The Material Question
Well then, the aforementioned categorical decision, which was the result of these serious reflections after my secret partner left Childs Restaurant, and which I made according to principle, is as follows:
While I am here among people who have not undergone the catastrophic consequences of the last great war, and through whom I shall suffer considerable losses—of course without intention on their part— I will once again, by myself alone, without other people taking the initiative and, of course, without resorting to any means which could one day give rise in me to remorse of conscience, make use of certain capacities formed in me thanks to correct education in my childhood to acquire such a sum of money as will clear up all my debts and in addition enable me to return to the continent of Europe and live without want for two or three months.
And in doing this I shall experience again the highest satisfaction foreordained for man by Our Common Father, formulated in ancient times by the Egyptian priest who was the first teacher of Saint Moses in the words: Satisfaction-of-self arising from the resourceful attainment of one’s set aim in the cognizance of a clear conscience.
Today is the tenth of January. Three days from now, by the old style calendar, the New Year will be welcomed in at midnight, an hour which is memorable for me as the time of my coming into the world.
According to a custom established since childhood, I have always begun, from that hour, to conform my life to a new programme thought out beforehand and invariably based on a definite principle, which is to remember myself as much as possible in everything, and voluntarily to direct my manifestations and also my reactions to the manifestations of others in such a way as to attain the aims chosen by me for the coming year. This year I will set myself the task of concentrating all the capacities present in my individuality towards being able to acquire, by my own means, before my proposed departure from America about the middle of March, the sum of money needed for clearing up all my debts.
Then, on my return to France, I shall begin again to write, but on the sole condition that henceforth I be relieved of all concern about the material conditions necessary for my mode of life, already established on a certain scale.