someday ill be in company of all....

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: As a man Thinketh by James Allen

Title: As a man thinketh
Author: James Allen
Publisher: Manu Graphics
Price: Rs 95.00
ISBN: 9789380078557
Genre: Inspirational
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Personal

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As A Man Thinketh provides the readers with insights into the effects of the thoughts they harbor, upon their life. This book comprises seven chapters, which include Visions and Ideals, Serenity, Effects of Thoughts on Health and the Body, The Thought-Factor in Achievement, Thought and Purpose, Effect of Thought on Circumstances, and Thought and Character.
In the first chapter, Allen tells the readers that a man is what he thinks he is, and his character is the sum of all his thoughts. He further explains that man can improve his current state in life by simply choosing to think the right thoughts, and implementing them correctly. Allen goes on to draw the link between the effects of thoughts on circumstances, explaining that a person’s destiny is influenced by their thoughts. He further states that a person’s current phase in life is due to their thoughts and actions.
Allen also provides insight into the analogy that the body is the mind’s servant, and explains that thoughts, whether good or bad, will have an effect on the body for better or for worse. He also tells the readers that they should fight to achieve their goals, and make certain sacrifices as well. Allen also encourages the readers to dream big, and states that their dreams would be their future destiny in life. He also deals with the quality of serenity, explaining that having a calm mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom, indicating that it is the outcome of long and patient effort in self-control.
This book was written in the early 1900's and I'm amazed that how the thoughts remain so everlasting...Its been few years since last I read an inspirational books, but this particular one caught my attention as it said that this book is the mother of all inspirational books for the generation to come and after reading it I saw why.The book itself is just 90+ pages and single thought could be developed into a book by itself..
Allen hasn't tried to elaborate them and explain concepts through anecdotes but has simply given the thoughts for the reader to contemplate and take it in one's own stride.The book is divided into seven chapters viz.,  thoughts and character, effect of thought on circumstance, effect of thought on health and body, thought and purpose, the thought factor in achievement, visions and ideals, serenity and the final one is dedicated to quotes by Allen..
The theme of the book is the its mans thoughts that defines his life and his future.I read the famous book secret by Rhonda Byrne and I could see many thoughts were derived from this one only difference is that Byrne focuses on the universe while Allen is more driven towards god as the divine power...Allen says that a godlike image is not by chance but by a man's persistent way of associating himself with such thoughts.(p-20).
One particular quote that I loved is in the chapter-effect of circumstances,  Circumstance does not make a man but that reveals him.(p-32) how true.
Few other quotes that I found interesting :Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.(p-33) and Nature helps every man to gratification of thoughts, which he most encourages.(p-45)

I  had my reservations on the chapter on the effect of thought on health and the body, I'm not sure if all disease and ailments are a result of one's thought if so then how can one describe about disease of a new born baby's  is it the result of the mothers though?? he uses his images to get more focus on things..

They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles and self-pitying. In short a man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it.The thought factor in achievement  he explains that a persons sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.(p-67) In visions and ideals he explains by quoting examples of Columbus who cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it;Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe and he revealed it, Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace, and he entered into it.(p-78). Finally I would like to wind up with the thought, To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve (p-96).and this reminded me of this quote that goes something like this, "Our deepest fears is not that we are inadequate, our deepest feat is that we are powerful beyond measure, we ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous, actually who are you not to be?"In short man is the ultimate power of his being , making it or destroying is all the results of his own thoughts...

James Allen is an inspirational figure, so I thought I include that too
James Allen was a well-known philosophical author. Apart from this book, Allen wrote The Life Triumphant: Mastering The Heart And Mind, Man: King Of Mind, Body and Circumstance, James Allen’s Book Of Meditations For Every Day In The Year, and The Shining Gateway.
Allen was born on the 28th of November, 1864, in Leicester, England. His father was a factory knitter, and he travelled to America in 1879 after the downturn of the textile trade. Within two days of arriving in America, he was declared dead by the New York City Hospital, who put the case down to robbery and murder. Due to severe financial difficulties, Allen was forced to quit school, and start working. Through most of the 1890s, he held the position of a private secretary, and stationer at a number of British manufacturing companies. In 1893, he met Lily Louisa Oram, who he married in 1895. In 1898, he began to pursue his writing career working for a magazine called The Herald of the Golden Age. He later launched his own magazine named The Epoch, which his wife continued after his death in 1912.


  1. Great commentary VB!

    I had heard of Allen. I think that his ideas have had an enormous impact on a lot of our present day self help thinkers. Though I think that there is more then meets the eye to life then folks like Allen present, if well presented stuff like this can be insightful and fascinating.

  2. Jonathan Brown, who wrote a paraphase and brief commentary on James Allen, agrees with you. He said: "James Allen himself died, apparently after a short illness, when he was 47 – hardly a ripe old age. It would be churlish to suggest that this was due to some failure on his part to practice what he preached in his writings. Is it really true that “disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought”? All diseases? All the time? Common sense tells us that this simply isn’t true. Health problems are caused by many factors: genetic predisposition, poor nutrition, exposure to toxic substances, microbes, viruses, accidents – to name but a few. We should be cautious about suggesting that all illness can be avoided if people will only purify their thoughts."


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