I use and recommend this stuff.
A few words about Dr. Bronner’s monism, and then something about his soap.
Dr. Bronner’s monism
The label of every bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap has thousands of words of spiritual philosophy printed on it in tiny type.
Enjoy only 2 cosmetics, enough sleep and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap to clean body-mind-soul-spirit instantly uniting One! All-One! When half-truth is gone & we are dust, the full-truth we print, protect & teach alone lives on! Full-truth is God, it must! Help teach the whole Human race, the Moral ABC of All-One-God-Faith.
“All-One” is the essential message of monism, and Dr. Bronner’s philosophy was thoroughly monist. Sometimes it is difficult to know quite what he was talking about, though:
Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training!
It seems he had no formal religious or philosophical training, and none of the sources I found on-line say where he got his ideas from. I bet, though, that his main influence was the New Thought Movement.
The New Thought Movement is forgotten now, but it was a major force in early 20th Century America. It was based on 19th Century German monism, as transmitted mainly via Transcendentalism, plus some Hindu monism.
New Thought was a key link in the monist chain. The next link was the New Age, which repackaged New Thought for a new generation.
In fact, the main market for Dr. Bronner’s soap was hippies, and then New Agers. It is still mainly bought by “the LOHAS segment” (“Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”), who are also typically monists.
Dr. Bronner mostly cared about monism, although he also cared about soap. Using such a mundane product to spread such an abstract philosophy was a stroke of genius. I admire his work, even while being dead set against his philosophy.
Dr. Bronner’s soap
I also admire his soap. It comes as a liquid. It smells good, gets icky stuff off, contains no irritating chemicals, and rinses away completely, even in hard water.
If you have sensitive skin—I do—that last is important. Most soap leaves behind a thin film that just won’t rinse off, and it itches.
You can find Dr. Bronner’s soap in health food stores. If it’s not available locally, you can buy it from Amazon.