Without going into the details of the greater steps and lessons in the right life (a task outside the scope of this small work) a few hints concerning those mental conditions from which life in its totality springs seem in order. These hints will prove helpful to those who are ready and willing to penetrate further into the inner realm of heart and mind where Love, Wisdom, and Peace await the rapidly progressing student of life.
All sin is ignorance. It is a condition of darkness and undevelopment. The wrong-thinker and the wrong-doer is in the same position in the school of life as the ignorant pupil in the school of learning. He has yet to learn how to think and act correctly, that is, in accordance with Law. The pupil in learning is not happy so long as he does his lessons wrongly. Likewise, unhappiness cannot be escaped while sin remains unconquered.
Suffering Is Rooted In Error
Life is a series of lessons. Some are diligent in learning them, and they become pure, wise, and altogether happy. Others are negligent, and do not apply themselves. They remain impure, foolish, and unhappy.
Every form of unhappiness springs from a wrong condition of mind. Happiness is inherent in right conditions of mind. Happiness is mental harmony, unhappiness is mental inharmony. While a man lives in wrong conditions of mind, he will live a wrong life, and will suffer continually.
Suffering is rooted in error. Bliss is inherent in enlightenment. There is salvation for man only in the destruction of his own ignorance, error, and self-delusion. Where there are wrong conditions of mind there is bondage and unrest. Where there are right conditions of mind there is freedom and peace.
Wrong Mental Conditions and Their Effects
Here are some of the leading wrong mental conditions and their disastrous effects upon one's life:
Hatred—which leads to injury, violence, disaster, and suffering.
Lust—which leads to confusion of intellect, remorse, shame, and wretchedness.
Covetousness—which leads to fear, unrest, unhappiness, and loss.
Pride—which leads to disappointment, humiliation, and lack of self-knowledge.
Vanity—which leads to distress and mortification of spirit.
Condemnation—which leads to persecution and hatred from others.
Ill-will—which leads to failures and troubles.
Self-indulgence—which leads to misery, loss of judgment, grossness, disease, and neglect.
Anger—which leads to the loss of power and influence.
Desire or Self-slavery—which leads to grief, folly, sorrow, uncertainty, and loneliness.
The above wrong conditions of mind are merely negations. They are states of darkness and deprivation and not of positive power. Evil is not a power; it is ignorance and misuse of good. The hater is he who has failed to do the lesson of Love correctly, and he suffers in consequence. When he succeeds in doing it rightly, the hatred will have disappeared, and he will see and understand the darkness and impotence of hatred. This is so with every wrong condition.
Right Mental Conditions and Their Effects
The following are some of the more important right mental conditions and their beneficial effects upon one's life:
Love—which leads to gentle conditions, bliss, and blessedness.
Purity—which leads to intellectual clearness, joy, invincible confidence.
Selflessness—which leads to courage, satisfaction, happiness, and abundance.
Humility—which leads to calmness, restfulness, knowledge of Truth.
Gentleness—which leads to emotional equilibrium, contentment under all circumstances.
Compassion—which leads to protection, love, and reverence from others.
Goodwill—which leads to gladness, success.
Self-control—which leads to peace of mind, true judgment, refinement, health, and honor.
Patience—which leads to mental power, far-reaching influence.
Self-conquest—which leads to enlightenment, wisdom, insight, and profound peace.
Striving for Right Mental Conditions
The above right conditions of mind are states of positive power, light, joyful possession, and knowledge. The good man knows. He has learned to do his lessons correctly, and thereby understands the exact proportions which make up the sum of life. He is enlightened, and he knows good and evil. He is supremely happy, doing only that which is divinely right.
The man who is involved in the wrong conditions of mind does not know. He is ignorant of good and evil, of himself, of the inward causes which make his life. He is unhappy, and believes other people are entirely the cause of his unhappiness. He works blindly, and lives in darkness, seeing no central purpose in existence, and no orderly and lawful sequence in the course of things.
He who aspires to the attainment of the Higher Life in its completion—who would perceive with unveiled vision the true order of things and the meaning of life—let him abandon all the wrong conditions of the heart, and persevere unceasingly in the practice of good. If he suffers, or doubts, or is unhappy, let him search within until he finds the cause, and having found it, let him cast it away. Let him so guard and purify his heart that every day less of evil and more of good shall issue there from. So he will daily become stronger, nobler, and wiser. So will his blessedness increase, and the Light of Truth, growing ever brighter and brighter within him, will dispel all gloom, and illuminate his Pathway.
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.