James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief.
As a Man Thinketh is James Allen's second book. He described it as "A book that will help you to help yourself", "A pocket companion for thoughtful people", and "A book on the power and right application of thought." It was first published in 1902.
Man is the creator and shaper of his destiny by the thoughts which he thinks. He rises and falls in exact accordance with the character of the thoughts which he entertains. His environment is the result of what he has thought and done in the past, and his circumstances in the future are being shaped and built by his present desires, aspirations, thoughts and actions. He therefore who chooses and pursues a particular line of thought, consciously builds his own destiny. This the book makes this clear.
It is beautifully written, practical, and breathes throughout a tone of high spirituality. It is full of the highest teaching, and will be a source of inspiration to everyone who ponders its words of truth. It is written with a forcible and lucid style, and the subjects are presented in such a manner that the reader cannot fail to be interested and helped. It contains a great deal of wisdom, tersely and beautifully expressed. Every page breathes the spirit of a calm, thoughtful, and religious mind. The tone is like that of a grateful melody that at once soothes and inspires. It is always true, ad touches the soul but to bless it.
*If you are new to Allen and his works, you probably want to start with this book.
Listen to the audio book here.
James Allen's third book was published in 1903 and is rich in thought of a most practical kind, is invaluable for the clear and original way in which it presents the spiritual aspect of things. As a contribution to the study of the spiritual nature of man in his relation to the present conditions of existence, it is worthy of the serious attention of all students. He said "All earnest Truth-Seekers should read this book."
It is a book for those who aspire to the calm and steadfast life and the spiritually-minded who seek to know their supreme duty in life, who are exercised about the problem of evil and the mental and social inequalities around them. It points such to the great Spiritual Realities within themselves, and reveals the way by which those Realities can be realized and known. It shows how and in what way the Kingdom of Heaven is sought and found; and how, when found, all the necessary material things are added, and bliss and peace are assured. The reading of the book lifts and elevates, and raises one from the worries and cares of everyday life to think of brighter aims. This book is like an oasis in the desert. It contains the bread of life in abundant measure for all who hunger for spiritual food. Open the pages where you will, the gems of thought are there.
It contains two sections which are often split into separate books: Entering the Kingdom ("Foreward" through "At Rest in The Kingdom and All Things Added") and The Heavenly Life ("The Divine Center" through "Heaven in the Heart").
In the first part of this work the struggle of life is considered and dealt with, and the way by which that struggle may be mastered and transcended by the individual is clearly pointed out.
The second part deals with the powers, blessing, and supreme attainments of the poised and steadfast life.
There is a detailed review of the book here.
Listen to the audio book for The Heavenly Life section here.
This book was compiled by his wife, Lily, after his death and published in 1913. It offers a selection from his works for each day of the year for reflection.
This book was first published in 1904. James Allen described this as "A book for all. It aims to reveal the sublime principles which lie hidden in the common facts of daily life."
The book expounds those right states of mind and wise modes of action which, when adopted under trying circumstances, bring about results fruitful of blessedness. The principles put forth are applicable to the common circumstances of daily life, in which all are frequently involved, and upon the wrong or right use of which all our misery or happiness depends; and those who put these principles into practice will very rapidly prove for themselves that circumstances are subordinate to the human will, and as the potter molds the unsightly clay into shapes of beauty, so the spiritual potter (he who has acquired the right state of mind) brings out of “adverse conditions” results that are precious, beautiful, and blessed.
“A brightly written book is Mr. James Allen's new volume, entitled Byways of Blessedness. —Light
“Mr. Allen's latest book appeals to us as being his best. Particularly are the chapters on 'Forgiveness' and on 'Silentness' full of wise thought, calmly yet impressively uttered. It is a useful book for a quiet hour.” —The Christian Life
“A book which, with careful reading, Christians of all shades of creed will find beneficial, for it inspires to the pursuit of the loftiest ideals of holy, happy living. Moreover, the work is written in a terse, lucid, and forcible style, contains numerous clear-cut gems of rich thought, and is evidently the result of ripe experience and rare reflection. For these reasons, then, I heartily commend Byways of Blessedness. —Christian Million
James Allen described this book as "The story of my soul" and said it should be the last book of his to be read. It was published after his death in 1919. It contains three sections: "The Divine Companion", "The Divine Dialogue", and "The Divine Messages".
Listen to the audio book here.
This book provides guidance on obtaining success. It was published in 1911.
This is one of James Allen's final works. It covers living in happiness and gaining success. It was published in 1913 after his death.
This book covers base human emotions and guides a transition into divine human qualities. It was published in 1910.
This is James Allen's first book, published in 1901. It was also titled The Realization of Prosperity and Peace. Allen described this book as "A Book for all those who are in search of better conditions, wider freedom, and increased usefulness."
This book appeals to the reader from his own standpoint, and indicates the line of development along which each one should work in order to accomplish the greatest amount of lasting good. Enduring success in any direction is shown to be the result of inward adjustment and growth. Each may accelerate his own progress by silently, but effectively harmonizing his mental forces, the good effects of which will soon become manifest in improved circumstances, and wider opportunities.
This book contains two sections that were later published as individual books: The Path to Prosperity and The Way of Peace. It also contains many poems that were later published in Poems of Peace.
Listen to the audio book here.
This book was published in 1908. It provides steps to rise out of weak conditions such as sin and sorrow and enter into victory over your heart and mind.
This book sheds light on dealing with the hardships of human life including self-control, sacrifices, sorrows, and more. It was published in Allen's final year, 1912.
This book was published in 1911. It is a short book that offers solutions to life's problems and learning how to live.
This book was published in 1909. It covers positive subjects including mind-building, accomplishment, and thoroughness.
This book covers work, wages, survival of the fittest and more. It was published in 1914.
This book lays down the first steps in the Path of Enlightenment, and expounds the method by which the higher powers of the mind are cultivated. It shows how to gain self-mastery, and ascend, by successive stages, into a higher and nobler life.
This book was published in 1904 and is the sequel to As a Man Thinketh.
It has been described as:
The work of an idealist expressed in terms of considerable beauty and force. A settled peace will be acquired if its teaching is attained. Its words will be appreciated by all seekers after truth, and his practical suggestions can be carried out by the busiest workers. This is a charming little volume in Mr. Allen's quiet, thoughtful style. It contains such good sense, expressed in a simple and attractive manner. No one could possibly read the book without profit.
This book was published in 1915. It was compiled after his death and covers topics such as actions and motives, dealing with temptation, religion, and more.
This book was published in 1903. It is also titled Christ and Conduct and is one of James Allen's earliest works.
This is a book for the student of Religion, and for those lovers of truth who are in search of the fundamental principles on which all religions rest. It expounds spiritually in the light of moral conduct, and regards character as the test and measure of truth.
The Light of Reason, started in 1902, was a journal edited by James Allen that included inspirational writings from Allen, readers and subscribers of the journal, and other authors of the time. The journal had a large following and groups all around England met regularly to read and discuss its contents. Allen often went on "tours", traveling to each group to speak and meet with the members. The Allen's home was also open to visit by the readers of the journal (for a fee).
The objects of The Light of Reason was:
To teach self-control, purity of heart, and the practice of righteousness, and to help men and women to overcome sin, to live the blameless life, and find thereby the way of perfect peace. It endeavored to show that the Law of Justice obtains to every department of life.
The Light of Reason was devoted to:
Spiritual enlightenment and the practice of righteousness and the expounding of the laws of being and the higher life.
Those who are in search of pure and inspiring reading will find in these volumes a storehouse of miscellaneous spiritual pieces by some of the best writers of the day. All the articles have a direct bearing on practical, everyday life.