Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Thought Philosophy in a Complex World

The 5 Basic Metaphysical Principles of Unity, the New Thought Denomination:
1. There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as my life, God the Good.
2. Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good…
3. We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
4. Through affirmative prayer and meditation, we connect with God and manifest Good in our lives.
5. We do and give our best by living the Truth we know.

The Basic Principles of Divine Science:
1. God, Perfect Presence, Divine Mind is All.
2. This One that is All is perfect life, love, and substance.
3. Human-beings are the individualized expression of God and are always unified with God.

A Short Affirmative Treatment from a Religious Science Minister:
1. God is All and All is well.

The New Thought traditions tell us that there is one Universal and divine Life and within this Life is all that we need to be happy, successful, and fulfilled. This Life is our life and by sustaining positive thoughts and feelings, we summon the best this Life has to offer and blessings are made manifest in our experience. Eastern philosophies, transpersonal psychology, quantum physics, and mystical interpretations of Judeo-Christian scriptures, as well as the lived experience of those who have put the principles to use all confirm the Truth that we are one with Divine Life and by using the power of Life wisely we can have, be, or do almost anything. The possibilities are limited only by our imagination and willingness to apply the spiritual principles.

Now, someone will say, "But I'm very spiritual and I've had a very difficult time now and again." Who hasn't? Someone else will say, "If our thoughts and feelings create our experience, why does Evil seem to strike on such a massive scale?" They then refer to war or disease or crime or, invariably, Hitler.

There are people who will hypothesize why The Great Depression hurt so many people or why the AIDS crises took so many lives. They will say that enough people entertained thoughts of fear or repressed feelings of self-doubt that those feelings materialized as mass distress. Others will say that is blaming the victim and that such horrors are largely random.

But here's the thing...while we're arguing over why some people were hurt by a flood or a tornado or a stray bullet or an automobile accident, we are failing to take responsibility for the things we can improve in our own lives. Maybe continuing anti-Semitism finally manifested as Fascist cruelty in Hitler's Germany. Or, maybe Hitler just worked and schemed his way to the top and from a position of power made cruel choices that hurt others. But in any case, some people faced the horrors of the Holocaust with great courage and dignity. Some people showed great kindness to others in need. Some survived. As terrible as it was, some people found empowerment even in the midst of a troubling time.

I don't want to waste a lot of time blaming myself for needing eye glasses or for needing medication for some health issue or the other; nor do I want to assume that victims of mob violence in Jamaica somehow created or contributed to the circumstances that terrorized them. What I do want to do is find all the power that is available to me, summon it, and use it wisely so that I will have fewer problems and so I will successfully navigate the problems that do arise. I also want to share this empowering viewpoint with others so that they, too, can minimize discord and maximize opportunity in their lives.

The Humanist believes that the human mind and will can solve most problems. The Theist believes that by praying to God, s/he will get God to somehow, in some way offer help in a time of distress. The New Thought person believes that by choosing the most positive thoughts and most optimistic attitudes, s/he will have better health, more abundance, and a better quality of life. Isn't each person hoping for the same thing, and doesn't each person simply believe there is a way to get more out of life?

The New Thought way is one of the paths of personal empowerment. The New Thought practitioner knows that by practicing affirmative prayer by which s/he will conceive, believe, and receive Good, life can be more rewarding. In fact, don't most people on a spiritual path believe that life should be fair and joyous and just and productive and loving? And don't they believe their spiritual practices will help life be all that it ought to be? I don't know why Bird Flu and Hurricanes afflict so many, I just know that even in a world where bad things happen, there is still reason for hope, and those who have hope seem to do better overall. And so I continue to affirm that God is All and all is well. I say that not to blame any victims, but so that I won't often feel like one myself. There is one Life, it is divine Life and it is my Life now. This fills me with hope and with the assurance that great Good is always at hand. And so it is!

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