The Light of Reason
Edited by James Allen
Vol. V. February 1st, 1904 No. 2
The expounding of the laws of being and the higher life.
—Florence M. Solomon
The book, Out From the Heart (a sequel to As a Man Thinketh), is now ready, and may be ordered at once. Readers of As a Man Thinketh will do well to follow up with this book. The title originally selected for it was Out of the Heart, but just as it was about to be placed in the hands of the printer, Mr. Dimsdale Stocker's booklet of poems (which we have this month reviewed) came to hand bearing the identical title, which rendered in necessary to make some alteration, and the present title was selected.
A very necessary equipment to the seeker of Truth is that of Fearlessness, and the development of this quality is in exact ration with the growth of spiritual enlightenment. Fear is not without a cause, and that cause is ignorance, and until the cause is removed, the effect will remain. From ignorance proceed confused thoughts, false beliefs, and selfishness; and fear is the dark shadow of these wrong conditions of mind. Whilst an opaque body intercepts the rays of the sun there will be a shadow cast, ad so long as there are wrong conditions of heart and mind, the rays of the Light of Truth will be obscured in the mind, and the shadow of fear will be thrown upon the pathway of life.
The way to be rid of fear is to remove the conditions which create it. So long as a man is ignorant, superstitious, or selfish, he cannot escape fear. Men fear because they do not understand. This is seen even in the ordinary occurrences of life. An eclipse of the sun or moon strikes terror into the heart of the barbarian, and he regards it as an omen that the displeasure of his gods is about to be visited upon him. But the civilized man knows the nature of an eclipse and the method of its occurrence, and is impossible for him to fear it. Again, how often a strange noise will terrify a whole household, but immediately the cause of the noise is discovered, fear turns to laughter.
The same law prevails in the moral realm. Men fear failure, disease, death, annihilation, the anger of God or gods, and contamination and injury from their fellow-men, because they are ignorant or moral causes; because they are totally in the dark concerning the Law of ethical causation. Where there is fear there is darkness of mind, lack of knowledge, and some form of selfishness; therefore when a man fears, he should search within himself for the cause which gives rise to his fear with a view to removing it.
All selfishness is ignorance, is Egyptian darkness. Impurity is ignorance; covetousness is ignorance; slander is ignorance; envy is ignorance; dishonesty is ignorance; lying and deception are ignorance; wheresoever these conditions of mind are, confusion, superstition, and the slavery of fear prevail. Living in the darkness of these wrong conditions of mind, men institute innumerable false beliefs to account for their sufferings, and create illusions which become still further sources of fear, and give, reactively, added intensity to selfishness and hatred, and the dividing of man from man.
Man's sufferings are self-originated, and their cause subsists in the violated law of his being. His fears are self-generated, and spring from within. The sin-darkened mind cannot escape fear. The mind of the impure man is shadowed by three fears—the fear of disease, the fear of consequences, and the fear of death. The mind of the covetous man is shadowed by three fears—the fear of loss, the fear of violence, and the fear of destitution. The mind of the dishonest man is shadowed by three fears—the fear of the law, the fear of exposure, and fear for the safety of his reputation.
He who would slay fear, let him slay ignorance and sin, and as he succeeds in conquering self and harmonizing his mind with Truth, the dark shadow of fear will pass away, and he will find that in all the universe there is absolutely nothing to fear; that all the dark evils which he feared had no substantial existence, but were merely the exaggerated reflections of his own selfish thoughts.
Fearlessness cannot be possessed until purity of heart and high moral rectitude are attained. What has the pure man, the sincere man, the man of rectitude to fear? What has he to fear who has nothing to conceal, who would not shrink from having his most private thoughts exposed? There is but one way, then, to dispel fear, and that is to obtain purity of heart and sterling rectitude of mind. Let studied breathings, bodily postures, and wordy affirmations be avoided as vain and profiles. Man can become fearless only by becoming pure.
For particulars concerning the Editor's visit to London on February 18th, our readers are referred to page 88.
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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.