Brief Lessons in Truth
As the heart is purified, self-mastery is attained. As self-mastery is acquired and perfected, the enlightenment of Truth awakens in the mind. As the enlightenment of Truth is awakened in the mind, there is deliverance from evil and its sufferings.
While the mind of the pupil is moved to desire, anger, disappointment, grief; and longings for pleasures, by others and by external things, let him know that he is still in the realm of evil and ignorance, and has not attained to mastery and enlightenment.
When the mind of the pupil is becoming indifferent to external things; when it is not stirred to anger and resentment by the actions of others, and when temptation does not rouse up intense desires, then the pupil will know that he is acquiring self-mastery, that he is becoming pure-hearted. Then he will begin to perceive the Truth; he will see things as they are; he will understand life as it is; he will become free and happy and tranquil.
The impure and self-indulgent, the angry and irritable, the proud and resentful—these do not command themselves, and they are unhappy and troubled. Carried away by passions, they are confused, and do not understand.
The pure and moderate, the gentle and patient, the selfless and non-resentful—these command themselves, and they are happy and serene. Masters of passion, they are enlightened, and they understand.
The pupil of Truth should beware of self- delusion. He should know that so long as the mind is disturbed with the passions and prejudices of egotism, he has not attained to knowledge. The mind of the self-mastered man is calm and possessed under all circumstances. It is not drawn away by temptations, nor overthrown when assailed by angry words or accusations. He is the man of knowledge whose mind, words, and actions are clothed with peacefulness, who is arrayed with patience, who never speaks evil of anyone, who returns good for evil.
The ungoverned man—he whose passions are his masters—rails against others, accuses, judges, and condemns others, and will not look for his own faults, or remedy his own imperfections; ignorant of right and wrong, he thinks that all men are to blame, but that he himself is right and praiseworthy.
The self-governed man is known by these unmistakable signs,—he is free from egotism; he does not rail against others; does not accuse, judge, and condemn others; is not a partisan, but maintains the same equable mind towards all; he is not kindly towards his friends who agree with him, and bitter towards his enemies who disagree with him, but bestows upon enemies the same goodwill as upon friends. He does not seek fleeting pleasures and amusements, but derives his happiness from the contemplation of eternal things, from the performance of his duties, and the practice of virtue.
The self-mastered man is enlightened; having conquered self, he has comprehended Truth; his thoughts. words, and acts are the outcome of Truth, and not of personal desire; not striving for self, he is freed from the sorrows and sufferings of self; not harshly judging others, he is fitted to help them; not setting himself above others, he is fitted to lead them; not wishing to command and coerce others, he is capable of teaching them. While the pupil is passion-bound, he should regard himself as a learner, and should be eager to learn; but when his mind is altogether controlled, when his heart is purged of desires, when he is steadfast with an unwavering steadfastness, calm with an unbroken calmness, and when he regards all mankind and all creatures with constant love and unchanging goodwill, then the pupil will know that he has become the teacher, that, pure and serene, he has become a vehicle of Truth, that he is a bearer of peace, fitted to spread abroad the glad tidings of Deliverance, and be a guide and helper of mankind.
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.