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Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Time Event
9:35p
Willing to try ...
I got this as a “throw-in” to get an Amazon order over $25 and into the free shipping zone … little did I know how remarkable I'd find it. Originally written by Wallace D. Wattles in 1909, The New Science of Getting Rich was one of the books that inspired Rhonda Byrne to develop The Secret and so spark the current “intention” industry. The version here (the dust jacket inserts a “new” in the title, although it doesn't appear anywhere else in the book) is from 2007 and is “edited” by Ruth L. Miller. I'm assuming (there is virtually no introductory or contextifying material aside from what's on the dust jacket) that this contribution was re-writing the book for the first section. You see, this version of The Science of Getting Rich features the text twice ... first in a “modernized” version, then in its original form.

Frankly, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two … reading the latter, original, version I expected to see a substantially different work, but this is hardly the case. Sure, “steel barons” and “plutocrats” are replaced with the likes of Fund Managers, etc., and some of the “technological” references (railroads, radio, etc.) are updated, but over-all the text is so similar that had the fact of one being updated with current cultural material not been pointed out, it could well have passed barely noticed. The most telling difference is that in the “new” version, each chapter has a summary specific to it … which, I fear, was likely necessitated by the decline in educational preparedness in the century separating the two renditions! Of course, this does indicate that the book is rather short … about 100 pages for each version … but it also provides an impetus to re-read the text immediately, something that I, in my obsessive literary voraciousness, would be somewhat unlikely to do. However, this book might very well have caused me to re-read it (the author encourages one to just read this book until one's goals are attained), because it is rather extraordinary.

As regular followers of this space have no doubt observed, I have read a great deal of assorted metaphysical material from a wide array of traditions and sources, and have, over the past few years, added in quite a bit of the “intention/attraction” genre. As I read through this I was amazed to find close parallels to teachings originating in contexts as varied as Q'ero Shamanic practices, theories such as Sheldrake's “morphogenetic” fields, assorted cosmological models of advanced physics, and numerous pantheistic religious forms.

It could be argued that this is a “pantheistic” screed, as the core element to the underlying theory is that there is a “Formless Living Substance” which underlies and provides the material for the Universe, and that this substance is intelligent and manifests as “a great Living Presence, always moving inherently towards more life and fuller functioning”. This is pretty much the only premise that one need accept to find the “science” of the book plausible, and even convincing (although there are some functional corollaries regarding formation of materials, such as gold, which I suspect need to be framed as coming from a more naïve scientific age).

Wattles walks the reader through various scenarios, and coaches for behaviors/mindsets which exhibit “a Certain Way” to approach things. In the original there is a “credo” built up section by section which is then repeated several times. To understand the book, this is key, so rather than discussing how he arrives at this, I'll simply present it here:

There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

A thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.

Man can form things in his thought and, by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

In order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind; he must form a clear mental picture of the things he wants and do, with faith and purpose, all that can be done each day, doing each separate thing in an efficient manner.
And, of course, the Universe is constantly attempting to produce abundance, like vines covering every surface they can for further growth, so being rich, being able (to borrow an ad line from the U.S. Army) to be all that you can be (physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually) is the ultimate goal for the human being.

Needless to say, on its surface, this is hardly an onerous course of action in the pursuit of wealth, although the mental focus involved is quite a challenge. One has to reverse multitudinous “habitual patterns” of thought and behavior, always focusing on the idea that the Universe is busy manifesting the things that one wants. This dovetails well with Ekhart Tolle's “now” work, as following Tolle's approach it is easier to duck past some of the emotional stressors. It's also useful to keep in mind some of the amazing research that Lynn McTaggert has reported on which show the interplay of the mind and intention with real-world results.

Perhaps this synchs better with me than many of the other intention books because there are so many “threads” from my reading involved, but I am quite enthusiastic about The New Science of Getting Rich, and would recommend it to everybody. As noted above, I got this as a "throw-in" as, at the time when I ordered it, Amazon had this for a mere $4.60 per copy, but I was disappointed to find (when checking there today) that the price had jumped up to very near cover (disabusing me of plans of ordering several copies this evening to hand out to friends & family). The book is very reasonably priced, however ($11.95 cover), and the new/used guys have "new" copies priced (even with shipping) at less than half of that, and you may be able to find deals on this (it does appear to be a "cut out" at this point) in your local brick-and-mortar book vendor. Again, this is pretty much the best "intention" book that I've encountered, so suggest you grab a copy!


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