Sunday, August 26, 2018

As a Man Thinketh Paperback – April 20, 2018 by James Allen (Martino Fine Books)

Working through the first 10-15 pages of this short work can be challenging. The author comes across as condescending with statements of moral impunity. The idea that all circumstances are the result of thoughts and that unfortunate moments come only to those with parallel thoughts is unsettling.

But proceed. As the book continues you discover the true wealth of this book, in the idea that we can influence our surroundings, circumstances and even health by shifting towards positive, cheerful, good thoughts. Yes, yes, you can summarize the basic notion with "think positive," but the language is influential and I see how this book has influenced self-help authors. I see a lot of Neil Strauss (The Game) philosophy rooted in these passages.

I may have conquered the negativity of life in social circumstances but I not infrequently find myself annoyed by a YouTube ad or some other petty inconvenience, which in turn has genuine effects on my subsequent behavior towards others. The practice must be applied across all circumstances of life. It's a challenging but great idea.

This ia a print of the 1913 Edition. As a Man Thinketh was first published in 1903. In it, Allen describes how man is the creator and shaper of his destiny by the thoughts which he thinks. We rise and fall in exact accordance with the character of the thoughts which we entertain. Our environment is the result of the thoughts that we harbor and the behavior that our thoughts bring about. Part of the New Thought Movement, Allen reveals the secrets to having the most fulfilling existence possible, guided by a proper understanding and appreciate of how thought shapes our lives. Allen advises on how to better manage our thoughts and how to direct them into more constructive behavior. Though written more than one hundred years ago, the language and resonance of this classic still hold up today, inviting each of us to reflect not on the world and others, but our own thoughts and how to regain their possession. The title for the essay comes from the Bible: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7. In more than a century, As A Man Thinketh has become an inspirational classic, selling millions of copies worldwide and bringing faith, inspiration, and self- healing to all who have encountered it.

James Allen (1864-1912) was an Englishman who retired from the business world to pursue a lifestyle of writing and contemplation. His books are classics in the fields of inspiration and spirituality. Although best known for As a Man Thinketh, he authored several other books that deal with the power of thought including THE PATH OF PROSPERITY, EIGHT PILLARS OF PROSPERITY and James Allen's BOOK OF MEDITATION FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. 

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.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

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