The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn (Heathen Edition)

The Game of Life and How to Play It

Most people consider life a battle, but it is not a battle, it is a game.

It is a game, however, which cannot be played successfully without the knowledge of spiritual law, and the Old and the New Testaments give the rules of the game with wonderful clearness.

To play successfully the game of life, we must train the imaging faculty. A person with an imaging faculty trained to image only good, brings into his life “every righteous desire of his heart”—health, wealth, love, friends, perfect self-expression, his highest ideals.

Thus the invisible forces are ever working for man who is always “pulling the strings” himself, though he does not know it. Owing to the vibratory power of words, whatever man voices, he begins to attract . . .

Florence Scovel Shinn (1871–1940) was an American artist and illustrator of popular children’s literature and magazines, including Harper’s, during the early 20th century. During the 1920s, she became a key member of the New Thought movement –– a loosely allied group of religious denominations, authors, philosophers, and individuals sharing a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, creative visualization, healing, and personal power. As a spiritual teacher at the New York Society of Silent Unity, she discovered her ability to explain her success principles and how they work in an easy-to-understand and engaging manner, which led to her first self-published book The Game of Life and How to Play It in 1925. It would become one of the most popular works of practical metaphysics of the past hundred years and influence the likes of mystic Neville Goddard and the bestselling Norman Vincent Peale, both of whom used her phraseology in their writings. Employing the Bible as her chief point of reference, Shinn interprets Scripture as a psychological course of action for personal and spiritual development and presents complex metaphysical ideas in a widely accessible and entertaining style.

Florence Scovel Shinn was a badass.

Hold on, we’ll prove it.

In his book William Glackens and the Eight, William’s son Ira gives us, most certainly, the best biographical sketch of Shinn currently available, telling us that Flossie (as her friends knew her) hailed from “an unaffluent branch of the Biddle family of Philadelphia, an august connection that brought her a few pieces of old Biddle silver and a lock of George Washington’s hair.” Yes, that George. Eventually, all the hair blew away, but the silver remained, and when every publisher in town had passed on the opportunity to publish her first book (the one you are now holding), so assured was she of its future success that she “sold her old Biddle silver and published it herself.”

97 years later and here we are — future success, indeed!

Ira then goes on to note, “Last I heard, it had gone into forty editions.” That was 1984, and try as we might, our research was unable to locate a more recent edition count. It’s surely worth noting, however, that this little book has never gone out of print. We can think of no greater testament to the power of Shinn’s words than that!

Louise Hay, a beacon of New Thought herself, called Shinn, “A real pioneer, she was a powerful woman who put herself out there in a bold way that was very unusual for women of that era.”

To place that observation into its proper perspective, imagine meeting Ms. Shinn in 1925 and hearing her express with absolute certitude, “Any man who does not know the power of the word is behind the times.” Remember, (some) women had only just gained the right to vote in the United States in 1920, so women as a whole were still very much embroiled in the crusade for their seat at the table. That her self-published book succeeded as wildly as it did in spite of the era in which it was first published is further testament to the sureness of her message.

She walked her talk and the proof is in the pudding, as they say, which is why we think Flo-Sco (as we now lovingly refer to her) was such a badass. We were inspired by her grit even before cracking the spine of this little gem. Now, after reading it, our status as newly minted Flo-Sco fans has been cemented for life.

As for the text, we’ve kept our Heathening to a minimum having only cleaned up a few stray commas and modernizing some antiquated hyphened words. Also, Shinn used the Bible as her primary reference, so we have (in addition to our usual research) identified via footnotes the source of every verse quoted.

Inspired, we’d like to employ some of that Flo-Sco philosophy: because you’re a badass, too, your genuine love and enthusiasm for the pages ahead will help propel our little edition to instant bestselling status. #goflosco

  • Heathenry (A Note on the Text)
  • The Game
  • The Law of Prosperity
  • The Power of the Word
  • The Law of Nonresistance
  • The Law of Karma and The Law of Forgiveness
  • Casting the Burden
  • Love
  • Intuition or Guidance
  • Perfect Self-Expression or The Divine Design
  • Denials and Affirmations

“Although written in the 1920s and full of religious references, this book now has cult status. It ‘salutes the divinity’ in us and restores a sense of direction and confidence. If you keep an open mind as you read it, its insights and affirmations can have great effects.” —Tom Butler-Bowdon, 50 Self-Help Classics

The Game of Life is filled with wisdom and creative insights. That its teachings will work I know to be fact, for I’ve long used them myself . . . By studying and practicing the principles laid down in this book one may find prosperity, solve problems, have better health, achieve personal relations—in a word, win the game of life.” —Norman Vincent Peale

The Game of Life and How to Play It started me off in the right direction. You have to jump in with both feet and trust in these truths and practice using them. I believed and I trusted, and now I know—it works!” —Louise Hay

“Florence Shinn constantly taught that your word is your wand to wave over your life and make it what you will. Her famous little book, The Game of Life and How to Play It, relates countless demonstrations of Truth made by people simply speaking words.” —Catherine Ponder, The Healing Secrets of the Ages

“One secret of her success was that she was always herself . . . colloquial, informal, friendly, and humorous. She herself was very spiritual . . . and taught by familiar, practical, and everyday examples.” —Emmet Fox

“I believe that Shinn, through her message of mental causation, left many thousands of people breathing easier, and living better. She may be about to do the same for you.” —Mitch Horowitz

Heathen Edition #26: The Game of Life and How to Play It

Retail: $8.95
Published: February 2, 2022
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.26 inches
Weight: 6.6 ounces
Cover: Matte Finish
Interior: Black & White on Cream Paper
Pages: 102 (+2 POD)
Language: English
Annotations: 104 Footnotes
Illustrations: 3

  • Title Page
  • Heathenry Flame
  • Honorary Heathen Headshot
  • ISBN-10: 1948316269
    ISBN-13: 9781948316262
    ASIN: 1948316269

  • Nonfiction / New Thought
  • Nonfiction / Self-Help
  • Nonfiction / Motivational
  • Author

    Florence Scovel Shinn


    Soul Fuel

    First Edition


    Heathen Edition

    February 2, 2022


    8.5 x 5.5 x .26 inches

    Page Count