The Path to Prosperity - James Allen


Chapter 1 – The Lesson of Evil

  • The first step in overcoming the struggles of life and securing a permanent and abiding happiness is to understand and accept that evil is an experience found only in your own heart.
  • Evil is a passing phase and all of your pains, sorrows and misfortunes have come to you because you deserve and require them.
  • The individual must be ready and willing to learn, they must be prepared to exercise great self-disciple in their daily life.
  • When the lessons of evil are fully learnt then ignorance passes away and wisdom takes its place. Then you will enter into a realisation which will endow you with the ability to mould your own life circumstances.


Chapter 2 – The World a Reflex of Mental States

  • The outside world is a reflexion of your own inner state of consciousness. Everything in the outside world is mirrored and coloured by our own inner condition.
  • Each soul attracts its own and nothing can come to it that doesn’t belong to it.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts” – Buddha.

  • Outside conditions can only effect us in so far as we allow them to do so. We are only swayed by circumstances when we don’t possess a right understanding of the nature, use and power of thought.
  • When we begin to realise this, we will commence to take command of our thoughts and discipline our minds.
  • Men and women are confirmed in their current mental outlook because by the law of cause and effect they attract to themselves that which they send out.

“Do you wish for kindness? Be kind. Do you ask for truth? Be true. What you give of yourself you find; Your world is a reflex of you.”

  • As we begin to purify our inner world, passing through revelations and realisations, we discover how powerless outward things are in comparison to the potency of a self-governed soul.


Chapter 3 – The Way out of Undesirable Conditions

  • Nothing can be divorced from the Law of Cause and Effect, not even the most trivial thought, word or deed.
  • A thorough understanding of this universal unchanging Law leads to the acquirement of that state of mind known as obedience.
  • When we work unswervingly to improve our inner lives we will bring about the same improved conditions in our outward lives. Doing this will attract to us all the opportunities, people and outward aids we require and the ability to recognise and utilise them.
  • We must not think that we can step into higher advantages while overlooking smaller ones. We must make best use of what we already have by faithfully employing that which we already possess.
  • Patience and self-control must be exercised and utilised for the gaining of mental and spiritual strength. First, through noble conduct, we lift themselves above the plane of slavery to self; after which we will no longer be subject to slavery by others.

“As in the rankest soil the most beautiful flowers are grown, so in the dark soil of poverty the choicest flowers of humanity have developed and bloomed.”

  • We are only ever being injured or oppressed by what is in ourselves and there is nothing more soul-destroying than the practice of self-pity.
  • The only sure and positive way to permanently rise above poverty or any adverse condition is to eradicate those same selfish and negative conditions within ourselves.
  • It doesn’t matter that there may be past thoughts and acts to work out and make amends for, as by the same law we are setting in motion fresh thoughts and acts which will bring about their own favourable results in due time.


Chapter 4 – The Silent Power of Thought: Controlling and Directing One’s Forces

  • The silent thought forces are the most powerful of forces in the universe and the advancement of not only the individual, but all mankind depends on their complete subjugation.
  • All destructive national events are the culmination and clashing of wrongly directed through forces. It’s where wars, plagues and famines step in as agents of the Law.
  • Only through complete self-mastery is all the wisdom possible to man found and comprehended. Fear, worry, doubt, anxiety and disappointment are all a result of ignorance and demonstrate a lack of faith. All negative conditions of mind are a direct outcome of selfishness, they are based upon an inherent belief in the supremacy of evil and therefore constitute the only real ‘atheism’.
  • When we overcomes these negative conditions of mind we cease to be slaves and become masters – the only way for them to be overcome is by steady and persistent growth in inward knowledge.
  • In order to advance in any life position we must learn to focus our thought forces by cultivating calmness and repose. When the mind is overcome by fear, or anxiety, or we’re at our wit’s end – we must not take action in this state as we don’t possess the faculty for correct judgement.
  • The individual must first overcome these lower states of mind by placing themselves in a solitary spot and forcing the mind away from anxiety by dwelling on something pleasing and bliss giving. Gradually, a calm repose will overcome the lower trains of thought as the mind re-establishes itself on the plane of peace and strength.
    From this state of mind the individual will then possess the clear insight and vision to find the right course to proceed to bring about the desired results.
  • All of life’s difficulties, however great, will yield before a calm untroubled mind – as the hour of calmness is the hour of illumination.
  • In order to achieve a lasting worldly success, it is absolutely essential that we develop the daily habit of putting the mind at rest or ‘going into the silence’. It is a simple method of replacing each troubled thought with one of peace, and each weak thought with one of strength.

“A man’s foes are they of his own household,”

  • Even a partial success in self-mastery will add greatly to our power over life circumstances.


Chapter 5 – The Secret of Health, Success and Power

  • Those who, day by day, endeavour to harmonise their hearts with the supreme and unalterable good acquire true health, wealth and happiness.
  • Where there is unflinching faith and perfect purity there is health, success and power. In such an individual, ailments like disease, failure and disaster can find no lodgement as they have nothing to feed on.
  • Disease comes only to those whose minds and bodies attract it; it flees from those who live in strong, pure and positive thought-spheres.
  • All work, whether of brain or body is beneficial and health-giving; when we work with a calm, focused persistency we will not only achieve more than the anxious and hurried ones, but will also retain our health.
  • The living of faith is to always follow the highest promptings within us, knowing that the future will yield onto us, with mathematical exactitude, the meed of every thought and effort.
  • If our present position in life isn’t tasteful to us; then we should never-the-less perform our duties with absolute diligence while resting the mind in the idea that a better position is awaiting.
  • Learn to husband your resources and concentrate them exclusively on a given point. Put aside all activities which are a waist of energy (such as selfish arguments, foolish chatter, slander and wasteful physical excesses).
  • Have a legitimate and useful purpose, be of single aim and devote yourself entirely to it, letting nothing draw you aside.
  • Self-purified, faith-protected and self-governed; an ever abiding health, success and power will be yours.


Chapter 6 – The Secret of Abounding Happiness

  • All of our unhappiness is a result of our selfish desire to obtain some worldly good, which when secured, is found to be an empty shell giving way to yet another desire.
  • Perfect happiness is that inward state of satisfaction, joy and peace in which personal desires have no dwelling place.

“It is in loving, not in being loved, The heart is blessed;
It is in giving, not in seeking gifts, We find our quest.
Whatever be thy longing or thy need, That do thou give;
So shall thy soul be fed, and thou indeed Shalt truly live.”

  • Lasting happiness comes to us when we are willing to lose those impermanent things which whether we cling to them or not, will one day be snatched from us. Enduring felicity belongs only to those who centre themselves in that which is permanent.
  • The loss of a cherished good will at the time seem like a painful loss; but with clear insight and patience, always turns out to be a supreme gain.

“I followed happiness to make her mine, Past towering oak and swinging ivy vine. She fled, I chased, o’er slanting hill and dale, O’er fields and meadows, in the purpling vale; Pursuing rapidly o’er dashing stream.
I scaled the dizzy cliffs where eagles scream; I traversed swiftly every land and M.
But always happiness eluded me.
Exhausted, fainting, I pursued no more, But sank to rest upon a barren shore.
One came and asked for food, and one for alms I placed the bread and gold in bony palms. One came for sympathy, and one for rest;
I shared with every needy one my best; When, Io! sweet Happiness, with form divine, Stood by me, whispering softly, ‘I am thine’.” – William H Burleigh

  • Only those of us who forget themselves entirely in the service of others can taste of the divine happiness which is free from all sorrow and suffering.
  • Our service must be of the heart and without any anticipation of reward or recognition, it must be free from vanity and self-seeking. Gifts of pure love are always attended with bliss.


Chapter 7 – The Realisation of Prosperity

  • True and abiding prosperity, like happiness, is an inward realisation and not merely an outward possession of materials.
  • We should never let the word ‘competition’ shake our faith in the supremacy of righteousness. Always, and under all circumstances, do that which you believe to be right and trust in the Law.
  • Those of us who always pursue the right need not to worry or guard themselves against ‘competition’; as they know that certain destruction awaits all dishonesty.
  • To build one self up in loving and generous warmth while attending to your own duties alone is to enter into a prosperity that will endure forever.

Download The Path to Prosperity Audiobook here (read by Sonnie Abdalla)