Posted By Marc Allen
As You Think, originally titled As a Man Thinketh, was written in 1904. I spent years reading and pondering the words in this little book, and during those years I went from poverty to abundance. For about two decades, I said it was the best book I’d ever read (now it’s number three; Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is number one, A New Earth number two). I put several passages from the book, including the opening poem and the other poem in it, in big letters on my wall. These phrases, repeated hundreds of times, became imprinted in my mind, and to this day they spring to mind on occasion. They are powerful, life-changing passages — the most powerful one, for me, is this:
You will become as great as your dominant aspiration. . . .
If you cherish a vision, a lofty ideal in your heart,
you will realize it.
James Allen writes with a power and authority that affect some deep place within, and those two sentences of his changed my life. That quotation and the two poems in the book sum up everything I learned from As You Think.
There’s a tradition in some Buddhist books that the wisdom of the book is contained in the title. If you understand the title, you don’t need to read the book. Then there is a short opening poem; if you understand the poem, you don’t need to read the book either, for it contains all the wisdom of the book. Here’s the opening poem of As You Think:
Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And we are Mind, and evermore we take
The tool of thought, and shaping what we will,
Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
We think in secret, and it comes to pass —
Our world is but our looking glass.