By James Allen. (1864 – 1912)
I have chosen a topic for this week by famous British author and philosopher, James Allen. Allen was better known for his original work, “As a Man Thinketh”.
In the “The Heart and The Life” Allen discusses the issue of the ‘Heart’.
It is interesting that the word ‘Heart’ is used in the bible more than a thousand times. It is also interesting, that medical research scientists are today admitting to the fact that the heart is not just that wonderful organ, pumping eight litres of life giving blood around our body, but also is a location for hidden emotional, intellectual and moral activity within us.
In other words, biblically speaking, we ‘think’ with our hearts.
The greatest commandment is found in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verse 5:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Whilst you may not find Allen’s English too easy to follow, bear with it, as it will bless you.
- 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 are the fourfold order of the universe. From the state of a man’s heart precede 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 flows forth a 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 happiness, suffering and enjoyment, fear and hope, 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 guard 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 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 rightfully 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 then discover that he possesses the power to rule his mind, and to fashion it in accordance with his Ideal. So will he 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.
The James Allen Free Library