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"Treats esoteric ideas & movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness"-Washington Post | PEN Award-winning historian | Censored in China
On the road in Queens, New York.

How riding can return you to yourself

Get a bike. Nothing fancy, it can be any old clunker (and is probably better that way). And bike everywhere possible: to work, home, shopping (you’ve heard of a backpack right?). And do so wherever you live and in every kind of season and weather.*

Wear a helmet. Use lights (a must at night). And look sharp. …


I updated a classic financial guide to reflect today’s tough truths

I hardly need to tell you about the dangers of revolving debt on credit cards, which generally carry yearly interest rates of more than twenty percent. (Cash advances are even higher — avoid them like exposed electrical wires other than in an emergency.) The…


One of Major-League Baseball’s Iconic Pitchers Reveals the Not-So-Secret Source ofHis Success: the Metaphysics of Thought

By mid-summer of 2001, 23-year-old Barry Zito was in a major slump. The Oakland A’s star young pitcher was winding down his second big-league season with a 6–7 win-loss record and an earned-run average of 5.07 — figures that could politely be called modest.

“Basically, I was at rock bottom,” Zito told Science of Mind. “And, a lot of times, you need to be at rock bottom before you can open to a whole new way of thinking.” …


Pic by Jacqueline Castel, graphic by Josh Romero

All you need to do is try

The Harvard physician grew encouraged, especially in his final years, by his personal experiments with New Thought, which he called “the religion of healthy-mindedness.” I challenge today’s seekers to continue James’s search for a testable, workable spiritual system. Will join me in a thirty-day experiment that puts positive-mind metaphysics to the test?

It is based on a passage from a 1931 book, Body, Mind, and Spirit by Elwood Worcester and Samuel McComb, in which a prominent scientist described radically improving his life…


Speaking in Chicago, 2019.

One Australian researcher got it

I honor the perspective of journalist Norman Cousins who wrote in Anatomy of an Illness in 1979: “Not every illness can be overcome. But many people allow illness to disfigure their lives more than it should. They cave in needlessly. They ignore and weaken whatever powers they have for standing erect.”

Although I urge caution throughout this book, I do not discount the possibility of extraordinary—even miraculous—episodes of recovery pertaining to the mind. And when I write “mind” I use an open-ended definition. …


“Are you a Satanist?”

Greg: All right Mitch let’s get this over with. You’ve been you’ve been waiting for this question: Are a Satanist?

Mitch: Ah, what a wonderful question. I believe in giving…


Mitch in Brooklyn. Pic by Jacquelyn Castel.

If you’ve heard it before it’s probably a waste of time

Beware of this pattern. The repeat-intake of opinioneering stifles original thought even as you believe you are receiving more and more insight. (Hint: insight doesn’t arrive in quantity.) In actuality, bingeing on opinion-affirming media is an emotional…


Lose this skin: at a self-immolation ritual in Brooklyn, July 4, 2020. Still by Jacquline Castel.

As a writer, I feared quitting the world’s largest media platform. I’ve never regretted it.

This summer I opted to free myself. I left Facebook and deleted my pages behind me. I haven’t experienced a moment’s regret.

Facebook has been a wonderful tool for me in many ways. I’ve met lots of great people there. However, something about the tech of Facebook — I cannot quite place my finger on it — fosters a frivolity of comment and an excess of familiarity with strangers or near-strangers. …


Whether Freemasons, the Illuminati, or the “Deep State,” secret groups are not out to get you…and may have something to teach

[The following article is adapted from the author’s forthcoming book, The Seeker’s Guide to the Secret Teachings of All Ages.]

The question of “secret societies” is one of the most controversial and dramatic in all of esoteric spirituality. In a sense, it is particularly controversial at this moment in the twenty-first century because we are living through a period in America, and in other parts of the world, where people are suffused with a kind of us-versus-them mentality.

A certain degree of conspiracist thought has always been popular within American history, going back to the anti-Masonic scares of the early…


Mitch in Brooklyn, 2020. Still by Jacqueline Castel.

Trust me, it really is better

As a young child and later as an adolescent I often felt ill at ease, locked out of the mainstream of life, uncomfortable, literally, in my own skin.

I had to create a world in which I could experience power and ability on my own terms. And I did. Because of that fact, I wouldn’t give up earlier sufferings for something easier even I could. Doing so would make me less mature, complete, and expressive as a person — and the same is true of you. …

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