Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Path of Prosperity: Chaper Four

(This month we here at Successful Living are focusing on some of the great self development books of the past. Now we focus on James Allen and his classic Path of Prosperity. We will have a chapter posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the complete book is posted).

Chapter Four
The Silent Power of Thought: Controlling and Directing One's Forces

The most powerful forces in the universe are the silent forces; and in accordance
with the intensity of its power does a force become beneficent when rightly directed,
and destructive when wrongly employed.

This is a common knowledge in regard to the mechanical forces, such as steam,
electricity, etc., but few have yet learned to apply this knowledge to the realm of
mind, where the thought-forces (most powerful of all) are continually being generated
and sent forth as currents of salvation or destruction.

At this stage of his evolution, man has entered into the possession of these forces,
and the whole trend of his present advancement is their complete subjugation.

All the wisdom possible to man on this material earth is to be found only in complete
self-mastery, and the command, "Love your enemies," resolves itself into an
exhortation to enter here and now, into the possession of that sublime wisdom
by taking hold of, mastering and transmuting, those mind forces to which man
is now slavishly subject, and by which he is helplessly borne, like a straw on the
stream, upon the currents of selfishness.

The Hebrew prophets, with their perfect knowledge of the Supreme Law, always
related outward events to inward thought, and associated national disaster or
success with the thoughts and desires that dominated the nation at the time.

The knowledge of the causal power of thought is the basis of all their prophecies,
as it is the basis of all real wisdom and power. National events are simply the
working out of the psychic forces of the nation.

Wars, plagues, and famines are the meeting and clashing of wrongly-directed
thought-forces, the culminating points at which destruction steps in as the agent
of the Law.

It is foolish to ascribe war to the influence of one man, or to one body of men.
It is the crowning horror of national selfishness. It is the silent and conquering
thought-forces which bring all things into manifestation.

The universe grew out of thought. Matter in its last analysis is found to be merely
objectivized thought. All men's accomplishments were first wrought out in
thought, and then objectivized.

The author, the inventor, the architect, first builds up his work in thought, and
having perfected it in all its parts as a complete and harmonious whole upon the
thought-plane. he then commences to materialize it, to bring it down to the material
or sense-plane.

When the thought-forces are directed in harmony with the over-ruling Law, they
are up-building and preservative, but when subverted they become disintegrating
and self-destructive.

To adjust all your thoughts to a perfect and unswerving faith in the omnipotence
and supremacy of Good, is to co-operate with that Good, and to realize within
yourself the solution and destruction of all evil. Believe and ye shall live.

And here we have the true meaning of salvation; salvation from the darkness
and negation of evil, by entering into, and realizing the living light of the Eternal

Where there is fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, trouble, chagrin, or disappointment,
there is ignorance and lack of faith.

All these conditions of mind are the direct outcome of selfishness, and are based
upon an inherent belief in the power and supremacy of evil; they therefore constitute
practical atheism; and to live in, and become subject to, these negative and
soul-destroying conditions of mind is the only real atheism.

It is salvation from such conditions that the race needs, and let no man boast of
salvation whilst he is their helpless and obedient slave.

To fear or to worry is as sinful as to curse, for how can one fear or worry if he
intrinsically believes in the Eternal justice, the Omnipotent Good, the Boundless
Love? To fear, to worry, to doubt, is to deny, to dis-believe.

It is from such states of mind that all weakness and failure proceed, for they represent the annulling and disintegrating of the positive thought-forces which would
otherwise speed to their object with power, and bring about their own beneficent

To overcome these negative conditions is to enter into a life of power, is to cease
to be a slave, and to become a master, and there is only one way by which they can
be overcome, and that is by steady and persistent growth in inward knowledge.

To mentally deny evil is not sufficient; it must, by daily practice, be risen above
and understood. To mentally affirm the good is inadequate; it must, by unswerving
endeavor, be entered into and comprehended.

The intelligent practice of self-control, quickly leads to a knowledge of one's interior thought-forces, and, later on, to the acquisition of that power by which they are rightly employed and directed.

In the measure that you master self, that you control your mental forces instead
of being controlled by them, in just such measure will you master affairs and outward

Show me a man under whose touch everything crumbles away, and who cannot
retain success even when it is placed in his hands, and I will show you a man who
dwells continually in those conditions of mind which are the very negation of

To be for ever wallowing in the bogs of doubt, to be drawn continually into the
quicksands of fear, or blown ceaselessly about by the winds of anxiety, is to be a
slave, and to live the life of a slave, even though success and influence be for ever
knocking at your door seeking for admittance.

Such a man, being without faith and without self-government, is incapable of the
right government of his affairs, and is a slave to circumstances; in reality a slave
to himself. Such are taught by affliction, and ultimately pass from weakness to
strength by the stress of bitter experience. Faith and purpose constitute the motive-
power of life.

There is nothing that a strong faith and an unflinching purpose may not accomplish.
By the daily exercise of silent faith, the thought-forces are gathered together,
and by the daily strengthening of silent purpose, those forces are directed toward
the object of accomplishment.

Whatever your position in life may be, before you can hope to enter into any measure of success, usefulness, and power, you must learn how to focus your thought-forces by cultivating calmness and repose. It may be that you are a business man, and you are suddenly confronted with some overwhelming difficulty or probable disaster. You grow fearful and anxious, and are at your wit's end.

To be continued...

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