /ell as a little serio"s reflection on life. #e /ho ado0ts the fo"r ethical 0rinci0les as the la/ and 5ase of his life. To ne%lect or misa00ly any little detailC 5e he commercial man. #e /ho /o"ld ha+e a life sec"re and 5lessed. harmonio"s. and he /ill. A fo"ndation m"st first 5e laid. and that the %reater thin%s are more im0ortant. a life freed from the miseries and fail"res to /hich so many fall +ictims. 3n e+ery little thin% he need 5e thoro"%h and honest. A sno/fla9e is as 0erfect as a star. /hilst the man /ho scr"0"lo"sly o5ser+es them in all his dealin%s can no more fail of s"ccess and 5lessedness than the earth can fail of the li%ht and /armth of the s"n so lon% as it 9ee0s to its la/f"l or5it: for he is /or9in% in harmony /ith the f"ndamental la/s of the "ni+erse: he is 5"ildin% his life on a 5asis /hich cannot 5e altered or o+erthro/n. his re0"tation. for a time. it m"st recei+e the %reatest care. or artisanC is the same as ne%lectin% a stone or a 5ric9 in a 5"ildin%. 5ric9 "0on 5ric9 is caref"lly laid /ith the aid of the 0l"m5 line. therefore. cannot fail to . /hose e+ery d"ty and e+ery 0assin% transaction is 0erformed in strict accordance /ith their e=actions. The microsco0e re+eals the fact that the infinitely small is as 0erfect as the infinitely %reat. s"ch a man. ne%lectin% nothin%. his affairs. in the erection of a 5"ildin% 5y man. m"st carry the 0ractice of the moral 0rinci0les into e+ery detail of his life. and he is 5"ried in his o/n desolation. #e may. and in the com0osition of /hich e+ery detail is 0erfect.i%norin% the relati+e arran%ement of mathematical lines. and. altho"%h it is to 5e 5"ried and hidden. ma9e money. /hich /ill del"de him into 5elie+in% that inD"stice and dishonesty 0ay /ell: 5"t in reality his life is so /ea9 and "nsta5le that it is ready at any moment to fall: and /hen a critical 0eriod comes. in the end. it /ill 5e fo"nd that the o5ser+ance of mathematical la/ is carried o"t /ith "nfailin% e=actit"de do/n to the most min"te detail. and. /ho in his tho"%hts and /ords and actions does not /ander from them. and 5e made stron%er than any other 0art of the 5"ildin%: then stone "0on stone. a%ric"lt"rist. all that he does /ill 5e so stron% and d"ra5le. and all the 0arts of his life /ill 5e so coherent. /ill teach the lesson that nothin% %reat can e=ist /hich is not made "0 of small details. and 5ea"ty.

or the s/ee0in% of a floor C /itho"t resortin% to methods /hich ha+e no 0ractical 5earin% on life: for /hat is concentration 5"t the 5rin%in% of a /ell controlled mind to the doin% of that /hich has to 5e doneE #e /ho does his /or9 in an aimless. a h"rried. A ladder has no di+ine 9no/led%e. is li9e tryin% to no"rish the 5ody 5y merely mo+in% the Da/ as in the act of eatin%. the 0ineal %land. /itho"t ta9in% food. it is not an end in itself. there is no s"rer nor s/ifter /ay to its destr"ction. They lead to/ards dis0ersion and not concentration: to/ards /ea9ness and im5ecility rather than to/ards 0o/er and intelli%ence. and resorts to his artificial Bconcentration methodsB C to his door9no5. )i9e steam in mechanics. or some ima%inary 0oint in s0ace <3 ha+e seen all these methods serio"sly ad+ised in /or9s on this s"5Dect> /ith the o5Dect of ac7"irin% concentration. The fac"lty is a common 0ossession. or tho"%htless manner. in /hate+er direction his s"ccess may lie.raise "0 a str"ct"re /hich shall 5rin% him honor: and he is 5"ildin% a tem0le in /hich he can re0ose in 0eace and 5lessednessC e+en the stron% and 5ea"tif"l Tem0le of his life. E+ery s"ccessf"l man. 3 ha+e met those /ho ha+e s7"andered. "ndisci0lined +al"e in and of itself. "0on a door9no5. CF)T3GAT3ON O6 CONCENT2AT3ON CONCENT2AT3ON. it is yet a 0o/er /hich ser+es all 0"r0oses. S"ch methods 0re+ent the end at /hich they aim. tho"%h a 0erfectly 0oised /ill and a com0rehensi+e reason are rare 0ossessionsC and the mystery /hich some modern mystical /riters ha+e thro/n aro"nd it is entirely s"0erfl"o"s. and ha+e 5ecome the 0rey of a /ea9 and /anderin% mind. concentration. The %reat enemy of concentration C and therefore of all s9ill and 0o/erC is a /a+erin%. and not a li+in% accom0lishment. 5y these 0ractices. Many 5oo9s 0"r0ortin% to %i+e instr"ctions on concentration ma9e its 0ractice and ac7"isition an end in itself. *. a 0ict"re. /anderin%. in a %reater or lesser de%ree. or the 0ortrait of a saint: or the centerin% of the mind "0on the na+el. 0ractices concentration. tho"%h he may 9no/ nothin% a5o"t it as a s"5Dect of st"dy: e+ery time one 5ecomes a5sor5ed in a 5oo9 or tas9. 3t is the father of thoroughness and the mother of e&cellence . . is 5ro"%ht into 0lay. 5"t only in so far as it ena5les "s to reach somethin% /hich /e co"ld not other/ise reach. The fi=in% of the eyes "0on the ti0 of the nose. it is a dynamic force in the machinery of the mind and the f"nctions of life. Not a 0"r0ose in itself. a mystical sym5ol. As a fac"lty. he /ill not increase in steadiness of mind. concentration is that /hich ena5les the mind to accom0lish /ith ease that /hich it /o"ld 5e other/ise im0ossi5le to accom0lish: 5"t of itself it is a dead thin%. or the 5rin%in% of the mind to a center and 9ee0in% it there. 5"t is an aid to all fac"lties. Than this. 3n li9e manner. or nasal e=tremity C in order to %ain that /hich he ima%ines to 5e some 9ind of mystical 0o/er C 5"t /hich is a +ery ordinary and 0ractical 7"ality C tho"%h he may drift to/ards insanity <and 3 9ne/ one man /ho 5ecame insane 5y these 0ractices>. tho"%h in its 0erfection it is rareC D"st as will and reason are common 0ossessions. his 0ict"re. is +itally necessary to the accom0lishment of any tas9. all /or9. /hat meas"re of concentration they at first 0ossessed. Concentration is an aid to the doin% of somethin%: it is not the doin% of somethin% in itself. or is ra0t in de+otion or assid"o"s in d"ty.

Attention. 2. This 0o/erf"l foc"sin% of one. he m"st "se the tool: to 5ecome learned. sciences. they sho"ld 5e 5ro"%ht 0rom0tly 5ac9 to the thin% in hand.Concentration is so inter/o+en /ith the "ses of life that it cannot 5e se0arated from d"ty: and he /ho tries to ac7"ire it a"art fro! his task. cond"ct. Acti+ity in 2e0ose. as his concentrati+e ca0acity increases. Contem0lation. and not increase. do"5t. A5straction. stren"o"sly made and 0atiently follo/ed "0. B"t the doin% is not allC it !ust be done with energy and intelligence . $. 5"t /ill diminish. Th"s the BcenterB "0on /hich yo" are to 5rin% yo"r mind to a 0oint. he m"st do /ise thin%s: and to s"ccessf"lly concentrate his mind. yo" m"st 5e%in to do it . one m"st 0aint: to 9no/ ho/ to "se a tool s9illf"lly. then. Concentrated tho"%ht enters lar%ely into all s"ccesses. To 5e a5le to do a thin%. and so render himself less and less fit to s"cceed in his "nderta9in%s. and dis0ose of them /ith acc"racy and dis0atch. and o0enin% the door to hi%her d"ties: he /ill also e=0erience the Doy of a /ider and f"ller life. namely. 5rin%in% all yo"r intelli%ence and mental ener%y to a foc"s "0on that /hich has to 5e done: and e+ery time the tho"%hts are fo"nd /anderin% aimlessly a/ay. enlar%e his "sef"lness in the scheme of thin%s. and diffic"lty %i+e /ay 5efore their masterly a00roach.s tho"%ht and ener%y and /ill "0on the doin% of thin%s is diffic"lt at first as e+erythin% /orth ac7"irin% is diffic"ltC 5"t daily efforts. his duty . yo" ha+e not %ained any de%ree of control o+er the mind: yo" ha+e not ac7"ired the 0o/er of concentration. for it is %o+erned 5y the "nderlyin% 0rinci0le of all de+elo0ment. Tho"%hts marshaled. !. and directed "0on a %i+en 0oint. he m"st learn: to 5ecome /ise. There is no more secret a5o"t its ac7"irement than a5o"t any other ac7"isition. and increase his +al"e to the /orld. #e /ill th"s. commanded. trades: in all learnin%. is <not yo"r 0ineal %land or a 0aint in s0ace>. are in+inci5le: conf"sion. 5"t the /or9 /hich yo" are doin% e+ery day: and yo"r o5Dect in th"s concentratin% is to 5e a5le to do yo"r /or9 /ith smooth ra0idity and cons"mmate s9ill: for "ntil yo" can th"s do yo"r /or9. This 0rinci0le 0re+ails "ni+ersallyC in all arts. Scattered and diff"sed tho"%hts are /ea9 and /orthless. "ractice . To ma9e it effecti+e in action and s/ift in +ictory it m"st 5e solidly concentrated and masterf"lly directed. he m"st concentrate it. A scattered and "ndisci0lined army /o"ld 5e "seless. reli%ion. 3n the 0rocess of concentration there are the fo"r follo/in% sta%es@ 1. To 5e a5le to 0aint. /ill not only fail. and 9ee0 on doin% it "ntil the thin% is mastered. th"s in+itin% no5ler o00ort"nities. and informs all +ictories. /ill soon lead to s"ch a meas"re of self control as /ill ena5le one to 5rin% a stron% and 0enetratin% mind to 5ear "0on any /or9 "nderta9en: a mind that /ill 7"ic9ly com0rehend all the details of the /or9. is to %o to yo"r daily tas9 and 0"t yo"r mind on it. The 5e%innin% of concentration. his mental control and e=ec"ti+e ca0acity. .

5"t is +i+idly ali+e in his mental o0erations. and so ca0ti+atin% to the mind. and /ith a de%ree of friction: 5"t in the third sta%e. he /ill not hear: and if 0lied /ith more +i%oro"s a00eals. &hen a to0 s0ins at the ma=im"m +elocity. 3n the first t/o sta%es. and all men of %eni"s. then the second sta%e is reached. there is 0erfect order. a "nion. 0oets. and /ith ease. artists. &hoe+er attains to 0erfection in a5straction /ill manifest %eni"s in the 0artic"lar /or9 "0on /hich his mind is centered. They /ho lac9 it fail in e+erythin%. in a %reater or lesser de%ree. and the t/o 5ecome one@ then there is a s"0erior efficiency /ith less la5or and friction. -rotracted contem0lation leads to a condition of mind in /hich the doors of the senses are all closed a%ainst the entrance of o"tside distractions. The thin9er is then o5li+io"s to the o"tside /orld. 0hiloso0hers. They are reached. and ha+e therefore em0loyed the term Bacti+ity in re0ose. 5"t the sim0le ill"stration of a s0innin% to0 /ill ser+e to e=0lain the 0arado=. and the to0 ass"mes that condition of 0erfect re0ose /hich is a si%ht so 5ea"tif"l to the eye. 3n+entors. 3n the 0erfection of the first t/o sta%es. the sub-ective method of /or9in% is accom0lished. 5"t its similarity to a dream ends /ith the s"5Decti+e state@ it does not o5tain in the mental o0erations of that state. a marria%e of the /or9 /ith the mind ta9es 0lace. 5y all that lar%e army of s9illed and com0etent /or9ers /hich carries o"t the /or9 of the /orld in its manifold de0artments. They accom0lish s"5Decti+ely. this a5straction is a 9ind of /a9in% dream. and is easily dra/n from its center 5y e=ternal si%hts and so"nds: 5"t /hen the mind has attained 0erfection in a5straction. scientists. the tho"%htless. the friction is red"ced to the minim"m.B . and only a com0arati+ely small n"m5er reach the third sta%e of abstraction : for /hen a5straction is reached. it is not necessary to %o 5eyond these t/o sta%es. /orldly "nderta9in%s. & hen the fo"rth sta%eC that of activity in re"ose C is attained. The mind th"s centered in 0rofo"nd co%itation reaches a state in /hich the ma=im"m of /or9 is accom0lished /ith the minim"m of frictionC this is activity in re"ose .At first the tho"%hts are arrested.B The term a00ears contradictory. and the mind is fi=ed "0on the o5Dect of concentration. /e ha+e entered the s0here of %eni"s. the /or9 and the mind are se0arate. To ens"re s"ccess in all ordinary. /ho then says his to0 is Baslee0. then concentration in its 0erfection is ac7"ired. or rest. in /hich.ttention is the first sta%e in all s"ccessf"l /or9. the tho"%hts 5ein% /ra00ed in. 3 am "na5le to find a sin%le /ord /hich /ill f"lly e=0ress this d"al condition of intense acti+ity com5ined /ith steadiness. /hich is the tas9 in handC this is attention . S"ch are the laAy. the mind is o5Decti+ely en%a%ed. & hen attention is follo/ed 5y an a/a9enin% of the mind to serio"s tho"%ht. instead of the conf"sion of dreamin%. and the /or9 is done more or less la5orio"sly. . as distin%"ished from the ob-ective . and a /ide ran%e of com0rehension. he /ill 5rin% 5ac9 his mind to o"tside thin%s as one comin% o"t of a dream: indeed. The mind is then ro"sed into +i%oro"s tho"%ht concernin% the /ay of 0roceedin% /ith the tas9C this is conte!"lation . and solely and intensely centered "0on. are men of a5straction. the /or9 in hand C this is abstraction . there is a f"sion. 3f s0o9en to. the indifferent and incom0etent. that /hich the o5Decti+e /or9ersC men /ho ha+e not yet attained 5eyond the second sta%e in concentrationC cannot accom0lish /ith the most stren"o"s la5or. 0enetratin% insi%ht. of the school5oy.

5oth attention and contem0lation are em5odied: and he /ho has reached the last sta%e. the follo/in% sta%es em5ody the 0recedin% ones in their entirety. accom0any the ha5it of concentration: and that +i%oro"s mental trainin% /hich its c"lti+ation in+ol+es. #e is an intelli%ent doer of thin%s. E=ternally. /hen 0erfected. talent: the third leads to ori%inality and %eni"s: /hile the fo"rth leads to mastery and 0o/er. there can 5e no meditation. there is no a00arent acti+ity. 5"t of intense and 0erfectly 5alanced acti+ity. #e can 5oth ta9e a thin% "0 and lay it do/n /ith e7"al deli5eration. The more intense the nat"re of a man. in the act of contem0lation. also. Th"s the first sta%e. the res"lt is !editation . and %ra+ity. attention is contained: in a5straction. 0"rer. Decision. By concentration a man may ac7"ire the /onderf"l com0rehension and +ast 0o/er of a Caesar: 5y meditation he may reach the di+ine /isdom and 0erfect 0eace of a B"ddha. -2ACT3CE O6 MED3TAT3ON & #EN as"iration is "nited to concentration .. and the face /ill 5e more s"5limely calm /hen the mind is most intensely en%a%ed in acti+e tho"%ht. as /ell as deli5eration. he 0ractices meditation. to/ards that hi%her form of concentration called Bmeditation. and the more s"ccessf"lly /ill he 0ractice it. thro"%h e+er increasin% "sef"lness and s"ccess in /orldly occ"0ations. Each sta%e of concentration has its 0artic"lar 0o/er. all the fo"r sta%es. alertness. leads. D"d%ment. Concentration is necessary to /orldly s"ccess@ meditation is necessary to s0irit"al s"ccess. /hen en%a%ed in that intense acti+ity of tho"%ht /hich res"lts in 0rod"cti+e /or9 of the hi%hest 9ind. a5ility. and ac7"ires the hea+enly 9no/led%e. not of inertia. the more readily /ill he find meditation. )ethar%y and indifference are fatal to its 0ractice. and the face of a man /ho has ac7"ired this 0o/er /ill ass"me a more or less radiant calmness.The to0 is a00arently motionless. 5"t he cannot scale the hea+enly hei%hts of Tr"th@ to accom0lish this. &orldly s9ill and 9no/led%e are ac7"ired 5y concentration@ s0irit"al s9ill and 9no/led%e are ac7"ired 5y meditation. at any moment. /hen its as0irations ha+e 5ecome s"fficiently a/a9ened. #e has learned ho/ to "se his thin9in% fac"lties to fi=ed 0"r0oses. Th"s in contem0lation. no dist"r5ance. in a state of 7"iet 0oise and calm re0ose. So the mind that has ac7"ired 0erfect concentration is. ener%y. and to search into it /ith the stron% li%ht of an acti+e com0rehension.B in /hich the mind 5ecomes di+inely ill"mined. A fiery nat"re /ill most ra0idly scale the hei%hts of Tr"th in meditation. By concentration a man can scale the hi%hest hei%hts of %eni"s. and more radiant life than the merely /orldly and 0leas"re lo+in% life. and not a /ea9 /anderer amid chaotic tho"%ht. #e /ho has 0erfected himself in concentration is a5le. . and %"ide them to/ards definite ends. he en%a%es in as"iration : and /hen he earnestly concentrates his tho"%hts "0on the findin% of that life. & hen a man intensely desires to reach and realiAe a hi%her. 5rin%s into 0lay. The 0erfection of concentration is 0o/er: the 0erfection of meditation is wisdo! . 5"t it is the rest. & itho"t intense as0iration. and ma9es leaders and teachers of men. leads to "sef"lness: the second leads to s9ill. . to 5rin% his tho"%hts to a 0oint "0on any matter. 3n the de+elo0ment of concentration. he m"st meditate. as in all o5Dects of %ro/th.

he comes to lo+e Tr"th so f"lly and intensely as to 5ecome /holly a5sor5ed in it. association. Saints. and sorro/: 5"t /hen a man 5e%ins to train his mind in meditation. tho"%hts tend to re0eat themsel+es /ith %reater and %reater ease and fre7"ency: and so Bfi=B the character in a %i+en direction 5y 0rod"cin% that a"tomatic action /hich is called Bha5it. the man of meditation forms the ha5it of 0"re and enli%htened thin9in% /hich leads to 0"re and enli%htened actions and /ell 0erformed d"ties. sa+iorsC /ise men and di+ine teachers C are the finished 0rod"cts of holy meditation. emotions. for he 5ecomes stron%er. a5o+e all thin%s else. The fo"r sta%es in concentration are 5ro"%ht into 0lay in meditation: the difference 5et/een the t/o 0o/ers 5ein% one of direction . and /iser. /hereas the 0rocess of 0"rification is inse0ara5le from meditation. and is therefore inter/o+en /ith 0ractical 0"rity and ri%hteo"sness. A man can 0ractice concentration /itho"t 0"rifyin% his heart and life. he %rad"ally %ains control o+er this in/ard conflict 5y 5rin%in% his tho"%hts to a foc"s "0on a central 0rinci0le. -"rification of the heart 5y re0etiti+e tho"%ht on 0"re thin%s. manifestin% his attainment in 0"re actions. calmer. The o5Dect of meditation is di+ine enli%htenment. there is that 5alance and 0oise of character. and mystery of life@ th"s contem0latin%. 2. Attainment of di+ine 9no/led%e 5y em5odyin% s"ch 0"rity in 0ractical life. By 0ractice. Meditation is more diffic"lt to 0ractice than concentration 5eca"se it in+ol+es a m"ch more se+ere self disci0line than that /hich o5tains in concentration. .C 5"t 5y meditation. art. holier. in a serene and /ise life. 0ro5lems. Th"s a man as0ires to 9no/ and realiAe. the Tr"th: he then %i+es attention to cond"ct. they ac7"ire s9ill in life itself : in ri%ht li+in%. to self 0"rification@ %i+in% attention to these thin%s. and is a 0"rified 5ein%.. "ncertainty. sol+in% one 5y one the 0ro5lems of life. and. that di+ine action in re"ose . By the ceaseless re0etition of 0"re tho"%hts. the time s0ent in act"al meditation is short C 0erha0s only half an ho"r in the early mornin% C the 9no/led%e %ained in that half ho"r of +i+id as0iration and concentrated tho"%ht is em5odied in 0ractice d"rin% the /hole day. and his life and character are determined 5y the tho"%hts in /hich he ha5it"ally d/ells. 0assions. the di+ine life: the intense d/ellin%. and there are restlessness. and not of nat"re. in tho"%ht. at first. men ac7"ire skill in the doin% of the thin%s of life C in science. etc. the mind is dra/n a/ay from its /anderin%s in a m"ltit"de of desires. /isdom. The maDority of men li+e in a series of conflictin% desires. he at last 5ecomes one /ith those tho"%hts. he 0asses into serio"s conte!"lation of the facts. sa%es.B By daily d/ellin% "0on 0"re tho"%hts. etc. Man is a thought being . and s0ec"lations. Meditation is therefore s"iritual concentration : the 5rin%in% of the mind to a foc"s in its search for the di+ine 9no/led%e. trade. /hich is the a5idin% calm and 0eace of an emanci0ated and enli%htened mind. enli%htenment.By concentration. on Tr"th. Th"s /hile. 3n meditation. and ha5it. the attainment of Tr"th. realiAes that 0rofo"nd "nion /ith Tr"th /hich is the state of a5straction: and th"s a5sor5ed in Tr"th. the entire life of a man is in+ol+ed: and as he ad+ances in its 0ractice he 5ecomes more and more fitted to 0erform the d"ties of life in the circ"mstances in /hich he may 5e 0laced. therefore. namely@ 1. The 0rinci0le of meditation is t/ofold. to life.

There are certain si%ns 5y /hich one can 9no/ /hether he is en%a%in% in re+erie or meditation. 2. $.s /orldly res0onsi5ilities. and "ntil this condition of mind is reached. A decrease of ir9someness in the 0erformance of d"ty. An increasin% distaste for one. meditation is im0ossi5le. 2e+erie is easy and 0leas"ra5le: meditation is at first diffic"lt and ir9some. (. The t/o m"st not 5e confo"nded. '. then 0rofita5le. then sens"o"s. The indications of re+erie are@ 1. '. The indications of meditation are@ 1. 0"r0osef"l thin9in% into /hich a man rises. A desire to e=0erience the 0leas"res of dreamin%. or /hilin% a/ay the time in idle dreamin% <ha5its to /hich the /ord meditation is fre7"ently a00lied>.s /orldly d"ties. A desire to shir9 one. 6ear of conse7"ences. This is a fatal error /hich m"st 5e a+oided 5y one stri+in% to meditate. *. Meditation is first for5iddin%. 2e+erie is dan%ero"s: it "ndermines self control. and there is increasin% harmony and insi%ht. !. are +ery far remo+ed from meditation. A /ish to %et money /ith as little effort as 0ossi5le. $. and then sens"al. 2e+erie is first all"rin%. !. )ac9 of self control. and the ne/ ha5its of 0"re and enli%htened tho"%ht and action are formed: the man 5ecomes more and more reconciled to Tr"th. 2. 3ncrease of 5oth 0hysical and mental ener%y. Meditation is 0rotecti+e: it esta5lishes self control. A desire to a+oid e=ertion.3n this /ay the old ha5its of im0"re and erroneo"s tho"%ht and action are 5ro9en "0. 3t is easy to mista9e re+erie for meditation. A 0o/erf"l and lofty as0iration to/ards Tr"th is al/ays accom0anied /ith a 9een sense of the sorro/ and 5re+ity and mystery of life. a %ro/in% 0erfection and 0eace. 2e+erie thri+es in indolence and l"="ry: meditation arises from stren"o"sness and disci0line. and then 0eacef"l. Merely m"sin%. 6reedom from fear. in the lofty s0irit"al sense /hich /e attach to that condition. A stren"o"s stri+in% after /isdom. A fi=ed determination to faithf"lly f"lfill all /orldly res0onsi5ilities. 2e+erie is a loose dreamin% into /hich a man falls: meditation is a stron%. .

(. &hile /earin% %ay clothin%. and Conditions in /hich Meditation is 3m0ossi5le@ 1. 2. *. -laces. At. Times. -laces and Conditions in /hich Meditation is Diffic"lt@ 1. &hile /al9in% ra0idly. &hile lyin% in 5ed in the mornin%. &hen the 5ody is /eary. -laces. meals. Gery early in the mornin%. are as follo/s@ Times. and Conditions in /hich it is Best to Meditate@ 1. '.(. /hich sho"ld 5e 9no/n and caref"lly o5ser+ed. 3f the 5ody is %i+en too m"ch food. Times. and others /herein meditation is rendered more accessi5le: and these. !. *. 3n 0laces of 0leas"re. or immediately after. 2. &hile sittin% on a soft. There are certain times. 3n the o0en air or in a 0lainly f"rnished room. !. &hen in com0any. and conditions in and "nder /hich it is im0ossi5le to meditate. $. At ni%ht. . &hile smo9in%. '. 3n a l"="rio"sly f"rnished room. 3mmediately 5efore meals. others /herein it is diffic"lt to meditate. !. $. &hile lyin% on a co"ch or 5ed for 0hysical or mental rela=ation. *. yieldin% seat. (. 3n cro/ded 0laces. $. 2. -ossession of self control. 3ndifference to riches. 3n solit"de. 0laces.

Em0ty /hims. The 8reat )eaders of the race are the mental . 0rocess.s o/n condition that they are d/elt "0on lo+in%ly and /ith concentrated de+otion. All s"ccessf"l men are men of 0"r0ose. l"="ry.. 3n this /ay as0iration and concentration harmonio"sly com5ine to 0rod"ce. /isdom. Mere mechanical re0etition is /orthless.'. 3t /ill 5e seen 5y the fore%oin% instr"ctions that ease. ma9e meditation com0arati+ely easy. 5rood "0on it. 5"t sho"ld 5e at its hi%hest 0oint of ener%y and stren%th. The 5ody. 5y the mental re0etition of a lofty 0rece0t. *. 3t 5inds and holds to%ether in a com0lete /hole that /hich /o"ld other/ise lie scattered and "seless. and ind"l%ence </hich ind"ce re+erie> render meditation diffic"lt. and 0eace: and /ill s"rely eat of the s/eet fr"its of holy meditation.o!an layin% his road. and /hen stron%ly 0rono"nced ma9e it im0ossi5le: /hile stren"o"sness. 3t sho"ld not 5e tired. -"r0ose is hi%hly concentrated tho"%ht. the mind that is ready for meditation /ill instincti+ely ado0t this 0ractice. As0iration can often 5est 5e aro"sed. one after another. &hile sittin% on a hard seat. T#E -O&E2 O6 -F2-OSE D3S-E2S3ON is /ea9ness: concentration is 0o/er. (. and half hearted resol"tions ha+e no 0lace in 0"r0ose. and self denial </hich dis0el re+erie>. and /ho stri+e and 0erse+ere. The /ords re0eated m"st 5e so a00lica5le to one. All the mental ener%ies are directed to the attainment of an o5Dect. and the mind rene/ed in meditation. a 5ea"tif"l sentence or a +erse of 0oetry. and o5stacles /hich inter+ene 5et/een the thin9er and the o5Dect are. too. +a%"e desires. in d"e season. Destr"ction is a scatterin%. e0hemeral fancies. 0reser+ation a "nitin%. 5liss. and /ill not let it %o: they cherish it. /itho"t "nd"e strain. &hen the 5ody is modestly and 0lainly clothed. and e+en a hindrance. 3n the s"stained determination to accom0lish there is an in+inci5le 0o/er /hich s/allo/s "0 all inferior considerations. they ha+e follo/ed alon% a /ell defined 0ath. Thin%s are "sef"l and tho"%hts are 0o/erf"l in the meas"re that their 0arts are stron%ly and intelli%ently concentrated. The men /ho ha+e molded the destinies of h"manity ha+e 5een men mi%hty of 0"r0ose. the har+est of 0"rity. 5ro9en do/n and o+ercome. they ref"se to 5e 5e%"iled into s"rrender: indeed. )i9e the . and marches direct to +ictory. tend and de+elo0 it: and /hen assailed 5y diffic"lties. the state of meditation. and sho"ld 5e caref"lly noted and d"ly o5ser+ed 5y all /ho are stri+in% to ac7"ire the 0ractice: and those /ho faithf"lly follo/ the instr"ctions. . 3ndeed. -"r0ose is the 9eystone in the tem0le of achie+ement. sho"ld 5e neither o+erfed nor star+ed: neither in ra%s nor fla"ntin%ly clothed. &hen the 5ody is stron% and +i%oro"s. a 0roDect. a 0lan. and ha+e ref"sed to s/er+e aside e+en /hen tort"re and death confronted them. the intensity of the 0"r0ose increases /ith the %ro/in% ma%nit"de of the o5stacles enco"ntered. as the holdin% of the mind to a concentrated train of s"5tle and lofty tho"%ht re7"ires a hi%h de%ree of 5oth 0hysical and mental ener%y. disci0line. All the conditions a5o+e stated are of the "tmost im0ortance in the early sta%es of meditation. /ill not fail to %ather in. They hold fast to an idea.

%reatness. irresisti5le.road ma9ers. 0o/er. be soul the have the head !atters charged a! the not fell whined clutch nor of cried of but strait the the !y circu!stance aloud0 chance unbowed gate. Tr"ly. rain "0on him. do not s"5d"e him: and fail"res are ste0s in the ladder of s"ccess. 0ains. 3n an Ale=ander. The man of fi=ed 0"r0ose /ho. An "nderta9in% com0leted. "ole. "$ut 2lack + For +n + *nder My +t 4ow + of as thank the the "it whatever !y night fro! that "ole gods uncon1uerable covers to !ay !e. /hether mis"nderstandin%s and fo"l acc"sations. /e 0ercei+e its +aster 0o/er /hen its co"rse is alon% hea+enly and im0ersonal 0aths. A %reat mind /ill al/ays 5e %reat of 0"r0ose. All thin%s at last yield to the silent. T#E JO4 O6 ACCOM-)3S#MENT JO4 is al/ays the accom0animent of a tas9 s"ccessf"lly accom0lished. /ho ste0s aside from his resol+e in order to 0lease others and %ain their a00ro5ation. There are lesser and %reater 0"r0oses accordin% /ith de%rees of intelli%ence. a B"ddha. the man of "nla/f"l 0"r0ose /ill. or a Na0oleon. 8reat is the 0o/er of 0"r0ose. -"r0ose %oes /ith intelli%ence. & hat can resist an "nsha9a5le 0"r0oseE &hat can stand a%ainst it or t"rn it asideE 3nert matter yields to a li+in% force. B& hen a man has done his d"ty. /e see the 0o/er of 0"r0ose /hen it is directed in /orldly and 0ersonal channels: in a Conf"ci"s. or a Christ. /ill not %reatly achie+e: the +ain man. /ill fail. let a man st"dy it in the li+es of those /hose infl"ence has sha0ed the ends of nations and directed the destinies of the /orld. bludgeoning is not with !aster how bloody "unish!ent of + a! the ca"tain of !y soul " 11. all con7"erin% ener%y of 0"r0ose. or flatteries and fair 0romises. al/ays 5rin%s rest and satisfaction. A /ea9 intelli%ence /ill 5e /itho"t 0"r0ose. /ho thin9s to com0romise his 0"r0ose. does not yield a fraction of his resol+e. for he is e+er conscio"s of the certainty of final achie+ement. and man9ind follo/s in the intellect"al and s0irit"al 0aths /hich they ha+e car+ed o"t and 5eaten. 3t only needs that he daily rene/ the fire and ener%y of his fi=ed resol+e. A driftin% mind ar%"es a meas"re of "nde+elo0ment. 5"t the man of %ood and la/f"l 0"r0ose cannot fail. /ill not hi%hly achie+e: the do"5le minded man. a Caesar. in achie+in% his ends. losses. is the man of e=cellence and achie+ement: of s"ccess. /ho %rie+es 5eca"se he is mis"nderstood. to cons"mmate his o5Dect. #indrances stim"late the man of 0"r0ose: diffic"lties ner+e him to rene/ed e=ertion: mista9es. destroy himself. he is li%ht . The /ea9 man. and circ"mstance s"cc"m5s to the 0o/er of 0"r0ose. scroll0 fate. or a 0iece of /or9 done. To 9no/ ho/ %reat.

)ife and action are synonymo"s. On the other hand. the Doy /hich s"0er+enes "0on the 0erfection of 0"r0ose is s"re. does the an%el of Doy /ait "0on his footste0s and minister "nto him: for he /ho is an=io"s to learn. sits do/n at last to eat of the fr"its of his la5or. E+ery s"ccessf"l accom0lishment. then in %reater. and then in %reater still. and does not /or9 to the f"ll e=tent of his ca0acity.hearted and ha00y. 5y o+ercomin% diffic"lties. m"st man stri+e: "ntil at last he is 0re0ared to ma9e the s"0reme effort. is mastered at lastH The athlete. first in his character and last in his 5ody and circ"mstances. Of all misera5le men. and stri+e for the accom0lishment of Tr"th. and forfeits manliness and self res0ect. After many years of "n%r"d%in% toil. the shir9er is the most misera5le. and immediately a man tries to esca0e e=ertion. ea%er to 9no/. does act"ally 0erish.B says Carlyle: and it is a moral la/ that the man /ho a+oids d"ty. /ho has trained his 5ody thro"%h lon% months or years of disci0line and strain. and /ho 0"ts forth efforts to accom0lish. is richly 5lessed in his increased health and stren%th: and is met /ith the reDoicin%s of his friends /hen he carries home the 0riAe from the field of contest. 6irst in little thin%s. All life is a str"%%le: 5oth /itho"t and /ithin there are conditions a%ainst /hich man m"st contend: his +ery e=istence is a series of efforts and accom0lishments. s"cceedin% in /hich. B#e /ho /ill not /or9 accordin% to his fac"lty. is am0ly re0aid in the ha00y ass"rance of /ell earned s"ccess: and the hortic"lt"rist. the heart of the scholar is %laddened /ith the ad+anta%es and 0o/ers /hich learnin% 5esto/s. finds the Doy /hich eternally sin%s at the heart of the "ni+erse. or /ith the enemies of +irt"e and tr"th /ithin. The 5"siness man. a Doy /hich does not a%ain lea+e him. is re0aid /ith its o/n meas"re of Doy: and in s0irit"al thin%s. The stri+er after +irt"e C he /ho is en%a%ed in the holy tas9 of 5"ildin% "0 a no5le character C tastes.B says Emerson: and no matter ho/ insi%nificant the tas9 may a00ear. his mind is al/ays "neasy and dist"r5ed. +i%oro"sly contendin% /ith the st"55orn soil. the ener%etic increase in life 5y the f"ll e=ercise of their 0o/ers. . he /ill realiAe the eternal Doy. e+en in /orldly thin%s. either 0hysical or mental. and 5y 5rin%in% to com0letion tas9s /hich coiled for the stren"o"s "se of mind or m"scle. let him 0erish accordin% to his necessity. Thin9in% to find ease and ha00iness in a+oidin% diffic"lt d"ties and necessary tas9s. at e+ery ste0 of con7"est o+er self. he 5ecomes 5"rdened /ith an in/ard sense of shame. /hich re7"ire the e=0endit"re of la5or and e=ertion. lon% la5ored o+er. and his ri%ht to remain amon% men as a "sef"l "nit of h"manity de0ends "0on the meas"re of his ca0acity for /restlin% s"ccessf"lly /ith the elements of nat"re /itho"t. %ra00lin% incessantly /ith diffic"lties and dra/5ac9s. 3t is demanded of man that he shall contin"e to stri+e after 5etter thin%s. he has commenced to decay. dee0 and a5idin%. some in%rained fa"lt of character is at last cast o"t to tro"5le its erst/hile +ictim and the /orld no more. 5"t /hich 5ecomes an inte%ral 0art of his s0irit"al nat"re. after inn"mera5le and a00arently "ns"ccessf"l attem0ts. after %reater 0erfection. 8reat is the heartfelt Doy <al5eit ineffa5le> /hen. #o/ ha00y is a child /hen a school lesson. after hi%her and still hi%her achie+ements: and in accordance /ith the meas"re of his o5edience to this demand. the doin% of it faithf"lly and /ith /hole so"led ener%y al/ays res"lts in cheerf"lness and 0eace of mind.

Blessed is the man /ho stri+es a%ainst his o/n selfishness: he /ill taste in its f"llness the Doy of accom0lishment.The 0rice of life is effort: the acme of effort is accom0lishment: the re/ard of accom0lishment is Doy. .

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