The Material Question

‘Therefore, in the pleasant surroundings provided by a hostess of a hospitality so rare for the present day, I will take advantage of these fortunate circumstances to mobilize all the possibilities for the activity of my brain, as well as the capacities of my “talking-machine”, and will reply to this question asked again today in such a way that each of you should begin to suspect that my pocket is, itself, a fertile soil for the sowing of dollar-seed, and that in sprouting there these dollars acquire the property of bringing the sowers what could be, in the objective sense, their real happiness in life.

‘And so, my dear, for the time being, unconditionally respected dollar­ holders! . . .
‘Even long before I began putting my ideas into practice by means of my Institute, that is, when I was first thinking out the programme from every angle, I had carefully considered the material aspect, which, although secondary, was nevertheless very important.

‘As I then expected to meet many obstacles in my effort to introduce into life the psychological ideas upon which this establishment, extraordinary for the present day, would be based, I felt it necessary to be independent, at least in the material sense; the more so, since experience had already shown me that wealthy people never become seriously enough interested in these questions to support a work of this kind, and that others, even with great interest and desire, cannot do much in this respect, as for such an enterprise a great deal of money is needed.

‘That is why, if I wished to actualize in full what I had planned, it was necessary, before thinking of carrying out the psychological tasks, first of all to resolve this aspect of the problem. Therefore, with the aim of creating sufficient capital for this purpose within a set period, I began to devote much more time than before to earning money.

‘What I have just said must in all probability arouse complete perplexity in most of you Americans, who at the present time everywhere on earth are considered excellent business men. You must be wondering how it was possible with such ease to earn these presumably large sums, and hence you must surely have received the impression of a certain sort of bragging on my part.

‘Yes, indeed—this must even sound very strange to you!