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What is New Thought?
What is New Thought?
In this section we'll do our best to explain what the New Thought Movement (not New Age) is and how it relates to the age old philosophy called Metaphysics.
But What the heck is "New Thought" or "The New Thought Movement"? Read more as Dr. Anne Kunath explains....
What is New Thought?
This is my definition of New Thought. It will make it easy for people who are not familiar with it.
New Thought is positive thinking and knowing that God is in charge. We believe in the oneness that we have with all people. The oneness is controlled by our attitude.
We can have our life and experiences, but because God gave us free will, we have to learn to make choices. We have to accept throughout our lives that we are making changes. We receive hints, ideas, thoughts, directions and inner guidance. It's time for us to start using it.
If you think of other churches and organizations that are familiar, you can go back to Norman Vincent Peale. He was one of the early ministers in New York of what we call the New Thought movement, though he did not work under that name. He called it positive thinking and positive ideas.
Robert Schuller is also one who is very much dedicated to the principles of positive thinking through religion.
New Thought is creating and accepting that God gave us free will. We have to learn make choices and accept responsibility.
New Thought has been around for quite awhile, even though it's called "New Thought."
It's called New Thought because new thoughts will change your life. It's ancient. It goes back to before the time of Jesus. It's the idea of oneness in the Universe and the thoughts, feelings and expressions that we use today.
New Age is what I call all the far-out stuff. New Age is astrology and crystals. New Age is anything in the psychic development realm. New Age is all of what I call the new things that have been discovered.
We may or may not participate in them. Even though many people participate in these and believe in them, it's not usually taught throughout the New Thought churches and organizations.
It's pretty common for people to mix those two up if they don't know any better.
They don't see the difference in New Thought and New Age. They think it's all one thing. We are definitely New Thought, Bible-based on traditional organizations in the Bible. We as a church use the Aramaic Version of the Bible.
What we have called ours frequently so people can understand it is "original Christianity." It was before the manmade rules, before the laws that were put in by people, which have changed dramatically over the years. They are continuing to change.
In the new ideas and New Thought we believe that there is nothing limiting in any of us if we can accept that we are that oneness with the Universe.
Science of Mind is part of Religious Science. Religious Science split about 20 years ago. One became Science of Mind Religious Science. The other is United Church of Religious Science. The other group is Religious Science International.
Both are groups established by Holmes. When they split they became individual groups. The oldest of the New Thought Movements is Divine Science, which is what we are. The second oldest is Unity, which was founded by the Fillmores. Our Divine Science was established by Malinda Cramer in California.
Ernest Holmes was first ordained in Divine Science. When he went out to California, there was nothing there. He established Religious Science.
Scientology is completely different. It's not based on the same premises.
We are also confused with Christian Science sometimes. Mary Baker Eddy was a student of Phineas Quimby, who is considered the father of New Thought. She branched off and started with Christian Science. The difference with them is their thing with doctors and medicine. They do their own practitioner work. We don't.
We believe that God works through doctors and medicine and many other ways. We believe you pray first and then go where your spirit directs.
People ask about a person who is a total newcomer and how they should feel and continue to practice once they've come into New Thought.
Let me give you analogy. You come home late the night of the Super Bowl. You don't even know who is playing. You want to know what uniforms are what teams and what the score is. You want to know all about the game because you're just coming into the middle of it.
Coming into New Thought for the very first time is the very same thing. People might be confused. They don't know how to practice the specific laws and systems you teach. What should they do? Will they feel overwhelmed and why?
Many people do feel overwhelmed. We believe in Pierre De Chardin's saying, which is on our letterhead. We believe that the spirit of joy is the greatest presence of God that we can know. We believe in putting joy into our lives.
We have a lot of joy. We do not get into a lot of heavy duty prayer work. We do have buzz words that they have difficulty understanding.
I had one man tell me that he came to our church for six months before he understood what we were saying. We use words like "spirit" for God. A lot of people use the word Spirit. We use words like consciousness, which not many people use.
Consciousness is the sum total of everything that you are. It means that we can be low in consciousness by being mean and hateful and angry. We can be high in consciousness by being loving and kind and all of the good things.
People have difficulty in the beginning. We use the word "treatment" for prayers. That confuses people because they don't know what treatment is. We changed that in our church to say "prayer therapy." That means a positive way of prayer that is not begging.
We don't do begging prayers. We don't say, "Please God, let this be," we say that God is the Christ in every person individualized. We call forth this Christ to do the health, wholeness, calming and peace and love and joy. It makes a difference in how people hear us.
Ok, so let's say someone came to church, liked what you say, liked your theory. Now what does that person do? It's beginning to resonate with everything that person's felt but never been taught. That person leaves after church is over - wants to learn more, but has no idea of where to start.
We can recommend any of the many books we have available. We have books on New Thought and what it teaches. A lot of people are writing, like psychologists. Wayne Dyer is one that we frequently recommend. He doesn't use churchy tones. We have so many people in the world today who have been turned off of religion because of fear or something that occurred. They don't want to hear about it.
One of our most famous teachers from Christian Science was Emmett Fox. He was instrumental in the early days of the 12-Step Program.
We try to identify people and give them books to read that will give them an understanding of what it means when we say "positive thinking with God." We want it to come across in a way that is understandable. It's a way to accept responsibility for their lives.
Emmett Fox has written many books. Which would a new person be best suited starting with?
The 10 Commandments. He does a metaphysical interpretation of the 10 Commandments. This is what we are, we're Metaphysical. Metaphysical means you look beyond the visible. We look beyond to know and understand that there is meaning other than what we immediately think about and know in the visible world.
Metaphysics is one of the five branches of philosophy. That takes the fear out of it, so people don't think, "This is a strange thing. What is metaphysical?" They think of Metaphysical as the "woo-woo" world. That means it's strange and far out. It really isn't. It is a branch of philosophy.
Then what? Do you have beginners classes? How people ease in? Can they go to any of your classes and know what you're talking about?
We do a lot of inspirational work. We do prayer requests. People can call in if they have a need for something. We have books that don't have a religious background. That turns people off. It's more positive thinking and psychologically oriented.
In addition to Emmett Fox, they can read Wayne Dyer and even Robert Schuller.
In the medical field we have several doctors like Deepak Chopra. They can read any of his books. We have given him a humanitarian award. We've given several humanitarian awards to people in the medical field.
We have a yearly conference that all of these groups attend. There are speakers from each group. Each one has a slightly different thrust, but it's all pretty geared toward the same thing.
The conference is in July. We do have this humanitarian award that we give to somebody who has been of great service outside of the New Thought movement.
That is the International New Thought Alliance. That's the annual congress in July.