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The Science of Getting Rich
Attracting Financial Success through Creative Thought
- by Wallace D. Wattles
Reviewed by Margaret Bartley

This supposedly is a reprint of a book published in 1910, but there has been some obvious updating to the material.

I like to read books written a hundred years ago. They had a different style of writing, reflecting a different way of thinking and living. Like studying a foreign language, reading old books gives us a parallax view of what we assume to be natural, an opportunity to look at a familiar thing in a different way.

One of the reasons I think this is not the original version is that the sentence structure is modern. For another thing, there are some anachronisms. I don't believe Wallace Wattles wrote the following text in 1910:

At different periods the tide of opportunity moves in different directions, according to the needs of the whole and to the particular stage of social evolution which has been reached. At present, in America, it is moving toward decentralization and toward industries that can be decentralized. Today, more opportunity is open to the organic and herbal farmer than to the office worker. More opportunity is open to the businessman who works in the field of new energy forms and ecologically sound endeavors than to the executive on the corporate treadmill.

This is clearly not written in 1910, when there was no such thing as “organic” or “ecological”, and “corporate treadmill” was still decades into the future.

One of his core messages I really question:“The race as a whole is always abundantly rich.  If individuals are poor, it is because they do not follow a certain way of doing things which makes the individual man rich.”

In other words, the starving kids in Iraq or the Sudan are that way because they are thinking the wrong thoughts!?  And we rich Americans, who have heat, light, and running water at the flip of a switch have it because our thoughts are so much better than Those People Over There, who are living in hovels?  It’s a common aphorism in New Age circles, and I understand how comforting it can be to the affluent, but I always have to reserve judgment when I hear someone start like that.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate the power of our creative intelligence, it is what makes us human.  I have heard wise elders say that the Creative Intelligence is the role that humans play on this planet.  So, I can easily accept that we all could have much more than we do, if we use our intention and attention in a more purposeful manner.

I appreciate his obvious thoughtfulness on the subject – he is clearly speaking from personal experience. One way that I agree with him is to be creative in our dealings with others, and always try to make a win-win situation, rather than try to make the other person loose, and that the purpose of our willful intelligence is to make a better world for ourselves and our community.

Another point he makes, with which I agree completely, is the power of Gratitude.  We have to sit in some emotional level, and Gratitude is one of the highest.  Compassion is another favorite emotional state, but that is not as easy to get to as Gratitude.

This is a short, sweet little book.  Like me, you may not agree with everything in it, but I think it is always useful to try it out, and see what works in each case.  He clearly has something worthwhile to say.