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As A Man Thinketh- Quotes from Various James Allen Writings

Posted by on July 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

James Allen ( 1864-1912) is the writer of As A Man Thinketh, a 1912 book which turned mens thinking upside down in the early years of the century. Considered by some a book of religious thought and by others as the first “self-help” book, it has remained a recommended guide for those who seek to understand the power of thought in the process of obtaining your goals. The name of my life coaching business, The Eight Pillars of Success, come from Allen’s 1910 book The Eight Pillars of Prosperity. In that book Allen discusses the eight pillars that when added to a firm foundation of integrity and character. It seeks for men to look for significance in other ways than just financial. Here, below are some James Allens mediations taken from his various writings. In them, he asks the readers to concentrate not on self, but others and on God. In doing so, a man becomes blameless and finds peace. He who finds self-control finds Truth Blessed are they who earnestly and intelligently seek . The outward life harmonizes itself with the inward music. The process is also one of simplification of the mind, a sifting away of all but the essential gold in character. He lives no longer for himself, he lives for others: and so living, he enjoys the highest bliss, the deepest peace. Apart from the earnest striving to live out the teachings of Jesus there can be no true life. That which is above all creeds, beliefs, and opinions is a loving and self-sacrificing heart. To dwell in love always and towards all is to live the true life, is to have Life itself. Sin and Christ cannot dwell together, and he who accepts the Christ-life of pure Goodness ceases from sin. When Christ is disputed about, Christ is lost . The narrow way is the Way of Renunciation, or self- sacrifice. A man can learn nothing unless he regards himself as a learner. How am I acting towards others? "What am I doing for others?" "How am I thinking of others?" "Are my thoughts of, and acts towards others, prompted by unselfish love, as I would theirs should be to me; or are they the outcome of personal dislike, of petty revenge, or of narrow bigotry and condemnation?" As a man, in the sacred silence of his soul, asks himself these searching questions, applying all his thoughts and acts to the spirit of the primary precept of the Christ, his understanding will become illuminated, so that he will unerringly see where he has hitherto failed; and he will see what he has got to do in rectifying his heart and conduct, and the way in which it is to be done. Evil is not worth resisting. The practice of the good is supremely excellent. He who will keep the precepts of Jesus will conquer himself, and will become divinely illuminated Humanity is essentially divine. Jesus, in His divine goodness, knew the human heart, and He knew that it was good. He who would find how good at heart men are, let him throw away all his ideas and suspicions about the "evil" in others, and find and practice the good within himself. Man has within him the divine power by which he can rise to the highest heights of spiritual achievement; by which he can shake off sin and shame and sorrow, and do the will of the Father, the Supreme Good; by which he can conquer all the powers of darkness within, and stand radiant and free; by which he can subdue the world, and scale the lofty pinnacles of God. This man can, by choice, by resolve, and by his divine strength, accomplish; but he can only accomplish it in and by obedience; he must choose meekness and lowliness of heart; he must abandon strife for peace; passion for purity; hatred for love; self-seeking for self-sacrifice, and must overcome evil with good. This is the holy way of Truth; this is the safe and abiding salvation; this is the yoke and burden of the Christ. The Gospel of Jesus is a Gospel of living and doing. Pure Goodness is religion, and outside it there is no religion. They are the doers of the Father’s will who shape their conduct to the Divine precepts. The teaching of Jesus brings men back to the simple truth that righteousness, or right-doing, is entirely a matter of individual conduct, and not a mystical something apart from a man’s thoughts and actions, and that each must be righteous for himself; each must be a doer of the word, and it is a man’s own doing that brings him peace and gladness of heart, not the doing of another. It is only the doer of forgiveness who tastes the sweets of forgiveness. The Christ is the Spirit of Love. In this Principle of Love, all knowledge, Intelligence, and Wisdom are contained. Love is not complete until it is lived by man. Daily practicing love towards all in heart and mind and deed, harboring no injurious or impure thoughts, he discovers the imperishable Principles of his being. Man’s only refuge from sin is sinless Love. Before a man can know Love as the abiding reality within him, he must utterly abandon all those human tendencies which frustrate us perfect manifestation. A man can only consciously ally himself to the Vine of Love by deserting all strife, and hatred, and condemnation, and impurity, and pride, and self-seeking, and by thinking and doing loving deeds. Every time a man gives way to anger, impatience, greed, pride, vanity, or any form of personal selfishness, he denies the Christ; he shuts himself out from Love. As self is the root cause of all strife and suffering, so Love is the root cause of all peace and bliss. Those who are at rest in the Kingdom do not look for happiness in any outward possession. They see that all such possessions are mere transient effects that come when they are required, and, after their purpose is served, pass away. They never think of these things (money, clothing, food, etc.) except as mere accessories and effects of the true Life. They are, therefore, freed from all anxiety and trouble, and, resting in Love, they are the embodiment of Happiness. Standing upon the imperishable Principles of Purity, Compassion, Wisdom, and Love, they are immortal, and know they are immortal; they are one with God, the Supreme Good, and know they are one with God. Seeing the realities of things, they can find no room anywhere for condemnation. All so-called evil is seen to be rooted in ignorance. Heaven is not a speculative thing beyond the tomb but a real, ever-present Heaven in the heart . The only salvation recognized and taught by Jesus is salvation from sin, and the effects of sin, here and now; and this must be effected by utterly abandoning sin, which, having done, the Kingdom of God is realized in the heart as a state of perfect knowledge, perfect blessedness, perfect peace. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." A man must become a new creature, and how can he become new except by utterly abandoning the old? That man’s last state is worse than his first who imagines that, though still continuing to cling to his old temper, his old opinionativeness, his old vanity, his old selfishness, he is constituted a new creature in some mysterious and unexplainable way by the adoption of some particular theology or religious formula. Heaven is where Love rules and where peace is never absent The Kingdom of Heaven is perfect trust, perfect knowledge, and perfect peace. The children of the Kingdom are known by their life. They manifest the fruits of the Spirit—"love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, self-control "—under all circumstances and vicissitudes. They are entirely free from anger, fear, suspicion, jealousy, caprice, anxiety, and grief. Living in the Righteousness of God, they manifest qualities which are the very reverse of those which obtain in the world, and which are regarded by the world as foolish. That Kingdom is in the heart of every man and woman. Find the Kingdom by daily effort and patient work. The Temple of Righteousness is built, and its four walls are the four Principles—Purity, Wisdom, Compassion, Love. Peace is its roof, its floor is Steadfastness, its entrance door is Selfless Duty, its atmosphere is Inspiration, and its music is the Joy of the perfect. Pay the price...the unconditional abandonment of self. All things are possible now, and only now. Now is the reality in which time is contained. It is more and greater than time; it is an ever-present reality. It knows neither past nor future, and is eternally potent and substantial. Live every minute, every day, every year is a dream as soon as it has passed, and exists only as an imperfect and unsubstantial picture in the memory, if it be not entirely obliterated. Past and future are dreams; now is a reality. All things are now; all power, all possibility, all action is now. Not to act and accomplish now is not to act and accomplish at all. To live in thoughts of what you might have done, or in dreams of what you mean to do, this is folly; but to put away regret, to anchor anticipation, and to do and to work now, this is wisdom. Man has all power now. Man has all power now; but not knowing this, he says, "I will be perfect next year, or, in so many years, or in so many lives." The dwellers in the Kingdom of God, who live only in the now, say, I am perfect now, and refraining from all sin now, and ceaselessly guarding all the portals of the mind, not looking to the past nor to the future, nor turning to the left or right, they remain eternally holy and blessed. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Say to yourself, "I will live in my Ideal now; I will be my Ideal now; and all that tempts me away from my Ideal I will not listen to; I will listen only to the voice of my Ideal. "Thus resolving, and thus doing, you shall not depart from the Highest, and shall eternally manifest the Truth. Be resolute. Be of single purpose. Renew your resolution daily. In the hour of temptation do not depart from the right path. Avoid excitement. When passions are aroused, restrain and subdue them. When the mind would wander, bring it back to rest on higher things. Do not think—"I can get Truth from the Teacher, or from the books." You can acquire Truth only by practice. The teacher and the books can do no more than give instructions; and you must apply them. Put away all wavering and doubt, and practice the lessons of wisdom with unlimited faith. Avoid exaggerations. The Truth is sufficient. Speak only words which are truthful and sincere . Do not deceive either by word, look, or gesture. Avoid slander as you would a deadly snake, lest you be caught in its toils. He who speaks evil of another cannot find the way of peace. Put away all dissipations of idle gossip. Do not talk about the private affairs of others, or discuss the ways of Society, or criticize the eminent. Gravity and reverence are marks of purity and wisdom. Do not dispute about Truth, but live it. The man of unconquerable integrity is invincible; he cannot be confounded, and he escapes from the painful mazes of doubt and bewilderment. If one should abuse or accuse, or speak ill of you, remain silent and self-controlled, striving to understand that the wrong-doer cannot injure you unless you retaliate, and allow yourself to be carried away by the same wrong condition of mind. Strive, also, to meet the evil-doer with compassion, seeing how he is injuring himself. The pure-minded cannot think, "I have been injured by another." They know no enemy but self. Let your charity increase and extend till self is swallowed up in kindness. Bear no ill-will. Subdue anger and overcome hatred. Think of all, and act towards all, with the same unalterable kindness and compassion. Do not, under the severest trial, give way to bitterness, or words of resentment; but meet anger with calmness, mockery with patience, and hatred with love. Be strong, energetic, and steadfast. Be right-minded, intelligent, and clear-seeing. Bring reason to bear on all things. Test all things. Be eager to know and understand. Be logical in thought. Be consistent in word and action. Bring the searchlight of knowledge to bear on your condition of mind, in order to simplify it and remove its errors. Question yourself with searching scrutiny. Let go of belief, hearsay, and speculation, and lay hold on knowledge. Truth is. There is no chaos. Train your mind to grasp the Great Law of Causation which is unfailing justice. Find no room for hatred, no room for self, no room for sorrow. Be self-reliant, but let thy self-reliance be saintly and not selfish. Unfailing Wisdom is found only by constant practice in pure thinking and well-doing; by harmonizing one's mind and heart to those things which are beautiful, lovable, and true.

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