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The New Science Of Getting Rich And Hard Cash

By Angelique van Engelen     Dec 20, 2007 in Business
"The ordinary way of doing philosophy is so messy. Let's think of a squeeky clean method." That is what Wallace D. Wattles must have thought when he set out on writing the book he entitled "The New Science Of Getting Rich".
Reading the title some people might get an instant nervous twitch and others might think that this is the freshest brainstorming material they've come across for ages.
Both groups are comforted by the honesty of the writer; he informs readers in the introduction that he's written the work for those people who wish to get rich first and then philosophize about it.
To take this message for all that it means, you will simply find out what the writer´s philosophizing boils down to. Turns out that this redeems him to a large extent from any skeptical arguments. It´s an unspoken rule of writers not to confess to an agenda, unless in any way inclined to hit an altogether different note. Wattles, who first published the work in 1911, is definitely on track here. He sticks to the secret writer code when he sets out to explain just how the science of getting rich ´works´.
Yet are we really waiting to find out about this, you might wonder. Isn´t this book pre-destined to be a fallacy? I am not in a position as yet to buy the work. That might be as much proof as one might need to answer the previous question in the affirmative. It for one undermines Wattles´ statement that every human being on the face of this earth has the 'inaliable right' to riches. If he was right, there'd simply be less poverty.
The writer makes a much more interesting point however, one that bypasses the issue of possessions, when he says that 'like causes always produce like effects`. By entering the argument at this very point, he makes a great case for philosophic thinking at individual level that is not prone to getting ´lost´.
Wattles might be offering a method for individual thinking that is both process aware and goals oriented. In doing so, the book is definitely what we've been waiting for. Originally published in 1911, the book was reprinted recently. The reason might be that theories about individual thinking are in huge demand currently.
Of course there is no fool proof way of philosophizing, and even the price of conducting the richness type of philosophizing could well turn out to be high too. One thing it won´t be however is; tangible. Did the writer also realize this and is this why his ´confession´ sounded all the more teasing? I bet you.
Wattles surely traces a new dimension to interesting ways of passing time by prescribing a goal (riches) that is generally considered attainable but not without its complications. From a writer perspective, the mind gymnastics must have been pragmatism-inspiring. Individual pragmatism might be a much sought after commodity, but the great thing with individual thought is that it's so fragmented that to classify it is pointless.
At the same time shifting chunks of knowledge around and spinning them into new ideas addressing contemporary issues exposes even the best thinkers to the risk of getting lost and/or of losing readers.
What ultimately entices a readership is the continuation of fresh ideas in a fresh context. The way writers pull this off is revelatory of all manner of trickery. They convolute the landscape beyond recognition and carefully time statements to make them sound totally brand spanky new most of the time. Perhaps a rule of thumb that you can hold people accountable for is if the ideas are new to their own minds as well.
This creates a whole new dimension to what makes for good philosophy too. To wonder what facilitates the process of knowledge sharing and its being regarded as an interesting activity is to involve yourself in the domain of memetics. This is an area known for its wide scope and controversial theories. Memetics was first launched to the world in the 1970s by Richard Dawkins who said that a meme is a portion of knowledge that spreads from one person to another one. Just how this happens, to Dawkins' mind, sparked a controversy throughout the academic world which is still ongoing. Turns out that memetics delivers the brilliant option to review any issue in the world through an extra, intangible, layer.
By pointing out a way to conduct the science of riches yet linking this firmly with philosophizing, Wattles offers plenty of insights into the intangible layers spun out over the real world. Wattles' answer to the question of what makes human beings regard knowledge sharing as interesting follows in the footsteps of Rene Descartes too, who separated mind and body. Interestingly, Descartes is both acccused of fobbing us off and of trading in the soul for the mind, thereby reducing human beings to machines.
Descartes did in some ways fob us off when he instantly became the father of psychology by stating cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am). The statement founded our thinking about individualism. By 'arguing away' the mind pretty much, Descartes opened the way for a playground of ideas. What's more, he explained why we have a constant need for 'new' ideas. Critics say it´s a disastrous way of starting off because assuming that doubting something proves its existence is negative. Yet it doesn´t mean a thing for the process that's generally equated with rational thought, and which follows on from this 'negative' basis.
What's more, our constant returning to the excitement of generating new ideas is very positive. It is due to our curiosity over exactly this point. To define what it is, might equate to killing the intellect.
The furthest Descartes ventured into this field was to say that the mind and body do interact. His predecessors always assumed the traffic went one way only. "Interactionism is his form of dualism", he said. In this way, Descartes 'substantialized' consciousness by branding it ´unextended reality´, ie something that exists in the body but that, strangely, does not occupy space. Mind was real, yet entirely separate from matter and therefore separate from the tangible brain, he said. One extended, the other unextended, they nevertheless interact.
Descartes is often held responsible for having ´traded in´ the soul for the mind. This is somewhat exaggerated. It might also be a projection stemming from an inability to deal with a world made up by soulful humans. After all, it's only stuffy theologians that do not exempt the sould from the sweep of machine based systems.
But the allergic reactions might be understandable. Even Descartes himself, having delivered his famous line, quickly went on to party on way more interesting issues involving the real stuff science is made of (including devising ways to map the fourth dimension). And guess what? He had to hide these theories from the church authorities for fear of prosecution!
Incidentally, Descartes phrase closely resembles that of Augustines, who 1200 years before him wrote these lines in City of God;
"without any delusive representation of images and phantasms, I am most certain that I am, and that I know and delight in this. In respect of these truths, I am not afraid of the arguments of the Academicians, who say, "What if you are deceived?" For if I am deceived I am. For he who is not cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived by this same token, I am."
Two great thinkers coming up with the same idea for a key part in human thinking about the mind plus the fact that it is still a basis for most theories about individuality shows the odd nature of consciousness. It will be interesting to see where we will land ourselves in a few decennia from now. Will we, one day, have cracked the code?
It gives me hope to think that the sheer complexity of the individual is big enough to prevent that from happening.
More about Wallace wattles, Rich, Descartes
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