James Allen

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As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. 1968, Missouri.

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.

The man who shrinks from self-crucifixion can never accomplish the object upon which his heart is set. This is as true of earthly as of heavenly things.

Even the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object.”

“…Man is the cause (though usually unconsciously) of circumstances, and that, while aiming at a good end, he is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thought and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end.”

 

“Circumstances are so complicated, thought it so deeply rooted, and the conditions of happiness vary so vastly with individuals, that a man’s entire soul condition (although it may be known to himself) cannot be judged by another.

A man may be in honest in certain directions, yet suffer privations; as a man may be dishonest in certain directions, yet acquire wealth.

 

But the conclusion usually formed that one man fails because of his particular dishonesty, and another prospers because of his particular honesty, is the result of superficial judgment, which assumes that the dishonest man is almost totally corrupt, and the honest man almost entirely virtuous.

In light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience, such judgment is completely erroneous. The dishonest man may have some admirable traits the honest man does not possess, and the honest man obnoxious vices absent in the dishonest.

The honest man reaps the good results of his honest thoughts and acts; he also brings upon himself the sufferings which his vices produce. The dishonest man likewise harvests his own suffering and happiness.

 

It is pleasing to human vanity to believe that we suffer because of our virtue.

But not until a man has uprooted every sickly, bitter, and impure thought from his mind, and washed every single stain from his soul, can he be in a position to know and declare that his sufferings are the result of his good [or] his bad qualities.

Yet long before he has reached that supreme perfection he will have found, working in his mind and life, the great law of justice in which good cannot produce evil, nor evil good.

Possessed of this knowledge, he then will know, looking back upon his past ignorance and blindness, that his life is, and always was, justly ordered, and that all his past experiences, good and bad, were the equitable working of his evolving, yet unevolved self.” p.28-29

 

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