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Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Science of Getting Rich - by Wallace D. Wattles

Sometimes you come across a book that just makes your head spin and reshapes the way you view the world.  Last week, I read this book titled The Science of Getting Rich, written by Wallace D. Wattles, and published in 1910.  The book was lost for decades, and only recently was it rediscovered.  It offers timeless principles about how to create wealth in your life, and utilizing a scientific approach to it that could be tested and proven to work.  His plan of action, Wallace asserts, has been thoroughly tested and is grounded in the monistic theory of the universe that One is All, and that All is One.  I will attempt to give summary to this provocative and eye-opening book on a topic of vital importance to all our lives, which is how do we create the wealth we want to have in order to live the lives we want to live, and I intend to do it in the most simplistic way possible, hitting the most essential points of interest.  First and foremost is the idea that we have a right to be rich.

Now, here me out.  It is not possible for any man to achieve all that he is capable of in talent and soul development unless he has plenty of money because he must have many things to use to unfold the soul and develop the talent that he has, and he cannot use these things unless he has them, and unless he has the money to buy them.  The object of our life is to develop ourselves to our fullest capacity in all areas of life, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual, and to be happy.  In order for us to fulfill our desire to become all we are capable of becoming, which is a desire inherent in human nature, we must be able to make use of things, and in order to have the free use of things, you must become rich enough to buy them.  As Wattles put it, "The man who owns all he wants for the living of all the life he is capable of living is rich;" the desire to be rich is for a more abundant and fulfilling life, and to share in the extension and increase of life itself.  We have three motives for which we live: the body, the mind, and the soul.  Not one is better or more sacred than the other, all are desirable, and no one can live life to its fullest if one or more is cut short of full life and expression.  To focus only on the body and its desires does not complete a man, nor does focusing only on the mind or the soul.  Each one, body, mind, and soul, needs to be fully functioning in order for man to be really happy and satisfied.  Man must have his physical needs met, his health, freedom from excessive toil and rest and recreation.  To live fully in mind, man must have books and the time to study them, opportunity to travel to new places and gain new experiences, have intellectual companionship, and surround himself with the objects of art and beauty for use and enjoyment.  For the soul, man must have at his core love, and love is unfolded in the doing and receiving of things, both material and immaterial, and in Being.  So, all three must be fully developed, and given the opportunity and possibility for seeking expression, and it is in the use of material things that man is able to fill his life for his body, develop his mind, and unfold his soul.  Thus, the study of the science of getting rich is noble and necessary.  

Now, the fundamental premise behind the science of getting rich is that the whole universe, everything you see on earth is made from one original substance, the invisible formless stuff, out of which all visible forms and things proceed.  This inexhaustible, limitless supply of formless stuff is alive with creative energy and is constantly producing new forms.  This formless stuff, let's call it Original Source, is all around us, as well as within us.  Source is infinitely intelligent; it thinks; it is alive, and is constantly impelling life forward.  It is a natural and innate impulse of life to seek to live more; to expand, to push the nature of its boundaries and consciousness and find fuller expression.  We are made of this stuff.  We are part of it.  Hence, the universe is a great Living Presence, steadily moving forward towards more life and more functioning.  The impelling motive: the increase of life. 

The first principle in the Science of Getting Rich is this: "Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.  The stuff from which all things are made is a substance which thinks, and a thought of form in this substance produces the form."  We were created out of this original substance because original substance thought of our form (created in God's likeness) and then we were created.  That's the way all forms are created, everything that you see.  Man has the ability to originate thought, and by impressing his thoughts on the original substance or source, he can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.  That's how powerful we truly are.  Once we understand the nature of things and how we came about, we can align ourselves with our deepest desires and longings, and visualize these events as we would like them to happen, and so imprint this thought upon Spirit, Formless Substance, Original Source, God, whatever you want to call it, and set into motion the creation of the event in physical form.  It's when we realize this, the oneness of everything, that we lose all fear and doubt about our lives and start creating the lives we want to live, in harmony with the world and people around us.  

Wattles explains in great detail the increase of life.  Life is forever becoming more.  The One Substance desires to live more in all of its expressions and all of its forms which includes us.  The desire to make more money is the same desire for increase of life that makes a plant or tree grow from a seed.  It is an invisible, formless field of energy - the power of intention which lies behind the desire to seek fulfillment and greater expression.  The desire to make more money comes from the basic urge of life for continual increase, because life, in the mere act of living, must expand, and for man, in order to know more, do more, and be more, he must have the use of things.  Money enables us to live more fully.  To seek riches then, is not evil, evil is what men do, money can also be used for good.  Money will only make you more of what you already are, and thus, if your desire for riches is to expand your life for greater fulfillment and expression, it is important to harmonizes this purpose with the purpose that is in All, the increase of life.  God wants you to live fully and abundantly.  By living in such a way, he can express himself better through you if you are unrestrained by financial limitations, and are free to perform all your functions physical, mental, and spiritual, without excess in any.  The satisfaction of sensual gratifications is not the only part of life, and if that is all you focus on, then you are not really living life.  It's only a partial life, likewise if you are only living for the mental and spiritual pleasures.  There is a balance that we seek, and when all three are functioning at their fullest capacity and given the means to express their desires, then our lives are in harmony with the whole, and we become the men and women we are capable of becoming.  Thus, it is our responsibility to make the most of ourselves, and live our lives on purpose.  Wattles warns us though to avoid competition, which is geared toward taking something away from someone else, and instead, focus your attention on creating.  He states, "Intelligent Substance will make things for you, but it will not take things away from someone else and give them to you."  The formless supply is unlimited, and will give you what you want but in a way where everyone will have more than he has now.  It is a paradigm shift, because we live in a world where we see limited resources, but in the formless realm, there are no limitations to what we can create, and thus, we must look to what is not there and know that with clear thought and intention, along with an understanding about how things come into manifestation, there is nothing we cannot have, if our lives are aligned with Spirit.  And one of the ways we stay aligned with Source is to adopt this principle in your business transactions: give more to every man in "use value" than you receive in "cash value" for your products or services.  By doing this, we add to the life of the world by everything we do, and every transaction we are involved.  Remember, life seeks to increase itself, when you see yourself as increasing life by the things that you do, then you are doing things in a Certain Way.

Wattles talks about doing things in a Certain Way, and it encompasses several things which I will do my best to illustrate without reverting to repeating passages from his book, which if what I've written thus far compels you to investigate what he actually wrote, I highly suggest you find this book and read it yourself!  We must get a clear picture of what it is we'd like to have, what it is we'd like to experience, what it is we'd like to do, and hold this thought or vision clearly in our minds.  You must have the unquestioning faith that what it is you'd like to have and experience is coming, it is already yours, and will be brought to you by the Thinking Substance that is everywhere, in all, through all, influencing all, and is acting upon all the minds of men at all times.  God wants you to be happy.  Either we live in a friendly universe or we live in a hostile universe, the most important decision we make is the one we decide upon.  If it's hostile, than the whole idea of the expansion of life in order for more complete expression is a farce, and God is a sadistic, cruel God who created us only to watch us suffer.  If it's a friendly universe, then God wants us to be happy, and will aid us on our journey to enjoy the things that bring us happiness.  We get to choose.  It's our free will to decide if we align with Spirit or not, that's the gift of freedom, and how we choose determines the quality of life we have and live.  So, if we believe spirit came before matter, if God is in everything, and we all came from the One Original Substance, then, we must convey our deepest longings and desires to God, to this formless substance, who can set into motion the bringing of the things that we desire into form in a harmonious way that is beneficial to all.

How do we stay in harmonious relation to the mind of God?  One word: Gratitude.  We must be in constant state of gratitude for all the things that come into or shows up in our lives.  Gratitude keeps us aligned with our highest selves, re-adjusts our mental habits and grants us the ability to atone with our maker for the mistakes we made in our lives.  It allows us to see all the beauty that exists around us, and when good things come to us, the more grateful we are, the more good things come.  It's similar to the law of cause and effect, and since the grateful mind is constantly fixed on the best, more of the best will come, and will be received by the one who is grateful.  All things that come into our lives are for our own good, even the things which seem bad have a silver lining if perceived correctly, and can aid us in our advancement towards the life we want to live and the people we want to be.  Dwelling on bad things only brings more bad things; dwelling on good things brings more good things.  It's law.  Thus, having an attitude of gratefulness will bring us in line with the divine in us, and more good things will come.  A grateful mind expects good things to come, and this expectation becomes faith.  Faith is a key ingredient to making your vision for your life a reality.

So our thoughts create our reality, what we think about is what we become.  Therefore, we must be very clear about what we think about.  Wattles states, "The scientific use of thought consists in forming a clear and distinct mental image of what you want; in holding fast to the purpose to get what you want; and in realizing with grateful faith that you do get what you want."  However, there is one final thing you must do: you must act in a Certain Way, so that when the things and experiences you envision come to you, you know what to do with them and put them in their appropriate places.  It is only by action that we receive what we desire.  "God helps those who help themselves."  Hence, we must act now.  In whatever business you may be in, whatever environment, you act upon it with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, holding on to the vision you have for yourself and believing its on its way.  Think from the end, as if it's already here, and you begin to set in motion the creative forces of the original substance to bring your vision into reality.   You get a change of environment, a change of circumstance only by taking action now.  That's all there is, the only time you have is now, and that is where you have to begin.  You must do the work you have today and do it well while retaining your vision, holding to your purpose, and maintaining your gratitude and faith.  Banish doubt, it does not serve you, and only blocks all the good that is coming to you.  Doubt will keep your life held in abeyance indefinitely, so remove it from your thought process.  As Shakespeare put it, "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing attempt."

We must do all that we can do where we are right now.  Waste no time.  A day can be successful or a failure by virtue of the fact whether we acted on behalf of the vision we set for ourselves.  Even the most trivial act can have profound consequences; many doors are opened by that very trivial, small thing we do which miraculously sets us on the path to our own self-actualization and the fullest realization of ourselves and our lives.  If you can do something today, do it, and do it with all your heart, knowing that it is taking you one step closer to the life you want to live.  Successful action is cumulative in its results.  Move towards the larger life you envision for yourself by acting now, put all your faith and purpose into it, and every successful act will open the way towards more successful acts.  No act can be too little, and if every action is done efficiently, if every act of your life is done with the faith and purpose behind it, you and your life will be a success.

Additionally, you must give off the impression of increase.  All your actions and efforts must convey to the minds of others that you are giving them more than what meets the eye.  You are following in the way of increase, and let this faith inspire, motivate, and permeate every action that you do.  This will inevitably rub off onto others because by holding firm in the conviction you are an advancing man or woman, you are also giving this advancement to everyone you meet.  Have you ever been in the presence of a very influential man or woman who has a vision for themselves and others?  Do you not feel inspired on some level, as if you're life has been increased by listening to them, talking to them, hearing them give a speech, or watching them perform?  We receive from them a sense of our own greatness, of what we might be capable of in our own respective lives, their light shines brightly and brings out the light in us, and we believe we can become better, happier people.  We are given increase, and because increase is desirous of life, we are attracted to that which gives us increase.  People gravitate to those who bring out the best in them, because we inherently want to be the best we can be, and those who give us a sense of the best in us, we naturally are drawn to them.  Thus, you want to do everything you do with the unshakable faith that you are an advancing personality giving increase to all.  Give all that you are, give all that you have, and life will respond by giving back to you all that it is.  What you give, you receive, and by giving increase to life and to the people in your life, your life will increase and expand.  Whatever you want for yourself, want it for everybody.

If you follow these principles and put them into practice in your own life, Wattles declares with absolute certainty you will get rich.  "And the riches they receive will be in exact proportion to the definiteness of their vision, the fixity of their purpose, the steadiness of their faith, and the depth of their gratitude."  So, how do we know whether or not Wattles is correct or just some crackpot from the early 20th Century who read too much of the philosophy of Emerson and Hegel and others who promulgated the monistic theory of the universe with which he based his whole science of getting rich?  Is he speaking the truth?  Well, the beauty of science is that you can test it to see if what you theorized and postulated is correct or not.  By applying the principles in this article, if it is a true science, one should be able to observe the results in the material world of our lives.  Hence, just as I take the law of gravitation to be true, or the law of magnetism, why not assume what Wattles says is also true, and by experiment, discover whether his reasoning is true or false.  It certainly wouldn't hurt, and there is much value in living a life where you feel you are adding to the increase and expression of life rather than competing with others for the scraps that are left.  If what he says is true, then there is not one of us who cannot apply these practical instructions and become rich.  And if it turns out to be false, and we don't become rich by applying these principles, we can all laugh at ourselves for being such fools.  But we'll never know unless we try.  What do we have to lose?