Harold W. Percival

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Harold W. Percival
Harold W. Percival.png
Born April 15, 1868
Bridgetown, Barbados, British West Indies
Died March 6, 1953
New York City, US
Resting place Cremated
Occupation Author
Language English
Nationality American
Notable works Thinking and Destiny, Man and Woman and Child, Masonry and Its Symbols, Democracy Is Self-Government

Harold Waldwin Percival (15 April 1868 - 6 March 1953) was a philosopher and prolific writer heralded for his magnum opus Thinking and Destiny, in print since 1946. This book has brought significant information to light concerning Consciousness and the true state of the human. He founded The Word Foundation, Inc. and in 1904 began publishing The Word, "A monthly magazine devoted to Philosophy, Science, Religion, Eastern thought, Occultism, Theosophy, and the Brotherhood of Humanity."

Percival’s works were noted as a major influence upon Richard Matheson, the famous science-fiction author. He said that his book The Path (1998) was based largely on Thinking and Destiny. [1]


Harold W. Percival's contribution to metaphysical thinking and his many new, yet certainly age- old facts regarding Self-knowledge cannot help but have a great impact on humanity. His works represent a towering accomplishment in addressing the true state and potential of the human. Harold Waldwin Percival was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, British West Indies in 1868 to parents of English descent.

When his father died his mother moved to the United States, eventually settling in New York City. Even as a young boy, Harold Percival was a seeker of truth and was convinced that there were "wise ones" who could answer his many questions and impart knowledge. As a young man, one of his first experiences on his quest for knowledge came in 1892 when he joined the Theosophical Society. He would later help to organize the Theosophical Society Independent of New York and for many years serve as its president while also writing and lecturing.

In 1893, and twice during the next 14 years, Percival had the unique experience of being “conscious of Consciousness," a potent spiritual and noetic enlightenment. He stated that the value of that experience was that it enabled him to know about any subject by a process he called "real thinking." Because these experiences revealed to him more than was contained in Theosophy, he wanted to share this knowledge with humanity.

In 1902 Percival started to develop his own system. For over 30 years he worked on the manuscript that would lead to the writing of his magnum opus, Thinking and Destiny, now more than 65 years in print. The unusual way in which the book was written can be found in the Author's Foreword. He subsequently published three books expanding upon topics in the light of his system: Man and Woman and Child (1951), Masonry and Its Symbols (1952 ) and Democracy Is Self-Government (1952). Thinking and Destiny is heralded by many as the most complete book ever written on Man and the Universe. The author's wish was that it serve as a beacon light to help all human beings to help themselves.

Between 1904 and 1917 Mr. Percival published The Word—a magazine with a worldwide circulation dedicated to the brotherhood of humanity. Many eminent writers of the time were featured in the magazine. Percival's own articles earned him a place in Who's Who in America (1928-29). In 1950, The Word Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, was established for the purpose of making known to the people of the world the writings of Harold W. Percival.

An avid reader, Mr. Percival was largely self-educated and maintained an active interest in current events, politics, economics, history, photography, horticulture, geology, mathematics and languages. It was said that he was always ready to be helpful to any seeker yet he never tried to impose his philosophy on anyone. He did not write an autobiography nor want to have a biography written, preferring to leave his personality in the background. He stated his intention was that the validity of the statements he put forth not be influenced by his personality but be tested according to the degree of Self-knowledge within the reader: "I do not presume to preach to anyone; I do not consider myself a preacher or a teacher. Were it not that I am responsible for the book, I would prefer that my personality be not named as its author. The greatness of the subjects about which I offer information, relieves and frees me from self-conceit and forbids the plea of modesty. I dare make strange and startling statements to the conscious and immortal self that is in every human body; and I take for granted that the individual will decide what he will or will not do with the information presented.”



  1. ^ Matheson, Richard (1998). The Path: Metaphysics for the 90’s. The Word Foundation, Inc. ISBN 0-911650-13-X
  2. ^ Gale Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Fifth Edition, Volume 2 Edited by J. Gordon Melton Page 1196 Gale Group 27500 Drake Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48331 ISBN: 0-8103-9489-8 (Volume 2)


  • Thinking and Destiny[1]
  • Masonry and its Symbols[2]
  • Man and Woman and Child[3]
  • Democracy is Self-Government[4]


Percival wrote the following editorials for The Word between 1904 and 1917:

External links[edit]