The unwise say, "Our sufferings are unjust,
Our pains and woes rise from the scattered dust
Of sinful ancestors; we are not free;
Our fathers robbed us of our liberty
By what they did; and we are weak and frail
Because they erred; they fell, and we must fail.
"Our drunkenness comes from their love of wine;
Our lusts their revels made; and we divine
Our manifold diseases by the ways
In which they walked; and as they trod the maze
Made by their feet, so we must likewise tread,
For we are bound and driven by the dead."
Thy sins are thine, O man! and from thy deeds
Thy life, with all its weal and woe, proceeds;
By self, and not by others, thou art bound;
In thine own will and heart the root is found
Of all thy lack of peace; open thou thine eyes,
Leave the dead past, and look within; be wise.
Make pure thy heart, and thou wilt make thy life
Rich, sweet, and beautiful, unmarred by strife;
Guard well thy mind, and, noble, strong, and free,
Nothing shall harm, disturb or conquer thee;
For all thy foes are in thy heart and mind;
There also thy salvation thou wilt find.
Mind is the Master-power that moulds and makes.
And Man is Mind and evermore he takes
The Tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:—
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass;
Environment is but his looking-glass.
In his own heart he fosters dark desires,
Or strives for good, or loftily aspires;
In his own life he reaps what he has sown,
Or pain or peace, he garners in his own.
Thou man, that bowest to heredity,
Know this—the Law of life is Liberty,
By Thought we rise; by Thought we fall; by Thought
We stand or go: all destiny is wrought
By its swift potency; and he who stands
Master of Thought, and his desires commands,
Willing and weaving thoughts of Love and Might,
Shapes his high end in Truth’s unerring Light.
More Articles by This Author 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.