Wealth and Health
Some books promulgate the notion that positive-mind techniques can produce everything from money to health and love from out of the ether. I feel strongly that no reader or seeker should ever be handed an over-promise—or rely on a single method. Use all the resources around you: medical, physical, financial, moral—and mental.
I mentioned earlier that I do not believe we live under one mental super-law, sometimes called the Law of Attraction. We live under many laws and forces, of which the creative potentials of the mind are one important part. I want to make it clear that the mind alone is not a magic wand. It surely does have a role in health and wealth—but not always in the ways that we believe.
I recently discovered a cache of letters that readers had sent to writer Joseph Murphy (1898-1981) more than a decade after the New Thought pioneer’s death. It was heartbreaking to read the yearning questions of these earnest correspondents, many of whom wondered why Murphy’s techniques weren’t working for them. I selected one letter below, handwritten by a woman in Tampa, Florida, that typified the needs of many who wrote him. If I could reach back in time and respond to this woman, here is what I would say:
August 12, 1993
Dear Dr. Murphy,
I keep reading your book Your Infinite Power to Be Rich so much that it is falling apart and I still haven’t reached my goal of receiving abundance.
I feel that I must be doing something wrong so that I can’t break this poverty syndrome. I keep saying these wonderful affirmations but I think I neutralize them because I don’t believe I deserve wealth of any kind.
I would like to be financially secure so that I never have to worry about money again. I would like good, supportive relationships and a soul mate.
Somehow I got the impression from my youth that I didn’t deserve anything because I’m no good.
Please help me to get out of my poverty.
First of all, I want to assure you of something, and I want you to remember this for the rest of your life: You are not only good—you are exceptional. You are a leader among people and are part of the nobles of the human race. This is for the simple reason that you have taken steps that so few people ever consider: striving to heighten your place in life, engaging in inner development, and caring enough about such things to take the time to write a letter to an author whose work touched you. Most people never write one letter in their lives. Most never read a single book, or attend a single lecture, with the aim of raising their sense of self-potential. So please, let us lay that childhood myth immediately to rest. You are exceptional, and this is a fact.
I love Joseph Murphy’s work, but I believe that sometimes saying an affirmation—even with depth of feeling—is not enough. The most remarkable people in history, from Joan of Arc to Mahatma Gandhi, led lives of faith and action. They were ardently committed to affecting things in the world. Whatever your employment, throw yourself into it with passion. Be aware of everything that you can do for your bosses, coworkers, and customers. Be the problem-solver to whom others look for help and advisement. Know more about your job than everyone else—not in a know-it-all way, but with the aim of providing service and doing your personal best. Expect—and respectfully require—good wages for your good work. Join a union if you are able, and support activists and leaders who defend the rights of workers. But, above all, be the person upon whom all others rely.
Author James Allen was a working-class Englishman who rose from a childhood of poverty to a writing career, largely through his dignity of character and his dogged and intelligent persistence. I urge you to read his As a Man Thinketh. And when you do, remember that his words and ideas weren’t the work of someone famous or wealthy. They came from a working person who had tested them in the laboratory of his own life. Also please read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, which is useful because it combines a program of mental metaphysics with a plan of action.
As for good relationships and finding a soul mate, those too are noble and right yearnings. My council is to associate only with people who are supportive and respectful of your search for self-betterment and spiritual awareness. Seek out those who are engaged, in whatever way, in bettering themselves. Spend no time—or as little time as practicality allows—among cynics, bullies, or unproductive people. Avoid those who gossip, and refuse to listen to rumors or hearsay. Do this, and you will naturally come into the company of true friends (and hopefully a soul mate).
I enter into a few moments of prayer every day at 3 p.m. EST. I would be privileged if you would join me. I wish you every good thing.
Your friend, Mitch
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