Further Reports of Meetings
Report of Public Meeting at the Food Reform Restaurant, Holborn, London.--On Monday, October 16th, Mr. Allen addressed a meeting at the above Restaurant on “The Way of Enlightenment." Mr. Rist of the North London Group was in the chair.
In his introductory remarks the Chairman gave a brief summary of the history of the movement that had led up to their gathering there on this evening. The first number of the magazine appeared in January 1902, its object being to expound the Laws of Being and The Higher Life. In September 1903 the Editor invited the readers to form “Groups" so that they might meet together for mutual sympathy and help in the practice of that life which the magazine taught. As a result of that invitation the first “Group" was formed in North London, meeting in Clapton at his (the present chairman's) house in October 1903. Other “Groups” were then formed in London and the provinces—West London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Birkenhead, Illfracombe, &c, now having separate Groups of readers meeting at regular intervals. Though the members of these Groups had not increased in numbers to any great extent, he the chairman, thought that they had considerably increased in the power to spread the message of peace and goodwill which it was the object of the magazine to expound. Mr. Allen would put before them this evening further details of that message, and also explain the objects and principles of a new movement in connection with the magazine, viz: “The Brotherhood" to be formed on November 28th, next.
Mr. Allen then addressed the meeting. “The Brotherhood," he said, would be an organization of men and women who would be willing to discipline themselves and overcome their weaknesses so that they might help others. The Book of Discipline, which could be obtained from him, was designed to explain how this development could be brought about. Some of the Rules in this book would be found difficult, but no one would set to purify his life and thought and not expect to find difficulty. We lived in a wonderful age when men of integrity and purity of heart were sorely needed to help others who were struggling along the path of virtue.
Mr. Allen then gave in a general way the Rules and Observances of the Brotherhood as contained in the Book of Discipline, and then proceeded with his address on “The Way of Enlightenment." The title of the address, he said, suggested a path. In the material world every destination had its path or paths leading to it. The one who wanted to reach the goal must keep the object in view all the time and not wander. So with the aspirant for spiritual enlightenment; he must begin at the lowest point, and take each step with care. The traveler along this path would find that he had within him certain passions and desires which caused him pain and struggle to remove. He would have to severely discipline himself and reorganize his life and thought before any real progress could be made. The stronger these desires the greater the difficulty at first. He would have to discipline the mind and the will as well as the body. When, however, by perseverance and rigid living these were under control, a man was master of all outer things, and became a savior of others—a power for good in the world. He entered the eternal calm of a well-poised life;—he knew the joy of the Perfect Peace; he knew the Way of Enlightenment and could point out the path; he could see the inner principles of Being, and their application to the outer life. A number of questions were asked, principally bearing upon the application of the principles of Mr. Allen's teaching to modern city life. These were all answered by our Editor in a patient charitable spirit.
Mr. Rist gave a hearty welcome to all the readers present to the meetings of the London Groups and then Mr. Allen took the names of those who wished to join the Brotherhood while the meeting broke up.—Harry J. Stone, Secretary.
West London Group met on October 17th to learn still further of the truths underlying the rules set forth by Mr. James Allen in his Book of Discipline for the Brotherhood. We were privileged to hear Mrs. Allen explain the same subject in words which touched the hearts of all hearers. Members asked and received satisfactory answers from our leader, ere the close of the meeting.—Louise Clow, Hon. Secretary.
The Higher Thought Center, London—On the afternoon of October 18th, a well-attended meeting listened to Mr. Allen's address on “The Science of Sell-Perfection."
Worthing—Through the kindness of Mr. Chidwick, a number of earnest, thoughtful people met at his house, on October 18th, to hear Mr. Allen speak on "The Life Compassionate.“ In the questions and conversation which followed, a deep interest was evinced, and at the conclusion of the meeting some books were purchased.—J. A.
North London Group—On October 21st Mr. Allen again addressed the meeting on the principles and rules of the Brotherhood. He exhorted his hearers to lead the virtuous life as expounded in “The Book of Discipline," so that they might be a power for good to their fellows.
A number of questions were asked, dealing mainly with the application of the Rules laid down by Mr. Allen to the individual experience of his hearers. Many were helped and encouraged by the replies.
Mrs. Allen was then requested to speak, and gave a brief but stirring address on the words: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." In gentle expressions that revealed a deep human sympathy, Mrs. Allen bade us become “golden vessels" for the upliftment of the people by “purging ourselves of those things" that might even have a suggestion of evil. What had proved to be a very instructive meeting then broke up.—Harry J. Stone, Hon. Sec.
Bath, October 30th—There was a good audience to hear Mr. Allen’s address on “Meditation," which was followed by a number of questions from the meeting.
The Editor was unable to fulfill his Leicester and Tatsfield engagements.
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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.