As A Man Thinketh-James Allen-Full Audio Book



you forward this little volume the result of meditation and experience is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much written upon subject of the power of thought it is suggestive rather than explanatory its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that they themselves are makers of themselves by virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage that mind is the master weaver both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance and that as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness James Allen broad Park Avenue Ilfracombe England as a man thinketh thought and character the aphorism as a man thinketh in his heart so is he not only embraces the whole of a man's being but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life a man is literally what he thinks his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts as the plant Springs from and could not be without the seed so every aspect of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought and could not have appeared without them this applies equally to those acts called spontaneous and unpremeditated as to those which are deliberately executed act is the blossom of thought and joy and suffering are its fruits thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruit äj– of his own husbandry thought in the mind hath made us what we are by thought was wrought and built if a man's mind hath evil thoughts pain comes on him as comes the wheel the arcs behind if one endure in purity of thought joy follows him as his own shadow sure man is a growth by law and not a creation by artifice and cause and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things a noble and godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking the effect of long cherished association with godlike thoughts an ignoble and bestial character by the same process is the result of the continued harbouring of grovelling thoughts man is made or unmade by himself in the armoury of thoughts he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace by the right choice and true application of thought man ascends to the divine perfection by the abuse and wrong application of thought he descends below the level of the Beast between these two extremes are all the grades of character and man is their maker and master of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age none is more gladdening or more fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this that man is the master of thought the molder of character and the maker and shaper of conditioned environment and destiny as a being of power intelligence and love and the lord of his own thoughts man holds the key to every situation and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what He wills man is always the master even in his weaker and mo abandoned state but in his weakness and degradation he is the foolish master who miss governs his household when he begins to reflect upon his condition and to search diligently for the law upon which his being is established he then becomes the wise master directing his energies with intelligence and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful issues such is the conscious master and man can only thus become by discovering within himself the laws of thought which discovery is totally a matter of application self analysis and experience only by much searching and mining our gold and diamonds obtained and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul and that he is the maker of his character the molder of his life and the Builder of his destiny he may unerring ly prove if he will watch control and alter his thoughts tracing their effects upon himself upon others and upon his life and circumstances linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation and utilizing his every experience even to the most trivial everyday occurrence as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself which is understanding wisdom power in this direction as in no other is the law absolute that he that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened for only by patience practice and ceaseless importunity can a man enter the door of the temple of knowledge Effect of thought on circumstances man's mind may be likened to a garden which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild but whether cultivated or neglected it must and will bring forth if no useful seeds are put into it than an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein and will continue to produce their kind just as a gardener cultivates his plot keeping it free from weeds and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires so may a man tend the garden of his mind weeding out all the wrong useless and impure thoughts and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right useful and pure thoughts by pursuing this process a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul the director of his life he also reveals within himself the laws of thought and understands with ever-increasing accuracy how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character circumstances and destiny thought and character are one and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance the outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state this does not mean that a man's circumstances at any given time are an indication of his entire character but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought element within himself that for the time being they are indispensable to his development every man is where he is by the law of his being the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him here and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance but all is the result of a law which cannot err this is just as true of those who feel out of harmony with their surroundings as of those who are contented with them as a progressive and evolving being man is where he is that he may learn that he may grow and as he learns the spiritual lesson which any circumstance contains for him it passes away and gives place to other circumstances man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions but when he realizes that he is a creative power and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow he then becomes the rightful master of himself that circumstances grow out of thought every man knows who has for any length of time practiced self-control and self-purification for he will have noticed that the alteration in his circumstances has been in exact ratio with his altered mental condition so true is this that when a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects in his character and makes swift and marked progress he passes rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes the soul attracts that which it secretly harbours that which it loves and also that which it fears it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations it falls to the level of its unchastened desires and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own every thoughts seeds sown or allowed to fall into the mind and to take root there produces its own blossoming sooner or later into act and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance go thoughts bear good fruit bad thoughts bad fruit the outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors which make for the ultimate good of the individual as the Reaper of his own harvest man learns both by suffering and Liss following the inmost desires aspirations thoughts by which he allows himself to be dominated pursuing the will of the wisps of impure imaginings or steadfastly walking the highway of strong and high endeavour a man at last arrives at their fruition and fulfilment in the outer conditions of his life the laws of growth and adjustment everywhere obtains a man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance but by the pathway of grovelling thoughts and base desires nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of any mere external force the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power circumstance does not make the man it reveals him to himself no such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations or ascending into virtue and it's pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations and man therefore as Lord and Master of thought is the maker of himself the shaper and author of environment even at birth the soul comes to its own and through every step of its earthly pilgrimage it attracts those combinations of conditions which reveal itself which are the reflections of its own purity and impurity its strength and weakness men do not attract that which they want but that which they are their whims fancies and ambitions are thwarted at every step but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own food be it foul or clean the divinity that shapes our ends is in ourselves it is our very self only himself manacles man thought and action are the jailers of fate they imprison being base they are also the Angels of freedom they liberate being noble not what he wishes and prays for does a man get but what he justly earns his wishes and prayers are only gratified and answer when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions in the light of this truth what then is the meaning of fighting against circumstances it means that a man is continually revolting against an effect without while all the time he is nourishing and preserving its cause in his heart that cause may take the form of a conscious vice or an unconscious weakness but whatever it is it stubbornly retards the efforts of its possessor and thus calls aloud for remedy men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves they therefore remain bound the man who does not shrink from self crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set this is as true of earthly as of heavenly beings even the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life here is a man who is wretchedly poor he is extremely anxious that his surroundings and home comforts should be improved yet all the time he shirks his work and considers he is justified in trying to deceive his employer on the ground of the insufficiency of his wages such a man does not understand the simplest rudiments of those principles which are the basis of true prosperity and is not only totally unfitted to rise out of his wretchedness but is actually attracting himself a still deeper wretchedness by dwelling in and acting out indolent deceptive and unmanly thoughts here is a rich man who is the victim of a painful and persistent Dizzy's as the result of gluttony he's willing to give large sums of money to get rid of it but he will not sacrifice his gluttonous desires he wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viens and have his health as well such a man is totally unfit to have health because he has not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life here is an employer of labour who adopts crooked measures to avoid paying the regulation wage and in the hope of making larger profits reduces the wages of his workpeople such a man is altogether unfitted for prosperity and when he finds himself bankrupt both as regards reputation and riches he blames circumstances not knowing that he is the sole author of his condition I have introduced these three cases merely as illustrative of the truth that man is the causer though nearly always is unconsciously of his circumstances and that whilst aiming at a good end he is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end such cases could be multiplied and varied almost indefinitely but this is not necessary as the listener can if he so resolves trace the action of the laws of thought in his own mind in life and until this is done mere external facts cannot serve as a ground of reasoning circumstances however are so complicated thought is so deeply rooted and the conditions of happiness vary so vastly with individuals that a man's entire sole condition although it may be known to himself cannot be judged by another from the external aspect of his life alone a man may be honest in certain directions yet suffer privations a man may be dishonest in certain directions yet acquire wealth but the conclusion usually formed that the one man fails because of his particular honesty and that the other prosper because of his particular dishonesty is the result of a superficial judgment which assumes that the dishonest man is almost totally corrupt and the honest man almost entirely virtuous in the light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience such judgment is found to be erroneous the dishonest man may have some admirable virtues which the other does not possess and the honest man obnoxious vices which are absent in the others 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 Garner's his own suffering and happiness it is pleasing to human vanity to believe that one suffers because of one's virtue but not until a man has extirpated every sickly bitter and impure thought from his mind and washed every sinful stain from his soul can he be in a position to know and declare that his sufferings are the result of his good and not of his bad qualities and on the way to yet long before he has reached that supreme perfection he will have found working in his mind and life the great law which is absolutely just and which cannot therefore give good for evil evil for good possessed of such knowledge he will then 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 outworking of his evolving yet unevolved self good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results this is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn nothing from nettles but Nettles men understand this law in the natural world and work with it but few understand it in the mental and moral world though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating and they therefore do not cooperate with it suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction it is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself with the law of his being the sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify to burn out all that is useless and impure suffering ceases for him who is pure there could be no object in burning gold after the dross had been removed and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer the circumstances which a man encounters with suffering are the result of his own mental inharmony the circumstances which a man encounters with blessedness are the result of his own mental harmony blessedness not material possessions is the measure of right thought wretchedness not lack of material possessions is the measure of wrong thought a man may be cursed and rich he may be blessed and poor blessedness and riches are only joined together when the riches are rightly and wisely used and the poor man only descends into wretchedness when he regards his lot as a burden unjustly imposed indigence and indulgence are the two extremes of wretchedness they are both equally unnatural and the result of mental disorder a man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy healthy and prosperous being and happiness health and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer of the man with his surroundings a man not only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life and as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition and builds himself up in strong and Noble thoughts ceases to kick against circumstances but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself law not confusion is the dominating principle in the universe justice not injustice is the soul and substance of life and righteousness not corruption is the moulding and moving force in the spiritual government of the world this being so man has but to write himself to find that the universe is right and during the process of putting himself right he will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people things and other people will alter towards him the proof of this truth is in every person and it therefore admits of easy investigation by systematic introspection and self-analysis let a man radically alter his thoughts and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will affect in the material conditions of his life men imagine that thought can be kept secret but it cannot it rapidly crystallizes into habit and habit solidifies into circumstance bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of drunkenness and sensuality which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances thoughts of fear doubt and indecision crystallize into weak unmanly and irresolute habits which solidify into circumstances of failure indigence and slavish dependence lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty which solidify into circumstances of foul Ness and beggary hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusation and violence which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of self-seeking which solidify into circumstances more or less distressing on the other hand beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindness which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace thoughts of courage self-reliance and decision crystallize into manly habits which solidify into circumstances of success plenty and freedom energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances loving and unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for others which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches a particular train of thought persisted in be it good or bad cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances a man cannot directly choose his circumstances but he can choose his thoughts and so indirectly yet surely shape his circumstances nature helps every man to the gratification of the thoughts which he most encourages and opportunities are presented which will most speedily bring to the surface both the good and evil thoughts let a man cease from his sinful thoughts and all the world will soften towards him and be ready to help him let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts and lo opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves let him encourage good thoughts and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame the world is your kaleidoscope and the varying combinations of colors which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts so you will be what you will to be let failure find its false content in that poor word environment but spirit scorns it and is free it masters time it conquers space it cowes that boastful trickster chance and bids the tyrant circumstance uncrown and fill a servant's place the human will that force unseen the offspring of a deathless soul can hew a way to any goal the walls of granite intervene be not impatient in delays but wait as one who understands when spirit Rises and commands the gods are ready to obey Effect of thought on health and the body the body is the servant of the mind it obeys the operations of the mind whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed at the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty disease and health like circumstances are rooted in thought sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body thoughts of fear have been known to kill a man as speedily as a bullet and they are continually killing thousands of people just as surely though less rapidly the people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body and lays it open to the entrance of disease while impure thoughts even if not physically indulged will soon shatter the nervous system strong pure and happy thoughts build up the body and vigour and grace the body is a delicate and plastic instrument which responds readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed and habits of thought will produce their own effects good or bad upon it men will continue to have impure and poisoned blood so long as they propagate unclean thoughts out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body thought is the fount of action life and manifestation make the fountain pure and all will be pure change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts when a man makes his thoughts pure he no longer desires impure food clean thoughts make clean habits the so called saint who does not wash his body is not a saint he who has strengthened and purified his thoughts does not need to consider the malevolent microbe if you would protect your body guard your mind if you would renew your body beautify your mind thoughts of malice Envy disappointment despondency robbed the body of its health and grace a sour face does not come by chance it is made by sour thoughts wrinkles that Mar are drawn by folly passion and pride I know a woman of ninety-six who has the bright innocent face of a girl I know a man well under middle-age whose face is drawn into inharmonious contours the one is the result of a sweet and sunny disposition the other is the outcome of passion and discontent as you cannot have a sweet and wholesome abode unless you admit the air and sunshine freely into your rooms so a strong body and a bright happy or serene countenance can only result from the free admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy and goodwill and serenity on the faces of the aged there are wrinkles made by sympathy others by strong and pure thought and others are carved by passion who cannot distinguish them with those who have lived righteously ages calm peaceful and softly mellowed like the Setting Sun I have recently seen a philosopher on his deathbed he was not old except in years he died as sweetly and peacefully as he had lived there is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body there is no comforter to compare with goodwill for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow to live continually in thoughts of ill will cynicism suspicion and envy is to be confined in a self-made prison hole but to think well of all to be cheerful with all to patiently learn to find the good in all such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring a bounding peace to their possessor thought and purpose until four is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment with the majority the bark of thought is allowed to drift upon the ocean of life aimlessness is a vice and such drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction they who have no central purpose in their life fallen easy prey to petty worries fears troubles and self-pitying 'he's all of which are indications of weakness which lead just as surely as deliberately planned sins though by a different route to failure unhappiness and loss for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe a man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart and set out to accomplish it he should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts it may take the form of a spiritual ideal or it may be a worldly object according to his nature at the time being but whichever it is he should steadily focus his thought forces upon the object which he has set before him he should make this purpose his supreme duty and should devote himself to its attainment not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies longings and imaginings this is the Royal Road to self-control and true concentration of thought even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success and this will form a new starting-point for future power and triumph those who are not prepared for the apprehension of a great purpose should fix the thoughts upon the faultless performance of their duty no matter how insignificant their task may appear only in this way can the thoughts be gathered and focused and resolution and energy be developed which being done there is nothing which may not be accomplished the weakest soul knowing its own weakness and believing this truth that strength can only be developed by effort and practice will thus believing at once begin to exert itself and adding effort to effort patience to patience and strength to strength will never cease to develop and will at last grow divinely strong as the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking to put away aimlessness and weakness and to begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment who make all conditions serve them and who think strongly attempt fearlessly and accomplish masterfully having conceived of his purpose a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement looking neither to the right nor the left doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded they are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort rendering it crooked ineffectual useless thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplished anything and never can they always lead to failure purpose energy power to do and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in the will to do Springs from the knowledge that we can do doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge and he who encourages them who does not slay them thwarts himself at every step he who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure his every thought is allied with power and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome his purposes are seasonably planted and they bloom and bring forth fruit which does not fall prematurely to the ground thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes 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 the thought factor in achievement all that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts in a justly ordered universe where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction individual responsibility must be absolute a man's weakness and strength purity and impurity are his own and not another man's they are brought about by himself and not by another and they can only be altered by himself never by another his condition is also his own and not another man's his suffering and his happiness are evolved from within as he thinks so he is as he continues to think so he remains a strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped and even then the weak man must become strong of himself he must by his own efforts develop the strength which he admires in another none but himself can alter his condition it has been usual for men to think and to say many men are slaves because one is an oppressor let us hate the oppressor now however there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment and to say one man is an oppressor because many are slaves let us despise the slaves the truth is that a presser and slave are co-operators in ignorance and while seeming to afflict each other are in reality afflicting themselves a perfect knowledge perceives the action of law in the weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor a perfect love seeing the suffering which both states entail condemns neither a perfect compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed he who has conquered weakness and has put away all selfish thoughts belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed he is free a man can only rise conquer and achieve by lifting up his thoughts he can only remain weak and abject and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts before a man can achieve anything even in worldly things he must lift his thoughts above slavish animal indulgence he may not in order to succeed give up all animality and selfishness by any means but a portion of it must at least be sacrificed a man whose first thought is bestial indulgence and would fail in any undertaking not having commenced to manfully control his thoughts he is not in a position to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities he is not fit to act independently and stand alone but he is limited only by the thoughts which he chooses there can be no progress no achievement without sacrifice and a man's worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts and fixes his mind on the development of his plans and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance and the higher he lifts his thoughts the more manly upright and righteous he becomes the greater will be his success the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements the universe does not favor the greedy the dishonest the vicious although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so it helps the honest the magnanimous the virtuous all the great teachers of the ages have declared this in varying forms and to prove and know it a man has but to persist in making himself more and more virtuous by lifting up his thoughts intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for knowledge or for the beautiful and true in life and nature such achievements may be sometimes connected with vanity and ambition but they are not the outcome of those characteristics they are the natural outgrowth of long and arduous effort and of pure and unselfish thoughts spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations he who lives constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts he who dwells upon all that is pure and unselfish will as surely as the Sun reaches its zenith and the moon it's full become wise and Noble in character and rise into a position of influence and blessedness achievement of whatever kind is the crown of effort the diadem of thought by the aid of self-control resolution purity righteousness and well-directed thought a man ascends by the aid of animality indolence impurity corruption and confusion of thought a man descends a man may rise to high success in the world and even to lofty altitudes in the spiritual realm and again descend into weakness and wretchedness by allowing arrogant selfish and corrupt thoughts to take possession of him victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness many give way when success is assured and rapidly fall back into failure all achievements whether in the business intellectual or spiritual world are the results of definitely directed thought are governed by the same law and are of the same method the only difference lies in the object of attainment he who would accomplish little must sacrifice little he who would achieve much must sacrifice much he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly visions and ideals the dreamers are the saviors of the world as the visible world is sustained by the invisible so men through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers humanity cannot forget it's dreamers it cannot let their ideal fade and die it lives in them it knows them as realities which it shall one day see and no composer sculptor painter poet prophet sage these are the makers of the afterworld the architects of heaven the world is beautiful because they have lived without them laboring humanity would perish he who cherishes a beautiful vision a lofty ideal in his heart will one day realize it Columbus cherished a vision of another world and he discovered it Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe and he revealed it Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace and he entered into it cherish your visions cherish your ideals cherish the music that stirs in your heart the beauty that forms in your mind the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts for out of them will grow all delightful conditions all heavenly environment of these if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built to desire is to obtain to aspire is to achieve shall man's basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification and his purest aspirations starve for lack of sustenance such is not the law such a condition of things can never obtain ask and receive dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil the greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream the oak sleeps in the Acorn the bird waits in the egg and in the highest vision of the soul awaking angel stirs dreams are the seedlings of realities your circumstances may be uncongenial but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an ideal and strive to reach it you cannot travel within and stand still without here is a youth hard-pressed by poverty and labor confined long hours in an unhealthy workshop unschooled and lacking all the arts of refinement but he dreams of better things he thinks of intelligence of refinement of grace and beauty he conceives of mentally builds up an ideal condition of life the vision of a wider Liberty and a larger scope takes possession of him unrest urges him to action and he utilizes all his spare time and means small though they are to the development of his latent powers and resources very soon so altered has his mind become that the workshop can no longer hold him it has become so out of harmony with his mentality that it falls out of his life as a garment is cast aside and with the growth of opportunities which fit the scope of his expanding powers he passes out of it forever years later we see this youth as a full-grown man we find him a master of certain forces of the mind which he wields with worldwide influence and almost unequalled power in his hands he holds the cords of gigantic responsibilities he speaks and low lives are changed men and women hang upon his words and remould their characters and sun-like he becomes the fixed and luminous center round which innumerable destinies revolve he has realized the vision of his youth he has become one with his ideal and you too youthful listener will realize the vision not the idle wish of your heart be it base or beautiful or a mixture of both where 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 you're controlling desire as great as your dominant aspiration in the beautiful words of stanton kirkham davis you may be keeping accounts and presently you shall walk out of the door that for so long has seemed to you the barrier of your ideals and shall find yourself before an audience the pen still behind your ear the ink stains on your fingers and then and there shall pour out the torrent of your inspiration you may be driving sheep and you shall wander to the city bucolic and open mouthed shall wander under the intrepid guidance of the spirit into the studio of the master and after a time he shall say I have nothing more to teach you and now you have become the master who did so recently dream of great things while driving sheep you shall lay down the saw and the plain to take upon yourself the regeneration of the world 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 favored he is and noting the saintly character and wide influence of another they remarked 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 in all human affairs 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 visions realized the vision that you glorify in your mind the ideal that you enthrone in your heart this you will build your life by this you will become serenity 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 calm man having learned how to govern himself knows how to adapt himself to others and they in turn reverence his spiritual strength and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him the more tranquil man becomes the greater is his success his influence his power for good even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is strongly equable the strong calm man is always loved and revered he is like a shade Giving Tree in a thirsty land or a sheltering rock in a storm who does not love a tranquil heart a sweet-tempered balanced life it does not matter whether it rains or Shine's or what changes come to those possessing these blessings for they are always sweet serene and calm that exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture the fruit egde of the soul it is precious as wisdom more to be desired than gold yay then even fine gold how insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life a life that dwells in the ocean of truth beneath the waves beyond the reach of tempests in the eternal calm how many people we know who sour their lives who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers who destroy their poise of character and make bad blood it is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and Mar their happiness by lack of self-control how few people we meet in life who are well balanced who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character yes humanity surges with uncontrolled passion is tumultuous with on governed grief is blown about by anxiety and doubt only the wise man only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him tempest-tossed Souls wherever you may be under whatsoever conditions you may live know this in the ocean of life the Isles of blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought in the bark of your soul reclines the commanding master he does but sleep wake him self-control is strength right thought is mastery calmness is power say unto your heart peace be still

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