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Light on Life's Difficulties

Light on Life's Difficulties

This book sheds light on dealing with the hardships of human life including self-control, sacrifices, sorrows, and more. It was published in Allen's final year, 1912.

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Foreword

When a man enters a dark room he is not sure of his movements, he cannot see objects around him, or properly locate them, and is liable to hurt himself by coming into sudden contact with them. But let a light be introduced, and immediately all confusion disappears. Every object is seen, and there is…
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The Light That Leads to Perfect Peace

This book is intended to be a strong and kindly companion, as well as a source of spiritual renewal and inspiration to those who aim at a life well-lived and made strong and serene. It will help its readers to transform themselves into the ideal character they would wish to be, and to make their…
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Light on Facts and Hypotheses

When freedom of thought and freedom of expression abound, there is much controversy and much confusion. Yet it is from such controversial confusion that the simple facts of life emerge, attracting us with their eternal uniformity and harmony, and appealing forcibly to us with their invisible simplicity and truth. We are living in an age…
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Light on the Law of Cause and Effect in Human Life

How frequently people associate the word "law" with hardness and cruelty! It seems to embody for them nothing but an inflexible tyranny. This arises partly from their inability to perceive principles apart from persons, and partly from the idea that the office of law is solely to punish. Viewed from such an attitude of mind,…
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Light on Values: Spiritual and Material

It is an old-time axiom that "everything has its price." Everybody knows this commercially, but how few know it spiritually. Business consists of a mutual interchange of equitable values. The customer gives money and receives goods, and the merchant gives goods and receives money. This method is universal, and is regarded by all as just.…
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Light on the Sense of Proportion

In a nightmare there is no relation of one thing to another; all things are haphazard, and there is a general confusion and misery. Wise men have likened the self-seeking life to a nightmare. There is a close resemblance between a selfish life, in which the sense of proportion is so far lost that things…
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Light on Adherence to Principle

The man of truth never departs from the divine principles which he has espoused. He may be threatened with sickness, poverty, pain, loss of friends and position, yea, even with immediate death, yet he does not desert the principles which he knows to be eternally true. To him, there is one thing more grievous, more…
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Light on the Sacrifice of the Self

Self-sacrifice is one of the fundamental principles in the teachings of the Great Spiritual Masters. It consists in yielding up self, or selfishness, so that Truth may become the source of conduct. Self is not an entity that has to be cast out, but a condition of mind that has to be converted. The renunciation…
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Light on the Management of the Mind

Following the last chapter, a few hints on the management of one's mind will doubtless be opportune. Before a man can see even the necessity for thorough and complete self-government, he will have to throw off a great delusion in which so many are involved—the delusion of believing that his lapses of conduct are entirely…
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Light on Self-Control: The Door of Heaven

The foremost lesson which the world has to learn on its way to wisdom is the lesson of self-control. All the bitter punishments which men undergo in the school of experience are inflicted because they have failed to learn this lesson. Apart from self-control, salvation is a meaningless word, and peace is an impossibility. For…
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Light on Acts and Their Consequences

One of the commonest excuses for wrongdoing is that, if right were done, calamity would ensue. Thus the foolish concern themselves, not with the act, but with the consequence of the act, a foreknowledge of which is assumed. The desire to secure pleasant results, and to escape unpleasant consequences, is at the root of that…
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Light on the Way of Wisdom

The path of wisdom is the highest way, the way in which all doubt and uncertainty are dispelled and knowledge and surety are realized. Amid the excitements and pleasures of the world and the surging whirlpools of human passions, Wisdom—so calm, so silent and so beautiful—is indeed difficult to find, difficult, not because of its…
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Light on Disposition

"I cannot help it, it is my disposition." How often one hears this expression as an excuse for wrongdoing. What does it imply? This, that the person who utters it believes that he has no choke in the matter, that he cannot alter his character. He believes that he must go on doing the wrong…
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Light on Individual Liberty

Within the sphere of his own mind man has all power, but in the sphere of other minds and outside things, his power is limited. He can command his own mind, but he cannot command the minds of others. He can choose what he shall think, but he cannot choose what others shall think. He…
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Light on the Blessing and Dignity of Work

That "labor is life" is a principle pregnant with truth, and one which cannot be too often repeated or too closely studied and practiced. Labor is so often regarded as an irksome and even degrading means of obtaining ease and pleasure, and not as what it really is—a thing happy and noble in itself. The…
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Light on Good Manners and Refinement

Move upward, working out the beast, and let the ape and tiger die. All culture is getting away from the beast. Evolution is a refining process, and the unwritten laws of society are inherent in the evolutionary law. Education is intellectual culture. The scholar is engaged in purifying and perfecting his intellect; the spiritual devotee…
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Light on Diversities of Creeds

Those who depart from the common track in matters of faith, and strike out independently in search of the Higher Life, as distinguished from the letter of religious dogma, are apt to sink into a pitfall which awaits them at the first step, namely, the pitfall of pride. Attacking "creeds" and speaking contemptuously of "the…
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Light on Law and Miracle

The love of the wonderful is an element in human nature which, like passions and desires, requires to be curbed, directed, and finally transmuted; otherwise superstition and the obscuration of reason and insight cannot be avoided. The idea of a miracle must be transcended before the orderly, eternal, and beneficent nature of the law can…
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Light on War and Peace

War springs from inward strife. "War in heaven" precedes war on earth. When the inward spiritual harmony is destroyed by division and conflict, it will manifest itself outwardly in the form of war. Without this inward conflict war could not be, nor can war cease until the inward harmony is restored. War consists of aggression…
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Light on the Brotherhood of Man

There is no lack of writing and preaching about "universal brotherhood," and it has been adopted as a leading article of faith by many newly formed societies. But what is so urgently needed to begin with is not universal brotherhood, but particular Brotherhood. That is, the adoption of a magnanimous, charitable, and kindly spirit toward…
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Light on Life's Sorrows

There is great sorrow in the world. This is one of the supreme facts of life. Grief and affliction visit every heart, and many that are today reveling in hilarious joy or sinful riot, will tomorrow be smitten low with sorrow. Suddenly, and with swift and silent certainty, comes its poignant arrow, entering the human…
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Light on Life's Changes

The tendency of things to advance from a lower to a higher level, and from high to higher still is universal. The worlds exist in order that beings may experience, and by experiencing, acquire knowledge and increase in wisdom. Evolution is only another name for progress. It signifies perpetual change, but a purposeful change, a…
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Light on the Truth of Transitoriness

It is well sometimes to meditate deeply and seriously on the truth of Transitoriness. By meditation we will come to perceive how all compounded things must pass away; yea, how even while they remain they are already in the process of passing away. Such meditation will soften the heart, deepen the understanding, and render one…
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The Light That Never Goes Out

Amid the multitude of conflicting opinions and theories, and caught in the struggle of existence, whither shall the confused truth-seeker turn to find the path that leads to peace unending? To what refuge shall he fly from the uncertainties and sorrows of change? Will he find peace in pleasure? Pleasure has its place, and in…
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