Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just started reading a little book called AS A MAN THINKETH by James Allen. I really am enjoying it, but questioning some of it, particularly an example of a man he gives as an example of poverty or moreso a man's reaction to it.

In any case, here's the foreward

This little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to simulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that-- They themselves are makers of themselves by virtue of thoughts, which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.-- James Allen

He compares the mind to a garden which we must weed and keep up and tend. I am really with him up to this point.

Then he writes, "Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." ...He gives an example of a poor man who shirks his work. This is where I have some questions, but I of course will need to continue reading as I value what is written here.


Here's a video on Post Traumatic Stress, which is one reason I tend to question such thinking.

It seems that certain mental illnesses where one needs medication or severe trauma where one's life is threatened or even economic disparities etc. lead me to disagree with the example of the poor man being "lazy." This type of thinking pervades our society. Am I simply being guilty of being a bleeding heart liberal? I don't think so. I think all sorts of factors weigh in on how the mind works and how we can change our thinking. Not so easy! Especially if one is dealing with a bad deck of circumstances. The mountain to scale is much higher. Is this simply a victim mentality? In any case, I will finish the book and see where it takes me.

I'll read further into what he says about circumstances, but the one statement bothers me. I of course think that we are essentially what we think, but the whole thing is vastly more complicated in light of mental illness and simply bad circumstances.

No comments: