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The Science of Getting Rich

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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #1
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The Science of Getting Rich

CHAPTER 1 - The Right To Be Rich


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Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich. No man can rise to his greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless he has plenty of money; for to unfold the soul and to develop talent he must have many things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with. A man develops in mind, soul, and body by making use of things, and society is so organized that man must have money in order to become the possessor of things; therefore, the basis of all advancement for man must be the science of getting rich. The object of all life is development; and everything that lives has an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining. Man's right to life means his right to have the free and unrestricted use of all the things which may be necessary to his fullest mental, spiritual, and physical unfoldment; or, in other words, his right to be rich. In this book, I shall not speak of riches in a figurative way; to be really rich does not mean to be satisfied or contented with a little. No man ought to be satisfied
with a little if he is capable of using and enjoying more. The purpose of Nature is the advancement and unfoldment of life; and every man should have all that can contribute to the power; elegance, beauty, and richness of life; to be content with less is sinful. The man who owns all he wants for the living of all the life he is capable of living is rich; and no man who has not plenty of money can have all he wants. Life has advanced so far, and become so complex, that even the most ordinary man or woman requires a great amount of wealth in order to live in a manner that even approaches completeness. Every person naturally wants to become all that they are capable of becoming; this desire to realize innate possibilities is inherent in human nature; we cannot help wanting to be all that we can be. Success in life is becoming what you want to be; you can become what you want to be only by making use of things, and you can have the free use of things only as you become rich enough to buy them. To understand the science of getting rich is therefore the most essential of all knowledge.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to get rich. The desire for riches is really the desire for a richer, fuller, and more abundant life; and that desire is praise worthy. The man who does not desire to live more abundantly is abnormal, and so the man who does not desire to have money enough to buy all he wants is abnormal. There are three motives for which we live; we live for the body, we live for the mind, we live for the soul. No one of these is better or holier than the other; all are alike desirable, and no one of the three--body, mind, or soul--can live fully if
either of the others is cut short of full life and expression. It is not right or noble to live only for the soul and deny mind or body; and it is wrong to live for the intellect and deny body or soul. We are all acquainted with the loathsome consequences of living for the body and denying both mind and soul; and we see that real life means the complete
expression of all that man can give forth through body, mind, and soul. Whatever he can say, no man can be really happy or satisfied unless his body is living fully in every function, and unless the same is true of his mind and his soul. Wherever there is unexpressed possibility, or function not performed, there is unsatisfied desire. Desire is possibility seeking expression, or function seeking performance. Man cannot live fully in body without good food, comfortable clothing, and warm shelter; and without freedom from excessive toil. Rest and recreation are also necessary to his physical life. He cannot live fully in mind without books and time to study them, without opportunity for travel and observation, or without intellectual companionship. To live fully in mind he must have intellectual recreations, and must surround himself with all the objects of art and beauty he is capable of using and
appreciating. To live fully in soul, man must have love; and love is denied expression by poverty. A man's highest happiness is found in the bestowal of benefits on those he loves; love finds its most natural and spontaneous expression in giving. The man who has nothing to give cannot fill his place as a husband or father, as a citizen, or as
a man. It is in the use of material things that a man finds full life for his body, develops his mind, and unfolds his soul. It is therefore of supreme importance to him that he should be rich. It is perfectly right that you should desire to be rich; if you are a normal man or woman you cannot help doing so. It is perfectly right that you should give your best attention to the Science of Getting Rich, for it is the noblest and most
necessary of all studies. If you neglect this study, you are derelict in your duty to yourself, to God and humanity; for you can render to God and humanity no greater service than to make the most of yourself...
As the preface to Wattles' book clearly states: "This book is pragmatical, not philosophical; a practical manual, not a treatise
upon theories. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward. It is for those who have, so far, found neither the time, the means, nor the opportunity to go deeply into the study of metaphysics, but who want results and who are willing to take the conclusions of science as a basis for action, without going into all the processes by which those conclusions were reached...'' However, in the same preface, he admits to the fact that the underpinnings of the text itself is gleaned from such notable figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Emerson; and such notable theories as that of monism as related to Hinduism. So, in a very real sense Wattles is creating not only a Science of getting rich, but a love of the wisdom of any such endeavor; ergo, a philosophy.

I have only posted this first section of the book for discussion as I can remember the visceral reaction I had to it when I first read it many moons ago: I was sickened, and at the same time - could not stop the laughter that stemmed from my complete agreement.

Some bold statements are made, that much is obvious. However, I am fascinated by how people react to these statements, and would love to begin a discussion concerning the text, as it is capable of accommodating such a vast range of perspectives and input.

For anyone interested in reading the entire book, it can be found here:

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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #2
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I already stopped reading after this.
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...for to unfold the soul and to develop talent he must have many things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with.
Totally wrong as long as one is not extremely poor one can always use the internet + local public libraries to do that. I never needed to pay anything for all the things I learned and am still learning and I hate to be arrogant but my knowledge surpasses the one of others paying for that stuff. I think it's because my motivation is internal (curiousity) and not external (wealth). I think that we should neither strive for poverty nor for being rich but simply for those things we need to develope ourselves and therefore take the middle way.
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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #3
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I already stopped reading after this.

Totally wrong as long as one is not extremely poor one can always use the internet + local public libraries to do that. I never needed to pay anything for all the things I learned and am still learning and I hate to be arrogant but my knowledge surpasses the one of others paying for that stuff. I think it's because my motivation is internal (curiousity) and not external (wealth). I think that we should neither strive for poverty nor for being rich but simply for those things we need to develope ourselves and therefore take the middle way.
I totally agree. After graduating college after 5 years, the first thing that crossed my mind was I could have learned all that in 3 months with a library card, and saved $70,000 (minus the dollar fifty for the library card)
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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #4
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You both have dealt with only one of aspect of Wattles' triad: the mind. He continues, thus:

Quote:
...There are three motives for which we live; we live for the body, we live for the mind, we live for the soul. No one of these is better or holier than the other; all are alike desirable, and no one of the three--body, mind, or soul--can live fully if either of the others is cut short of full life and expression. It is not right or noble to live only for the soul and deny mind or body; and it is wrong to live for the intellect and deny body or soul. We are all acquainted with the loathsome consequences of living for the body and denying both mind and soul; and we see that real life means the complete expression of all that man can give forth through body, mind, and soul. Whatever he can say, no man can be really happy or satisfied unless his body is living fully in every function, and unless the same is true of his mind and his soul. Wherever there is unexpressed possibility, or function not performed, there is unsatisfied desire. Desire is possibility seeking expression, or function seeking performance...
Can man live on intellect alone?

Ultimately, for Wattles, it is about time enough to better all the aspects of self: if either of you had more time, what would you do with it?

By what means does one attain more time...?
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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #5
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I already confessed that I stopped reading after that paragraph already but I simply do not live for the body. As long as it is not hurting I'm fully fine with it and do not care about it at all. I'm mostly living on intellect and maybe a bit on soul but body? Not at all. If I personally had more time ,I have already enough of it, I'd spend it the same way.
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Old Friday, September 7th, 2007   #6
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I look at it from the perspective that if someone was never rich, and gives that as a reason for not living the life he/she wanted, then that person has noone to blame but themselves.

I can see how wealth obviously enhances ones life, but to consider it a prerequisite for fulfillment as outlandish to me, and indicates a very closed minded and materialistic way of thinking.
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Old Saturday, September 8th, 2007   #7
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I consider material wealth and intellectual development equally important, and will strive for both.
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I consider material wealth and intellectual development equally important, and will strive for both.
Why material wealth and intellectual developement? The thesis of the author was that wealth per se is not important but a crucial requirement for the latter so I'm curious why you're striving for wealth itself.
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Old Saturday, September 8th, 2007   #9
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Why material wealth and intellectual developement? The thesis of the author was that wealth per se is not important but a crucial requirement for the latter so I'm curious why you're striving for wealth itself.
Perhaps because intellectual development is not my sole aim in life?
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Old Saturday, September 8th, 2007   #10
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I consider material wealth and intellectual development equally important, and will strive for both.
Kudos to you for that!

I think there tends to be a knee-jerk reaction from most people; indeed I know it to be true as I have used this text for years in my ethics classes. Without fail, the standard replies, as we have seen, appear first: an outright refusal to even continue reading the text, the word 'materialistic' ALWAYS enters the scence early, and it it always from individuals who have a reflexive aversion to wealth qua wealth.

Wealth is very often concomitant, epiphenomenal, with the very potentiality to be Noble. - Wattles explains why... if people will read and objectively analyse: what he is saying cannot be less 'materialistic.'

It always (and still!) surprises me the extent to which the overwhelming majority of people who read this chapter are almost transposed into an alternate universe! - what I mean is that it cannot be more evident that Wattles wants to use wealth as a tool; not the pursuit and aquisition of wealth for the sake of its pursuit and aquisition.

I'd still love to see a discussion come to brew; I just hope people will at least read the excerpt.
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