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Switch to Forum Live View New Thought or New Age?
6 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 9:30PM #1
Flowupstream
Posts: 244
There is often confusion as to what New Thought is, what New Age Spiritualism is, and what the differences are.

Having been involved in New Thought (particularly Science Of Mind) for 35 years and being well educated in the history of NT, I can shed a little light on what NT is and what it is not. I know a little of the history of New Age Spiritualism but I am confident that those who know more than I will contribute much to this space.

Most people consider Phineas P. Quimbys "mind cure" to be the first phase of New Thought. Obviously Ralph Waldo Emmerson made a huge contribution as did several others, but the mind cure movement was the beginning of the direct lineage of teaching New Thought.

Quimby stated that in the entire universe there is nothing but mind working upon mind. Unlike modern N.T. (and more like New Age Spiritualism) Quimby envisioned inumerable minds working upon each other. In Quimbys mind cure (which he called "Christian Science") the individual ego was the primary actor. We each, through the use of our will and directed by ego, chose or refuted conditions. Many members of N.T. churches practice this same science and never move beyond it. Some of the caracteristics of this practice can include the use of channeling, crystals, and "focusing" specific energies for healing purposes. (This is not intended to be a complete list)

One of Quimbys students was Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science (as we know it today) Eddy did not continue Quimbys technique unaltered but incorperated some of what he tought into a science which defined the entire universe as God and nothing else. She refuted individuality and the material world.

The "Christian Science" stage of New Thought, both institutionally and in the individual, is a stage of struggling against ego consciousness. In this stage we develop the understanding that no-"thing" has power, not even us. All power is directed by our consciousness, but does not actually belong to us nor come from us(or other "things). In this we struggle to understand how the entire universe can be both God, and non-existant. We refute illness as a lie, or mistake in consciousness, and yet we affirm health in the same material body.

(more later)
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 11:27PM #2
Flowupstream
Posts: 244
In this middle stage we proclaim that God is ALL, yet we continue to strive for things and experiences as and for, a seperate individual. We affirm "abundance" for a seperate person, while denying lack in a material world we say has no power. However, the belief in a seperate "me" within a material world, a "me" which seeks material gain, depends on a dualistic world view in which "I" am seperate from God and all other individuals. And, most importantly, seperate from abundance which we feel the need to affirm.
This middle stage is all about surrendering a seperate "I" to the oneness of The Absolute. Many. like Mary Baker Eddy, never escape this dualistic battle of good and evil. We say "there is no evil, there is only God" then struggle in an individual life against the effects of a life experience we disagree with without ever recognizing its dualistic nature.

Unio Mystico-Mystic Union
The final stage of New Thought is true God awareness. The initiate no longer lives as a self-absorbed individual. Rather than seeking answers we live as The One who has no questions. Rather than seeking peace we live as The One who knows no conflict. Rather than live seeking justice we live as The One who know only balance. Rather than seeking to give or recieve comfort we live as The One who knows no harm. We know that it is God, not "I", who is the only actor. And we know that it is God for whom all life is lived. It is no longer (as in the middle stage) "God is all there is" from an individual point of view. It is God, acting AS the individual within God AS the material world entirely for the experience of God. And we KNOW it! Material abundance is replaced with allness. Health is repalced with eternal awareness. And "I" is replaced with "I AM".

Love,
kip
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 01, 2007 - 1:23PM #3
Flowupstream
Posts: 244
I claim no expertise in the field of New Age Spiritualism. What I do know is that it is a product of the 1960s and 70s spiritual seeking in which north americans (particularly hippies like me) took a closer look at eastern religions. There were rock stars with thier "guru"s and those close to Native American communities investigating shamanism. This diverse group of people developed a "anything other than christian fundamentalism" group consciousness and supported each other in thier seeking.

In New Age Spiritualism seekers are incouraged to find "what works for them". Themes like "channeling" Ascended Masters, using energy from crystals, sound therapy, angels, spirit guides, energy vortex, dance, yoga...

The list is nearly endless, and while some of these things can certianly contribute to developing consciousness, from a New Thought point of view they are all "things" or conditions which come from The One source of all which we have constant access to. We do not use these practices to get us closer to what we already are. We seek not things as a source of power. We seek to know ourselves AS the source of ALL things. This does not mean that we are god, but eternally interconnected within god.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2007 - 1:20PM #4
harmonyetc
Posts: 6
Thank you for this.  I have recently started attending an RSI church, having previously been involved with some new age stuff and finding it a little hollow in parts. The lack of substance led me to look at new thought.  I do still keep some practices that might be considered new age, but for the most part I'm finding Religious science (new thought) is filling in gaps for me and I'm loving it!
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 12:21AM #5
Mt_man
Posts: 80
So Kip, it's that we are partner puppets with God?  Not the typical master / slave puppet, but a partner puppet, where we can tug on the strings as well as be tugged?  You mention God is the only actor.  But I think you also believe in the partner aspect of the relationship.  Or do you believe it is a master / slave type of puppet arrangement?

If the interconnectedness can be described as strings that is.

During my week long "mystic experience" that I've talked about on a few other threads, I felt very interconnected.  I experienced communicating up the string to God and beyond to God's God and beyond to God's God's God, etc.  Does that have any meaning to you?  (As I am not sure if I understand it myself, unless the first God was the "Demiurge" talked about in gnosticism.)

"Rather than seeking to give or receive comfort we live as The One who knows no harm."

By this I take it you don't imply that we should sit on our tails the rest of our lives and let everyone take care of themselves, but that we can make a difference still, just with a different view (of automatically (as a puppet would) making a difference as God making a difference?  (Our hands are God's hands.)  Our works just flow naturally?  Or we become the Nike commercial and we "Just do IT?"

Or/And, if "I am the possibility of all people being loving and kind," that would mean that I am not this possibility, but that God IS.  Which also means that I am not the only loving and kind puppet, that there are myriads of loving and kind puppets on the planet.  Which helps to remove any significance of me.  (If I die, loving and kind lives on.)  While there are puppets of all other expressions of God. 

What you say would also imply that any real significance we possess is derived entirely from our losing our selves and being puppets of God.

Also, this helps me a lot because "I am the possibility of all people being loving and kind" (I mentioned to Kip on another thread that this was my "possibility" from the Advanced Course at Landmark Education, but that it wasn't like my possibility was a no brainer or anything in terms of what I do with it) can be stated in two ways, the second being more evolved.

*I* am the possibility of all people being loving and kind.  (Less evolved.  Stated from the individual.  Weak and tentative.  Unassertive.  It's as if a kindergartener was saying it, since a kindergartner can only see significance in him or herself.)

*I am:* The possibility of all people being loving and kind.  (More evolved.  Stated as an acknowledgment, as well as possibly in prayer, of/to God.  Powerful and committed.  Assertive.  The significance is shifted to God.)

The first one implies that I as an individual homo sapiens will be loving and kind.  And in exchange I should also expect others to be loving and kind.

The second one declares the possibility as if God is saying it by my acknowledging it.  And as a result it is more powerful -- it has more of a "stand" to it.  At the same time, it is also a request or prayer to God.  And the second one acknowledges God at the same time, with the *I am* part, which is the same as saying God!  The possibility is just one facet of God, so it isn't presumptuous to declare this as one of God's possibilities since it is declaring just one facet of untold facets.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 8:26AM #6
Flowupstream
Posts: 244
[QUOTE=mt_man;113963]So Kip, it's that we are partner puppets with God?  Not the typical master / slave puppet, but a partner puppet, where we can tug on the strings as well as be tugged?  You mention God is the only actor.  But I think you also believe in the partner aspect of the relationship.  Or do you believe it is a master / slave type of puppet arrangement?

If the interconnectedness can be described as strings that is.[/QUOTE]

A "partner aspect of the relationship" implies and/or defines duality, more than one, seperateness.

[QUOTE]During my week long "mystic experience" that I've talked about on a few other threads, I felt very interconnected.  I experienced communicating up the string to God and beyond to God's God and beyond to God's God's God, etc.  Does that have any meaning to you?  (As I am not sure if I understand it myself, unless the first God was the "Demiurge" talked about in gnosticism.)[/QUOTE]

All of these "up the string to god" experiences happen within The One, which you already are.

[QUOTE]"Rather than seeking to give or receive comfort we live as The One who knows no harm."

By this I take it you don't imply that we should sit on our tails the rest of our lives and let everyone take care of themselves, but that we can make a difference still, just with a different view (of automatically (as a puppet would) making a difference as God making a difference?  (Our hands are God's hands.)  Our works just flow naturally?  Or we become the Nike commercial and we "Just do IT?"[/QUOTE]

"Our works just flow naturally" is an accurate statement but, as Jesus said, "It is The Father that does the works"

[QUOTE]Or/And, if "I am the possibility of all people being loving and kind," that would mean that I am not this possibility, but that God IS.  Which also means that I am not the only loving and kind puppet, that there are myriads of loving and kind puppets on the planet.  Which helps to remove any significance of me.  (If I die, loving and kind lives on.)  While there are puppets of all other expressions of God.  [/QUOTE]

'I AM" the possibility..., means that we are not "puppets but the aspect of The One which expresses individual choice.

[QUOTE]What you say would also imply that any real significance we possess is derived entirely from our losing our selves and being puppets of God.[/QUOTE]

Not losing "ourselves". Losing the idea that we act for ourselves as a soverign entity.

[QUOTE]Also, this helps me a lot because "I am the possibility of all people being loving and kind" (I mentioned to Kip on another thread that this was my "possibility" from the Advanced Course at Landmark Education, but that it wasn't like my possibility was a no brainer or anything in terms of what I do with it) can be stated in two ways, the second being more evolved.

*I* am the possibility of all people being loving and kind.  (Less evolved.  Stated from the individual.  Weak and tentative.  Unassertive.  It's as if a kindergartener was saying it, since a kindergartner can only see significance in him or herself.)

*I am:* The possibility of all people being loving and kind.  (More evolved.  Stated as an acknowledgment, as well as possibly in prayer, of/to God.  Powerful and committed.  Assertive.  The significance is shifted to God.)

The first one implies that I as an individual homo sapiens will be loving and kind.  And in exchange I should also expect others to be loving and kind.

The second one declares the possibility as if God is saying it by my acknowledging it.  And as a result it is more powerful -- it has more of a "stand" to it.  At the same time, it is also a request or prayer to God.  And the second one acknowledges God at the same time, with the *I am* part, which is the same as saying God!  The possibility is just one facet of God, so it isn't presumptuous to declare this as one of God's possibilities since it is declaring just one facet of untold facets.[/QUOTE]
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2007 - 11:56PM #7
Flowupstream
Posts: 244
In my first couple of posts here I described 3 "stages" of spiritual development within New Thought. It is common for people to see an "ideal" and decide that is what they need to be. This misconception is not healthy as only ego consciousness can "decide" it needs to be enlightened. It (ego) then defines itself as a problem and sets out to "cure" itself. This game of deception has no end. Ego will always find a problem because ego itself is creating the problem within itself.

All branches of New Thought ARE enlightenment traditions. What I mean is not that we seek enlightenment to get past the "work" parts (first two phases of spiritual development) I described in the first 2 posts. In reality, doing the work of refuting "adverse" conditions in the first stage, and then refuting an identity seperate from god in the second stage. In this process true God awareness developes naturaly.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2007 - 8:55AM #8
DaoDuck
Posts: 86
[QUOTE=flowupstream;107901]I claim no expertise in the field of New Age Spiritualism. What I do know is that it is a product of the 1960s and 70s spiritual seeking in which north americans (particularly hippies like me) took a closer look at eastern religions. There were rock stars with thier "guru"s and those close to Native American communities investigating shamanism. This diverse group of people developed a "anything other than christian fundamentalism" group consciousness and supported each other in thier seeking.

In New Age Spiritualism seekers are incouraged to find "what works for them". Themes like "channeling" Ascended Masters, using energy from crystals, sound therapy, angels, spirit guides, energy vortex, dance, yoga...

The list is nearly endless, and while some of these things can certianly contribute to developing consciousness, from a New Thought point of view they are all "things" or conditions which come from The One source of all which we have constant access to. We do not use these practices to get us closer to what we already are. We seek not things as a source of power. We seek to know ourselves AS the source of ALL things. This does not mean that we are god, but eternally interconnected within god.[/QUOTE]

I would add that "New Thought" is a new interest in ancient wisdom, Universal principles, and spiritual "Truth." We are thinking anew about threads of truth in Taoism, Esoterica, Gnosticism, Mysticism, Religion, etc.

"New Age," seems more about practical applications of Truth. Thus, Positive Prayer, Meditation, Healing, Energy Work, Body Work, Crystals, Shamanism, "The Secret," and all of the practices you mentioned are various ways to apply Universal Principles in Life. If done correctly, each of these theoretically operate "From Inside, Out."

Keep in mind the Universal truth of Yin/Yang (Relativity). The "spiritual" and the "material" are two apparent opposites. However, nothing is exactly opposite as each "side" reflects the other and even "contains" a portion of the other. So, New Thought (Truth) and New Age (Application) are not the same, but they are related to each other. As a NT writer put it: there are many gifts, but one Spirit.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2007 - 10:19PM #9
Runningbrook
Posts: 85
[
"God is all there is" from an individual point of view. It is God, acting AS the individual within God AS the material world entirely for the experience of God. And we KNOW it! Material abundance is replaced with allness. Health is repalced with eternal awareness. And "I" is replaced with "I AM".

Love,
kip[/QUOTE]

That tells me that I shouldn't take myself too seriously..lol, or take myself too personally.
You hear people say, don't take it personal..when 'it' seems to be so personal..
We are people, and persons..but we needn't take or make things personal?
Great discussions here..
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 9:42PM #10
Jenlo1979
Posts: 2
Does anyone know how to find New Thought Churches? Or would Christian Science churches be the most related? I love the explanation of New Thought from flowupstream, and I'm really interested in this. It just clicks for me, more than anything else has. I have found certain aspects of Zen, Taoism, Tantricism to be very exciting, but it seems this ties in everything I really feel and believe. Thanks!!
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