This book by a British philosopher-writer, who came into notice with his famous book As a Man Thinketh (published in 1902), is a day-to-day programme which paves the way for mankind to progress from passion to peace by overcoming one'sself.
Man'snormal tendency is to put others right; but the man of wisdom puts himself right first. If one wants to reform the world, let him begin by reforming himself. The author has set conditions for achieving peace, which can be achieved by placing work before play and duty before enjoyment; similarly others before self, so that the right beginning is made which is at least half the way to victory.
For the month of January, the author says that meditation centred upon divine realities is the very essence and soul of prayer. It is the secret of all growth in spiritual life and knowledge. If we ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish, we will surely become pure and unselfish and enter the path of meditation by allowing the supreme object of mediation to be Truth.
The month of February is devoted to a discussion of pain and sorrow. Is there no way of escape from pain and sorrow? Are there no means by which the bonds of evil may be broken? Is permanent happiness and abiding peace a foolish dream? Unrest, pain and sorrow are the shadows of life. Men remain in evil because they are not willing or prepared to learn the lessons which they have come to learn. Man must get outside oneself and begin to examine and understand himself by standing alone. Being rich in oneself is to be complete in oneself. We should learn to stand alone and find the right balance because we can succeed by standing alone only.
As the heart is, so is his life. The ?within? ceaselessly becomes the without. Nothing remains unrevealed. That which is hidden is but for a time.
The month of April has certain facts to reveal, the most important of which is that each man is responsible for the thoughts which he thinks and the acts which he does?for the state of his mind, and the life which he lives. No power, no event, no circumstance, can compel a man to evil and unhappiness. He himself is his own compeller.
Every soul, consciously or unconsciously, hungers for righteousness and every soul seeks to gratify that hunger in its own particular way and in accordance with its own particular state of knowledge. Blessed are those who earnestly and intelligently seek. The whole journey from the kingdom of strife to the kingdom of love resolves itself into a process which may be summed up as regulation and purification of conduct. ?Such a process must, if assiduously pursued, necessarily lead to perfection??this is the author'smessage for May.
For the month of June, the author'smessage is that the spirit of love does not decrease when a man realises that perfect justice obtains in the spiritual governance of the world; on the other hand, it is increased and intensified when men do not understand and stay in ignorance.
To make a useful and happy life dependent upon health is to put matter before mind and to subordinate the spirit to the body.
For November, it is to be remembered that all strength, wisdom, power and knowledge will be found in man himself but he cannot find it in egotism. He will only find it in obedience, submission and willingness to learn.
Contentment is a virtue which becomes lofty and spiritual as the mind is trained to perceive and the heart to receive the guidance in all things. Man should be content with whatever happens, with his friendships and possessions and with his pure thoughts. Contented with whatever happens, he can escape grief; with friendships he will avoid anxiety and with pure thoughts, he will not need to plead or suffer in impurities.
These meditations help to recharge man'senergies and help him acquire peace and strength to sustain through the stressful life.
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