Without Effort the Mind Produces...
Our minds are constantly active. In the classic book, As a Man Thinketh, James Allen helps us understand the power of our minds to make a difference in our own lives. It all starts with what we believe. Here are eight big ideas from James Allen that help us understand the truth about our minds:
- Without effort the mind will naturally produce negative thoughts. Removing the negative thoughts and cultivating constructive, purposeful thoughts, you make you the conscious master of your mind. When unmanaged by the ‘unconscious’ master, the mind is fertile ground for the seeds of “useless, impure thoughts” to germinate and grew.
- The circumstances of your life are perfectly suited for optimal learning and growth. Our true being can only be discovered through the circumstances of our lives. In other words, the circumstances of your life will always be found to be consistent with your thoughts. “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.”
- Fate is never random and your circumstances are never entirely outside of your control. Like gravity, good thoughts lead to positive action and on to bliss. You cannot suddenly commit crime or sin by external force alone unless the darkened thought had been “secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power.”
- Most are anxious to improve their situation, but unwilling to improve themselves. Are you willing to make great sacrifices for what you want deep in your heart?
- Remove the conflict between your deepest desires and your aspirations! You limit your power in your war against circumstance, when you secretly feed and protect its cause–be it evil or shortcoming–deep within your heart. The lack of coherence between your unspoken yearnings and your retards your efforts. Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; 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.
- A person’s condition cannot be judged by what you can observe. A man may be honest yet lack professional success while an ungrateful person acquires great wealth. All people have a range of virtues and vices and all benefit from their virtues and suffer from their vices according to the Law.
- Suffering is always the effect of wrong mental models. Suffering and other negative emotions can you recognize that your thoughts and beliefs are out of harmony with the law or truth f his being. Suffering is a powerful tool that can help you identify those models and beliefs you have that should be discarded.
- Law, not luck, is the dominating principle in the universe. Justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life; and righteousness, not corruption, is the moulding and moving force in the spiritual government of 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 people will alter towards him.