Richard Matheson’s The Path is technically fiction, but what it really is a very thin fictional story encircling the philosophical teachings of Harold W. Percival. Percival was initially a Theosophist, but it seems he progressed through and beyond those teachings to arrive at a completely new and different cosmogony.
Percival founded the The Word Publishing Company in the 40s to make sure that his masterwork Thinking and Destiny would never go out of print, and in 1950, three years before his death at age 84, he founded The Word Foundation to “insure that his legacy to humanity would be perpetuated.” Thinking and Destiny is the backbone of The Path. In fact, I’d say that The Path is in essence a Reader’s Digest version of Percival’s original.
I refuse to dissect Percival’s philosophy. He seems to have been a genuinely caring and humble man, and clearly Matheson, one of the greatest writers of all time, found great inspiration in his work. I haven’t written anything approaching the genius of What Dreams May Come, and I can only fantasize that my occult writings will ever get the recognition of Thinking and Destiny.
So you’ll have to do the reading and judge for yourself. All I can say is that, although I found Percival’s view somewhat dated and quaint by modern standards, The Path leads toward a positive, decent and caring way of living. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.