The Light of Reason
Edited by James Allen
Vol. III. January 1st, 1903 No. 1
The expounding of the laws of being and the higher life.
Subscriptions for The Light or Reason for 1903 are now due. We have much work on hand, and our subscribers will greatly aid us by sending in their subscriptions early.
An American journal, The Anvil, devotes a column to a notice of The Light of Reason, and, amongst other things, says of our journal: "Its policy may be summed up in the words, believe what you like, but keep sweet." This is a particularly apt and true statement of our attitude, our object being not only to show the way to a pure mode of life, apart from all creeds, beliefs and opinions but to help others to grow sweeter, purer and happier.
To maintain an unchangeable sweetness of disposition, to only think thoughts that are pure and gentle, and to be happy under all circumstances—such blessed conditions and such beauty of character and life should be the aim of all, and particularly so of those who wish to lessen the misery of the world. If anyone has failed to lift himself above ungentleness, impurity and unhappiness, he is greatly deluded if he imagines he can make the world happier by the propagation of any theory or theology. He who is daily living in harshness, impurity or unhappiness is adding to the sum of the world's misery; whereas he who continually lives in goodwill, and does not depart from happiness, is day by day increasing the sum of the world's happiness, and this independently of any religious beliefs which these may or may not l hold.
He who has not learned how to be gentle, forgiving, loving and happy, has learned very little, great though his book-learning and profound his acquaintance with the letter of Scripture may be, for it is in the process of becoming gentle, pure and happy that the deep, real and enduring lessons of life are learned. Unbroken sweetness of conduct in the face of all outward antagonism is the infallible indication of a self-conquered soul, the witness of wisdom, and the proof of the possession of Truth.
A sweet and happy soul is the ripened fruit of experience and wisdom, and it sheds of abroad the invisible yet powerful aroma of its influence, gladdening the hearts of others, and purifying the world. And all who will, and who have not yet commenced, may begin this day, if they will so resolve, to live sweetly and happily, as becomes the dignity of a true manhood and womanhood. No, reader, do not say that your surroundings are against you. A man's surroundings are never against him; they are there to aid him, and all those outward occurrences over which you lose your sweetness and peace of mind are the very conditions necessary to your development, and it is only by meeting and overcoming them that you can learn and grow and ripen. The fault is in yourself.
Pure happiness is the rightful and healthy condition of the soul, and all may possess it if they will live purely and unselfishly:—
To all that lives; letting unkindness die,
And greed and wrath, so that your lives be made
Like soft airs passing by.
Is this too difficult for you? Then unrest and unhappiness will continue to dwell with you. Your belief and aspiration and resolve are all that are necessary to make it easy, to render it, in the near future, a thing accomplished, a blessed state realized.
Despondency, irritability, anxiety, complaining, condemning and grumbling—all these are thought-cankers, mind-diseases they are the indications of a wrong mental condition, and those who suffer therefrom would do well to remedy their thinking and conduct. It is true there is much sin and misery in the world, so that all our love and compassion are needed, but our misery is not needed—there is already too much of that. No, our cheerfulness and happiness are needed, for there is too little of that. We can give nothing better to the world than beauty of life and character; without this, all other things are vain; this is pre-eminently excellent; it is enduring, real, and not to be overthrown, and it includes all joy and blessedness.
Cease to dwell pessimistically upon the wrongs around you; dwell no more in complaints about, and revolt against, the evil in others, and commence to live free from all wrong and evil yourself. Peace of mind, pure religion, and true reform lie this way. If you would have others true, be true; if you would have the world emancipated from misery and sin, emancipate yourself; if you would have your home and your surroundings happy, be happiness. You can transform everything around you if you will transform yourself.
And this you will naturally and spontaneously do as you realize the good in yourself.
More in this issue| Through the Gate of Good »
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.