Monday, June 04, 2007
Wallace D. Wattles, Genius or Victorian Flim-Flam?
Wallace Delois Wattles (1860-1910) began his most famous book, THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH, with these words:
"Whatever may be said in the praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a complete or successful life unless one is rich. You cannot rise to your greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless you have plenty of money. For to unfold your soul and to develop talent you must have many things to use, and you cannot have these things unless you have money with which to buy them."
I'd call Wattles a genius - with a humorous streak! He said his writing was intended for "the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first and philosophise afterward."
His work is in the public domain. I've downloaded three of his books at no cost.
My most pressing need at the moment is losing weight, quickly, easily, and painlessly. So, my first priority has been to study his book, THE SCIENCE OF BEING WELL.
Somehow, this 19th century man, who lived in poverty most of his life - until he died a wealthy man in Elmwood, Indiana - came to know many things now supported by cutting-edge science.
He writes: "The Power that Heals is in the patient himself, and whether it shall become active or not does not depend upon the physical or mental means used, but upon the way the patient thinks about these means." In other words, he knew about the placebo effect.
Wattles also gives relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and biofeedback techniques - all in flowing Victorian language.
Here are some of his Chapter Headings:
8. Summary of the Mental Actions, 9. When To Eat, 10. What To Eat, 11. How To Eat, 12. Hunger and Appetites, 13. In A Nutshell (This goes into the rule of not eating until you have an earned hunger.) 14. Breathing, 15. Sleeping, etc.
The third readily available Wattles book is THE SCIENCE OF BEING GREAT. After I'm both thin and rich, I plan to tackle it!