Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Path of Prosperity: Conclusion

(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 7
The Realization of Prosperity

It is granted only to the heart that abounds with integrity, trust, generosity and
love to realize true prosperity. The heart that is not possessed of these qualities
cannot know prosperity, for prosperity, like happiness, is not an outward possession,
but an inward realization.

The greedy man may become a millionaire, but he will always be wretched, and
mean, and poor, and will even consider himself outwardly poor so long as there is
a man in the world who is richer than himself, whilst the upright, the open-handed
and loving will realize a full and rich prosperity, even though their outward
possessions may be small.

He is poor who is dissatisfied; he is rich who is contented with what he has, and
he is richer who is generous with what he has.

When we contemplate the fact that the universe is abounding in all good things,
material as well as spiritual, and compare it with man's blind eagerness to secure
a few gold coins, or a few acres of dirt, it is then that we realize how dark and ignorant selfishness is; it is then that we know that self-seeking is self-destruction.

Nature gives all, without reservation, and loses nothing; man, grasping all, loses

If you would realize true prosperity do not settle down, as many have done, into
the belief that if you do right everything will go wrong. Do not allow the word
"competition" to shake your faith in the supremacy of righteousness.

I care not what men may say about the "laws of competition," for do I not know
the unchangeable Law, which shall one day put them all to rout, and which puts
them to rout even now in the heart and life of the righteous man?

And knowing this Law I can contemplate all dishonesty with undisturbed repose,
for I know where certain destruction awaits it. Under all circumstances do that
which you believe to be right, and trust the Law; trust the Divine Power that is
imminent in the universe, and it will never desert you, and you will always be

By such a trust all your losses will be converted into gains, and all curses which
threaten will be transmuted into blessings. Never let go of integrity, generosity,
and love, for these, coupled with energy, will lift you into the truly prosperous

Do not believe the world when it tells you that you must always attend to "number
one" first, and to others afterwards. To do this is not to think of others at all, but only of one's own comforts.

To those who practice this the day will come when they will be deserted by all,
and when they cry out in their loneliness and anguish there will be no one to hear
and help them. To consider one's self before all others is to cramp and warp and
hinder every noble and divine impulse.

Let your soul expand, let your heart reach out to others in loving and generous
warmth, and great and lasting will be your joy, and all prosperity will come to
you. Those who have wandered from the highway of righteousness guard themselves
against competition; those who always pursue the right need not to trouble
about such defense.

This is no empty statement, There are men today who, by the power of integrity
and faith, have defied all competition, and who, without swerving in the least
from their methods, when competed with, have risen steadily into prosperity,
whilst those who tried to undermine them have fallen back defeated.

To possess those inward qualities which constitute goodness is to be armored
against all the powers of evil, and to be doubly protected in every time of trial;
and to build' oneself up in those qualities is to build up a success which cannot be
shaken, and to enter into a prosperity which will endure forever.

The White Robe of the Heart Invisible
Is stained with sin and sorrow, grief and pain,
And all repentant pools and springs of prayer
Shall not avail to wash it white again.

While in the path of ignorance I walk,
The stains of error will not cease to cling
Defilements mark the crookedpath of self,
Where anguish lurks and disappointments sting.

Knowledge and wisdom only can avail
To purify and make my garment clean,
For therein lie love's waters; therein rests
Peace undisturbed, eternal, and serene.

Sin and repentance is the path of pain,
Knowledge and wisdom is the path of Peace
By the near way ofpractice I willfind
Where bliss begins, how pains and sorrows cease.

Self shall depart, and Truth shall take its place
The Changeless One, the Indivisible
Shall take up His abode in me, and cleanse
The White Robe of the Heart Invisible.

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