Psychic Choices New Thought Movment
What is the New Thought Movement?
The New Thought Movement actually began in the middle of the 19th century in America but the concepts that it embraced had originated in Vedic India: the idea of an “Over-soul” or unified consciousness, the idea that all material existence was an illusion and that the “Real” is in fact a Void from which all that is was formed (a sort of Big Bang Theory five millennia before the Big Bang became “official science” in the West), the idea of Karma (an early formulation of “cause and effect” principle), and that the purpose of human life was to be re-absorbed into the Void from which the next cycle of material being emerges. New Thought by Mary Manin Morrisey is modern “take” on the original insights of people like Prentice Mulford, Emma Wheeler Wilcox, Ralph Waldo Trine, and Florence Scovel Shinn amongst otherss.
Psychic Choices New Thought Movement
In addition to its debt to Vedic Philosophy, New Thought also included a re-reading of Christian scripture from an esoteric point of view, a reading that emphasised a metaphorical rather than a literal interpretation of the synoptic gospels as well as material excluded from them. From the New Thought perspective, “God” is essentially unknowable, the sum of all existence present, past and future. No one religion has a “lock” on truth yet there is in all religions and spiritual traditions, a kernel of truth: that all is One and we are part of the All and therefore part of the One, the Unity of Consciousness. Ralph Waldo Trine examines these ideas in his book In Tune With The Infinite. This influential book was a firm favourite of – of all people ! – Henry Ford who claims the book was the catalyst for his successful manufacturing industry and an expression of his personal philosophy.
A great deal of emphasis is placed on the quality of our thoughts and the effect they have on us, our lives, and on those around us. A central insight of New Thought is the idea that “Thoughts are things”, i.e., the act of thinking is creative: our thoughts can affect material reality, a point of view that only now is being seriously studied in Consciousness Research. One of the most popular books to have come out of the New Thought Movement is Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How To Play It. I have found it to be one of the most succinct expression of the principles of New Thought and easily accessible for the modern reader despite having been published over a hundred years ago. If one reads New Thought books carefully, it will be apparent that adopting this way of life is not a superficial exercise; it requires a complete re-thinking of our deepest assumptions about reality and our place in it. The mere repetition of “affirmations” or an enforced and phony “happy clappy” attitude is not what New Thought is about. Like the Transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and Buddhist Mindfulness taught by the Dalai Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche, and Pema Chodron, New Thought was an early attempt to escape dogmatic thinking by using our consciousness more fully. It is about the creative potential of thought within the universal field of consciousness.
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© Delia O’ Riordan 2012