The Heart and the life

As the heart, so is the life. The within is ceaselessly becoming the without. Nothing remains unrevealed. That which is hidden is but for a time; it ripens and comes forth at last. Seed, tree, blossom, and fruit is the fourfold order of the universe. From the state of a man’s heart proceed the conditions of his life; his thoughts blossom into deeds, and his deeds bear the fruitage of character and destiny.

Life is ever unfolding from within, and revealing itself to the light, and thoughts engendered in the heart at last reveal themselves in words, actions, and things accomplished.

As the fountain from the hidden spring, so issues man’s life from the secret recesses of his heart. All that he is and does is generated there. All that he will be and do will take its rise there.

Sorrow and gladness, suffering and enjoyment, hope and fear, hatred and love, ignorance and enlightenment, are nowhere but in the heart; they are solely mental conditions.

Man is the keeper of his heart; the watcher of his mind; the solitary sentinel of his citadel of life. As such, he can be diligent or negligent. He can keep his heart more and more carefully; he can more strenuously watch and purify his mind; and he can guard himself against the thinking of unrighteous thoughts: this is the way of enlightenment and bliss. On the other hand, he can live loosely and carelessly, neglecting the supreme task of rightly ordering his life: this is the way of self-delusion and suffering.

Let a man realize that life in its totality proceeds from the mind, and lo, the way of blessedness is opened up to him! For he will them discover the he possesses the power to rule his mind, and to fashion it in accordance with his Ideal. So will be elect to strongly and steadfastly walk those pathways of thought and action which are altogether excellent; to him life will become beautiful and sacred; and, sooner or later, he will put to flight all evil, confusion and suffering; for it is impossible for a man to fall short of liberation, enlightenment, and peace, who guards with unwearying diligence the gateway of his heart.

James Allen
Out From The Heart

Confucius on well ordered life

Confucius said, “The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development;” a maxim as profound and comprehensive as it is simple, practical, and uninvolved, for there is no surer way to knowledge, nor no better way to help the world than by perfecting one’s self. Nor is there any nobler work or higher science than that of self-perfection. He who studies how to become faultless, who strives to be pure-hearted, who aims at the possession of a calm, wise, and seeing mind, engages in the most in the most sublime task that man can undertake, and the results of which are perceptible in a well-ordered, blessed, and beautiful life.

JAMES ALLEN.

Law of evolution

The discovery of the law of Evolution in the material world has prepared men for a knowledge of the law of cause and effect in the mental world. Thought is not less orderly and progressive than the material forms which embody thought; and not alone cells and atoms, but thoughts and deeds are charged with a cumulative and selective energy. In the realm of thought and deed, the good survives, for it is “fittest”; the evil ultimately perishes. To know that the “perfect law” of Causation is as all-embracing in mind as in matter, is to be relieved from all anxiety concerning the ultimate destiny of individuals and of humanity-

“For man is man and master of his fate”-

and the will in man which is conquering the knowledge of natural law will conquer the knowledge of spiritual law; the will which, in ignorance, chooses evil, will, as wisdom evolves and emerges, choose good. In a universe of law, the final mastery of evil by man is assured. His lesser destinies of separation and sorrow, defeat and death, are but disciplinary steps leading to the Great Destiny of triumphal mastery. He himself is unconsciously building, albeit with lacerated hands and labour bowed form, the Temple of Glory which is to afford him an eternal habitation of peace.
In this volume I have tried to set down some words indicative of this Law and this Destiny, and the manner of its working and its building; and have so arranged the subject-matter as to make the book a companion volume to The Life Triumphant. The first six, and the last, chapters first appeared in Bibby’s Quarterly and Bibby’s Annual, and it is by kind permission of the Editor, Mr. Joseph Bibby, that they are now brought together and published in volume form, the other three chapters having been added to make the book consecutive and complete.

JAMES ALLEN.

The Problem of Life

The problem of life consists in learning how to live. It is like the problem of addition or subtraction to the school boy. When mastered, all difficulty disappears, and the problem has vanished. All the problems of life, whether they be social, political, or religious, subsist in ignorance and wrong–living. As they are solved in the heart of each individual, they will be solved in the mass of men. Humanity at present is in the painful stage of “learning.” It is confronted with the difficulties of its own ignorance. As men learn to live rightly, learn to direct their forces and use their functions and faculties by the light of wisdom, the sum of life will be correctly done, and its mastery will put an end to all the “problems of evil.” To the wise, all such problems have ceased.

JAMES ALLEN