Lon's Reviews > As a Man Thinketh

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
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's review
Dec 03, 2010

really liked it
Read from December 03 to 05, 2010

Although I didn't find myself swallowing everything Allen suggests about the power of our own thinking, there was plenty to chew on. A few favorite lines:

"Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armoury of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself . . ."


"Man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. In no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless wee-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind. . . . [man] is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life."

And now for one that kind of makes you want to gag (unless you try to pretend James Allen was speaking from a Buddhist tradition, which he wasn't.)

"Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction. It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself, with the Law of his being. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure. Suffering ceases for him who is pure." (Ugh! What about the kind of suffering born out of empathy for those around us who suffer? What about the kind of no-fault suffering to which man is heir during his mortal sojourn? This line of reasoning is reminiscent of that query, "Master, which has sinned, this man or his parents?"

The tone of the book isn't arrogant, but the ideas smack of that same self-sufficiency and unconquerable bluster you also hear in the poem "Invictus," which crows: "I am the master of my fate:/I am the captain of my soul."

Very artfully written ruminations on the value of disciplining the mind. And it's free on my Kindle!
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