James Allen - 3 Great Titles

As A Man Thinketh, The Way of Peace, Eight Pillars of Prosperity

James Allen's books illustrate the use of the power of thought to increase personal capabilities. Although he never achieved great fame or wealth, his works continue to influence people around the world, including the New Thought movement. Allen's most famous book, As a Man Thinketh, was published in 1902, and is now considered a classic self-help book.

Allen insists upon the power of the individual to form his own character and to create his own happiness. Thought and character are one, he says, 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 person's circumstances at any given time are an indication of their entire character, but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought element within them that, for the time being, they are indispensable to their development.

Allen starts us thinking - even when we would rather be doing something else. He tells us how thought leads to action. He shows us how to turn our dreams into realities. His is a philosophy that has brought success to millions.

Allen's message is one of hope even in the midst of confusion.

And he teaches two essential truths: today we are where our thoughts have taken us, and we are the architects - for better or worse - of our futures.

The works of James Allen are eminently practical. He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing. He wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it in his own life, and knew that it was good.

 

As A Man Thinketh

As A Man Thinketh

This book is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary personal development authors and teachers credit this book for providing the foundation to their principles.

It is a set of philosophical musings on the power of our thoughts. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he".

As Allen himself says in the foreward to this book "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".

Allen believes that a person is literally what they think, their character being the complete sum of all their thoughts.

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

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Eight Pillars of Prosperity

Eight Pillars of Prosperity

In this book, James Allen asks - what makes for prosperity? On what principles is a successful life or business built?

In this work, first published in 1911, he explains his belief that "prosperity rests upon a moral foundation," one grounded by the pillars of Energy, Economy, Integrity, System, Sympathy, Sincerity, Impartiality, and Self-Reliance.

"The moral virtues are the foundation and support of prosperity as they are the soul of greatness. They endure forever, and all the works of man which endure are built upon them. Without them there is neither strength, stability, nor substantial reality, but only ephemeral dreams. To find moral principles is to have found prosperity, greatness, truth, and is therefore to be strong, valiant, joyful and free."

Building on the eight pillars results in an honorable, satisfied person with a well-known, successful practice. In illuminating these principles, Allen hoped to contribute to "the prosperity of the mass of mankind.".

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The Way of Peace

The Way of Peace

The Way of Peace is your guide to the power of meditation; self and truth; the acquirement of spiritual power; the realization of selfless love; entering into the infinite; saints, sages, and saviors; the law of service; and the realization of perfect peace.

"Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand, but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self. If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased; if you ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and unselfish".

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What You'll Learn in As a Man Thinketh

In As A Man Thinketh, Allen likens a person’s mind 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 it will become full of weeds, and these will continue to produce their kind.

He explains that we are buffeted by circumstances so long as we believe ourselves to be the creature of outside conditions, but when we realize that we are a creative power, and that we may command the hidden soil and seeds of our being out of which circumstances grow, we then become the rightful master of ourselves.

He goes on to say that 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. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

And while a person cannot directly choose their circumstances, they can choose their thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape their circumstances.

James Allen looks at how thought influences our lives, including

James Allen
  • thought and character
  • the effect of thought on circumstances
  • the effect of thought on health and the body
  • thought and purpose
  • the thought factor in achievement
  • visions and ideals
  • serenity

"All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains. A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker man 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".

However, thought alone is not enough, as Allen goes on to describe - we must also conceive of a legitimate purpose in our heart, and set out to accomplish it. We should make this purpose the centralizing point of our thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to our nature; but whichever it is, we should steadily focus our thought-forces upon the object which we have set before us.

One who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in their heart, will one day realize it. And you, too, 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. In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. 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.

Allen finishes with postive words for those still struggling with their circumstances: "Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye 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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What You'll Learn in Eight Pillars of Prosperity

Prosperity rests upon a moral foundation. It is popularly supposed to rest upon an immoral foundation - that is, upon trickery, deception and greed. One commonly hears even an otherwise intelligent person declare that "No one can be successful in business unless they are dishonest", thus regarding business prosperity - a good thing - as the effect of dishonesty - a bad thing. According to Allen, such a statement is superficial and thoughtless.

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We speak of "building up a business", and, indeed, a business is as much a building as is a brick house or a stone church, albeit the process of building is a mental one. Prosperity, like a house, is a roof over a person's head, affording them protection and comfort. A roof presupposes a support, and a support necessitates a foundation. The roof of prosperity, then, is supported by the following eight pillars which are cemented in a foundation of moral consistency.

  • Energy - Energy is a moral virtue, its opposing vice being laziness. As a virtue, it can be cultivated, and the lazy person can become energetic by forcibly arousing themself to exertion. Compared with the energetic person, the lazy person is not half alive. Even while the latter is talking about the difficulty of doing a thing, the former is doing it. The active person has done a considerable amount of work before the lazy person has roused themself from sleep. While the lazy person is waiting for an opportunity, the active person has gone out, and met and utilized half a dozen opportunities. They do things while the other is rubbing their eyes. Allen states that even energy misapplied is better than no energy at all. There are those who try, yet fail through insufficient energy. Their efforts are too feeble to produce positive results. Energy, to be productive, must not only be directed towards good ends, it must be carefully controlled and conserved. Noise and hurry are so much energy running to waste. “More haste, less speed”. The maximum of noise usually accompanies the minimum of accomplishment. With much talk there is little doing.

    But energy is a composite power. It does not stand alone. Involved in it are qualities which go to the production of prosperity. These qualities are contained in the four following characteristics:-

    • Promptitude - People who are alert, prompt, and punctual are relied upon. They can be trusted to do their duty, and to do it vigorously and well.
    • Vigilance - The person whose mind is vigilant and alert has valuable equipment in the achievement of their aims; and if they are fully alive and wide-awake on all occasions, to all opportunities, and against all marring defects of character, what event, what circumstance, what enemy shall overtake them and find them unprepared?
    • Industry - Vigorously industrious people are the happiest members of the community.Active people have no time for moping and brooding, or for dwelling selfishly upon their ailments and troubles. Things most used are kept the brightest, and people most employed best retain their brightness and buoyancy of spirit.
    • Earnestness - Earnestness is the dedication of the entire mind to its task. We live only in what we do. Earnest people are dissatisfied with anything short of the highest excellence in whatever they do, and they always reach that excellence.

     

  • Economy - It is said of Nature that she knows no vacuum. She also knows no waste. In the divine economy of Nature everything is conserved and turned to good account. That economy which, in nature is a universal principle, is in a person a moral quality and it is that quality by which they preserve their energies, and sustain their place as a working unit in the scheme of things. True economy is the middle way in all things, whether material or mental, between waste and undue retention. That which is wasted, whether money or mental energy, is rendered powerless; that which is selfishly retained and hoarded up, is equally powerless. To secure power, whether of capital or mentality, there must be concentration, but concentration must be followed by legitimate use. The gathering up of money or energy is only a means; the end is use; and it is use only that produces power.

    An all round economy consists in finding the middle way in the following seven things:- Money, Food, Clothing, Recreation, Rest, Time and Energy. According to Allen, the Pillar of Economy, when soundly built, will be found to be composed largely of these four qualities

    • Moderation - Moderation is the strong core of economy. It avoids extremes, finding the middle way in all things. It also consists in abstaining from the unnecessary and the harmful.
    • Efficiency - Efficiency proceeds from the right conservation of one’s forces and powers. All skill is the use of concentrated energy. Superior skill, as talent and genius, is a higher degree of concentrated force.
    • Resourcefulness - Resourcefulness is the outcome of efficiency. It is an important element in prosperity, for the resourceful person is never confounded. They may have many falls, but they will always be equal to the occasion, and will be on their feet again immediately.
    • Originality - Where there is originality there is genius, and people of genius are the lights of the world. Whatever work a person does, they should fall back upon their own resources in the doing of it. While learning from others, we should not slavishly imitate them, but should put ourselves into our work, and so make it new and original.

     

  • Integrity - Allen states that the person that courts prosperity must, in all their transactions, whether material or mental, study how to give a just return for that which they receive. This is the great fundamental principle in all sound commerce, while in spiritual things it becomes the doing to others that which we would have them do to us. The person who works as carefully and conscientiously when their employer is away as when their eye is upon them, will not long remain in an inferior position. Such integrity in duty, in performing the details of our work, will quickly lead us into the fertile regions of prosperity.

    The Pillar of Integrity is held together by these four elements

    • Honesty - Honesty is the surest way to success - even when the honest person fails – as they do sometimes (through lacking others of these pillars, such as energy, economy, or system) their failure is not the grievous thing it is to the dishonest person. Their failure will be a means of leading them into something more suited to their talents, and thus to ultimate success.
    • Fearlessness - Fearlessness accompanies honesty. The honest person has a clear eye and an unflinching gaze. They look their fellowmen in the face, and their speech is direct and convincing.
    • Purposefulness - Purposefulness is the direct outcome of that strength of character which integrity fosters. The person of integrity is the person of direct aims and strong and intelligent purposes. They do not guess, and work in the dark. Strong people have strong purposes, and strong purposes lead to strong achievements.
    • Invincibility - Invincibility is a glorious protector, but it only envelopes the person whose integrity is perfectly pure and unassailable.

     

  • System - System is that principle of order by which confusion is rendered impossible. All complex organizations are built up by system. The disorderly person thinks he can be careless about everything but the main end, but by ignoring the means they frustrate the end. By the disarrangement of details, organisms perish, and by the careless neglect of details, the growth of any work or concern is prevented. Orderly people conserve both their time and energy. A systematic person can get through so great a quantity of work in such a short time, and with such freedom from such exhaustion, as to appear almost miraculous. They scales the heights of success while their slovenly competitor is wallowing hopelessly in the bogs of confusion. Strict observance of the law of order enables us to reach our ends, swiftly and smoothly, without friction or loss of time.

    In system is contained these four ingredients

    • Readiness - Readiness is that spirit of alertness by which a situation is immediately grasped and dealt with. The observance of system fosters and develops this spirit.
    • Accuracy - Accuracy is of supreme importance. Inaccuracy is one of the commonest failings, because accuracy is closely allied to self-discipline.
    • Utility - Utility considers the practical end; and employs the best means to reach that end. It avoids side issues, dispenses with theories, and retains its hold only on those things which can be appropriated to good uses in the economy of life.
    • Comprehensiveness - Comprehensiveness is that quality of mind which enables a person to deal with a large number of related details, to grasp them in their entirety, along with the single principle which governs them and binds them together.

     

  • Sympathy - Sympathy is a deep, silent, inexpressible tenderness which is shown in a consistently self-forgetful gentle character. Sympathetic people are not gushing and spasmodic, but are permanently self restrained, firm, quiet, unassuming and gracious. Sympathy lifts a person above this separate and self centred life and enables them to live in the hearts of their fellows, and to think and feel with them. A sympathetic person puts themself in their place, and becomes, for the time being, as they are. Sympathy, in its real and profound sense, is oneness with others in their strivings and sufferings, so that a person of sympathy is a composite being; they are, as it were, a number of people, and they view a thing from a number of different sides, and not from one side only, and that being their own particular side. They see with the others men’s eyes, hear with their ears, think with their minds, and feel with their hearts.

     

  • Sincerity - A person of profound sincerity is a great moral force, and there is no force – not even the highest intellectual force – that can compare with it. Morality and sincerity are so closely bound up together, that where sincerity is lacking, morality, as a power, is lacking also, for insincerity undermines all the other virtues, so that they crumble away and become of no account. Even a little insincerity robs a character of all its nobility, and makes it common and contemptible.It is all important that we be real; that we harbour no wish to appear other than what we are; that we simulate no virtue, assume no excellency, adopt no disguise.

     

  • Impartiality - To get rid of prejudice is a great achievement. Prejudices pile obstacles in a person’s way – obstacles to health, success, happiness, and prosperity, so that we are continually running up against imaginary enemies, who, when prejudice is removed, are seen to be friends. To acquire impartiality, a person must remove that innate egotism which prevents them from seeing anything from any point of view other than their own. The impartial person examines, weighs, and considers, with freedom from prejudice and from likes and dislikes. Their one wish is to discover the truth. They abolish preconceived opinions, and let facts and evidence speak for themselves.

     

  • Self-reliance - People’s chief trouble is a mistrust of themself, so that the self trusting person becomes a rare and singular spectacle. If someone looks upon themself as a "worm", what can come out of them but an ineffectual wriggling. Truly, "He that humbleth shall be exalted" but not he that degradeth himself. A person should see themself as they are, and if there is any unworthiness in them, they should get rid of it, and retain and rely upon that which is of worth.

The first four pillars above are the corner pillars, and a person must have these in order to attain prosperity, for if we lack one, our temple will give way at that weak corner, for the first four Pillars must be well built before the Temple of Prosperity can stand secure.

The remaining pillars are the four central pillars in the Temple of Prosperity. They give it greater strength and stability, and add both to its beauty and utility. They contribute greatly to its attractiveness, for they belong to the highest moral sphere, and therefore to great beauty and nobility of character.

According to Allen, underneath all prosperity these eight pillars are the strong supports, and a measure of them informs and sustains every effort which is crowned with that excellence which men name success. It is true that comparatively few successful people practice, in their entirety and perfection, all these eight principles, but there are those who do, and they are the leaders, teachers, and guides of mankind, the supports of human society, and the strong pioneers in the van of human evolution

 

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What You'll Learn in The Way of Peace

The Way of Peace is your guide to the realization of perfect peace. Through the power of meditation, the acquirement of spiritual power and the realization of selfless love, Allen shows us how to attain this perfect peace.

On meditation, he says that "Spiritual meditation is the pathway to Divinity. Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand, but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self."

Allen explains that there is an unavoidable tendency to become literally the embodiment of that quality upon which one most constantly thinks. He cautions, therefore, to let the object of your meditation be above and not below, so that every time you revert to it in thought you will be lifted up.

The divine Gautama, the Buddha, instructed his disciples in the following “Five Great Meditations”:-

  • The first meditation is the meditation of love, in which you so adjust your heart that you long for the weal and welfare of all beings, including the happiness of your enemies.
  • The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which you think of all beings in distress, vividly representing in your imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion for them in your soul.
  • The third meditation is the meditation of joy, in which you think of the prosperity of others, and rejoice with their rejoicings.
  • The fourth meditation is the meditation of impurity, in which you consider the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of sin and diseases. How trivial often the pleasure of the moment, and how fatal its consequences.
  • The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which you rise above love and hate, tyranny and oppression, wealth and want, and regard your own fate with impartial calmness and perfect tranquility.

Of the difference between truth and self, Allen advises that "Truth is so simple, so absolutely undeviating and uncompromising that it admits of no complexity, no turning, no qualification. Self is ingenious, crooked, and, governed by subtle and snaky desire, admits of endless turnings and qualifications, and the deluded worshipers of self vainly imagine that they can gratify every worldly desire, and at the same time possess the Truth".

The giving up of self is not merely the renunciation of outward things. It consists of the renunciation of the inward sin, the inward error. Not by giving up vain clothing; not by relinquishing riches; not by abstaining from certain foods; not by speaking smooth words; not by merely doing these things is the Truth found; but by giving up the spirit of vanity; by relinquishing the desire for riches; by abstaining from the lust of self-indulgence; by giving up all hatred, strife, condemnation, and self-seeking, and becoming gentle and pure at heart; by doing these things is the Truth found.

He goes on to say that a man commences to develop spiritual power when, checking his impulses and selfish inclinations, he falls back upon the higher and calmer consciousness within him, and begins to steady himself upon a principle. The realization of unchanging principles in consciousness is at once the source and secret of the highest power.

When, after much searching, and suffering, and sacrificing, the light of an eternal principle dawns upon the soul, a divine calm ensues and joy unspeakable gladdens the heart.

To grow in self-control, in patience, in equanimity, is to grow in strength and power; and you can only thus grow by focusing your consciousness upon a principle. Search for a rock, a principle, and having found it cling to it; get it under your feet and stand erect upon it, until at last, immovably fixed upon it, you succeed in defying the fury of the waves and storms of selfishness.

Allen believes that hidden deep in every human heart, though frequently covered up with a mass of hard and almost impenetrable accretions, is the spirit of Divine Love, whose holy and spotless essence is undying and eternal. It is the Truth in man; it is that which belongs to the Supreme: that which is real and immortal. All else changes and passes away; this alone is permanent and imperishable; and to realize this Love by ceaseless diligence in the practice of the highest righteousness, to live in it and to become fully conscious in it, is to enter into immortality here and now, is to become one with Truth, one with God, one with the central Heart of all things, and to know our own divine and eternal nature.

To re-become one with the Infinite is the goal of man. To enter into perfect harmony with the Eternal Law is Wisdom, Love and Peace. But this divine state is, and must ever be, incomprehensible to the merely personal. Personality, separateness, selfishness are one and the same, and are the antithesis of wisdom and divinity. By the unqualified surrender of the personality, separateness and selfishness cease, and man enters into the possession of his divine heritage of immortality and infinity. Let a man abandon self, let him overcome the world, let him deny the personal; by this pathway only can he enter into the heart of the Infinite.

The glory alike of the saint, the sage, and the savior is this,—that he has realized the most profound lowliness, the most sublime unselfishness; having given up all, even his own personality, all his works are holy and enduring, for they are freed from every taint of self. He gives, yet never thinks of receiving; he works without regretting the past or anticipating the future, and never looks for reward. When the farmer has tilled and dressed his land and put in the seed, he knows that he has done all that he can possibly do, and that now he must trust to the elements, and wait patiently for the course of time to bring about the harvest, and that no amount of expectancy on his part will affect the result. Even so, he who has realized Truth goes forth as a sower of the seeds of goodness, purity, love and peace, without expectancy, and never looking for results, knowing that there is the Great Over-ruling Law which brings about its own harvest in due time, and which is alike the source of preservation and destruction.

The angels of divine peace and joy are always at hand, and if you do not see them, and hear them, and dwell with them, it is because you shut yourself out from them, and prefer the company of the spirits of evil within you. You are what you will to be, what you wish to be, what you prefer to be. You can commence to purify yourself, and by so doing can arrive at peace, or you can refuse to purify yourself, and so remain with suffering.

"Step aside, then; come out of the fret and the fever of life; away from the scorching heat of self, and enter the inward resting-place where the cooling airs of peace will calm, renew, and restore you".

 

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James Allen Pack

This is truly an inspirational package of books.

Start with As A Man Thinketh, to discover (or re-discover) the power of thought.

Continue on with Eight Pillars of Prosperity where the focus is on perfecting those qualities which are the cornerstone of all prosperity (not just material, but also spiritual).

Finish with The Way Of Peace, and learn how to become a better self, a higher self, more in tune with the Infinite.


Satisfaction guaranteed

And there's no risk to you. Here at Attract Like Magic we offer a 30 days, no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee on all of our products. That's right - if you don't like it, don't keep it. Just send it back to us here at Attract Like Magic (email to info@AttractLikeMagic.com) within 30 days, and we'll send you your money back.

 

To purchase the James Allen Pack containing 3 great titles - As A Man Thinketh, Eight Pillars of Prosperity, and The Way of Peace - for only $9.95 simply click the Buy It Now button below.

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