Introduction

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It is popularly supposed that a greater prosperity for individuals or nations can only come through a political and social reconstruction. This cannot be true apart from the practice of the moral virtues in the individuals that comprise a nation. Better laws and social conditions will always follow a higher realisation of morality among the individuals of a community, but no legal enactment can give prosperity to, nay it cannot prevent the ruin of, a man or a nation that has become lax and decadent read more

1. Eight pillars

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Prosperity rests upon a moral foundation. It is popularly supposed to rest upon an immoral foundation – that is, upon trickery, sharp practice, deception and greed. One commonly hears even an otherwise intelligent man declare that “No man can be successful in business unless he is dishonest,” thus regarding business prosperity – a good thing – as the effect of dishonesty – a bad thing. Such a statement is superficial and thoughtless, and reveals a total lack of knowledge of moral read more

2. First pillar – Energy

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Energy is the working power in all achievement. Inert coal it converts into fire, and water it transmutes into steam; it vivifies and intensifies the commonest talent until it approaches to genius, and when it touches the mind of the dullard, it turns into a living fire that which before was sleeping in inertia.

Energy is a moral virtue, its opposing vice being laziness. As a virtue, it can be cultivated, and the lazy man can become energetic by forcibly arousing himself to exertion. Compared with read more

3. Second pillar – Economy

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It is said of Nature that she knows on vacuum. She also knows no waste. In the divine economy my Nature everything is conserved and turned to good account. Even excreta are chemically transmitted, and utilized in the building up of new forms. Nature destroys every foulness, not by annihilation, but by transmutation, by sweetening and purifying it, and making it serve the ends of things beautiful, useful and good.

That economy which, in nature is a universal principle, is in man a moral quality read more

4. Third pillar – Integrity

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There is no striking a cheap bargain with prosperity. It must be purchased, not only with intelligent labor, but with moral force. as the bubble cannot endure, so the fraud cannot prosper. He makes a feverish spurt in the acquirement of money, and then collapses. Nothing is ever gained, ever can be gained, by fraud. It is but wrested for a time, to be again returned with heavy interest. But fraud is not confined to the unscrupulous swindler. All who are getting, or trying to get, money without read more

5. Fourth pillar – System

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System is that principle of order by which confusion is rendered impossible. In the natural and universal order everything is in its place, so that the vast universe runs more perfectly than the most perfect machine. Disorder in space would mean the destruction of the universe; and disorder in a man’s affairs destroys his work and his prosperity.

All complex organizations are built up by system. No business or society can develop into large dimensions apart from system, and this principle is read more

6. Fifth pillar – Sympathy

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The remaining pillars are the four central pillars in the Temple of Prosperity. They gave it greater strength and stability, and add both to its beauty and utility. They contribute greatly to its attractiveness, for they belong to the highest moral sphere, and therefore to great beauty and nobility of character. They, indeed, make a man great, and place him among the comparatively few whose minds are rare, and that shine apart in sparkling purity and bright intelligence.

Sympathy should not be read more

7. Sixth pillar – Sincerity

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Human society is held together by its sincerity. A universal falseness would beget a universal mistrust which would bring about a universal separation, if not destruction. Life is made sane, wholesome, and happy, by our deep rooted belief in one another. If we did not trust men, we could not transact business with them, could not even associate with them. Shakespeare’s “Timon” shows us the wretched condition of a man who, through his own folly, has lost all faith in the sincerity of human read more

8. Seventh pillar – Impartiality

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To get rid of prejudice is a great achievement. Prejudices piles obstacles in a man’s way – obstacles to health, success, happiness, and prosperity, so that he is continually running up against imaginary enemies, who, when prejudice is removed, are seen to be friend. Life, indeed, a sort of obstacle race to the man of prejudice, a race wherein the obstacles cannot be negotiated and the goal is not reached; whereas to the impartial man life is a day’s walk in a pleasant country, with refreshment read more

9. Eighth pillar – Self-reliance

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Every young man ought to read Emerson’s essay on ‘Self Reliance’. It is the manliest, most virile essay that was ever penned. It is calculated to cure alike those two mental maladies common to youth, namely, self depreciation and self conceit. It is almost as sure to reveal to the prig the smallness and emptiness of his vanity, as it is to show the bashful man the weakness and ineffectuality of his dividence. It is a new revelation of manly dignity; as much a revelation as any that was vouchsafed read more

10. The temple of prosperity

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The reader who has followed the course of this book with a view to obtaining information on the details of money making, business transactions, profit and loss in various undertakings, prices, markets, agreements, contracts, and other matters connected with the achievement of prosperity, will have noted an entire absence of any instruction on these matters of detail. The reason for this is fourfold, namely:-

First. Details cannot stand alone, but are powerless to build up anything unless intelligently read more