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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.

Wellness means dealing with both psyche and physicality. The two are not different. After years of spiritual and therapeutic experiment, I can offer one simple life change that can prove that to you — and dramatically improve all facets of your life.

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 swear by the 1930 financial guide The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason. I practice its principles religiously. But the book was written before the health insurance crisis, predatory credit, and the lockdown. My forthcoming The Richest Man In Babylon Action Plan is a no-bullshit companion to the original. Here is an excerpt.

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…


The following article appeared in the September 2003 issue of Science of Mind magazine.

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

American philosopher William James (1842–1910) yearned to find a practical spirituality, one that produced concrete improvements in happiness.

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.

(This article is adapted from The Miracle Club. Notes appear at the end.)

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. …


I recently joined Greg Salyer, president of Manly P. Hall’s Philosophical Research Society (PRS), to participate in a forum to celebrate Manly’s life and work and the launch of my new book, The Seeker’s Guide to the Secret Teachings of All Ages. In the question-and-answer period that followed a viewer asked and Greg faithfully (and rightly) repeated THAT question. Here is my reply, which I hope you will find elucidating.

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.

We derive a visceral thrill and probably a dopamine rush from reading things that affirm what we already believe. This is especially true of emotional subjects like religion and politics. “Opinion porn,” if I may, delivers the same kind of repetitive thrill as binge eating. It provides the head-nodding jolt of seeing your imagined adversaries taken down and your team score another touchdown.

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.

We remain attached to unproductive situations because of fear. We are often more frightened of losing a theorized or imagined benefit than we are desirous of freeing ourselves.

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. …


[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.

The principle of ruling in Hell has been the hallmark of my life.

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. …

Mitch Horowitz

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