Shaping the belief to build destiny: Comments on the "As A Man Thinks" book for James Allan

Essay by EgyHuman April 2007

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As a man thinks is a suggestive philosophy that describes how the sophisticated powers of our thoughts & emotions intermingle to create our attitudes, behaviors, perceptions and reactions. What is more critical is how this finally funnels to form the forces of faith based on belief and disbelief, creating the inner readiness to revolve the relation between man & circumstances, making him master.

The philosophy of As A Man Thinks describes the two broad positions of human attitude, based on thought of course. These are roughly positive and negative, with a wide range of variability in between. It is these attitudes that make up man, who is made or unmade by his thoughts.

Man is a creation by the almighty, and grows by the laws of the almighty. These laws present the catalyst which man uses to build his destiny. A catalyst formulated with righteousness will only result in good, and the vise versa.

How man decides to plant the seed, and rear the plant will determine what the plant springs.

Blind ambition, combined with some luck and success, without a foundation of good thought, and the faith that feeds a belief is a recipe for failure. Disbelief or negative thought will only lead to unaccommodating circumstances when it happens. The only truth is that circumstances will happen. The philosophy is not a difficult one, the almighty has told us that he will not change a people unless they change their inner selves.

History has given us examples of those who prospered on their thought after walking in the dark for so long. Among the examples we can relate to are the Prophet Muhammed's PBUH companions. At the top of the list is Master Omar ibnul Khattab. This great companions life is an inspiring example of how thought has revolved his life. From one where he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself, living as a primitive, intoxicated with alcohol, stained with innocent blood, and dusted with the sand he used to bury his own female infant alive. To one where he fashions the tools where he builds himself the mansions of joy strength and peace, filled with virtue, truth,sobriety, and sacrifice for the message of virtue. It was not an act of magic that changed his life, but this great man was a result of getting his thought together.

Change in thought is not easy, "Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained". This means that the good is in every man, and the creator has created him flawless, it is mans responsibility to put effort to reach the jewels deep with in, to bring them out and polish these jewels. The job is not an easy one and definitely not immediate. It will take effort, practice, and maybe some failure, but the change is worth while. "Weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts" is an act requiring effort, just like the act of digging deep to reach the jewels.

The path which one will take on in life is of his own creation, the thoughts built in to his character are the wheels that will move him through his track of life, and leave their markings. One is beaten around by circumstances if he believes that he is helpless, if he believes that he is a dependant factor. One must be the creator of circumstances. Circumstances grow out of thought, the more one purifies his thought, and trims his attitudes, the better control he has over thought, and the more accurate he becomes in managing his circumstancesSurat Al-Baqarah(155) And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruit, but give glad tidings to (the patient). (156) Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: 'Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return." (157) They are those on whom are the Salawat from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.

Allah almighty has taught us the holy Quran how to manage our thoughts, how to be the guided ones. From the calamities we may face in life, the believer is the most armored, for the believer is a man of thought, who controls the circumstance and its outcome, for the believer is the one who has dug deep in his soul, and is has filled this with all positive thought.

The philosophy of As A Man Thinks should be taken as a manual to come back to when things start getting out of hand. One should not leave himself to overwhelming heights. One should regain control, and thrive on the circumstances. Life is filled with infinite change, it is change that gives life its character. A life based on good thought is positive, is fulfilling, and inspiring to others. While a life lead by bad, or negative thought, by unaccommodating to change, and un-acceptance of what surrounds us is a dark and dull life, a life that can be depicted in a tight, dim, humid room. With positive thought one can demolish the walls of this room, get out, breath the fresh air, and enjoy life with all what it brings. To think negative will leave one in the room far behind all the good in life, and the afterlife.