Posted on March 01, 2018.
Serenity Two Ways
Translated to modern English for ease of contemplation:
Serenity (modernized from James Allen's As a Man Thinketh i.e. How an Adult Thinks)
Tranquility of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Serenity's presence is an indication of mature experience and extraordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
You become calm to the degree that you understand yourself as a being evolved by thought, and the understanding of others as the result of their thoughts. As you develop a correct understanding, and see more and more clearly how you allow your internal relations and reactions to emotions due to the external actions of cause and effect, you can stop reacting, stop being anxious, angry, worrying and guilty, and remain balanced, firm, and serene.
The calm person, having learned self-control, knows how to adapt to others; and others, in turn, revere your spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn from and trust you. The quieter a person becomes inside, the greater your success, your influence, your power for good. Even an ordinary business owner will find that their business prosperity increases as they develop greater self-control and equanimity, since people will always prefer to deal with a person whose behavior is very stable.
The strong and calm person is always loved and revered. You are like a tree that gives shade in a thirsty land, or a sheltering cave in a storm. Who does not love a calm heart, a sweet-temper, or balanced life? It does not matter if it rains or shines, or what changes around you when you have these blessings, since you are always sweet, serene, and calm.
That exquisite balance of character we call serenity is the last culture-developing lesson; it is the flowering of life, the fruiting of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more desirable than gold yes, even precious gold. How insignificant is the mere search for money in comparison with a serene life a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, under the waves, beyond the reach of storms, in the Eternal Calm!
"How many people we know who waste their lives, who ruin everything that is sweet and beautiful with their explosive temper, who destroy their balance of character and make enemies! This is a question of whether the vast majority of people no longer ruin their lives and spoil their happiness for lack of self-control. How few people we find in life that are balanced, that have the exquisite grounding of the finished character! "
Yes, people as a whole surge with uncontrolled passion, are tumultuous with uncontrolled pain, are shaken by anxiety and doubt. Only the wise adult, only the one whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and storms of the soul obey them.
Souls shaken by the storm, wherever you may be, under whatever conditions you may live, know this: in the ocean of life, the islands of Blessing smile, and the sunny shore of your ultimate incarnation awaits your arrival. Keep your hand firmly on the wheel of thought. In the cockpit of your soul reclines the Captain; it only sleeps; wake it up. Self-control is strength; Right thinking is capability; Calmness is power.
Say to your heart,
"Peace, be still!"
(original excerpt from As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, 1903)
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such know- ledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought. As he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.
The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self- control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is strongly equable.
The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm.
That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm!
"How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood! It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by lack of self-control. How few people we meet in life who are well- balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!"
Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt. Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him.
Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under what- soever conditions ye may live, know this in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep; wake Him. Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.
Say unto your heart,
"Peace, be still!