Thoughts as I Thinketh


Well, this was just going to be a quick post to show the card, as our ‘thought for the coming week’ but the quote got me started thinking, as I’m sure it was intended to do. The card is from Charlene Livingstone’s Art of Life Tarot.

I do think this is an interesting choice for the ‘Judgment’ card, as well. The usual image on Judgment is of people rising from their graves, with an angel overhead blowing a trumpet a la the Visconti-Sforza Tarot (Lo Scarabeo edition) Judgementwhich carries a far more anxiety-inducing promise.

But anyway, I digress. The Art of Life Tarot is such a gentle deck, all the cards are designed to be uplifting, encouraging. The Marcus Aurelius quote immediately reminded me of a tiny little book someone once gave me. She had herself been given a copy at some point and was so enamored of it that she sought out older copies wherever she could find them (garage sales, book stores, etc.). The book is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It was written in 1902 and continues to inspire today. It’s now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free here at Project Gutenberg. The title derives from a passage in the Bible, specifically Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I think Mr. Allen can rightly be called the original self-help guru, or motivational life-coach. It’s a tiny little book, all of 47 pages. The copy I have is a lovely little volume that may be a first edition, but there’s no copyright in it so I don’t know. The cover is done in this beautiful pink pansy design on a gold background that was hard to photograph, but it has dimension to it, you can feel the ridges in the gold. It’s in remarkably good condition with just a little wear on the bottom corners.

As a Man Thinketh

The basic premise of the book is whatever you think about is what you cause to manifest in your life. Direct your thoughts the way you want your life to go. But it’s more than that, you have to be willing to change yourself to change your life. Our life is what our thoughts make it, because our thoughts direct our actions. It’s not enough to simply sit around imagining yourself sitting in your dream house, all bills paid. You must make the necessary sacrifices to bring about the change. If you want to lose weight but won’t change your diet, nothing’s going to happen. To quote from the book:

Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.

Such a simple little sentence but packed to the gills with ramifications.

I suppose that’s what the Judgment card is getting at. We can transform ourselves, our world, our universe based on our thoughts. In the end, that’s what we’ll be judged on, whether by gods or men, the legacy we leave behind.

This is the last paragraph of the book, and I think pretty stirring:

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this – in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and the 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 masterly; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”

Here’s some nice soothing music to bring peace to your heart, William Ackerman on guitar playing “The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter”. The background is perfect with fall approaching.

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18 thoughts on “Thoughts as I Thinketh

  1. Susannah Bianchi says:

    This is one of your best. it’s beautiful. I am profoundly moved. It seems apt for the Sept. 11 anniversary which no one I know seems to care about. I still do. I like, ‘whether by gods or men.’ You write awfully well. Going to read it again.

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    • D. D. Syrdal says:

      Thank you, Susannah, I’m so glad you liked it. The Sept. 11 anniversary will always mean something to me as well. I think you’d enjoy this little book. You and the author seem to share the outlook of the importance of remaining positive.

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      • Susannah Bianchi says:

        I’m going to try to get one on Abe books. They’re pretty good of you ever need something hard to find. I did love it very much. I never reblogged another author before is what I meant. I just wanted everyone to read it. It’s truly one of your very, very best essays.

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      • D. D. Syrdal says:

        Thank you so much! 😀 You should be able to get the book anywhere, I’m sure it’s still in print. And of course there are the e-versions as well. I like having the little hardback, though.

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  2. rosie49 says:

    What a beautiful way to start a Sunday morning. After a night of stormy weather this feels so cleansing and hopeful. So beautifully written with perfect musical accompaniment ~thanks.

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  3. Eric Syrdal says:

    D.D.,

    That was an amazing post. I only with I had waited until monday morning to read it. 🙂 I’ll probably read it again tomorrow.

    I am going to get a copy of that book. Those quotes from it are awesome. The first, about attracting what you are, is something I believe in with all my heart.

    And the second is a very moving statement on hope and personal courage.

    And I frequently leave quotes from Marcus A. on my Facebook page.

    The man was a genius when it came to common sense.

    If more people only had the drive to look back through history and see that almost everything you are experiencing now, and that which you believe is hopeless to deal with, has happened to someone else and you can even check out the outcome.

    Thanks for the post D.D. and have a great week!

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      • D. D. Syrdal says:

        Thank you so much, Eric, I’m glad you enjoyed it. And the beauty is you can re-read it 😉 I thought about holding off until Monday to post it, but wasn’t sure folks would have time to read it then. I hope it gets your week off to a good start. Glad you liked the music, too.

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  4. jmgershom says:

    As usual, an awesome post. Your rumination of the Judgement card made me wonder about a lot of things, and paired with the book you described, has me reassessing my outlook on my life. Thank you.

    BTW, I enjoy William Ackerman’s work, and by extension, much of Windham Hill’s catalog of music. Thanks again, DD. 🙂

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  5. gypsyscarlett says:

    Beautiful post, DD. Just lovely as others have said.

    And I rather like that Judgement card. It’s very unique in that it seems almost meditative. Inner reflection rather than what one usually thinks of when they see the word “judgement”.

    Like

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