What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

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What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:29 pm

This is really the kind of question that interests me, more than 'beliefs' as such. I've read up on New Thought quite a bit, and know the basics. But I am interested in what it means to be a New Thought person today, and especially in what kinds of practices are done.

How similar is the practice of one New Thought person to another's? Would you meet and worship -- is that important? Is it all about affirmations, prayer, meditation, healing? Does it interface with other things?

Just my nosiness here!

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:58 pm

Nosiness is welcome

We're very varied. Unity is the largest national church these days, and Religious Science comes in second place. That's for those of us who are church people, of course. We're like any other faith...for some of us, church and worship are important, for many of us we just don't bother. Like Catholics. Very Happy

In terms of many modern New Thoughters, our practices consist of church and regular spiritual activity...like retreats, esoteric workshops, divination, energy healing, etc. The whole point of New Thought, though, is conscious union with God.

I think Rev. Stan explained that well in his paper "From the Secret to the Teaching" http://tigerseyedowsing.com/ds/other/The_Secret_to_The_Teaching.html .

In essence, the true practice of a New Thoughter is to move through life deepening her understanding of God, while learning to understand that God is the underlying source of all things.

Or, as we say simply put, you're God, in drag.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:10 pm

Didn't even know the Unity Church had anything to do with New Thought.... bit ignorant that way! Smile

So in your case, when you say:

like retreats, esoteric workshops, divination, energy healing

... what would you personally be into? Just trying to get my bearings here, and wondering if I would recognize the names you'd throw out etc.

Would you consider yourself anything more to do with Christ than any other religious teacher? (Or would any New Thoughter?)

It's interesting to think about you having been on the Damanhur mailing list... and I recall your saying on the 'sacred text' thread that you'd read a few of the things I'd read, and you liked the idea of an 'ensouled object' etc. From that I kind of gathered that you interpret being involved in New Thought quite freely?

I mean when you say this:

In essence, the true practice of a New Thoughter is to move through life deepening her understanding of God, while learning to understand that God is the underlying source of all things.

... it would not do badly for me either in my capacity as an Hermetic. (Except the concept of 'God' to me might be more complex, because I tend to work off of my own experience...).

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:33 pm

Well, I'll throw out a brief history lesson:

Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science, and she had her assistant Emma Hopkins who fought with her and split away, and became the "teacher of teachers". She taught the Brooks sisters in Denver, who founded Divine Science, and the Fillmores, who founded Unity School of Christianity. Religious Science and Universal Foundation for Better Living came along later as offshoots of Divine Science. I put a good bit of detail into that at www.lessonsintruth.info for other history buffs Very Happy

Where the Brooks sisters and the Fillmores disagreed with Emma was over the concept of Pantheism... we found ourselves Pantheists, while Ms. Eddy (and subsequently Emma) taught that Pantheism was a false teaching.

Personally, I'm a dual member of Unity School of Christianity and the Church of Divine Science. There's not much difference; Unity teaches more esoteric work, like alternative healing methods and channelling and reincarnation, while Divine Science shies more away from that. Both are good organizations to me.

Personally, I'm a Reiki master, if out of practice.. I'm a dowser, as my screename denotes :p and I studied EFT, amongst other things.

In Unity and Divine Science, we view the Christ in a New Age sense; the Christ-spirit is the undivided presence of God in man. We see people as Christed, or enlightened, when they reach that point. We see Jesus as the example, the ultimate expression of the Christ in human form- and the idea is to utilize his teachings to cultivate the Christ-spirit in us.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:50 pm

Right I guess I get that. I'd heard of Eddy and Hopkins and I knew there was a series of relations there, but am hazy on detail.

So I'm hazy on 'pantheism' too, is it essentially the idea that 'the divine is immanent in all things' or something of that kind? I have great problems with those kinds of words at times... people give a dictionary definition but I don't always see what difference it makes in their lives, I don't get the practice side of it.

I'm curious too what 'channelling' the Unity School teaches -- eg. what kinds of beings are channelled.

Is there anything you would not feel comfortable with as part of a New Thought practice? Anything I couldn't get away with? Smile

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:22 pm

Pantheism has a diverse definition and there are different kinds. We had a pantheist here on this board who was practically polar opposites with the spiritual pantheists like myself... in New Thought pantheism, though, we teach that God the Good is everything; the All That Is, and All That Is is Good. We deny the existence of darkness and evil, and proclaim there is only good. This is in opposition to Gnosticism, which teaches duality and a yin-yang of dark and light. It also drives Gillyflower insane.

TED: Go Pantheism!

Gilly:



So to answer your question in terms of my faith (which is fundamentalist New Thought) Pantheism is God expressing as the creative energy of the Universe, manifesting in the physical as all things, leaving no darkness or evil anywhere- only the illusion of it, created by our ignorance.

As for channeling, we sell most any channelled books in our churches, like Kryon, Seth, and who-all have you. There was a reconstructionist push in the 80s to ban all channelled books and the Unity Church itself purged their library of all things channelled. That didn't last long. We teach A Course in Miracles in most all Unity churches. I personally have ACIM, Kryon books, and a few others that some individuals put out over the years, including the Betty Book (which I never actually read). Even though we believe in "One God, omnipresent", we have no problem with the existence of various spirits or demigods or what have you, as they (like us) may exist as an individual consciousness yet are still part of the Universe expressed by the Divine.

It's a pretty open religion... as in all groups of course, there are those who will happily tell you what others can and can't do. Politically, socially and spiritually. I steer clear of them though in my practice and try not to be that way myself. As for me personally, I'm not comfortable with anything luciferian, which is no doubt a product of my raising as a fundamentalist Christian viewing Lucifer as the deceiver; so Theosophy et al are out. On the same token, it can be argued that most of our practices are luciferian, and that may be true; but I try to focus on belief of God the Good, and of Truth.. so by default, that should rule out Lucifer should he exist and be as mean and deceitful as he's made out to be.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Pantheism has a diverse definition and there are different kinds.

That would explain why I've never been able to get a good clear image of what people mean by it. Personally I can see the point of believing 'all that is is good' and also of the 'light/dark' idea too (although the Gnostic viewpoint I think is more nuanced and also varies widely throughout the original literature if memory serves... not that it's something I'm hugely up on) ... I couldn't express my own view as either one or the other personally.

Like I mentioned I'm always more interested in practices than beliefs anyhow. I looked through ACIM quite a while back, and I seem to remember that had practices in the book.

OK, well interesting! Thanks for the guided tour.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:44 pm

Welcome. Keep all hands and feet inside the car. Laughing

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:12 pm

Oh, do read The Betty Book, TED. It's quite interesting since it chronicles the experiences of Stewart Edward White who was a fairly prominent journalist and nature writer of the mid-20th century and his wife Betty with the world of "woo-woo." < wink and grin >

It's been years and years since I ran across his several books on Betty's channeling. I don't now recall if it was a fever or accident that brought on that ability, but the results were a surprise to both of the Whites. Up to that time, they'd been a pretty solid American couple, educated, articulate and well-traveled but hardly messing with such mumbo-jumbo as channeling.

Ultimately, both came to believe in a "world beyond" whereas I don't think either had been particularly into any form of spirituality or religion before that. Rather akin to Edgar Cayce's eventual acceptance of reincarnation as a result of what came through in his trance readings when his lifelong bent had been fundamentalist Christianity.
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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:15 pm

... that goes back to experience again right there you see. If you think about it, although the nature of the 'sudden talent' was very different, Robert Monroe's experience was much the same.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:36 pm

Oh, yeah. Accident, illness, a traumatic experience--all of these are known to bring to the fore what was probably a latent ability in the person.
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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by gillyflower on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:21 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Pantheism has a diverse definition and there are different kinds. We had a pantheist here on this board who was practically polar opposites with the spiritual pantheists like myself... in New Thought pantheism, though, we teach that God the Good is everything; the All That Is, and All That Is is Good. We deny the existence of darkness and evil, and proclaim there is only good. This is in opposition to Gnosticism, which teaches duality and a yin-yang of dark and light. It also drives Gillyflower insane.

TED: Go Pantheism!

Gilly:




Yes, it does. Smile

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:48 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:

Or, as we say simply put, you're God, in drag.


Really?



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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:53 pm

Personally, I preferred George Burns as God, although Alanis did have a pixie-like appeal.
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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:59 pm

I love that movie. I may have to watch it tonight. I did like the idea that god likes to do handstands, though.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:16 am

gillyflower wrote:Yes, it does.

Why would that be then?

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:10 am

LOL It is an old discussion point, one we have had on many occasions.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:18 am

*duct tapes P-synth's mouth* Don't open that can of worms!!


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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:24 am

I'm only curious, I won't argue with it since like I say I don't think any of this quite represents what I 'believe'; no need to see you two go at it if you don't want.

Just one little worm in other words ... but not if it's too awkward of course.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:33 am

It's not really a big deal; Gilly sees the world "as above, so below", in terms that there's suffering, strife, good and evil, etc. in our world and also with the gods. She's a dualist, as most people are. (Correct me if I'm wrong, I think I got that down right).

In Christian Science, and later in New Thought, we deny the reality of the existence of evil, only the appearance of it. That all things and people are essentially good at the spiritual core, we just fuck it up in our little human ways by not acting in our true nature.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:37 am

You're right except about the dualism part. That isn't part of my religion.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:38 am

Oh, I'm confused then; Sorry! I thought you held some dualist beliefs.

Joseph Murphy (and others) taught that "as above, so below" relates to the fact that whatever you impress on your subconscious mind (above) becomes your reality and experience (below).

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:41 am

Oh ok, so gilly you would say that there is nowhere that is free of suffering or whatever?

The interesting thing is I think you are both right... it just depends on how you look at it. Laughing

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:49 am

P, it might interest you that I went through a school of Buddhism for a short while but dropped out. I still think that Buddhism, at its core, is one of the most noble faiths to hit the planet. Like Christianity though, most of its been skewed and damaged over the years. Just since we were talking about suffering. Smile

Unity Church is known as the bridge between Buddhism and Christianity, and to me at their foundational core the two go hand in hand.

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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:50 am

I have to go pick up the dog then back here, then off to work - I didn't want you to think I wasn't going to respond.

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