Two themes that recur very frequently in the works of James Allen are passion and purity. However, unlike many writers on moral discipline, the author regards purity as the natural state of man, which has been obscured by passionate attachment to external artefacts. Once the waves of passion are stilled, attachment falls away, allowing the seeker to attain a transcendent purity of vision and thus behold the reality that underlies the illusion of change.
In the introduction the author writes: "The first three parts of this book, Passion, Aspiration, and Temptation, represent the common human life, with its passion, pathos, and tragedy. The last three parts, Transcendence, Beatitude, and Peace, represents the Divine Life - calm, wise and beautiful - of the sage and Savior. The middle part, Transmutation, is the transitional stage between the two; it is the alchemic process linking the divine with the human life. Discipline, denial, and renunciation do not constitute the Divine State; they are only the means by which it is attained. The Divine Life is established in that Perfect Knowledge which bestows Perfect Peace."