Available as PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook downloads.
This book has 33 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1908.
The Life Triumphant: Mastering the Heart and Mind is a 1908 book by British writer James Allen. Chapters include: Faith and Courage; Manliness, Womanliness and Sincerity; Energy and Power; Self-Control and Happiness; Simplicity and Freedom; Right Thinking and Repose; Calmness and Resource; Insight and Nobility; Man the Master; and, Knowledge and Victory.
Last week about 30,000 people downloaded from the site, and 7 people donated. I run this site entirely on my own - I want to be able to continue offering these books for free, but need some support to do that. If you can, please make a small donation - any amount is appreciated. Thank you! You can also support the site by buying a collection, such as the Mind and Body one, with 80 ebooks for only £4.00
Production notes: This edition of The Life Triumphant: Mastering the Heart and Mind was published by Global Grey ebooks on the 27th March 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Under the Trees' by Thomas Moran.
FOR THOSE WHO WILL FIGHT BRAVELY and not yield, there is triumphant victory over all the dark things of life. I state this at the beginning, that the reader may know there is no uncertainty about it. In the course of this book I shall show what are the elements, in character and conduct, which go to build up the life of calm strength and superlative victory.
To stand face to face with truth; to arrive, after innumerable wanderings and pains, at wisdom and bliss; not to be finally defeated and cast out, but ultimately to triumph over every inward foe—such is man’s divine destiny, such his glorious goal. And this, every saint, sage, and savior has declared.
In the present stage of the life of humanity, comparatively few reach this place of triumph—though all will reach it at last—yet there is a glorious company of perfect ones who have attained in the past, and their number is being added to with each succeeding age. Men are as yet learners in the school of life, and most men die learners. But there are some who, in this life, through fixity of purpose and strenuous fighting against darkness, pain, and ignorance, acquire a right knowledge of life and pass joyfully beyond the pupil stage.
Man is not to remain forever a schoolboy in the universe, to be whipped for follies and errors. When he wills and wishes, he can set his mind upon his task and master the lessons of life, becoming a confident and skilled scholar, living in understanding and peace, and not in ignorance and misery.
The sorrows of life are profound and deeply rooted, but they can be fathomed and rooted out. The passions and emotions of human nature are, in their ungoverned state, overwhelming and painfully conflicting, but they can be so softened down, harmonized, and wisely directed and understood, as to become obedient servants for the outworking of enlightened purposes.
The difficulties of life are great, its battle fierce, and its wished-for issues are uncertain and elusive; so much so, that every hour men and women are breaking down under the strain. Yet these conditions have no objective and arbitrary existence. In their true nature they are subjective and purely mental, and can be transcended. There is no inherent and permanent evil in the universal order; and the mind can be lifted up to the moral altitude where evil can touch it no more.
A steadfast faith in an Eternal and Universal Justice, in an over-ruling Good, is the prelude to the Life Triumphant. The man who aims to become strong, serene, and steadfast at heart must, at the onset, have no doubt that the Heart of Life is good. He who is to gaze upon the Cosmic Order and experience the rapture of emancipation must realize that there is no disorder in his life but that which he creates. This realization is difficult, so prone is the mind, in its imperfect stages, to self-pity and self-justification, but it can be attained, and must be attained by him who is to live the freed life. At first it must be believed, and the belief must be adhered to, until it ripens into realization and knowledge.
The sufferings of life are greatly reduced when they are accepted as disciplinary experiences, and the man of faith does so accept them. The sufferings of life are transcended and put away when all experiences are accounted good, and are utilized in the development of character, and the man of knowledge does so regard and utilize them.
Faith is the grey dawn which precedes the full and perfect day of knowledge. Without it there can be no attainment of strength, no permanent security of heart. The man of faith does not succumb when difficulties present themselves; he does not despair when troubles overtake him. However steep and dark his path may seem, he looks forward to a brighter pathway ahead. He sees a destination of rest and light beyond. They who have no faith in the triumph of good ignominiously succumb to the elements of evil. And this must be so; for he who does not elevate good, elevates evil, and, seeing evil as the master of life, he receives the wages of evil.
There are those who, having yielded to defeat in the battle of life, talk thoughtlessly about the wrongs they have suffered at the hands of others. They believe—and try to make others believe—that they would have been successful or rich or famous but for the treachery and villainy of those about them. They tell, for the thousandth time, how they have been deceived, defrauded, and degraded by others. They imagine that they themselves are all trust, all innocence, all honesty and good nature, and that nearly everyone else is all that is bad and malicious. They tell how they would have been just as prosperous and honored as others if they had been as selfish as those others; and that their great drawback, and the chief source, in themselves, of their failures, is that they were born with too great an endowment of unselfishness.
Such self-praising complainers cannot distinguish between good and evil, and their faith in human nature and the goodness of the universe is dead. Looking upon others, they have eyes for evil only; looking upon themselves, they see only suffering innocence. Rather than discover any evil in themselves, they would have all humanity bad. In their hearts they have enthroned the wretched Demon of Evil as the Lord of Life, and see in the course of things only a selfish scramble in which the good is always crushed and the evil rises triumphant. Blind to their own folly, ignorance, and weakness, they see nothing but injustice in their fate, nothing but misery and wretchedness in their present condition.
He who would have even a useful and successful life—yet alone a spiritually noble and victorious one—must at once root out and cast away this wretched condition of mind that negates all that is good and pure, and gives pre-eminence to all that is base and impure. Misfortune, misery and defeat most surely await the man who believes that dishonesty, deceit and selfishness are the best weapons whereby to achieve a successful life. What courage and strength can a man develop, and what quiet and happiness can he enjoy, who believes that in order to keep pace with others he must continually deny and discourage the better qualities of his nature? The man who believes that evil is more powerful than good, and that bad men have the best of life, is still involved in the elements of evil; and, being so involved, he suffers—must necessarily suffer—defeat.