The Light of Reason
Edited by James Allen
Vol. II. November 1st, 1902 No. 5
The expounding of the laws of being and the higher life.
"He whose intentions are righteousness and justice will meet with no failure, but be successful in his enterprises, and his success will endure." These words were uttered by a Great Teacher two thousand five hundred years ago, and they embody a truth which, like all Truth, is deeply-rooted, and is not apparent on the surface of things.
When a man cannot perceive this truth (and there are many such), it is an indication that his soul-experience is immature, and that he has not yet reached that point in his spiritual pilgrimage where the abandonment of self for righteousness is seen to be a necessity. It is in the nature of things that the self-seeking should have no faith in the efficacy of righteousness, and should believe that lying and deception are necessary to the achievement of business success, happiness and prosperity. Such a dark delusion cannot be escaped by those whose minds are largely or entirely intent on the speedy gratification of their lusts, desires and wants, and even those who have partly overcome self, and are earnestly searching for Truth, are, for a time, blinded by this delusion, until a deeper searching and an enlarged experience have prepared them for the final sacrifice of self.
It is impossible for the selfish, or partially selfish, to know anything of the sweetness, the peace, and the power of righteousness, for such knowledge would bind man with still stronger chains to self, and would make sacrifice more difficult than it now is. Real knowledge is ever mercifully hidden from self in order that self shall, after much suffering and experience, be at last yielded up and transmuted into Truth.
Righteousness cannot be embraced for the gain it brings, and so long as a man seeks personal gain he will never find righteousness. He will find pleasure, excitement, and fleeting seasons of elusive happiness, but he will not find the permanent peace of Truth. Before he can find righteousness a man must be prepared to lose; and herein we see the cause why men should believe that the practice of righteousness will bring loss, unhappiness, and disaster. Not until a man is willing to unreservedly sacrifice, to suffer loss, and to yield up all self-interest in his efforts and possessions, can he find the righteous life, and, having done this, his anticipated loss is found to be a glorious gain.
Men shrink from the practice of a lofty, selfless, and uncompromising integrity, believing that it would undermine their happiness and success, and so they follow self until such time as, having passed through repeated failures, sorrows, and misfortunes, they have found by experience the bitterness, misery and delusion of self, and then they give up self and find Truth. It is not until men are brought to this pass that they understand and accept the divine invitation, "Come unto ME all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Whilst men love self, and believe in its power, they will cling to and follow it; it is not until they have proved its mockery, and hollowness, and delusion that they desert it, and fly to the Rock whereon he who builds shall never fail nor be dismayed—the Rock of righteousness.
In the righteous life (the sinless state) there can be no failure. Whatsoever purpose the righteous man sets his mind upon he accomplishes, he succeeds in all his undertakings, and his words and works are powerful and far-reaching in their effects; so much so that all who come within the sphere of his immediate influence are unconsciously benefited, strengthened, and protected; even the most impure leave his presence with their aspirations for a nobler life renewed and invigorated, and by his life the evolution of the whole race is incalculably accelerated.
"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread"; and blessed are they who can understand this, in whose prodigal souls the dawn of righteousness is breaking, and who are waking up to a consciousness of its beautiful realities, for they shall soon return from their wanderings, and shall eat of the fatted calf of perfect contentment, spiritual bliss.
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More Articles by This Author 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.