Book Review: The Science of Getting Rich

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Published: 3rd of May, 2023 by Patrick Carpen

Last updated: May 4, 2023 at 17:34 pm

The self improvement book, “The Science of Getting Rich,” which was written by American author, Wallace D. Wattles, is one of the earliest mind power books written by an American author in American history. It has served as an inspiration for several other mind power books such as “Grow Rich While You Sleep,” and the most famous “The Secret” book and documentary film by Australian author Rhonda Byrne. Byrne claimed that she was at her lowest point in life when her daughter gave her a copy of The Science of Getting Rich, and in its pages, she discovered “the Secret” which she was eager to share with the world.

I have read and reread the Science of Getting Rich trying to understand it thoroughly before writing this review. And while the book is beautifully written and rich with literally devices and figures of speech, the ideas taught by it somehow conflicts with my Christian beliefs. Nevertheless, I kept reading, knowing that we study science in school which sometimes also conflict with my religious beliefs, but which is nevertheless the basis of all advancement in the world of science and technology.

In summary, the Science of Getting Rich teaches that you can manifest things by “impressing thought upon formless substance.” I can summarize the whole book like this, “there is an invisible, formless, thinking stuff that permeates and penetrates the interspaces of the universe. You can form things in your mind and impress it upon formless thinking stuff to produce the thing imaged by the thought. In order to do this, you must first form a clear mental picture of the things you want to achieve or become, and hold that thought and idea in your mind continuously with the firm belief that it is yours. The longer you contemplate the vision with faith and purpose that it is yours, the faster it manifests.”

Although the author claimed to be Christian and attended church during his lifetime, some of the ideas presented in the book are somewhat contradictory to Christian doctrine. He mentioned Jesus and quotes several bible verses that suit the purpose of the book, sometimes in a somewhat outlandish way. In the Preface however, Wattles admits that the book is based on the monistic theory of the universe which he says is of Hindu origin but which (at that time) was being increasingly accepted in the Western World.

The Science of Getting Rich teaches that there is an invisible thinking stuff which “was used” to create the entire universe, but it was not all used as there is no limit to the supply of it. “Thinking of a system of suns and planets, it moves into such form. Thinking of a slow growing oak tree, invisible thinking stuff throws itself into that form also, although it might take hundreds of years to complete the task of creating the full grown oak tree.”

The book further teaches that man is a thinking center and so can originate thought and cause creation through long sustained thought, faith, and purpose. Indeed, many of us can attest that a lot of the things we thought long and hard about became reality. But this is really no mystical secret. It is common knowledge.

The monistic theory of the universe, which is of Hindu origin, on which The Science of Getting Rich is based, theorizes that everything is made of the same formless stuff, which, although it isn’t stated directly, may be described as energy. Energy throws itself in and out of form and creates things as it thinks about them.

We can think of it this way. If you take any solid object, whether it be a piece of wood, metal, plastic, flesh, blood, etc, and break it into smaller parts, eventually, you will come to the atom of that object. The atom is invisible. But if you can somehow manage to break the atom, a lot of energy would be released. This was scientifically proven when the atomic bomb was invented long after this book was written, and supports the idea that all things are made of the same thing – energy arranging itself into different forms, densities, shapes, and colors.

What discourages me a bit about the Science of Getting rich is that it seems to rule out a creator God. But it is also possible that God could have used the invisible, thinking stuff to create the universe since there is only so much that the Bible actually explains about how God does His work. And at the same time, many science books that we study in college, and on which we base our life and progress, rule out the God of the bible out of the equation in theory.

The idea that all things in the universe were created by the invisible, formless, thinking stuff throwing itself in and out of form suggests that all things, even dead and inanimate objects, have the capacity to think. Your bed, bedsheet, desk, concrete wall, all are made of thinking stuff, so they can theoretically think, although perhaps not in the same way or at the same level that humans do. It could also mean that we do not think only with our brain, but with every cell of our body.

The Science of Getting Rich is also chocked full of sound advice on how to life life. It teaches you to be creative instead of competitive and to give to others more in use value that you take from them in cash value. The book also focuses on acquiring enough wealth to live a comfortable life and provide for your family as opposed to seeking to become insanely rich and have dominion over others.

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