The age-old maxim: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" might well be considered one of the "open" secrets of the universe.
Some might ask: why should it be considered an "open" secret?
The answer is that investigation would reveal that this maxim can be found expressed in many different forms, across virtually the whole sphere of religion and philosophy - a few examples are presented below:
"Let a man strive to purify his thoughts. What a man thinketh, that is he; this is the eternal mystery. Dwelling within his Self with thoughts serene, he will find imperishable happiness. Man becomes that on what he thinks."
"All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become."
"Your disposition will be suitable to that which you think most frequently on; for the soul is, as it were, tinged with the colour and complexion of its own thoughts ...Your life is what your thoughts make it."
- Marcus Aurelius
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
- William Shakespeare
"I think - therefore, I am."
- Rene Descartes
"A man is what he thinks all day long."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We become what we think about."
- Earl Nightingale
"Thoughts are Things."
- Prentice Mulford
And, lest we forget, aside from the widely-recognized form of expression (Proverbs 23:7), the Bible also contains another form of expression, which nonetheless conveys the same message:
"My son, keep diligence upon thy heart, for out of it poureth forth all the issues of life." (in King James English)
"Be careful how you think - your life is shaped by your thoughts" (in modern-day English)
- Proverbs 4:23
Naturally, some will be inclined to ask, just how significant is the recognition of this open secret, contained in the aphorism: "as a man thinketh"?
From the previous discourse on the subject of "Mind Power", it has been sought to impress upon the visitor that Thought or Mental Action is, so-to-speak, the essential factor that brought the entire physical universe and all that exists therein into being.
In addition, Man, by his true and innermost nature, also possesses and demonstrates the same quality of creative power in his mental action, as is demonstrated by the Universal Mind, and that, by the exercise of his individual mental action, Man actually causes the creation of each and every condition that presents itself in his objective or physical world. But it must be noted that mere possession of an attribute does not necessarily imply that the individual also comes into the knowledge of how to wield that attribute in either a beneficial or safe manner.
And the import of that last statement lies in the deduction that has been reached that Thinking is a perpetual process - it never suspends or shuts down its ability to set creation into operation, whether from the standpoint of Universal Mind, or from that of the Individual Mind.
Expressed another way, Man is always setting some creative sequence into activity - either consciously or unconsciously - and, if said sequence is not interrupted, it will lead to some corresponding externalization - corresponding of course to the quality and nature of the mental action. Hence, wrongly-directed thought power, if maintained for a sufficient time period, will produce corresponding undesired conditions in the individual's life, just as readily as rightly-directed thought power will produce corresponding desired conditions. And the reader can find sufficient justification from personal introspection of his or her own life - perhaps far more than from the experiences and testimony of others - that wrongly-directed Thought can no more lead to the ultimate attainment of desired conditions, any more than rightly-directed Thought can lead to the ultimate attainment of undesired conditions.
Hence, and in accordance with the quoted examples stated here, virtually every school of religion and philosophy has ever sought to impress upon their respective audiences, a recognition of the literally infinite potential that is at Man's disposal, via recognition of the principle summed up by the aphorism "as a man thinketh", as well as the unavoidable responsibilities that this recognition necessarily carries with it. And it should also be clearly noted that the recognition of the potential, as well as of the responsibilities may be considered necessary correlatives - that is to say, neither is of any effective use, without the other.
And, even if it may be argued that it should be obvious, this is one of those principles that can neither be circumvented or bypassed by anyone, regardless of station or status. In fact, one illumined authority put it in this manner:
"'As you think, so are you' does not mean 'as you tell people you think', or as you would wish the world to believe you think. It means your innermost thoughts (i.e., your beliefs) - that place where no-one else but you knows the truth."
- Genevieve Behrend
It is virtually impossible to place enough emphasis on the fact that the principle embodied in the aphorism: "as a man thinketh", is thus a universal one and an eternal one, i.e., no-one is exempt from its operation - whether for good or for ill - and, to put it simply, the sooner a person truly understands this and incorporates it into their life, the better off they will be.
If you would like to read the complete text of James Allen's most revered work - namely, his book entitled: "As A Man Thinketh", click this link - a new window will open.
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