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Adapted (slightly) from The Path of Prosperity by James Allen. SpiritSite.com adaptation is copyright © by SpiritSite.com. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com. Please note: the "Buy the Book" link links to the original text, not the SpiritSite.com adaptation.
"What is within you, you will see in the world."
James Allen, The Path of Prosperity, Part 2
The World as a Mirror of
Everything in your life is affected by your own inner experience. It matters very little what is outside you, for everything outside is a reflection of your state of consciousness. It matters very much what is within you, for everything in the world is colored by this accordingly.
Your own thoughts and desires make up your life, and everything you see is contained within yourself. By your own thoughts you make your life, your world, and your universe.
The selfish soul is moving with unerring precision toward misfortune and catastrophe; the pure soul is gravitating with equal precision towards happiness and prosperity. Every soul attracts its own and nothing can possibly come to it that is not within it. To realize this is to recognize the universality of divine law.
“All that we are is the result of our thoughts; the world is made up of our thoughts,” said Buddha. If a person is happy, it is because he dwells in happy thoughts. If he is miserable, it is because he dwells in despondent and debilitating thoughts.
And now I seem to hear a chorus of voices exclaim, “Do you really mean to say that outside circumstances do not affect our minds?" I did not say that, but I do say this: circumstances can only affect you insofar as you allow them to do so.
You are swayed by circumstances because you do not understand the nature of your thoughts. You believe that external events have the power to make or break your life. By believing this, you submit to those outer things and say that you are their slave. You invest them with the power which they do not have.
I knew of two men who lost their life savings in a bank failure. One was very deeply troubled, and gave in to despondency.
The other, reading in his morning newspaper that the bank in which his money was deposited failed, said, “worry won't bring the money back, but hard work will." He went back to work with renewed vigor, and rapidly became prosperous, while the first man, continuing to mourn loss of his money, remained a victim of circumstances.
The loss of money was a curse to the one because he surrounded the event with dark and dreary thoughts. It was a blessing to the other, because he threw around it thoughts of strength and hope.
If circumstances had the power to bless or harm, they would affect all men alike – but the fact that the same circumstance will be good to one and bad to another demonstrates that good or bad is not in the circumstance, but only in the mind of the person who interprets it.
When you begin to realize this you will begin to control your thoughts, to discipline your mind, and to rebuild the inward temple of your soul. You will eliminate all useless thoughts, and incorporate into yourself thoughts of joy, peace, and compassion. As you do this, you will become joyful and peaceful, compassionate and loving.
As we clothe events with the drapery of our thoughts, so likewise do we clothe the objects of the visible world around us. Where one sees harmony and beauty, another sees ugliness.
A scientist was roaming the country one day, and he came across a pool of dark water. He collected some of the water to be viewed under a microscope, and said enthusiastically to a nearby farmer, “within this pool is a hundred universes.” The unsophisticated farmer dryly said, “I’ve only seen tadpoles there, and they aren’t much to look at.”
The scientist, his mind filled with knowledge, saw harmony and hidden glory. The farmer saw only an ordinary puddle.
The wildflower, to the poet, is an angelic messenger. To the musician, the ocean is a living thing with changing moods and divine harmonies. Where the ordinary mind sees disaster and confusion, the mind of the philosopher sees the perfect sequence of cause and effect. Where the materialist sees nothing but endless death, the mystic sees eternal life.
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 believes that there is no such thing as a completely truthful person. The miser thinks everyone is after his money – he sleeps with a pistol, wrapped up in the delusion that the world is filled with thieves. The sensualist looks upon the saint as a hypocrite.
On the other hand, those who dwell in loving thought see events which call for their love and sympathy. The trusting and honest are not troubled by suspicion. The good-natured and charitable rejoice at the good fortune of others. Those who realize the divine within themselves recognize it in all living things.
We our supported in our mental outlook because we attract what we send forth. Therefore we come in contact with people similar to ourselves. The old adage, “birds of a feather flock together,” has a deep significance, for in the thought-world as in the physical world, each attracts like itself.
If you are one of those who pray for, and look forward to, a happier world beyond the grave, here's a message of gladness for you: you may enter into and realize that happy world now. It fills the whole universe and is within you, waiting for you to find and acknowledge it.
Said one who knew the inner laws of Being, “When men say lo, here, or lo, there, do not go after them. The kingdom of God is within you.” Simply believe this with a mind free of doubt – then meditate upon it until you understand it. You will thus begin to purify and build your inner world.