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s A Man Thinketh 



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Ahd I yt LooS A^6 you yt fir?<X 
1'pRAy you bARteLy to Be So 

to see my Booke BRothe 


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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 percep- 
tion 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. 

Broad ParJ^ Avenue, 

As a Man Thinketh 


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 

As the plant springs from, and could not be 
without, the seed, so every act 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 delib- 
erately executed. 

Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and 
suffering are its fruits; thus does a man gar- 
ner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own 


"Thought in the mind hath made us. What we are 
By thought was wrought and built. If a man's 


Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes 
The wheel the ox 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 
favour or chance, but is the natural result of con- 
tinued 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 harbour- 
ing of grovelling thoughts. 

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the 
armoury of thought he forges the weapons by 
wbich 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 de- 


scends below the level of the beast. Between 
these two extremes are all the grades of char- 
acter, 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 
fruitful of divine promise and confidence than 
this that man is the master of thought, the 
moulder of character, and the maker and shaper 
of condition, 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 weak- 
est and most abandoned state; but in his 
weakness and degradation he is the foolish mas- 
ter who misgoverns 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 expe- 

Only by much searching and mining are 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 moulder of his life, 
and the builder of his destiny, he may unerr- 
ingly prove, if he will watch, control, and alter 
his thoughts, tracing their effects upon himself, 
upon others, and upon his life and circum- 
stances, linking cause and effect by patient prac- 
tice and investigation, and utilizing his every 
experience, even to the most trivial, every-day 
occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowl- 
edge of himself which is Understanding, Wis- 
dom, Power. In this direction, as in no other, 
is the law absolute that "He that seeketh find- 
est; 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. 


A MAN'S MIND may be likened to a garden, 
which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed 
to run wild; but whether cultivated or ne- 
glected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no 
useful seeds are put into it, then 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 proc- 
ess, 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-increas- 
ing 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 char- 
acter 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 circum- 
stances 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 there, and in the ar- 
rangement of his life there is no element of 
chance, but all is the result of a law which can- 
not 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 right- 
ful master of himself. 

That circumstances grow out of thought every 
man knows who has for any length of time 
practised self-control and self-purification, for he 
will have noticed that the alteration in his cir- 
cumstances has been in exact ratio with his al- 
tered 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 har- 
bours; that which it loves, and also that which 
it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished as- 
pirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened 
desires, and circumstances are the means by 
which the soul receives its 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 cir- 
cumstance. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad 
thoughts bad fruit. 

The outer world of circumstance shapes itself 


to the inner world of thought, and both pleas- 
ant and unpleasant external conditions are fac- 
tors which make for the ultimate good of the 
individual. As the reaper of his own harvest, 
man learns both by suffering and bliss. 

Following the inmost desires, aspirations, 
thoughts, by which he allows himself to be 
dominated (pursuing the will-o'-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 obtain. 

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 sud- 
denly into crime by stress of any mere external 
force; the criminal thought had long been se- 
cretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of 
opportunity revealed its gathered power. Cir- 
cumstance 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 its pure happiness without the 



continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations; 
and man, therefore, as the 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 com- 
binations 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 "divin- 
ity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves; it is 
our very self. Man is manacled only by him- 
self: 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 answered 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 o a con- 
scious 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 circum- 
stances, but are unwilling to improve them- 
selves; 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 things. Even the man whose sole ob- 
ject is to acquire wealth must be prepared to 
make great personal sacrifices before he can ac- 
complish 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 jus- 
tified in trying to deceive his employer on the 
ground of the insufficiency of his wages. Such 
a man does not understand the simplest rudi- 
ments 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 to himself a still deeper wretchedness 
by dwelling in, and acting out, indolent, de- 
ceptive, and unmanly thoughts. 

Here is a rich man who is the victim of a 
painful and persistent disease as the result of 
gluttony. He is 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 viands 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 work-people. Such a 
man is altogether unfitted for prosperity, and 
when he finds himself bankrupt, both as re- 
gards reputation and riches, he blames circum- 
stances, 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 unconsciously) of his cir- 
cumstances, and that, whilst aiming at a good 
end, he is continually frustrating its accomplish- 
ment by encouraging thoughts and desires 

which cannot possibly harmonize with that end. 
Such cases could be multiplied and varied al- 
most indefinitely, but this is not necessary, as 
the reader can, if he so resolves, trace the action 
of the laws of thought in his own mind and life, 
and until this is done, mere external facts can- 
not 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 soul-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 direc- 
tions, yet suffer privations; a man may be dis- 
honest in certain directions, yet acquire wealth; 
but the conclusion usually formed that the one 
man fails because of bis particular honesty, and 
that the other prospers because of bis particular 
dishonesty, is the result of a superficial judg- 
ment, which assumes that the dishonest man is 
almost totally corrupt, and the honest man al- 
most entirely virtuous. In the light of a deeper 
knowledge and wider experience, such judg- 
ment is found to be erroneous. The dishonest 
man may have some admirable virtues which 


<AS .A JdAH. 

the other does not possess; and the honest man 
obnoxious vices which are absent in the other. 
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 garners 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 mJnd, 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 ignor- 
ance and blindness, that his life is, and always 
was, justly ordered, and that all his past expe- 
riences, good and bad, were the equitable out- 
working 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 sim- 
ple 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- 
self, 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 mate- 
rial 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 wretched- 
ness when he regards his lot as a burden 
unjustly imposed. 

Indigence and indulgence are the two ex- 
tremes 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 hap- 
piness, health, and prosperity are the result of a 
harmonious adjustment of the inner with the 
outer, of the man with his surroundings. 

A man 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 regu- 
lating 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, and as a 
means of discovering the hidden powers and 
possibilities within himself. 

Law, not confusion, is the dominating prin- 
ciple in the universe; justice, not injustice, is 
the soul and substance of life; and righteous- 

ness, not corruption, is the moulding and mov- 
ing force in the spiritual government o the 
world. This being so, man has but to right 
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 towards 
things and other people, things and other peo- 
ple 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 
effect 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 solidity into circum- 
stances of destitution and disease: impure 
thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervat- 
ing 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 crystal- 

lize into habits of uncleanliness and dishon- 
esty, which solidify into circumstances of 
foulness and beggary: hateful and condemna- 
tory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusa- 
tion and violence, which solidify into cir- 
cumstances 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 kindliness, which solidify 
into genial and sunny circumstances: pure 
thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance 
and self-control, which solidify into circum- 
stances of repose and peace: thoughts of cour- 
age, 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 circum- 
stances: loving and unselfish thoughts crystal- 
lize 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 can- 
not 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! opportuni- 
ties 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 
colours which at every succeeding moment it 
presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pic- 
tures of your ever-moving thoughts. 

"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 cows 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, 

Though walls of granite intervene. 

Be not impatient in delay, 

But wait as one who understands; 
When spirit rises and commands, 

The gods are ready to obey." 


THE BODY is the servant of the mind. It obeys 
the operations of the mind, whether they be de- 
liberately chosen or automatically expressed. 
At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body 
sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the com- 
mand 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 speed- 
ily 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 de- 
moralizes the whole body, and lays it open to 
the entrance of disease; while impure thoughts, 
even if not physically indulged, will soon shat- 
ter the nervous system. 

Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up 
the body in 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 poi- 
soned 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 mani- 
festation; 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 

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 ma- 
levolent microbe. 

If you would perfect your body, guard your 
mind. If you would renew your body, beautify 
your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy, disap- 
pointment, 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 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, age is calm, peaceful, 
and softly mellowed, like the setting sun. I 
have recently seen a philosopher on his 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 goodwill for dispers- 
ing 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 prisonhole. 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. 


UNTIL THOUGHT is linked with purpose there 
is no intelligent accomplishment. With the 
majority the barque 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 

They who have no central purpose in their 
life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, 
troubles, and self-pity ings, all of which are indi- 
cations of weakness, which lead, just as surely 
as deliberately planned sins (though by a dif- 
ferent route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, 
for weakness cannot persist in a power-evolving 

A man should conceive of a legitimate pur- 
pose 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 wan- 
der away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and 
imaginings. This is the royal road to self-con- 
trol and true concentration of thought. Even if 
he fails again and again to accomplish his pur- 
pose (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 

Those who are not prepared for the apprehen- 
sion 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 focussed, and resolution and energy be de- 
veloped, which being done, there is nothing 
which may not be accomplished. 

The weakest soul, knowing its own weak- 
ness, and believing this truth that strength 
can only be developed by effort and practice, 
will, thus believing, at once begin to exert it- 
self, and, adding effort to effort, patience to 
patience, and strength to strength, will never 


cease to (develop, and will at last grow divinely 

As the physically weak man can make him- 
self 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 accom- 
plish 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 rigor- 
ously excluded; they are disintegrating ele- 
ments which break up the straight line of ef- 
fort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless. 
Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish 
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 him- 
self 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 season- 
ably planted, and they bloom and bring forth 
fruit which does not fall prematurely to the 

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 fluctuat- 
ing sensations; he who does this has become the 
conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental 



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 im- 
purity, 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 him- 
self, 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 

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 anH to 

1 34] 


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 arc 
slaves; let us despise the slaves." The truth is 
that oppressor and slave are co-operators in ig- 
norance, 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 mis- 
applied power of the oppressor; a perfect Love, 
seeing the suffering which both states entail, 
condemns neither; a perfect Compassion em- 
braces 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 or- 
der to succeed, give up all animality and sel- 
fishness, by any means; but a portion of it 


must, at least, be sacrificed. A man whose first 
thought is bestial indulgence could neither 
think clearly nor plan methodically; he could 
not find and develop his latent resources, and 
would fail in any undertaking. Not having 
commenced manfully to 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 con- 
fused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on 
the development of his plans, and the strength- 
ening 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 favour 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 virtu- 
ous. All the great Teachers of the ages have de- 
clared this in varying forms, and to prove and 
know it a man has but to persist in making him- 



self more and more virtuous by lifting up his 

Intellectual achievements are the result of 
thought consecrated to the search for knowl- 
edge, 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 

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 unselfish, 
will, as surely as the sun reaches its zenith and 
the moon its 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 animahty, indolence, impurity, cor- 
ruption, and confusion of thought a man de- 

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 wretched- 
ness 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 result 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 sacri- 
fice little; he who would achieve much must 
sacrifice much; he who would attain highly 
must sacrifice greatly. 


THE DREAMERS are the saviours of tKe world. 
As the visible world is sustained by the invisi- 
ble, so men, through all their trials and sins and 
sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful 
visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity 
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, labour- 
ing humanity would perish. 

He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty 
ideal in his heart, will one day realize it. Co- 
lumbus 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, die 
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 re- 
main true to them, your world will at last be 

To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve. 
Shall man's basest desires receive the fullest 
measure of gratification, and his purest aspira- 
tions 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 a waking angel stirs. Dreams 
are the seedlings of realities. 

Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but 
they shall not long remain so if you but per- 
ceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. You can- 
not travel within and stand still without. Here 

is a youth hard pressed by poverty and labour; 
confined long hours in an unhealthy workshop; 
unschooled, and lacking all the arts of refine- 
ment. 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 uti- 
lizes all his spare time and means, small though 
they are, to the development of his latent pow- 
ers 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 expand- 
ing 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 world-wide influence and 
almost unequalled power. In his hands he holds 
the cords of gigantic responsibilities; he speaks, 
and lo! lives are changed; men and women 
hang upon his words and remould their char- 
acters, and, sunlike, he becomes the fixed and 
luminous centre round which innumerable des- 

<AS < 

times revolve. He has realized the Vision o his 
youth. He has become one with his Ideal. 

And you, too, youthful reader, 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. Whatever your present environment 
may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your 
thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will be- 
come as small as your controlling desire; as 
great as your dominant aspiration: in the beau- 
tiful 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 inkstains on your fin- 
gers and then and there shall pour out the 
torrent of your inspiration. You may be driv- 
ing sheep, and you shall wander to the city 
bucolic and open-mouthed; shall wander under 
the intrepid guidance of the spirit into the stu- 
dio of the master, and after a rime he shall say, 
'I have nothing more to teach you/ And now 


you have become the master, who did so re- 
cently dream of great things while driving 
sheep. You shall lay down the saw and the 
plane to take upon yourself the regeneration of 
the world." 

The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indo- 
lent, 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 an- 
other become intellectual, they exclaim, "How 
highly favoured he is!" And noting the saintly 
character and wide influence of another, they 
remark, "How chance aids him at every turn!" 
They do not see the trials and failures and 
struggles which these men have voluntarily en- 
countered 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"; 
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 spir- 
itual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are 
thoughts completed, objects accomplished, vi- 
sions 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 be- 

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 opera- 
tions of thought. 

A man becomes calm in the measure that he 
understands himself as a thought-evolved be- 
ing, for such knowledge necessitates the under- 
standing 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 gov- 
ern 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 a man 
becomes, the greater is his success, his influ- 
ence, his power for good. Even the ordinary 

trader will find his business prosperity increase 
as he develops a greater self-control and equa- 
nimity, for people will always prefer to deal 
with a man whose demeanour is strongly equa- 

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 shines, 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; it is the flowering of life, 
the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wis- 
dom, more to be desired than gold yea, than 
even fine gold. How insignificant mere money- 
seeking looks in comparison with a serene life 
a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, be- 
neath 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 char- 

Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled pas- 
sion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is 
blown about by anxiety and doubt. Only the 
wise man, only he whose thoughts are con- 
trolled and purified, makes the winds and the 
storms of the soul obey him. 

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, 
under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know 
this in the ocean of life the isles of Blessed- 
ness are smiling, and the sunny shore of your 
ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand 
firmly upon the helm of thought. In the 
barque of your soul reclines the commanding 
Master; He does but sleep; wake Him. Self- 
control is strength; Right Thought is mas- 
tery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, 
"Peace, be still!" 

University of California 


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