James Allen was a British philosophical writer and a poet. He was born in Leicester, England on 28 November 1864. His most famous book is “As a Man Thinketh”, first published in 1903.
Allen works were mostly about complex and delicate subjects as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion. And he had a unique ability to explain these subjects in a way that made them simple and easy to be understood, even by the average people. Such topics as cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief were all part of what Allen wrote about.
Other Books By James Allen Are:
- Byways of Blessedness in 1904,
- The Life Triumphant: Mastering the Heart and Mind in 1908,
- The Mastery of Destiny in 1909,
- Foundation Stones to Happiness and Success, 1913.
- Men and Systems in 1914 and more.
Now that we have gotten some insights into the person of James Allen, let’s consider his book of the day, “As A Man Thinketh” and how we can profit from it.
Man And Self-Reflection
“Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes, And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills, Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills. He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass. Environment is but his looking-glass.”
This is the first piece from the book and the rest is just as deep and inviting for refection. Do you want to reflect on your actions and what you want? It all starts with a little spike in your head, your thought and this is what I mean in two questions:
- Have you been going around with the idea that life merely happens to you?
- Have you be thinking that you have no saying of what will eventually become your reality, whether of tomorrow of in ten years from now?
I think you get where I am going and if your answer is “yes”, then be ready, because this book is going to challenge you. It’s going to make you reconsider that you are, or at least in a huge part, responsible for what happens in your life, through the power of your thought.
Of course, I never said, nor did the book suggest that if you were born blind, you parents were poor and could not send you to school or you were abused as a child that it is your fault.
However, apart from those few extreme cases, you do have or able to have control over your thoughts and therefore what manifests in your life. But what do most people do? They give that power away for others to do the thinking for them and they do generally live with the costly consequences of such error.
Thought And Purpose
“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose,” said Allen becomes a creative force: “He who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations. He who does this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental powers.”
Just for the curiosity, have you asked yourself why, throughout this year, 2020 we have chosen to talk about life purpose? In fact, it’s not just about a purpose, but a clear purpose, and if you have been checking our videos and articles, especially since this January, you would realise how much importance we have been placing on this particular argument.
My friends, the reason for doing something or anything is everything. And like Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher once said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”? So, what is your purpose, what are you fighting for?
“In all human affairs,” said Allen, “there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished and visions realized.”
And of vision, Allen told us in this book and I quote:
On Visions And Principles
“And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the Vision, not the idle wish of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate toward that which you, secretly, most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts. You will receive that which you earn, no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”
Beware Of Ignorance And Conventional Beliefs
If you take a good look around you, you will realise that the general people do not understand what we are here talking about.
They believe that life happens to them, with little effort on their part. By that I mean, many people, including your friends and family members might be strongly convinced of the idea that someone in the sky has already designed their lives for them, so there is no need to bend the hand of that destiny or divine design.
Have you heard of that before? It will be interesting to pay more attention next time. Many of us have been subjected to that rather superstitious and degenerating view of life. And to that erroneous mindset, Allen would say:
“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky he is!” Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim, “How highly favoured he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!”
They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the Vision of their heart.
They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it “luck”. They do not see the long and arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune,” do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it chance.”
Serenity And Calmness
The Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
“A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.”
“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good.” “Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.”
Your Take Away From This Book
This is a beautiful book, I must say. It’s a beautiful book and you need to read it. And this is what you can take away from this article today:
By mastering your thoughts, you can change your life because it all begins from your thoughts. Look around you; all the beautiful things that men have created are all products of their thoughts. So what are you thinking? And this is all we can take from the book today, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen
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See you in the class.