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The production of this book was begun with the conviction that philosophy and life may be brought nearer, that practical interests put new demands upon philosophy; while the practical man may be greatly benefited by the study of idealistic first principles. Hence the point of view is midway between the world of exact thinking and the world of actual living. The interest is not primarily psychological; nor is it ethical or religious. Yet all of these interests play a part.
The attempt to investigate the inner life in this practical spirit is no doubt subject to difficulties, and many objections are likely to be raised. For a long time to come such investigations will necessarily be of the nature of pioneer work, in which the art will far surpass the science. But the essential is to propose a method and make a beginning. The best that can be said of a book on the subject is that by its aid the reader was enabled to pass beyond it. For the more profoundly one catches the idea the more persistently one will investigate--not books, but the living reality itself.
Horatio Willis Dresser was a New Thought leader and author who became involved with the Metaphysical Club of Boston, which he refer to as the "first permanent New Thought club". Dresser taught at Ursinus College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from and became a minister of the General Convention of the Church of the New Jerusalem, a denomination built around the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg.