O. J. (St. Alban's) — We have no desire to command you, knowing, as we do, that there is One, even the Spirit of Truth within you, who, if you will listen and obey, will command you unto all perfection. Nevertheless, if words of ours can help you, listen, and having listened, go and do them, and find the Way of Perfect Blessedness.
Keep strong and fresh your resolve to lead a righteous life.
Avoid lust; shun anger; and guard against self-seeking and self-indulgence.
Seek neither self-defense nor self-justification, but overcome those who attack and slander you by the spirit of humility and love.
Rest not, neither relax your efforts until all your thoughts and actions are adjusted to the perfect Spirit of Love.
Beware of vain disputations. Remember that truth is eternal and unchangeable, and is not affected by the opinions of men. Grow by silent thought and ceaseless effort.
Meditate constantly on the beauty of a sinless life, and apply your meditations to your daily conduct.
Let all passion die, and let your heart go out in charity toward all.
Do these things, and you will grow wise and pure and good, and sorrow and suffering will flee from you.
ISA — Your experience is one not uncommon to your sex, and the remedy for your trouble is entirely in your own hands. There is no need for "loneliness of heart" for if you will but forget yourself and think only of bestowing love upon those with whom you come in contact, the fullest measure of love will be yours in return. We believe, by your letter, that you are gentle in spirit, and have travelled well along the path of unselfishness, but one thing you still desire for your own happiness, for yourself. Give up that desire; renounce that one thing: so will your heart become complete in the purity of its love for others; then will that "happier and fuller life" be yours; all your loneliness will pass away, and nothing that is good for you will ever be withheld from you.
M. W. (near Birmingham)—We wonder you question us at all, seeing that you have arrived at such a fixed and unshakable conclusion to your questions yourself, all of which may be reduced to this one: "Are my sufferings my own fault or the fault of others?" To this question you give your own reply with determined and unmistakable emphasis, and it is this, that all your afflictions are the result of the sins of others. Whilst you cling to this idea, we can offer you neither help nor comfort, neither can you help or comfort yourself, and we do not wonder that you are so wretched. When you are willing to humbly confess, in your inmost heart, your own sins and faults, then, and not till then, will light and comfort be vouchsafed to you. Again, why do you ask for comfort, and to be relieved of your griefs, when you say, "I think a person honored to be called to bear great griefs?" Though you will probably reject it, yet we will tender this suggestion: Cease to think, for a time, about "heredity," "the exigencies of birth," "accidents," etc., and just go in for making everybody about you happy and comfortable. The result will astonish you, a miraculous transformation will be effected in the attitude of those about you, and your sorrows and sufferings will melt away like snow under a spring sun.
M. S. J. (Brecon) — We rejoice over such letters as yours. You have put yourself in the right attitude of mind to receive Truth. Blaming only yourself for your want of peace, and ceasing from all blame towards others, this is true humility and obedience. Continue in this spirit, and the truth which you seek will be yours, and you will arrive at the highest enlightenment.
J. J. F. (Reading)—Read our Editorial this month. We have long ago passed through the fires of skepticism, and there is no going back for those who have once breathed the fragrant atmosphere of the Land of Peace.
More in this issue« Gems of Truth From Ruskin | What Our Readers Think about "The Light of Reason" »
More from James Allen
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. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.