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James Allen JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword .............................................................................................. p. 3
Chapter 1. The Lesson of Evil ............................................................. p. 4
Chapter 2. The World a Reﬂex of Mental States ................................ p. 9
Chapter 3. The Way out of Undesirable Conditions .......................... p. 14
Chapter 4. The Silent Power of Thought:
Controlling and Directing One’s Forces ........................... p. 25
Chapter 5. The Secret of Health, Success and Power ........................ p. 33
Chapter 6. The Secret of Abounding Happiness ................................ p. 42
Chapter 7. The Realization of Prosperity ........................................... p. 48 2 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY FOREWORD
I looked around upon the world, and saw that it was shadowed by sorrow and
scorched by the ﬁerce ﬁres of suffering. And I looked for the cause. I looked
around, but could not ﬁnd it; I looked in books, but could not ﬁnd it; I looked
within, and found there both the cause and the self-made nature of that cause. I
looked again, and deeper, and found the remedy.
I found one Law, the Law of Love; one Life, the Life of adjustment to that Law;
one Truth, the truth of a conquered mind and a quiet and obedient heart. And I
dreamed of writing a book which should help men and women, whether rich or
poor, learned or unlearned, worldly or unworldly, to ﬁnd within themselves the
source of all success, all happiness, all accomplishment, all truth. And the dream
remained with me, and at last became substantial; and now I send it forth into
the world on its mission of healing and blessedness, knowing that it cannot fail to
reach the homes and hearts of those who are waiting and ready to receive it.
- JAMES ALLEN. 3 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 1
THE LESSON OF EVIL
Unrest and pain and sorrow are the shadows of life. There is no heart in all the
world that has not felt the sting of pain, no mind has not been tossed upon the
dark waters of trouble, no eye that has not wept the hot blinding tears of unspeakable anguish.
There is no household where the Great Destroyers, disease and death, have not
entered, severing heart from heart, and casting over all the dark pall of sorrow.
In the strong, and apparently indestructible meshes of evil all are more or less fast
caught, and pain, unhappiness, and misfortune wait upon mankind.
With the object of escaping, or in some way mitigating this overshadowing gloom,
men and women rush blindly into innumerable devices, pathways by which they
fondly hope to enter into a happiness which will not pass away.
Such are the drunkard and the harlot, who revel in sensual excitements; such is
the exclusive aesthete, who shuts himself out from the sorrows of the world, and
surrounds himself with enervating luxuries; such is he who thirsts for wealth or
fame, and subordinates all things to the achievement of that object; and such are
they who seek consolation in the performance of religious rites.
And to all the happiness sought seems to come, and the soul, for a time, is lulled
into a sweet security, and an intoxicating forgetfulness of the existence of evil; but
the day of disease comes at last, or some great sorrow, temptation, or misfortune
breaks suddenly in on the unfortiﬁed soul, and the fabric of its fancied happiness
is torn to shreds.
So over the head of every personal joy hangs the Damocletian sword of pain,
ready, at any moment, to fall and crush the soul of him who is unprotected by
The child cries to be a man or woman; the man and woman sigh for the lost felicity of childhood. The poor man chafes under the chains of poverty by which he
is bound, and the rich man often lives in fear of poverty, or scours the world in
search of an elusive shadow he calls happiness. 4 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Sometimes the soul feels that it has found a secure peace and happiness in adopting a certain religion, in embracing an intellectual philosophy, or in building up
an intellectual or artistic ideal; but some overpowering temptation proves the
religion to be inadequate or insufﬁcient; the theoretical philosophy is found to be
a useless prop; or in a moment, the idealistic statue upon which the devotee has
for years been laboring, is shattered into fragments at his feet.
Is there, then, no way of escape from pain and sorrow? Are there no means by
which bonds of evil may be broken? Is permanent happiness, secure prosperity,
and abiding peace a foolish dream?
No, there is a way, and I speak it with gladness, by which evil can be slain for
ever; there is a process by which disease, poverty, or any adverse condition or
circumstance can be put on one side never to return; there is a method by which a
permanent prosperity can be secured, free from all fear of the return of adversity,
and there is a practice by which unbroken and unending peace and bliss can be
partaken of and realized.
And the beginning of the way which leads to this glorious realization is the acquirement of a right understanding of the nature of evil.
It is not sufﬁcient to deny or ignore evil; it must be understood. It is not enough to
pray to God to remove the evil; you must ﬁnd out why it is there, and what lesson
it has for you.
It is of no avail to fret and fume and chafe at the chains which bind you; you must
know why and how you are bound. Therefore, reader, you must get outside yourself, and must begin to examine and understand yourself.
You must cease to be a disobedient child in the school of experience and must begin to learn, with humility and patience, the lessons that are set for your ediﬁcation and ultimate perfection; for evil, when rightly understood, is found to be, not
an unlimited power or principle in the universe, but a passing phase of human
experience, and it therefore becomes a teacher to those who are willing to learn.
Evil is not an abstract some thing outside yourself; it is an experience in your own
heart, and by patiently examining and rectifying your heart you will be gradually
led into the discovery of the origin and nature of evil, which will necessarily be
followed by its complete eradication.
All evil is corrective and remedial, and is therefore not permanent. It is rooted in
ignorance, ignorance of the true nature and relation of things, and so long as we
remain in that state of ignorance, we remain subject to evil.
5 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY There is no evil in the universe which is not the result of ignorance, and which
would not, if we were ready and willing to learn its lesson, lead us to higher wisdom, and then vanish away. But men remain in evil, and it does not pass away
because men are not willing or prepared to learn the lesson which it came to teach
I knew a child who, every night when its mother took it to bed, cried to be allowed
to play with the candle; and one night, when the mother was off guard for a moment, the child took hold of the candle; the inevitable result followed, and the
child never wished to play with the candle again.
By its one foolish act it learned, and learned perfectly the lesson of obedience,
and entered into the knowledge that ﬁre burns. And, this incident is a complete
illustration of the nature, meaning, and ultimate result of all sin and evil.
As the child suffered through its own ignorance of the real nature of ﬁre, so older
children suffer through their ignorance of the real nature of the things which they
weep for and strive after, and which harm them when they are secured; the only
difference being that in the latter case the ignorance and evil are more deeply
rooted and obscure.
Evil has always been symbolized by darkness, and Good by light, and hidden
within the symbol is contained the perfect interpretation, the reality; for, just as
light always ﬂoods the universe, and darkness is only a mere speck or shadow cast
by a small body intercepting a few rays of the illimitable light, so the Light of the
Supreme Good is the positive and life-giving power which ﬂoods the universe,
and evil the insigniﬁcant shadow cast by the self that intercepts and shuts off the
illuminating rays which strive for entrance.
When night folds the world in its black impenetrable mantle, no matter how dense
the darkness, it covers but the small space of half our little planet, while the whole
universe is ablaze with living light, and every soul knows that it will awake in the
light in the morning.
Know, then, that when the dark night of sorrow, pain, or misfortune settles down
upon your soul, and you stumble along with weary and uncertain steps, that you
are merely intercepting your own personal desires between yourself and the
boundless light of joy and bliss, and the dark shadow that covers you is cast by
none and nothing but yourself. 6 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY And just as the darkness without is but a negative shadow, an unreality which
comes from nowhere, goes to nowhere, and has no abiding dwelling place, so the
darkness within is equally a negative shadow passing over the evolving and Lightborn soul.
“But,” I fancy I hear someone say, “why pass through the darkness of evil at all?”
Because, by ignorance, you have chosen to do so, and because, by doing so, you
may understand both good and evil, and may the more appreciate the light by
having passed through the darkness.
As evil is the direct outcome of ignorance, so, when the lessons of evil are fully
learned, ignorance passes away, and wisdom takes its place. But as a disobedient
child refuses to learn its lessons at school, so it is possible to refuse to learn the
lessons of experience, and thus to remain in continual darkness, and to suffer
continually recurring punishments in the form of disease, disappointment, and
He, therefore, who would shake himself free of the evil which encompasses him,
must be willing and ready to learn, and must be prepared to undergo that disciplinary process without which no grain of wisdom or abiding happiness and peace
can be secured.
A man may shut himself up in a dark room, and deny that the light exists, but it is
everywhere without, and darkness exists only in his own little room.
So you may shut out the light of Truth, or you may begin to pull down the walls of
prejudice, self-seeking and error which you have built around yourself, and so let
in the glorious and omnipresent Light.
By earnest self-examination strive to realize, and not merely hold as a theory, that
evil is a passing phase, a self-created shadow; that all your pains, sorrows and
misfortunes have come to you by a process of undeviating and absolutely perfect
law; have come to you because you deserve and require them, and that by ﬁrst enduring, and then understanding them, you may be made stronger, wiser, nobler.
When you have fully entered into this realization, you will be in a position to
mould your own circumstances, to transmute all evil into good and to weave, with
a master hand, the fabric of your destiny. 7 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY What of the night, O Watchman! see’st thou yet
The glimmering dawn upon the mountain heights,
The golden Herald of the Light of lights,
Are his fair feet upon the hilltops set?
Cometh he yet to chase away the gloom,
And with it all the demons of the Night?
Strike yet his darting rays upon thy sight?
Hear’st thou his voice, the sound of error’s doom?
The Morning cometh, lover of the Light;
Even now He gilds with gold the mountain’s brow,
Dimly I see the path whereon even now
His shining feet are set toward the Night.
Darkness shall pass away, and all the things
That love the darkness, and that hate the Light
Shall disappear for ever with the Night:
Rejoice! for thus the speeding Herald sings. 8 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 2
THE WORLD A REFLEX OF MENTAL STATES
What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your
own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reﬂection of
your own state of consciousness.
It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly.
All that you positively know is contained in your own experience; all that you ever
will know must pass through the gateway of experience, and so become part of
Your own thoughts, desires, and aspirations comprise your world, and, to you, all
that there is in the universe of beauty and joy and bliss, or of ugliness and sorrow
and pain, is contained within yourself.
By your own thoughts you make or mar your life, your world, your universe, As
you build within by the power of thought, so will your outward life and circumstances shape themselves accordingly.
Whatsoever you harbor in the inmost chambers of your heart will, sooner or later
by the inevitable law of reaction, shape itself in your outward life.
The soul that is impure, sordid and selﬁsh, is gravitating with unerring precision
toward misfortune and catastrophe; the soul that is pure, unselﬁsh, and noble is
gravitating with equal precision toward happiness and prosperity.
Every soul attracts its own, and nothing can possibly come to it that does not belong to it. To realize this is to recognize the universality of Divine Law.
The incidents of every human life, which both make and mar, are drawn to it by
the quality and power of its own inner thought-life. Every soul is a complex combination of gathered experiences and thoughts, and the body is but an improvised
vehicle for its manifestation.
What, therefore, your thoughts are, that is your real self; and the world around,
both animate and inanimate, wears the aspect with which your thoughts clothe it. 9 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
It is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts.” Thus said Buddha, and it therefore follows that if a man is happy, it is because he dwells in
happy thoughts; if miserable, because he dwells in despondent and debilitating
Whether one be fearful or fearless, foolish or wise, troubled or serene, within that
soul lies the cause of its own state or states, and never without. And now I seem
to hear a chorus of voices exclaim, “But do you really mean to say that outward
circumstances do not affect our minds?” I do not say that, but I say this, and know
it to be an infallible truth, that circumstances can only affect you in so far as you
allow them to do so.
You are swayed by circumstances because you have not a right understanding of
the nature, use, and power of thought.
You believe (and upon this little word belief hang all our sorrows and joys) that
outward things have the power to make or mar your life; by so doing you submit
to those outward things, confess that you are their slave, and they your unconditional master; by so doing, you invest them with a power which they do not, of
themselves, possess, and you succumb, in reality, not to the mere circumstances,
but to the gloom or gladness, the fear or hope, the strength or weakness, which
your thought-sphere has thrown around them.
I knew two men who, at an early age, lost the hard-earned savings of years. One
was very deeply troubled, and gave way to chagrin, worry, and despondency.
The other, on reading in his morning paper that the bank in which his money
was deposited had hopelessly failed, and that he had lost all, quietly and ﬁrmly
remarked, ‘’Well, it’s gone, and trouble and worry won’t bring it back, but hard
He went to work with renewed vigor, and rapidly became prosperous, while the
former man, continuing to mourn the loss of his money, and to grumble at his
‘’bad luck,” remained the sport and tool of adverse circumstances, in reality of his
own weak and slavish thoughts.
The loss of money was a curse to the one because he clothed the event with dark
and dreary thoughts; it was a blessing to the other, because he threw around it
thoughts of strength, of hope, and renewed endeavor. 10 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY If circumstances had the power to bless or harm, they would bless and harm all
men alike, but the fact that the same circumstances will be alike good and bad to
different souls proves that the good or bad is not in the circumstance, but only in
the mind of him that encounters it.
When you begin to realize this you will begin to control your thoughts, to regulate
and discipline your mind, and to rebuild the inward temple of your soul, eliminating all useless and superﬂuous material, and incorporating into your being
thoughts alone of joy and serenity, of strength and life, of compassion and love,
of beauty and immortality; and as you do this you will become joyful and serene,
strong and healthy, compassionate and loving, and beautiful with the beauty of
And as we clothe events with the drapery of our own thoughts, so likewise do we
clothe the objects of the visible world around us, and where one sees harmony
and beauty, another sees revolting ugliness.
An enthusiastic naturalist was one day roaming the country lanes in pursuit of
his hobby, and during his rambles came upon a pool of brackish water near a
As he proceeded to ﬁll a small bottle with the water for the purpose of examination under the microscope, he dilated, with more enthusiasm than discretion,
to an uncultivated son of the plough who stood close by, upon the hidden and
innumerable wonders contained in the pool, and concluded by saying, ‘’Yes, my
friend, within this pool is contained a hundred, nay, a million universes, had we
but the sense or the instrument by which we could apprehend them.” And the
unsophisticated one ponderously remarked, ‘’ I know the water be full o’ tadpoles,
but they be easy to catch.” Where the naturalist, his mind stored with the knowledge of natural facts, saw
beauty, harmony, and hidden glory, the mind unenlightened upon those things
saw only an offensive mud-puddle.
The wild ﬂower which the casual wayfarer thoughtlessly tramples upon is, to the
spiritual eye of the poet, an angelic messenger from the invisible.
To the many, the ocean is but a dreary expanse of water on which ships sail and
are sometimes wrecked; to the soul of the musician it is a living thing, and he
hears, in all its changing moods, divine harmonies. 11 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Where the ordinary mind sees disaster and confusion, the mind of the philosopher sees the most perfect sequence of cause and effect, and where the materialist
sees nothing but endless death, the mystic sees pulsating and eternal life.
And as we clothe both events and objects with our own thoughts, so likewise do
we clothe the souls of others in the garments of our thoughts.
The suspicious believe everybody to be suspicious; the Liar feels secure in the
thought that he is not so foolish as to believe that there is such a phenomenon
as a strictly truthful person; the envious see envy in every soul; the miser thinks
everybody is eager to get his money; he who has subordinated conscience in the
making of his wealth, sleeps with a revolver under his pillow, wrapped in the
delusion that the world is full of conscienceless people who are eager to rob him,
and the abandoned sensualist looks upon the saint as a hypocrite.
On the other hand, those who dwell in loving thoughts, see that in all which calls
forth their love and sympathy; the trusting and honest are not troubled by suspicions; the good-natured and charitable who rejoice at the good fortune of others,
scarcely know what envy means; and he who has realized the Divine within himself recognizes it in all beings, even in the beasts.
And men and women are conﬁrmed in their mental outlook because of the fact
that, by the law of cause and effect, they attract to themselves that which they
send forth, and so come in contact with people similar to themselves.
The old adage, “Birds of a feather ﬂock together,” has a deeper signiﬁcance than
is generally attached to it, for in the thought-world as in the world of matter, each
clings to its kind.
Do you wish for kindness? Be kind.
Do you ask for truth? Be true.
What you give of yourself you ﬁnd;
Your world is a reﬂex of you.
If you are one of those who are praying for, and looking forward to, a happier
world beyond the grave, here is a message of gladness for you, you may enter into
and realize that happy world now; it ﬁlls the whole universe, and it is within you,
waiting for you to ﬁnd, acknowledge, and possess. Said one who knew the inner
laws of Being,”
When men shall say Io here, or Io there, go not after them; the kingdom of God
is within you.” 12 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY What you have to do is to believe this, simply believe it with a mind unshadowed
by doubt, and then meditate upon it till you understand it.
You will then begin to purify and to build your inner world, and as you proceed,
passing from revelation to revelation, from realization to realization, you will discover the utter powerlessness of outward things beside the magic potency of a
If thou would’st right the world,
And banish all its evils and its woes,
Make its wild places bloom,
And its drear deserts blossom as the rose,Then right thyself.
If thou would’st turn the world
From its long, lone captivity in sin,
Restore all broken hearts,
Slay grief, and let sweet consolation in,Turn thou thyself.
If thou would’st cure the world
Of its long sickness, end its grief and pain;
Bring in all-healing joy,
And give to the afﬂicted rest again,Then cure thyself.
If thou would’st wake the world
Out of its dream of death and dark’ning strife,
Bring it to Love and Peace,
And Light and brightness of immortal Life,Wake thou thyself. 13 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 3
THE WAY OUT OF UNDESIRABLE CONDITIONS
Having seen and realized that evil is but a passing shadow thrown, by the intercepting self, across the transcendent Form of the Eternal Good, and that the
world is a mirror in which each sees a reﬂection of himself, we now ascend, by
ﬁrm and easy steps, to that plane of perception whereon is seen and realized the
Vision of the Law.
With this realization comes the knowledge that everything is included in a ceaseless interaction of cause and effect, and that nothing can possibly be divorced
From the most trivial thought, word, or act of man, up to the groupings of the
celestial bodies, law reigns supreme. No arbitrary condition can, even for one moment, exist, for such a condition would be a denial and an annihilation of law.
Every condition of life is, therefore, bound up in an orderly and harmonious sequence, and the secret and cause of every condition is contained within itself,
The law, “Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap,” is inscribed in ﬂaming
letters upon the portal of Eternity, and none can deny it, none can cheat it, none
can escape it.
He who puts his hand in the ﬁre must suffer the burning until such time as it has
worked itself out, and neither curses nor prayers can avail to alter it.
And precisely the same law governs the realm of mind. Hatred, anger, jealousy,
envy, lust, covetousness, all these are ﬁres which bum, and whoever even so much
as touches them must suffer the torments of burning.
All these conditions of mind are rightly called “evil,” for they are the efforts of
the soul to subvert, in its ignorance, the law, an they, therefore, lead to chaos and
confusion within, and are sooner or later actualized in the outward circumstances
as disease, failure, and misfortune, coupled with grief, pain, and despair.
Whereas love, gentleness, good-will, purity, are cooling airs which breathe peace
upon the soul that woes them, and, being in harmony with the Eternal Law, they
become actualized in the form of health, peaceful surroundings, and undeviating
success and good fortune. 14 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY A thorough understanding of this Great Law which permeates the universe leads
to the acquirement of that state of mind known as obedience.
To know that justice, harmony, and love are supreme in the universe is likewise to
know that all adverse and painful conditions are the result of our own disobedience to that Law.
Such knowledge leads to strength and power, and it is upon such knowledge alone
that a true life and an enduring success and happiness can be built.
To be patient under all circumstances, and to accept all conditions as necessary
factors in your training, is to rise superior to all painful conditions, and to overcome them with an overcoming which is sure, and which leaves no fear of their
return, for by the power of obedience to law they are utterly slain.
Such an obedient one is working in harmony with the law, has in fact, identiﬁed
himself with the law, and whatsoever he conquers he conquers for ever, whatsoever he builds can never be destroyed.
The cause of all power, as of all weakness, is within; the secret of all happiness as
of all misery is likewise within.
There is no progress apart from unfoldment within, and no sure foothold of prosperity or peace except by orderly advancement in knowledge.
You say you are chained by circumstances; you cry out for better opportunities,
for a wider scope, for improved physical conditions, and perhaps you inwardly
curse the fate that binds you hand and foot.
It is for you that I write; it is to you that I speak. Listen, and let my words burn
themselves into your heart, for that which I say to you is truth:
You may bring about that improved condition in your outward life which you desire, if you will unswervingly resolve to improve your inner life.
I know this pathway looks barren at its commencement (truth always does, it
is only error and delusion which are at ﬁrst inviting and fascinating,) but if you
undertake to walk it; if you perseveringly discipline your mind, eradicating your
weaknesses, and allowing your soul-forces and spiritual powers to unfold themselves, you will be astonished at the magical changes which will be brought about
in your outward life. 15 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY As you proceed, golden opportunities will be strewn across your path, and the
power and judgment to properly utilize them will spring up within you. Genial
friends will come unbidden to you; sympathetic souls will be drawn to you as
the needle is to the magnet; and books and all outward aids that you require will
come to you unsought.
Perhaps the chains of poverty hang heavily upon you, and you are friendless and
alone, and you long with an intense longing that your load may be lightened; but
the load continues, and you seem to be enveloped in an ever-increasing darkness.
Perhaps you complain, you bewail your lot; you blame your birth, your parents,
your employer, or the unjust Powers who have bestowed upon you so undeservedly poverty and hardship, and upon another afﬂuence and ease.
Cease your complaining and fretting; none of these things which you blame are
the cause of your poverty; the cause is within yourself, and where the cause is,
there is the remedy.
The very fact that you are a complainer, shows that you deserve your lot; shows
that you lack that faith which is the ground of all effort and progress.
There is no room for a complainer in a universe of law, and worry is soul-suicide.
By your very attitude of mind you are strengthening the chains which bind you,
and are drawing about you the darkness by which you are enveloped, Alter your
outlook upon life, and your outward life will alter.
Build yourself up in the faith and knowledge, and make yourself worthy of better
surroundings and wider opportunities. Be sure, ﬁrst of all, that you are making
the best of what you have.
Do not delude yourself into supposing that you can step into greater advantages
whilst overlooking smaller ones, for if you could, the advantage would be impermanent and you would quickly fall back again in order to learn the lesson which
you had neglected.
As the child at school must master one standard before passing onto the next, so,
before you can have that greater good which you so desire, must you faithfully
employ that which you already possess. 16 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY The parable of the talents is a beautiful story illustrative of this truth, for does it
not plainly show that if we misuse, neglect, or degrade that which we possess, be
it ever so mean and insigniﬁcant, even that little will be taken from us, for, by our
conduct we show that we are unworthy of it.
Perhaps you are living in a small cottage, and are surrounded by unhealthy and
You desire a larger and more sanitary residence. Then you must ﬁt yourself for
such a residence by ﬁrst of all making your cottage as far as possible a little paradise.
Keep it spotlessly clean. Make it look as pretty and sweet as your limited means
will allow. Cook your plain food with all care, and arrange your humble table as
tastefully as you possibly can.
If you cannot afford a carpet, let your rooms be carpeted with smiles and welcomes, fastened down with the nails of kind words driven in with the hammer of
patience. Such a carpet will not fade in the sun, and constant use will never wear
By so ennobling your present surroundings you will rise above them, and above
the need of them, and at the right time you will pass on into the better house and
surroundings which have all along been waiting for you, and which you have ﬁtted yourself to occupy.
Perhaps you desire more time for thought and effort, and feel that your hours of
labor are too hard and long. Then see to it that you are utilizing to the fullest possible extent what little spare time you have.
It is useless to desire more time, if you are already wasting what little you have;
for you would only grow more indolent and indifferent.
Even poverty and lack of time and leisure are not the evils that you imagine they
are, and if they hinder you in your progress, it is because you have clothed them
in your own weaknesses, and the evil that you see in them is really in yourself.
Endeavor to fully and completely realize that in so far as you shape and mould
your mind, you are the maker of your destiny, and as, by the transmuting power
of self-discipline you realize this more and more, you will come to see that these
so-called evils may be converted into blessings. 17 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY You will then utilize your poverty for the cultivation of patience, hope and courage; and your lack of time in the gaining of promptness of action and decision of
mind, by seizing the precious moments as they present themselves for your acceptance.
As in the rankest soil the most beautiful ﬂowers are grown, so in the dark soil of
poverty the choicest ﬂowers of humanity have developed and bloomed.
Where there are difﬁculties to cope with, and unsatisfactory conditions to overcome, there virtue most ﬂourishes and manifests its glory.
It may be that you are in the employ of a tyrannous master or mistress, and you
feel that you are harshly treated. Look upon this also as necessary to your training. Return your employer’s unkindness with gentleness and forgiveness.
Practice unceasingly patience and self-control. Turn the disadvantage to account
by utilizing it for the gaining of mental and spiritual strength, and by your silent
example and inﬂuence you will thus be teaching your employer, will be helping
him to grow ashamed of his conduct, and will, at the same time, be lifting yourself up to that height of spiritual attainment by which you will be enabled to step
into new and more congenial surroundings at the time when they are presented
Do not complain that you are a slave, but lift yourself up, by noble conduct, above
the plane of slavery. Before complaining that you are a slave to another, be sure
that you are not a slave to self.
Look within; look searchingly, and have no mercy upon yourself. You will ﬁnd
there, perchance, slavish thoughts, slavish desires, and in your daily life and conduct slavish habits.
Conquer these; cease to be a slave to self, and no man will have the power to enslave you. As you overcome self, you will overcome all adverse conditions, and
every difﬁculty will fall before you.
Do not complain that you are oppressed by the rich. Are you sure that if you
gained riches you would not be an oppressor yourself?
Remember that there is the Eternal Law which is absolutely just, and that he who
oppresses today must himself be oppressed tomorrow; and from this there is no
way of escape. 18 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY And perhaps you, yesterday (in some former existence) were rich and an oppressor, and that you are now merely paying off the debt which you owe to the Great
Law. Practice, therefore, fortitude and faith.
Dwell constantly in mind upon the Eternal justice, the Eternal Good. Endeavor
to lift yourself above the personal and the transitory into the impersonal and permanent.
Shake off the delusion that you are being injured or oppressed by another, and try
to realize, by a profounder comprehension of your inner life, and the laws which
govern that life, that you are only really injured by what is within you. There is no
practice more degrading, debasing, and soul-destroying than that of self-pity.
Cast it out from you. While such a canker is feeding upon your heart you can
never expect to grow into a fuller life.
Cease from the condemnation of others, and begin to condemn yourself. Condone
none of your acts, desires or thoughts that will not bear comparison with spotless
purity, or endure the light of sinless good.
By so doing you will be building your house upon the rock of the Eternal, and all
that is required for your happiness and well-being will come to you in its own
There is positively no way of permanently rising above poverty, or any undesirable condition, except by eradicating those selﬁsh and negative conditions within,
of which these are the reﬂection, and by virtue of which they continue.
The way to true riches is to enrich the soul by the acquisition of virtue. Outside
of real heart-virtue there is neither prosperity nor power, but only the appearances of these. I am aware that men make money who have acquired no measure
of virtue, and have little desire to do so; but such money does not constitute true
riches, and its possession is transitory and feverish.
Here is David’s testimony:- For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.. . .. . Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than
heart could wish....... -Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my
hands in innocence... When I thought to know this it was too painful for me; until
I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.”
The prosperity of the wicked was a great trial to David until he went into the sanctuary of God, and then he knew their end. 19 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY You likewise may go into that sanctuary. It is within you. It is that state of consciousness which remains when all that is sordid, and personal, and impermanent is risen above, and universal and eternal principles are realized.
That is the God state of consciousness; it is the sanctuary of the Most High. When
by long strife and self-discipline, you have succeeded in entering the door of that
holy Temple, you will perceive, with unobstructed vision, the end and fruit of all
human thought and endeavor, both good and evil.
You will then no longer relax your faith when you see the immoral man accumulating outward riches, for you will know, that he must come again to poverty and
The rich man who is barren of virtue is, in reality, poor, and as surely, as the
waters of the river are drifting to the ocean, so surely is he, in the midst of all his
riches, drifting towards poverty and misfortune; and though he die rich, yet must
he return to reap the bitter fruit of all of his immorality.
And though he become rich many times, yet as many times must he be thrown
back into poverty, until, by long experience and suffering he conquers the poverty
But the man who is outwardly poor, yet rich in virtue, is truly rich, and, in the
midst of all his poverty he is surely traveling towards prosperity; and abounding
joy and bliss await his coming. If you would become truly and permanently prosperous, you must ﬁrst become virtuous.
It is therefore unwise to aim directly at prosperity, to make it the one object of life,
to reach out greedily for it, To do this is to ultimately defeat yourself.
But rather aim at self-perfection, make useful and unselﬁsh service the object of
your life, and ever reach out hands of faith towards the supreme and unalterable
You say you desire wealth, not for your own sake, but in order to do good with it,
and to bless others. If this is your real motive in desiring wealth, then wealth will
come to you; for you are strong and unselﬁsh indeed if, in the midst of riches, you
are willing to look upon yourself as steward and not as owner.
But examine well your motive, for in the majority of instances where money is
desired for the admitted object of blessing others, the real underlying motive is a
love of popularity, and a desire to pose as a philanthropist or reformer.
20 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY If you are not doing good with what little you have, depend upon it the more
money you got the more selﬁsh you would become, and all the good you appeared
to do with your money, if you attempted to do any, would be so much insinuating
If your real desire is to do good, there is no need to wait for money before you do
it; you can do it now, this very moment, and just where you are. If you are really
so unselﬁsh as you believe yourself to be, you will show it by sacriﬁcing yourself
for others now.
No matter how poor you are, there is room for self-sacriﬁce, for did not the widow
put her all into the treasury?
The heart that truly desires to do good does not wait for money before doing it,
but comes to the altar of sacriﬁce and, leaving there the unworthy elements of
self, goes out and breathes upon neighbor and stranger, friend and enemy alike
the breath of blessedness.
As the effect is related to the cause, so is prosperity and power related to the inward good and poverty and weakness to the inward evil.
Money does not constitute true wealth, nor position, nor power, and to rely upon
it alone is to stand upon a slippery place.
Your true wealth is your stock of virtue, and your true power the uses to which
you put it. Rectify your heart, and you will rectify your life. Lust, hatred, anger,
vanity, pride, covetousness, self-indulgence, self-seeking, obstinacy,- all these are
poverty and weakness; whereas love, purity, gentleness, meekness, compassion,
generosity, self-forgetfulness, and self-renunciation,- all these are wealth and
As the elements of poverty and weakness are overcome, an irresistible and allconquering power is evolved from within, and he who succeeds in establishing
himself in the highest virtue, brings the whole world to his feet.
But the rich, as well as the poor, have their undesirable conditions, and are frequently farther removed from happiness than the poor. And here we see how
happiness depends, not upon outward aids or possessions, but upon the inward
Perhaps you are an employer, and you have endless trouble with those whom you
employ, and when you do get good and faithful servants they quickly leave you.
21 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY As a result you are beginning to lose, or have completely lost, your faith in human
You try to remedy matters by giving better wages, and by allowing certain liberties, yet matters remain unaltered. Let me advise you.
The secret of all your trouble is not in your servants, it is in yourself; and if you
look within, with a humble and sincere desire to discover and eradicate your error, you will, sooner or later, ﬁnd the origin of all your unhappiness.
It may be some selﬁsh desire, or lurking suspicion, or unkind attitude of mind
which sends out its poison upon those about you, and reacts upon yourself, even
though you may not show it in your manner or speech.
Think of your servants with kindness, consider of them that extremity of service
which you yourself would not care to perform were you in their place.
Rare and beautiful is that humility of soul by which a servant entirely forgets
himself in his master’s good; but far rarer, and beautiful with a divine beauty, is
that nobility of soul by which a man, forgetting his own happiness, seeks the happiness of those who are under his authority, and who depend upon him for their
And such a man’s happiness is increased tenfold, nor does he need to complain of
those whom he employs. Said a well known and extensive employer of labor, who
never needs to dismiss an employee: “I have always had the happiest relations
with my workpeople.
If you ask me how it is to be accounted for, I can only say that it has been my aim
from the ﬁrst to do to them as I would wish to be done by.” Herein lies the secret
by which all desirable conditions are secured, and all that are undesirable are
Do you say that you are lonely and unloved, and have “not a friend in the world”?
Then, I pray you, for the sake of your own happiness, blame nobody but yourself.
Be friendly towards others, and friends will soon ﬂock round you. Make yourself
pure and lovable, and you will be loved by all.
Whatever conditions are rendering your life burdensome, you may pass out of
and beyond them by developing and utilizing within you the transforming power
of self-puriﬁcation and self-conquest.
22 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Be it the poverty which galls (and remember that the poverty upon which I have
been dilating is that poverty which is a source of misery, and not that voluntary
poverty which is the glory of emancipated souls), or the riches which burden, or
the many misfortunes, griefs, and annoyances which form the dark background
in the web of life, you may overcome them by overcoming the selﬁsh elements
within which give them life.
It matters not that by the unfailing Law, there are past thoughts and acts to work
out and to atone for, as, by the same law, we are setting in motion, during every
moment of our life, fresh thoughts and acts, and we have the power to make them
good or ill.
Nor does it follow that if a man (reaping what he has sown) must lose money or
forfeit position, that he must also lose his fortitude or forfeit his uprightness, and
it is in these that his wealth and power and happiness are to be found.
He who clings to self is his own enemy and is surrounded by enemies.
He who relinquishes self is his own savior, and is surrounded by friends like a
protecting belt. Before the divine radiance of a pure heart all darkness vanishes
and all clouds melt away, and he who has conquered self has conquered the universe.
Come, then, out of your poverty; come out of your pain; come out of your troubles, and sighings, and complainings, and heartaches, and loneliness by coming
out of yourself.
Let the old tattered garment of your petty selﬁshness fall from you, and put on
the new garment of universal Love. You will then realize the inward heaven, and
it will be reﬂected in all your outward life.
He who sets his foot ﬁrmly upon the path of self-conquest, who walks, aided by
the staff of Faith, the highway of self-sacriﬁce, will assuredly achieve the highest
prosperity, and will reap abounding and enduring joy and bliss. 23 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY To them that seek the highest good
All things subserve the wisest ends;
Nought comes as ill, and wisdom lends
Wings to all shapes of evil brood.
The dark’ning sorrow veils a Star
That waits to shine with gladsome light;
Hell waits on heaven; and after night
Comes golden glory from afar.
Defeats are steps by which we climb
With purer aim to nobler ends;
Loss leads to gain, and joy attends
True footsteps up the hills of time.
Pain leads to paths of holy bliss,
To thoughts and words and deeds divine-,
And clouds that gloom and rays that shine,
Along life’s upward highway kiss.
Misfortune does but cloud the way
Whose end and summit in the sky
Of bright success, sunkiss’d and high,
Awaits our seeking and our stay.
The heavy pall of doubts and fears
That clouds the Valley of our hopes,
The shades with which the spirit copes,
The bitter harvesting of tears,
The heartaches, miseries, and griefs,
The bruisings born of broken ties,
All these are steps by which we rise
To living ways of sound beliefs.
Love, pitying, watchful, runs to meet
The Pilgrim from the Land of Fate;
All glory and all good await
The coming of obedient feet. 24 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 4
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. 25 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY 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
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
results. 26 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY 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 circumstances.
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. 27 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY To persist in such a state of mind would be fatal, for when anxiety steps in, correct
judgment passes out. Now if you will take advantage of a quiet hour or two in the
early morning or at night, and go away to some solitary spot, or to some room in
your house where you know you will be absolutely free from intrusion, and, having seated yourself in an easy attitude, you forcibly direct your mind right away
from the object of anxiety by dwelling upon something in your life that is pleasing
and blissgiving, a calm, reposeful strength will gradually steal into your mind,
and your anxiety will pass away.
Upon the instant that you ﬁnd your mind reverting to the lower plane of worry
bring it back again, and re-establish it on the plane of peace and strength.
When this is fully accomplished, you may then concentrate your whole mind upon
the solution of your difﬁculty, and what was intricate and insurmountable to you
in your hour of anxiety will be made plain and easy, and you will see, with that
clear vision and perfect judgment which belong only to a calm and untroubled
mind, the right course to pursue and the proper end to be brought about.
It may be that you will have to try day after day before you will be able to perfectly
calm your mind, but if you persevere you will certainly accomplish it. And the
course which is presented to you in that hour of calmness must be carried out.
Doubtless when you are again involved in the business of the day, and worries
again creep in and begin to dominate you, you will begin to think that the course
is a wrong or foolish one, but do not heed such suggestions.
Be guided absolutely and entirely by the vision of calmness, and not by the shadows of anxiety. The hour of calmness is the hour of illumination and correct judgment.
By such a course of mental discipline the scattered thought-forces are re-united,
and directed, like the rays of the search-light, upon the problem at issue, with the
result that it gives way before them.
There is no difﬁculty, however great, but will yield before a calm and powerful
concentration of thought, and no legitimate object but may be speedily actualized
by the intelligent use and direction of one’s soul-forces.
Not until you have gone deeply and searchingly into your inner nature, and have
overcome many enemies that lurk there, can you have any approximate conception of the subtle power of thought, of its inseparable relation to outward and 28 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY material things, or of its magical potency, when rightly poised and directed, in
readjusting and transforming the life-conditions.
Every thought you think is a force sent out, and in accordance with its nature and
intensity will it go out to seek a lodgment in minds receptive to it, and will react
upon yourself for good or evil. There is ceaseless reciprocity between mind and
mind, and a continual interchange of thought-forces.
Selﬁsh and disturbing thoughts are so many malignant and destructive forces,
messengers of evil, sent out to stimulate and augment the evil in other minds,
which in turn send them back upon you with added power.
While thoughts that are calm, pure, and unselﬁsh are so many angelic messengers
sent out into the world with health, healing, and blessedness upon their wings,
counteracting the evil forces; pouring the oil of joy upon the troubled waters of
anxiety and sorrow, and restoring to broken hearts their heritage of immortality.
Think good thoughts, and they will quickly become actualized in your outward
life in the form of good conditions. Control your soul-forces, and you will be able
to shape your outward life as you will.
The difference between a savior and a sinner is this, that the one has a perfect
control of all the forces within him; the other is dominated and controlled by
There is absolutely no other way to true power and abiding peace, but by self-control, self-government, self-puriﬁcation. To be at the mercy of your disposition is
to be impotent, unhappy, and of little real use in the world.
The conquest of your petty likes and dislikes, your capricious loves and hates,
your ﬁts of anger, suspicion, jealousy, and all the changing moods to which you
are more or less helplessly subject, this is the task you have before you if you
would weave into the web of life the golden threads of happiness and prosperity.
In so far as you are enslaved by the changing moods within you, will you need to
depend upon others and upon outward aids as you walk through life.
If you would walk ﬁrmly and securely, and would accomplish any achievement,
you must learn to rise above and control all such disturbing and retarding vibrations. 29 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY You must daily practice the habit of putting your mind at rest, “going into the silence,” as it is commonly called. This is a method of replacing a troubled thought
with one of peace, a thought of weakness with one of strength.
Until you succeed in doing this you cannot hope to direct your mental forces upon
the problems and pursuits of life with any appreciable measure of success. It is a
process of diverting one’s scattered forces into one powerful channel.
Just as a useless marsh may be converted into a ﬁeld of golden corn or a fruitful
garden by draining and directing the scattered and harmful streams into one wellcut channel, so, he who acquires calmness, and subdues and directs the thoughtcurrents within himself, saves his soul, and fructiﬁes his heart and life.
As you succeed in gaining mastery over your impulses and thoughts you will begin to feel, growing up within you, a new and silent power, and a settled feeling of
composure and strength will remain with you.
Your latent powers will begin to unfold themselves, and whereas formerly your
efforts were weak and ineffectual, you will now be able to work with that calm
conﬁdence which commands success.
And along with this new power and strength, there will be awakened within you
that interior Illumination known as “intuition,” and you will walk no longer in
darkness and speculation, but in light and certainty.
With the development of this soul-vision, judgment and mental penetration will
be incalculably increased, and there will evolve within you that prophetic vision
by the aid of which you will be able to sense coming events, and to forecast, with
remarkable accuracy, the result of your efforts.
And in just the measure that you alter from within will your outlook upon life
alter; and as you alter your mental attitude towards others they will alter in their
attitude and conduct toward you.
As you rise above the lower, debilitating, and destructive thought-forces, you will
come in contact with the positive, strengthening, and up-building currents generated by strong, pure, and noble minds, your happiness will be immeasurably
intensiﬁed, and you will begin to realize the joy, strength, and power, which are
born only of self-mastery.
And this joy, strength, and power will be continually radiating from you, and
without any effort on your part, nay, though you are utterly unconscious of it, 30 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY strong people will be drawn toward you, inﬂuence will be put into your hands,
and in accordance with your altered thought-world will outward events shape
“A man’s foes are they of his own household,” and he who would be useful, strong,
and happy, must cease to be a passive receptacle for the negative, beggardly, and
impure streams of thought; and as a wise householder commands his servants
and invites his guests, so must he learn to command his desires, and to say, with
authority, what thoughts he shall admit into the mansion of his soul.
Even a very partial success in self-mastery adds greatly to one’s power, and he
who succeeds in perfecting this divine accomplishment, enters into possession of
undreamed-of wisdom and inward strength and peace, and realizes that all the
forces of the universe aid and protect his footsteps who is master of his soul. 31 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Would you scale the highest heaven,
Would you pierce the lowest hell,
Live in dreams of constant beauty,
Or in basest thinkings dwell.
For your thoughts are heaven above you,
And your thoughts are hell below,
Bliss is not, except in thinking,
Torment nought but thought can know.
Worlds would vanish but for thinking;
Glory is not but in dreams;
And the Drama of the ages
From the Thought Eternal streams.
Dignity and shame and sorrow,
Pain and anguish, love and hate
Are but maskings of the mighty
Pulsing Thought that governs Fate.
As the colors of the rainbow
Makes the one uncolored beam,
So the universal changes
Make the One Eternal Dream.
And the Dream is all within you,
And the Dreamer waiteth long
For the Morning to awake him
To the living thought and strong.
That shall make the ideal real,
Make to vanish dreams of hell
In the highest, holiest heaven
Where the pure and perfect dwell.
Evil is the thought that thinks it;
Good, the thought that makes it so
Light and darkness, sin and pureness
Likewise out of thinking grow.
Dwell in thought upon the Grandest,
And the Grandest you shall see ;
Fix your mind upon the Highest,
And the Highest you shall be.
32 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 5
THE SECRET OF HEALTH, SUCCESS AND POWER
We all remember with what intense delight, as children, we listened to the nevertiring fairy-tale. How eagerly we followed the ﬂuctuating fortunes of the good
boy or girl, ever protected, in the hour of crisis, from the evil machinations of the
scheming witch, the cruel giant, or the wicked king.
And our little hearts never faltered for the fate of the hero or heroine, nor did we
doubt their ultimate triumph over all their enemies, for we knew that the fairies were infallible, and that they would never desert those who had consecrated
themselves to the good and the true.
And what unspeakable joy pulsated within us when the Fairy-Queen, bringing
all her magic to bear at the critical moment, scattered all the darkness and trouble, and granted them the complete satisfaction of all their hopes, and they were
“happy ever after.”
With the accumulating years, and an ever-increasing intimacy with the so-called
“ realities” of life, our beautiful fairy-world became obliterated, and its wonderful inhabitants were relegated, in the archives of memory, to the shadowy and
And we thought we were wise and strong in thus leaving for ever the land of childish dreams, but as we re-become little children in the wondrous world of wisdom,
we shall return again to the inspiring dreams of childhood and ﬁnd that they are,
after all, realities.
The fairy-folk, so small and nearly always invisible, yet possessed of an all-conquering and magical power, who bestow upon the good, health, wealth, and happiness, along with all the gifts of nature in lavish profusion, start again into reality
and become immortalized in the soul-realm of him who, by growth in wisdom,
has entered into a knowledge of the power of thought, and the laws which govern
the inner world of being.
To him the fairies live again as thought-people, thought-messengers, thoughtpowers working in harmony with the over-ruling Good. And they who, day by
day, endeavor to harmonize their hearts with the heart of the Supreme Good, do
in reality acquire true health, wealth, and happiness. 33 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY There is no protection to compare with goodness, and by “goodness” I do not
mean a mere outward conformity to the rules of morality; I mean pure thought,
noble aspiration, unselﬁsh love, and freedom from vainglory.
To dwell continually in good thoughts, is to throw around oneself a psychic atmosphere of sweetness and power which leaves its impress upon all who come in
contact with it.
As the rising sun puts to rout the helpless shadows, so are all the impotent forces
of evil put to ﬂight by the searching rays of positive thought which shine forth
from a heart made strong in purity and faith.
Where there is sterling faith and uncompromising purity there is health, there is
success, there is power. In such a one, disease, failure, and disaster can ﬁnd no
lodgment, for there is nothing on which they can feed.
Even physical conditions are largely determined by mental states, and to this
truth the scientiﬁc world is rapidly being drawn.
The old, materialistic belief that a man is what his body makes him, is rapidly
passing away, and is being replaced by the inspiring belief that man is superior to
his body, and that his body is what he makes it by the power of thought.
Men everywhere are ceasing to believe that a man is despairing because he is dyspeptic, and are coming to understand that he is dyspeptic because he is despairing, and in the near future, the fact that all disease has its origin in the mind will
become common knowledge.
There is no evil in the universe but has its root and origin in the mind, and sin,
sickness, sorrow, and afﬂiction do not, in reality, belong to the universal order,
are not inherent in the nature of things, but are the direct outcome of our ignorance of the right relations of things.
According to tradition, there once lived, in India, a school of philosophers who
led a life of such absolute purity and simplicity that they commonly reached the
age of one hundred and ﬁfty years, and to fall sick was looked upon by them as an
unpardonable disgrace, for it was considered to indicate a violation of law.
The sooner we realize and acknowledge that sickness, far from being the arbitrary
visitation of an offended God, or the test of an unwise Providence, is the result of
our own error or sin, the sooner shall we enter upon the highway of health. 34 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Disease comes to those who attract it, to those whose minds and bodies are receptive to it, and ﬂees from those whose strong, pure, and positive thought-sphere
generates healing and life-giving currents.
If you are given to anger, worry, jealousy, greed, or any other inharmonious state
of mind, and expect perfect physical health, you are expecting the impossible, for
you are continually sowing the seeds of disease in your mind.
Such conditions of mind are carefully shunned by the wise man, for he knows
them to be far more dangerous than a bad drain or an infected house.
If you would be free from all physical aches and pains, and would enjoy perfect
physical harmony, then put your mind in order, and harmonize your thoughts.
Think joyful thoughts; think loving thoughts; let the elixir of goodwill course
through your veins, and you will need no other medicine. Put away your jealousies, your suspicions, your worries, your hatreds, your selﬁsh indulgences, and
you will put away your dyspepsia, your biliousness, your nervousness and aching
If you will persist in clinging to these debilitating and demoralizing habits of
mind, then do not complain when your body is laid low with sickness. The following story illustrates the close relation that exists between habits of mind and
A certain man was afﬂicted with a painful disease, and he tried one physician after another, but all to no purpose. He then visited towns which were famous for
their curative waters, and after having bathed in them all, his disease was more
painful than ever.
One night he dreamed that a Presence came to him and said, “Brother, hast thou
tried all the means of cure?” and he replied, “I have tried all.” “Nay,” said the
Presence, “Come with me, and I will show thee a healing bath which has escaped
The afﬂicted man followed, and the Presence led him to a clear pool of water, and
said, “Plunge thyself in this water and thou shalt surely recover,” and thereupon
The man plunged into the water, and on coming out, Io! his disease had left him,
and at the same moment he saw written above the pool the word “Renounce.”
Upon waking, the fall meaning of his dream ﬂashed across his mind, and looking 35 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY within he discovered that he had, all along, been a victim to a sinful indulgence,
and he vowed that he would renounce it for ever.
He carried out his vow, and from that day his afﬂiction began to leave him, and
in a short time he was completely restored to health. Many people complain that
they have broken down through over-work. In the majority of such cases the
breakdown is more frequently the result of foolishly wasted energy.
If you would secure health you must learn to work without friction. To become
anxious or excited, or to worry over needless details is to invite a breakdown.
Work, whether of brain or body, is beneﬁcial and health-giving, and the man who
can work with a steady and calm persistency, freed from all anxiety and worry,
and with his mind utterly oblivious to all but the work he has in hand, will not
only accomplish far more than the man who is always hurried and anxious, but he
will retain his health, a boon which the other quickly forfeits.
True health and true success go together, for they are inseparably intertwined in
the thought-realm. As mental harmony produces bodily health, so it also leads to
a harmonious sequence in the actual working out of one’s plans.
Order your thoughts and you will order your life. Pour the oil of tranquility upon
the turbulent waters of the passions and prejudices, and the tempests of misfortune, howsoever they may threaten, will be powerless to wreck the barque of your
soul, as it threads its way across the ocean of life.
And if that barque be piloted by a cheerful and never-failing faith its course will
be doubly sure, and many perils will pass it by which would other-wise attack it.
By the power of faith every enduring work is accomplished. Faith in the Supreme;
faith in the over-ruling Law; faith in your work, and in your power to accomplish
that work, -here is the rock upon which you must build if you would achieve, if
you would stand and not fall.
To follow, under all circumstances, the highest promptings within you; to be always true to the divine self; to rely upon the inward Light, the inward Voice, and
to pursue your purpose with a fearless and restful heart, believing that the future
will yield unto you the meed of every thought and effort; knowing that the laws of
the universe can never fail, and that your own will come back to you with mathematical exactitude, this is faith and the living of faith.
By the power of such a faith the dark waters of uncertainty are divided, every mountain of difﬁculty crumbles away, and the believing soul passes on unharmed.
36 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Strive, O reader! to acquire, above everything, the priceless possession of this
dauntless faith, for it is the talisman of happiness, of success, of peace, of power,
of all that makes life great and superior to suffering.
Build upon such a faith, and you build upon the Rock of the Eternal, and with the
materials of the Eternal, and the structure that you erect will never be dissolved,
for it will transcend all the accumulations of material luxuries and riches, the end
of which is dust.
Whether you are hurled into the depths of sorrow or lifted upon the heights of joy,
ever retain your hold upon this faith, ever return to it as your rock of refuge, and
keep your feet ﬁrmly planted upon its immortal and immovable base.
Centered in such a faith, you will become possessed of such a spiritual strength as
will shatter, like so many toys of glass, all the forces of evil that are hurled against
you, and you will achieve a success such as the mere striver after worldly gain can
never know or even dream of. “If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do
this, . . . but if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast
into the sea, it shall be done.”
There are those today, men and women tabernacled in ﬂesh and blood, who have
realized this faith, who live in it and by it day by day, and who, having put it to the
uttermost test, have entered into the possession of its glory and peace.
Such have sent out the word of command, and the mountains of sorrow and disappointment, of mental weariness and physical pain have passed from them, and
have been cast into the sea of oblivion.
If you will become possessed of this faith you will not need to trouble about your
success or failure, and success will come.
You will not need to become anxious about results, but will work joyfully and
peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring
about right results.
I know a lady who has entered into many blissful satisfactions, and recently a
friend remarked to her, “Oh, how fortunate you are! You only have to wish for a
thing, and it comes to you.”
And it did, indeed, appear so on the surface; but in reality all the blessedness that
has entered into this woman’s life is the direct outcome of the inward state of 37 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY blessedness which she has, throughout life, been cultivating and training toward
Mere wishing brings nothing but disappointment; it is living that tells.
The foolish wish and grumble; the wise, work and wait. And this woman had
worked; worked without and within, but especially within upon heart and soul;
and with the invisible hands of the spirit she had built up, with the precious stones
of faith, hope, joy, devotion, and love, a fair temple of light, whose glorifying radiance was ever round about her.
It beamed in her eye; it shone through her countenance; it vibrated in her voice;
and all who came into her presence felt its captivating spell.
And as with her, so with you. Your success, your failure, your inﬂuence, your
whole life you carry about with you, for your dominant trends of thought are the
determining factors in your destiny.
Send forth loving, stainless, and happy thoughts, and blessings will fall into your
hands, and your table will be spread with the cloth of peace.
Send forth hateful, impure, and unhappy thoughts, and curses will rain down
upon you, and fear and unrest will wait upon your pillow. You are the unconditional maker of your fate, be that fate what it may. Every moment you are sending
forth from you the inﬂuences which will make or mar your life.
Let your heart grow large and loving and unselﬁsh, and great and lasting will be
your inﬂuence and success, even though you make little money.
Conﬁne it within the narrow limits of self-interest, and even though you become
a millionaire your inﬂuence and success, at the ﬁnal reckoning will be found to be
utterly insigniﬁcant. Cultivate, then, this pure and unselﬁsh spirit, and combine
with purity and faith, singleness of purpose, and you are evolving from within the
elements, not only of abounding health and enduring success, but of greatness
If your present position is distasteful to you, and your heart is not in your work,
nevertheless perform your duties with scrupulous diligence, and whilst resting
your mind in the idea that the better position and greater opportunities are waiting for you, ever keep an active mental outlook for budding possibilities, so that
when the critical moment arrives, and the new channel presents itself, you will
step into it with your mind fully prepared for the undertaking, and with that intelligence and foresight which is born of mental discipline.
38 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Whatever your task may be, concentrate your whole mind upon it, throw into it
all the energy of which you are capable. The faultless completion of small tasks
leads inevitably to larger tasks. See to it that you rise by steady climbing, and you
will never fall. And herein lies the secret of true power.
Learn, by constant practice, how to husband your resources, and to concentrate
them, at any moment, upon a given point. The foolish waste all their mental and
spiritual energy in frivolity, foolish chatter, or selﬁsh argument, not to mention
wasteful physical excesses.
If you would acquire overcoming power you must cultivate poise and passivity.
You must be able to stand alone. All power is associated with immovability. The
mountain, the massive rock, the storm-tried oak, all speak to us of power, because of their combined solitary grandeur and deﬁant ﬁxity; while the shifting
sand, the yielding twig, and the waving reed speak to us of weakness, because
they are movable and non-resistant, and are utterly useless when detached from
He is the man of power who, when all his fellows are swayed by some emotion or
passion, remains calm and unmoved. He only is ﬁtted to command and control
who has succeeded in commanding and controlling himself.
The hysterical, the fearful, the thoughtless and frivolous, let such seek company,
or they will fall for lack of support; but the calm, the fearless, the thoughtful, and
let such seek the solitude of the forest, the desert, and the mountain-top, and to
their power more power will be added, and they will more and more successfully
stem the psychic currents and whirlpools which engulf mankind.
Passion is not power; it is the abuse of power, the dispersion of power. Passion
is like a furious storm which beats ﬁercely and wildly upon the embattled rock
whilst power is like the rock itself, which remains silent and unmoved through it
That was a manifestation of true power when Martin Luther, wearied with the
persuasions of his fearful friends, who were doubtful as to his safety should he go
to Worms, replied, “If there were as many devils in Worms as there are tiles on
the housetops I would go.”
And when Benjamin Disraeli broke down in his ﬁrst Parliamentary speech, and
brought upon himself the derision of the House, that was an exhibition of germinal power when he exclaimed, “The day will come when you will consider it an
honor to listen to me.”
39 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY When that young man, whom I knew, passing through continual reverses and
misfortunes, was mocked by his friends and told to desist from further effort,
and he replied, “The time is not far distant when you will marvel at my good fortune and success,” he showed that he was possessed of that silent and irresistible
power which has taken him over innumerable difﬁculties, and crowned his life
If you have not this power, you may acquire it by practice, and the beginning of
power is likewise the beginning of wisdom. You must commence by overcoming
those purposeless trivialities to which you have hitherto been a willing victim.
Boisterous and uncontrolled laughter, slander and idle talk, and joking merely to
raise a laugh, all these things must be put on one side as so much waste of valuable energy.
St. Paul never showed his wonderful insight into the hidden laws of human
progress to greater advantage than when he warned the Ephesians against “Foolish talking and jesting which is not convenient,” for to dwell habitually in such
practices is to destroy all spiritual power and life.
As you succeed in rendering yourself impervious to such mental dissipations you
will begin to understand what true power is, and you will then commence to grapple with the more powerful desires and appetites which hold your soul in bondage,
and bar the way to power, and your further progress will then be made clear.
Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it. Let nothing draw you aside ; remember that the doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.
Be eager to learn, but slow to beg. Have a thorough understanding of your work,
and let it be your own; and as you proceed, ever following the inward Guide, the
infallible Voice, you will pass on from victory to victory, and will rise step by step
to higher resting-places, and your ever-broadening outlook will gradually reveal
to you the essential beauty and purpose of life.
Self-puriﬁed, health will be yours; faith-protected, success will be yours; self-governed, power will be yours, and all that you do will prosper, for, ceasing to be a
disjointed unit, self-enslaved, you will be in harmony with the Great Law, working no longer against, but with, the Universal Life, the Eternal Good. 40 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY And what health you gain it will remain with you; what success you achieve will
be beyond all human computation, and will never pass away; and what inﬂuence
and power you wield will continue to increase throughout the ages, for it will be a
part of that unchangeable Principle which supports the universe.
This, then, is the secret of health, -a pure heart and a well-ordered mind ; this is
the secret of success, -an unfaltering faith, and a wisely-directed purpose; and to
rein in, with unfaltering will, the dark steed of desire, this is the secret of power.
All ways are waiting for my feet to tread,
The light and dark, the living and the dead,
The broad and narrow way, the high and low,
The good and bad, and with quick step or slow,
I now may enter any way I will,
And ﬁnd, by walking, which is good, which ill.
And all good things my wandering feet await,
If I but come, with vow inviolate,
Unto the narrow, high and holy way
Of heart-born purity, and therein stay;
Walking, secure from him who taunts and scorns,
To ﬂowery meads, across the path of thorns.
And I may stand where health, success, and power
Await my coming, if, each ﬂeeting hour,
I cling to love and patience; and abide
With stainlessness; and never step aside
From high integrity ; so shall I see
At last the land of immortality.
And I may seek and ﬁnd; I may achieve,
I may not claim, but, losing, may retrieve.
The law bends not for me, but I must bend
Unto the law, if I would reach the end
Of my afﬂictions, if I would restore
My soul to Light and Life, and weep no more.
Not mine the arrogant and selﬁsh claim
To all good things; be mine the lowly aim
To seek and ﬁnd, to know and comprehend,
And wisdom-ward all holy footsteps wend,
Nothing is mine to claim or to command,
But all is mine to know and understand.
41 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Chapter 6
THE SECRET OF ABOUNDING HAPPINESS
Great is the thirst for happiness, and equally great is the lack of happiness. The
majority of the poor long for riches, believing that their possession would bring
them supreme and lasting happiness.
Many who are rich, having gratiﬁed every desire and whim, suffer from ennui and
repletion, and are farther from the possession of happiness even than the very
If we reﬂect upon this state of things it will ultimately lead us to a knowledge of
the all important truth that happiness is not derived from mere outward possessions, nor misery from the lack of them; for if this were so, we should ﬁnd the
poor always miserable, and the rich always happy, whereas the reverse is frequently the case.
Some of the most wretched people whom I have known were those who were surrounded with riches and luxury, whilst some of the brightest and happiest people
I have met were possessed of only the barest necessities of life.
Many men who have accumulated riches have confessed that the selﬁsh gratiﬁcation which followed the acquisition of riches has robbed life of its sweetness, and
that they were never so happy as when they were poor.
What, then, is happiness, and how is it to be secured? Is it a ﬁgment, a delusion,
and is suffering alone perennial? We shall ﬁnd, after earnest observation and reﬂection, that all, except those who have entered the way of wisdom, believe that
happiness is only to be obtained by the gratiﬁcation of desire.
It is this belief, rooted in the soil of ignorance, and continually watered by selﬁsh
cravings, that is the cause of all the misery in the world.
And I do not limit the word desire to the grosser animal cravings; it extends to
the higher psychic realm, where far more powerful, subtle, and insidious cravings
hold in bondage the intellectual and reﬁned, depriving them of all that beauty,
harmony, and purity of soul whose expression is happiness. 42 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Most people will admit that selﬁshness is the cause of all the unhappiness in the
world, but they fall under the soul-destroying delusion that it is somebody else’s
selﬁshness, and not their own.
When you are willing to admit that all your unhappiness is the result of your own
selﬁshness you will not be far from the gates of Paradise; but so long as you are
convinced that it is the selﬁshness of others that is robbing you of joy, so long will
you remain a prisoner in your self-created purgatory.
Happiness is that inward state of perfect satisfaction which is joy and peace, and
from which all desire is eliminated. The satisfaction which results from gratiﬁed
desire is brief and illusionary, and is always followed by an increased demand for
Desire is as insatiable as the ocean, and clamors louder and louder as its demands
are attended to.
It claims ever-increasing service from its deluded devotees, until at last they are
struck down with physical or mental anguish, and are hurled into the purifying ﬁres of suffering. Desire is the region of hell, and all torments are centered
The giving up of desire is the realization of heaven, and all delights await the pilgrim there,
I sent my soul through the invisible,
Some letter of that after life to spell,
And by-and-by my soul returned to me,
And whispered, I myself am heaven and hell,”
Heaven and hell are inward states. Sink into self and all its gratiﬁcations, and you
sink into hell; rise above self into that state of consciousness which is the utter
denial and forgetfulness of self, and you enter heaven.
Self is blind, without judgment, not possessed of true knowledge, and always leads
to suffering. Correct perception, unbiased judgment, and true knowledge belong
only to the divine state, and only in so far as you realize this divine consciousness
can you know what real happiness is.
So long as you persist in selﬁshly seeking for your own personal happiness, so
long will happiness elude you, and you will be sowing the seeds of wretchedness. 43 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY In so far as you succeed in losing yourself in the service of others, in that measure
will happiness come to you, and you will reap a harvest of bliss.
It is in loving, not in being loved,
The heart is blessed;
It is in giving, not in seeking gifts,
We ﬁnd our quest.
Whatever be thy longing or thy need,
That do thou give;
So shall thy soul be fed, and thou indeed
Shalt truly live.
Cling to self, and you cling to sorrow, relinquish self, and you enter into peace. To
seek selﬁshly is not only to lose happiness, but even that which we believe to be
the source of happiness.
See how the glutton is continually looking about for a new delicacy wherewith
to stimulate his deadened appetite; and how, bloated, burdened, and diseased,
scarcely any food at last is eaten with pleasure.
Whereas, he who has mastered his appetite, and not only does not seek, but never
thinks of gustatory pleasure, ﬁnds delight in the most frugal meal. The angel-form
of happiness, which men, looking through the eyes of self, imagine they see in
gratiﬁed desire, when clasped is always found to be the skeleton of misery. Truly,
“He that seeketh his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life shall ﬁnd it.”
Abiding happiness will come to you when, ceasing to selﬁshly cling, you are willing to give up. When you are willing to lose, unreservedly, that impermanent
thing which is so dear to you, and which, whether you cling to it or not, will one
day be snatched from you, then you will ﬁnd that that which seemed to you like a
painful loss, turns out to be a supreme gain.
To give up in order to gain, than this there is no greater delusion, nor no more
proliﬁc source of misery; but to be willing to yield up and to suffer loss, this is
indeed the Way of Life.
How is it possible to ﬁnd real happiness by centering ourselves in those things
which, by their very nature, must pass away? Abiding and real happiness can only
be found by centering ourselves in that which is permanent. 44 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Rise, therefore, above the clinging to and the craving for impermanent things,
and you will then enter into a consciousness of the Eternal, and as, rising above
self, and by growing more and more into the spirit of purity, self-sacriﬁce and
universal Love, you become centered in that consciousness, you will realize that
happiness which has no reaction, and which can never be taken from you.
The heart that has reached utter self-forgetfulness in its love for others has not
only become possessed of the highest happiness but has entered into immortality, for it has realized the Divine.
Look back upon your life, and you will ﬁnd that the moments of supremest happiness were those in which you uttered some word, or performed some act, of
compassion or self-denying love. Spiritually, happiness and harmony are, synonymous.
Harmony is one phase of the Great Law whose spiritual expression is love. All
selﬁshness is discord, and to be selﬁsh is to be out of harmony with the Divine
As we realize that all-embracing love which is the negation of self, we put ourselves in harmony with the divine music, the universal song, and that ineffable
melody which is true happiness becomes our own.
Men and women are rushing hither and thither in the blind search for happiness,
and cannot ﬁnd it; nor ever will until they recognize that happiness is already
within them and round about them, ﬁlling the universe, and that they, in their
selﬁsh searching are shutting themselves out from it. I followed happiness to make her mine,
Past towering oak and swinging ivy vine.
She ﬂed, I chased, o’er slanting hill and dale,
O’er ﬁelds and meadows, in the purpling vale;
Pursuing rapidly o’er dashing stream.
I scaled the dizzy cliffs where eagles scream;
I traversed swiftly every land and M.
But always happiness eluded me. 45 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY Exhausted, fainting, I pursued no more,
But sank to rest upon a barren shore.
One came and asked for food, and one for alms
I placed the bread and gold in bony palms.
One came for sympathy, and one for rest;
I shared with every needy one my best;
When, Io! sweet Happiness, with form divine,
Stood by me, whispering softly, ‘I am thine’.
These beautiful lines of Burleigh’s express the secret of all abounding happiness.
Sacriﬁce the personal and transient, and you rise at once into the impersonal and
Give up that narrow cramped self that seeks to render all things subservient to its
own petty interests, and you will enter into the company of the angels, into the
very heart and essence of universal Love.
Forget yourself entirely in the sorrows of others and in ministering to others, and
divine happiness will emancipate you from all sorrow and suffering.
“Taking the ﬁrst step with a good thought, the second with a good word, and the
third with a good deed, I entered Paradise.” And you also may enter into Paradise
by pursuing the same course. It is not beyond, it is here. It is realized only by the
It is known in its fullness only to the pure in heart. If you have not realized this
unbounded happiness you may begin to actualize it by ever holding before you
the lofty ideal of unselﬁsh love, and aspiring towards it.
Aspiration or prayer is desire turned upward. It is the soul turning toward its
Divine source, where alone permanent satisfaction can be found. By aspiration
the destructive forces of desire are transmuted into divine and all-preserving energy.
To aspire is to make an effort to shake off the trammels of desire; it is the prodigal
made wise by loneliness and suffering, returning to his Father’s Mansion.
As you rise above the sordid self; as you break, one after another, the chains that
bind you, will you realize the joy of giving, as distinguished from the misery of
grasping - giving of your substance; giving of your intellect; giving of the love and
light that is growing within you. 46 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY You will then understand that it is indeed “more blessed to give than to receive.”
But the giving must be of the heart without any taint of self, without desire for
reward. The gift of pure love is always attended with bliss. If, after you have given,
you are wounded because you are not thanked or ﬂattered, or your name put in
the paper, know then that your gift was prompted by vanity and not by love, and
you were merely giving in order to get; were not really giving, but grasping.
Lose yourself in the welfare of others; forget yourself in all that you do; this is the
secret of abounding happiness.
Ever be on the watch to guard against selﬁshness, and learn faithfully the divine
lessons of inward sacriﬁce; so shall you climb the highest heights of happiness,
and shall remain in the neverclouded sunshine of universal joy, clothed in the
shining garment of immortality.
Are you searching for the happiness that does not fade away?
Are you looking for the joy that lives, and leaves no grievous day?
Are you panting for the waterbrooks of Love, and Life, and Peace?
Then let all dark desires depart, and selﬁsh seeking cease.
Are you ling’ring in the paths of pain, grief-haunted, stricken sore?
Are you wand’ring in the ways that wound your weary feet the more?
Are you sighing for the Resting-Place where tears and sorrows cease?
Then sacriﬁce your selﬁsh heart and ﬁnd the Heart of Peace. 47 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY 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
everything. 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. 48 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY 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
protected. 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
state. 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. 49 JAMES ALLEN THE PATH OF PROSPERITY 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 crooked path 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 of practice I will ﬁnd
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. 50 ...
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- Spring '10