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there," set off from man in his daily life and the facts of his daily living, so that there has 

grown up a kind of unfortunate snobbery on the subject, as though it were somehow 

vulgar to expect tangible or practical results, and man has been forced into a fatal 

dualism, trying to live on two planes at once, the material and the spiritual, both 

apparently equally real, yet without any understandable relation to each other, like a firm 

composed of two partners who are not on speaking terms. That is where, I think, this 

book goes further, removing that duality, showing the two partners to be one only, so that 

the world becomes one, and the eternal truths a part of the very fabric of our daily life, 

enhancing its harmonies and erasing its discords.

What is this book? Readers today want labels, want to know what it is they are buying. 

But they are apt to be put off by labels, too, which is why I find myself in a difficulty if I 

try to anticipate that question in relation to this work. Half the world, though it is 

desperately in need, and even in conscious need, of an answer to its problems, will not 

open a book that it is told is a religious one. Give it a title such as "How to Get More 

Health, Wealth, and Happiness," and though an enormous public will buy it, the 

fastidious and discriminating will avert their heads from it as from a bad odor. Use the 

word "metaphysics" and it has a chilly, intellectual sound; present it as a volume of 

essays, and we have the reason why Emerson is read almost exclusively as literature 

today, instead of for his answers to the same questions. Can one ever by any one road 

reach all men? The very word God is a deterrent to many. It is all over this book. The 

instinct that I have to apologize for it is an illustration of my problem in writing this 


If it is hard to label the book, it is harder still to label the author. Who and what is Joel 

Goldsmith? A teacher? A healer? They are suspect and off-putting words at best, to all 

but a very few, and they are words, too, that I cannot but feel the author himself would 

vigorously repudiate, since his whole philosophy is the denial of any personal element in 

either teaching or healing. I am reminded of a passage in this book. "Always there have 

appeared men bearing the divine message of the presence of God and of the unreality of 

evil . . . [who] brought the light of Truth to men, and always men have interpreted this 

Light as the messenger, failing to see that what they were beholding as a man 'out there' 

was the light of Truth within their own consciousness."

Let me therefore leave both the man and the book for a moment and return to my starting 

point. In moments of trouble and frustration, man begins to ask questions, even if only 

such questions as "Why does this have to happen to me?" or "How can I stop this 

happening?" He looks for an explanation of what the world is about. I believe he will find 

it here. He hopes that this explanation will act somehow as a cure for his troubles. I 

believe, too, that if he understands it aright, it will. But here again I must sound a note of 

warning. In the very first pages he will find a paradox which may frighten him. He comes 

to this quest with a human problem, in the hope of a solution for it. He is told that if he 

wants to use spiritual truth to improve human conditions, it neither can nor will do so. He 

is shown logically why it cannot. But he is told, too, that if he seeks that truth for its own 

sake, his human conditions will be improved. It sounds like something out of a fairy 

story, some defeating injunction laid by a quibbling wizard upon a magic wish. But the

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