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Time changes, situations change, principles of positive human behavior even improve as a result of small changes in performance.. This document was originally edited and published in 1995. It's been getting better ever since.

While constructing the first pages of this "site" ... I ran across this text on the World Wide Web. I've re-formatted it ... and it is modestly Netscape enhanced .... other than that I deliver it as I found it ... except for a SMALL CHANGE in a "couple of the words." [he/she man/woman] My opinion of it remains the same as when I was first handed another little book ... the title of which I still recall .....

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From: uunet!uunet!ssi!tao!kline (Gary Kline)Date: Thu, 2 Aug 90 21:49:21 CDTTo: bzs@world.std.com

Subject: "As a man/woman Thinketh", James Allen
Perseverance, will-power, self-esteem, courage, faith, determination, power. Allen has a positive basis for his philosophical thought in that he says law, justice, righteousness are the molding and moving forces in the spiritual governing of the world. When man/woman rights himself human/womanity, in turn, learns that the universe is right and in focus. One must attain a spiritual focus to learn that as things are viewed, in turn one is viewed by things. The focal point of view changes as things are viewed in one light and perspective and then another, while simultaneously, when being viewed, the focus again is ever changing. All these elements, actions, interactions, gradations flow one into and out of the other to create a spiritual focus.

INTRODUCTION
This little volume (the result of meditation and experiences not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject of the power of thought. It is sug gestive 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

THOUGHT AND CHARACTER
The aphorism, "As a man/woman thinketh in his/her heart so is he/she,"not only embraces the whole of a man/woman's being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his/her life. A man/woman is literally what he/she thinks, his/her character being the complete sum of all his/her thoughts. As the plant springs from, and could not be without,the seed, so every act of man/woman 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 fruit; thus does a man/woman garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his/her own wife/husbandry. man/woman is a growth by law, and not a creation by artifice, and cause and effect are as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things. A noble and God-like 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 God-like thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character,by the same process, is the result of the continued harboring of groveling thoughts. man/woman is made or unmade by him/herself. In the armory of thought he/she forges the weapons by which he/she destroys him/herself. he/she also fashions the tools with which he/she builds for him/herself heavenly man/womansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man/woman ascends to the divine perfection. By the abuse and wrong application of thought he/she descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man/woman 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 fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this--that man/woman is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment,and destiny. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the/she lord of his/her own thoughts, man/woman holds key to every situation, and contains within him/herself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he/she may make him/herself what he/she wills. man/woman is always the master, even in his/her weakest andmost abandoned state. But in his/her weakness and degradation he/she is foolish master who misgoverns his/her "household." When he/she begins to reflect upon his/her condition and search diligently for the law upon which his/her being is established, he/she then becomes the wise master, directing his/her energies with intelligence and fashioning his/her thoughts to fruitful issues. Such is the conscious master, and man/woman can only thus become by discovering within him/herself the laws of thought. This discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis and experience. Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man/woman can find every truth connected with his/her being, if he/she will dig deep into the mine of his soul. That he/she is the maker of his character, the molder of his life,and the builder of his destiny, he/she may unerringly prove, if he/she will watch, control, and alter his/her thoughts, tracing their effects upon him/herself, upon others and upon his life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation. And utilizing his/her every experience, even the most trivial,everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of him/herself which is understanding, wisdom, power. In this/her direction is the law of absolute that "he/she that seeketh findeth; and to him/her that knocketh it shall be opened." For only by patience, practice, and ceaseless importunity can a man/woman enter the door of the temple of knowledge.

EFFECT OF THOUGHT ON CIRCUMSTANCES
A man/woman'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, then an abundance of uselessweed-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/she requires so may a man/woman 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/woman sooner or later discovers that he/she is the master-gardener of his/her soul, the director of his/her life. he/she also reveals, within him/herself, the flaws of thought, and under-stands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of character, circumstances,and destiny. Thought and character are one, and as character can only man/womanifest 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/her inner state. This does not mean that a man/woman's circumstances at any given time are an indication of his/her entire character, but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought-element within him/herself that, for the time being, they are indispensable to his/her development. Every man/woman is where he/she is by the law of his/her being; the thoughts which he/she has built into his/her character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his/her 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/woman is where he/she is that he/she may learn that he/she may grow; and as he/she learns the spiritual lesson which any circumstance contains for him, it passes away and gives place to other circumstances. man/woman is buffeted by circumstances so long as he/she believes him/herself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he/she realizes that he/she is a creative power, and that he/she may comman/womand the hidden soil and seeds of his/her being out of which circumstances grow; he/she then becomes the rightful master of him/herself. That circumstances grow out of thought every man/woman knows who has for any length of time practiced self-control and self-purification, for he/she will have noticed that the alteration in his/her circumstances has been in exact ratio with his/her altered mental condition. So true is this that when a man/woman earnestly applies him/herself to remedy the defects in his/her character, and makes swift and marked progress, he passes rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes. The/she soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; 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 it own. Every thought-seed 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.Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit. The outer world of circumstances shapes itself to the innerworld of thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditionsare factors which make for the ultimate good of the individual.

As the reaper of his/her own harvest, man/woman learns both of suffering and bliss. Following the inmost desires, aspirations, thoughts, by which he/she allows him/herself to be dominated (pursuing the will-o'-the wisps of impure imaginings or steadfastly walking the highway of strong and high endeavor), a man/woman at last arrives at their fruition and fulfillment in the outer conditions of his/her life. The laws of growth and adjustment everywhere obtain. A man/woman does not come to the alms-house 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/woman 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 revealedits gathered power. Circumstance does not make the man/woman; it reveals him to him/herself. No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations, orascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations; and man/woman, therefore, as the lord and master of thought, is the maker of him/herself and the shaper of and author of environment. Even at birth the soul comes of its own and through every step of its earthly pilgrimage it attracts those combinations of conditions which reveal itself, which are the reflectionsof its own purity and impurity, its strength and weakness. Men/women 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. man/woman is man/womanacled only by him/herself; thought and action are the jailors of Fate--they imprison, being base; they are also the angels of Freedom--they liberate, being noble. Not what he/she wished and prays for does a man/woman get, but what he/she justly earns. His/her wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his/her thoughts and actions.

In the light of this truth what, then, is the meaning of"fighting against circumstances"? It means that a man/woman is continually revolting against an effect without, while all the time he/she is nourishing and preserving its cause in his/her heart. That cause may take the form of a conscious vice or an unconscious weakness; but whateverit is, it stubbornly retards the efforts of it 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/woman who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his/her heart is set. This is as true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man/woman whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he/she can accomplish his/her object; and how much more so he/she who would realize a strong and well-poised life? It is pleasing to human/woman vanity to believe that one suffers because of one's virtue; but not until a man/woman has extirpated every sickly, bitter, and impure thought from his/her soul, can he/she be in a position to know and declare that his/her sufferings are the result of his/her good, and not of his/her bad qualities; and on the way to, yet long before he/she has reached that supreme perfection , he/she will have found, working in his/her mind and life, the great law which is absolutely just, and which cannot, therefore, give good forevil, evil for good. Possessed of such knowledge, he/she will thenknow, looking back upon his/her past ignorance and blindness,that his/her life is, and always was, justly ordered, and that all his/her past experiences, good and bad, were the equitable outworkingof his/her 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/women 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 him/herself, with the law of his/her 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 beenremoved, and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could notsuffer. The circumstances which a man/woman encounters with sufferingare the result of his/her own mental inharmony. The circumstances which a man/woman encounters with blessedness are the result of his/her 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/woman may be cursed and rich; he/she may be blessed and poor. Blessedness and riches are only joined together when the riches are rightly and wisely used. And the poor man/woman only descends into wretchedness when he/she regards his/her 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/woman is not rightly conditioned until he/she is a happy, healthy,and prosperous being; and happiness, health, and prosperity are theresult of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outerof the man/woman with his/her surroundings.

A man/woman only begins to be a man/woman when he/she ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his/herlife. And he/she adapts his/her mind to that regulating factor, he/she ceases to accuse others as the cause of his/her condition, and builds him/herself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but beings to use them as aids to his/her more rapidprogress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within him/herself. Law, not confusion, is the dominating principle in the universe;justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life. Righteousness, not corruption, is the molding and moving force in the spiritual government of the world. This being so, man/woman has but to right him/herself to find that the universe is right. And during the process of putting him/herself right, he will find that as he alters his/her thoughts towards 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/woman radically alter his/her thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his/her 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, unman/womanly,and irresolute habits, which solidify into circumstances of failure,indigence, and slavish dependence. Lazy thoughts crystallize into weak,habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty, which solidify into circum-stances of foulness 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 distressful circumstances.

On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallizeinto habits of grace and kindliness, which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances. Pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control, which solidify into circumstancesof repose and peace. Thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into man/womanly habits, which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom. Energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry, which solidifyinto circumstances of pleasantness. Gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness, which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances. Loving and unselfish thoughts 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/woman cannot directly choose his/her circumstances, but he can choose his/her thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his/her circumstances. Nature helps every man/woman to gratification of the thoughts which he most encourages, and opportunities are presented which will most speedily bring to the surface both the good and the evil thoughts. Let a man/woman cease from his/her sinful thoughts, and all the worldwill soften towards him, and be ready to help him. Let him put away his/her weakly and sickly thoughts, and the opportunities will spring upon every hand to aid his/her strong resolves. Let him encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchednessand shame. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varyingcombinations of colors which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts.

EFFECTS OF THOUGHTS ON HEALTH AND BODY
The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosenor automatically expressed. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the comman/womand 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/woman as speedily as a bullet and they are continually killing thousands of people just as surely though less rapidly. The people who live in fearof 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 sooner shatter the nervous system. Strong pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor andgrace. 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/women 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 proceedsa defiled life and a corrupt body. Thought is the fount of action, life and man/womanifestation; make the fountain pure, and all will be pure. Change of diet will not help a man/woman who will not change his/her thoughts. When a man/woman makes his/her thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food. Clean thoughts make clean habits. The so-called saint who does not wash his/her body is not a saint. He who has strengthened and purified his/her thoughts does not need to consider the malevolent? If you would perfect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind.

Thoughts of malice,envy, and disappointment, despondency, rob 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,pride. I know a woman/woman of ninety-six who has the bright, innocent face of a girl. I know a man/woman well under middle age whose face is drawn into in harmonious 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 strongbody and a bright, happy, or serene countenance can only result from the free admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy andgood will and serenity. On the faces of the aged there are wrinkles made by sympathyothers by strong and pure thought, and others are carved by passion; who cannot distinguish them? With those who have lived righteously,age is calm, peaceful, and softly mellowed, like the setting sun.I have recently seen a philosopher on his/her death-bed. 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 goodwillfor dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow. To live continually in thoughs 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 abounding peace to their possessor.

THOUGHT AND PURPOSE
Until thought 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 street clear of catastrophe and destruction. They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappyness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power-evolving universe.

A man/woman should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his/her heart, and setout to accomplish it. He should make this/her purpose the centralizing point of his/her thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal,or it may be a worldly object, according to his/her nature at the timebeing. Whichever it is, he should steadily focus his/her thought-forces upon the object he had set before him. He should make this purpose his/her supreme duty and should devote him/herself to its attainment, not allowing his/her 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/her purpose--as he must until weakness is overcome--the strength of character gained will be the measure of his/her 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 performan/womance of their duty, no matter how insignificant their task may appear. Only in this way can the thoughts be gathered and focussed, and resolution and energy be developed. Once this is 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/woman can make him/herself strong by carefuland patient training, so the man/woman of weak thoughts can make them strongby exercising him/herself 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/her purpose, a man/woman/woman/woman should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor 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 can never accomplish anything. 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 him/herself at every step.

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His/her every thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are bravelymet and overcome. His/her purposes are seasonably planted, and they bloom and bring forth fruit that 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 strongerthan a bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations. He who does this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his/her mental powers.

"THE THOUGHT-FACTOR IN ACHIEVEMENT"
All that a man/woman achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his/her own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility mustbe absolute. A man/woman's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his/her/her own and not another man/woman's. They are brought about by him/herself andnot by another; and they can only be altered by him/herself, never byanother. His/her condition is also his/her own, and not another man/woman's. His/her sufferings and his/her happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks,so is he; as he continues to think, so he remains. A strong man/woman cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing tobe helped. And even then the weak man/woman must become strong of him/herself.He must, by his/her own efforts, develop the strength which he admires inanother. None but him/herself can alter his/her condition.

It has been usual for men/women to think and to say, "Many men/women are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor!" But there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgement and to say, "One man/woman is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves." The truth is that oppressor and slaves are cooperators 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 statesentail, condemns neither; a perfect compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed. He who has conquered weakness and has pushed away all selfish thoughts belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. He is free. A man/woman only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his/her thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject, and miserably by refusing to lift up his/her thoughts.

Before a man/woman can achieve anything, even in worldly things, he must lift his/her thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. He may not, in order to succeed, give up all animality and selfishness, necessarily, but a portionof it must, at least, be sacrificed. A man/woman whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically. He could not find and develop his/her latent resources and would fail in any undertaking. Not having begun to man/womanfully control his/her thoughts, he is not in a positionto 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 that he chooses. There can be no progress nor achievement without sacrifice, and a man/woman's worldly success will be by the measure that he sacrifices his/her confused animal thoughts, and fixes his/her mind on the development of his/her plans, and the strengthening of his/her resolution and self-reliance. The higher he lifts his/her thoughts, 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 sometimes may appear to do so. It helps the honest, the magnanimous, the virtuous. All the great teachers of the ages have declared this in varying ways, and to prove it and to know it a man/woman has but to persist in making him/herself increasingly virtuous by lifting his/her thoughts.

Intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for knowledge or for the beautiful and true in nature. Such achievements may sometimes be 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, who dwells upon all that is pure and selfless, will, as surely as the sun reaches its zenith and the moon its full, become wise and noble incharacter and rise into a position of influence and blessedness.

Achievement of any kind is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought. By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity, righteousness, andwell-directed thought a man/womanascends. By the aid of animality, indolence,impurity, corruption, and confusion of thought a man/woman descends. A may may rise to high success in the world, even to lofty attitudesin the spiritual realm, and again descend into weakness and wretchednessby allowing arrogant, selfish, and corrupt thoughts to take possessionof him. Victories attained by right thought can be maintained only by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fallback into failure. All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought, are governed by the same law, and are of the same method. The only difference is in the object of attainment. he/she who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he/she would would achieve much must sacrifice much. he/she 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. Human/womanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know. Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage -- these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived. Without them, laboring human/womanity would perish. he/she who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his/her 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/she 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/woman's basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification, and his/her purest aspirations starve for lack of sustenance? Such is not the Law. Such a condition 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 a soul a waking angle stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.

Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not remain so if you only perceive an ideal and strive to reach it. You can't 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, or refinement, of grace and beauty. He conceives of, mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life. The wider libertyand a larger scope takes possession of him; unrest urges him to action,and he uses all his/her spare times and means to the development of his/her latent powers and resources. Very soon so altered has his/her mind becomethat the workshop can no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmonywith his/her mind-set that it falls out of his/her life as a garment is castaside. And with the growth of opportunities that fit the scope of his expanding powers, he passes out of it altogether. Years later we seethis/her youth as a grown man/woman. We find him a master of certain forces of themind that he wields with world-wide influence and almost unequaledpower. In his/her hands he holds the cords of gigantic responsibilities; hespeaks and lives are changed; men and women hang upon his/her words and remold their characters. Sun-like, he/she becomes the fixed and luminous centeraround which innumerable destinies revolve. he/she has become the vision of his/her youth. he/she has become one with his/her ideal.

And you too, youthful reader, will realize the vision (not just 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.

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/woman grow rich, they say, "How lucky he is!" Observing another become skilled intellectually, they exclaim,"How highly favored he is!" And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, "How chance helps him at everyturn!" They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have encountered in order to gain their experience. They have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted effortsthey have put forth, of the faith they have exercised so that they mightovercome the apparently insurmountable and realize the vision of theirheart. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it "luck." Do not see the long, 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/woman affairs there are efforts, and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Change is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed, objectives accomplished, visions realized. The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthronein 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/woman becomes calm in the measure that he understands him/herself 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 ever more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss, fume, worry, and grieve. He remains poised, steadfast, serene. The calm man/woman, having learned how to govern him/herself, knows how to adapt him/self to others. And they, in turn reverence his/her spiritual strength.They feel that they can learn from him and rely upon him. The more tranquila man/woman becomes, the greater is his/her success, his/her influence, his/her power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his/her business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man/woman whose demeanor is equitable. The strong, calm man/woman 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 shines, or what changes come to those who possess these blessings. For they are always serene and calm.

That exquisite poise of character that we call serenity is the last lesson of culture. It is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom--more desirable than fine gold. How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life. A life that dwellsin the ocean of truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of the 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, human/womanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt. Only the wise man/woman,only he/she 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 whatever 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 hands firmly upon the helm of thought. In the core of your soul reclines the comman/womanding Master; he/she does but sleep; wake Him/her. Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, "Peace. Be still.".

To Achieve Your Goals

Putting God First

Putting God First



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