What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:47 am

No problem gilly, take your time!

TED, I probably agree re: Buddhism's 'nobility' (another of their fave words) but to me good techniques, powerful interesting experiences and definite 'progress' are what matter, I suppose... I have tended to get involved with people who have the vibe and knowledge which interests me rather than being too hung up on the belief questions before beginning.

I also think that there is a massive variation in Buddhism, from Tibetan to Zen say, which means that (again in practice) you are not always talking about the same thing. From what I hear, what you get in a Buddhist school can vary quite a lot! Personally I've been involved with various Taoist techniques for a long while, and I do like those for energy purposes; I don't like Buddhist philosophy very much. (I only used the 'suffering' word because you used it -- strife or whatever will do instead. ^_^)

There's supposed to be a very interesting literature of debates between Buddhism and Taoism, from when they first encountered one another in China. I've always meant to look into it. The situation ended up settling at the midpoint between what happened in Japan (essentially Buddhism and Shinto being quite happy to get on with each other) and what happened in the West (Christianity and Paganism wanting nothing to do with each other). There was a kind of truce and both (along with Confucianism) were seen as necessary and useful in their different ways. The anti-convention ideals of Taoism always appealed to me though.

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

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:08 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote: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).

I think my answer to the dualist beliefs might depend upon how you are defining dualism, TED. I don't want to be talking at odds, because we are using different definitions. It also depends upon your definition of evil.

I usually say (as you know) light and dark because it isn't (to me) good/evil. Those are human judgements based upon personal and cultural ethics. I think, for example, that slavery is bad based upon my ethics and the ethics of my culture. 2,000 years ago (or 150 years ago), it was considered by many to be good because of their, and their culture's, ethics.

The Divine, on the other hand, just is; not good, not bad, it just is.

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

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:11 pm

P_Synthesis wrote: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

I have no way of knowing if there are beings that don't suffer. Humans and animals, in my experience, feel pain and think (as above, so below) that spiritual beings probably do as well. To me suffering (if you are talking about pain) seems to be a part of life. Not all of it, just a part of it.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:56 am

Humans and animals, in my experience, feel pain and think (as above, so below) that spiritual beings probably do as well.

Sorry didn't quite get that, you are saying that you yourself think spiritual beings suffer, undergo strife, etc., or you are saying that you think humans and animals in general tend to think this?

And when you say 'as above so below', are you meaning that, as we experience here on earth, we can surmise that beings in spiritual locations will experience similarly? (In other words, kind of 'as below, so above'?

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:29 am

I think that we in this world reflects the spiritual plane that the gods inhabit. By studying what goes on here, we can better understand the gods, even though we are wildly different beings and we will never be able to grasp who or what they are, or understand their plane of existence in its entirety. We humans feel pain. I think therefore that it is quite likely the gods feel pain (or the equivalence) and that they suffer the consequences of their actions, just as we do.


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

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:36 am

Oh ok. And are you saying that this is your surmise or is it what Wiccans generally believe about their gods?

Is there a Wiccan 'afterlife'?

Come to mention it -- is there a New Thought afterlife?

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:09 am

When you say "Wiccan" it is like saying "Christian" in that it is somewhat an umbrella term. This is what we, in the tradition I belong to, believe.

Wicca actually doesn't prescribe an afterlife. Many believe in Transmigration of Souls. Many don't. Some believe in the Summerlands, some don't.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:09 am

Wicca actually doesn't prescribe an afterlife. Many believe in Transmigration of Souls. Many don't. Some believe in the Summerlands, some don't.

... and you yourself?

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

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:15 am

To answer your question about a New Thought afterlife; in Divine Science we teach we merge back into God, as an energy; The Fillmores in Unity studied more into Hinduism and teach more about individual reincarnation until reaching enlightenment.

Myself, I tend to lean more toward reincarnation because of feelings I have about past lives; though I think in the end we eventually do merge back into God.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:17 am

So a mix then, as Wicca appears to be a mix. Personally I am more comfortable with a mix, partly perhaps because I feel it is open to personal confirmation (or lack thereof) by experiences, which I take to be kind of the point.

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:30 pm

The jury is still out with me because I don't have (or remember) any past lives and have no experience with dying. I tend to feel about it like my signature and something else Marcus Aurelius (I think) said about the gods spending so much time and energy on this world world, why would they do less for the next? I'm comfortable with this life being all there is too.

Afterlives are such a personal thing. Some people get offended when you don't want to go to their afterlife, but really some hypothetical afterlives sound incredibly boring to me.

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

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:47 pm

Reincarnation makes the most mentally logical sense to me, as it explains most of the goings-on of the world; why children are born prodigies, why some are born crippled, why some are born in a first-world country and comforts and some are born as the lowest of low.

I think if there's something more to the afterlife other than reincarnation or nothing at all, it's probably too different from our experience in the here and now to really understand it.

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

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:18 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Reincarnation makes the most mentally logical sense to me, as it explains most of the goings-on of the world; why children are born prodigies, why some are born crippled, why some are born in a first-world country and comforts and some are born as the lowest of low.

I think if there's something more to the afterlife other than reincarnation or nothing at all, it's probably too different from our experience in the here and now to really understand it.

Pretty much agreed here.

I get really incensed at the commonly used phrase, "It's all good," perhaps because I had another believer in reincarnation explain that to me as there's a reason for things like the Holocaust, the Asian tsunami of a few years ago, the Haitian earthquake, etc.

Probably just my overreaction, but that explanation smacks to me of "It's God's will."

I don't have as much problem with the idea that such catastrophes could be pre-birth agreements to die horrifically in such fashion to balance out excesses in past lives.

I don't think it terribly farfetched, for instance, as TED suggested above to think that a cousin of mine's daughter born with multiple severe defects chose those to restrict her ability in this lifetime to make spiritually unsound choices. Because her life is so restricted, maybe it's easier for her to focus upon spiritual values. I've often wondered if this is an explanation, since I simply can't accept the belief that God "has a reason" for inflicting such massive defects upon a child and parents otherwise.

Perhaps there's also something to the belief that her soul is a very advanced one who chose such a limited existence in order to provide her parents with an opportunity for intense spiritual growth in this lifetime. That's another theory that makes a certain amount of sense to me.

I dunno. Eventually, I hope I'll find out because theories of this type stimulate my curiosity.
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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:01 pm

I'm absolutely certain, based on personal evidence, that lives are chosen in advance... reincarnation exists IMO but I suspect is indeed really complex. From the OBEing I've done and from reading the experiences of others I have put together some basic ideas of how it works IMO, but it has changed a little as I have tried to find out more.

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:22 pm

It has never made much sense to me. I don't see a reason for everything but then, in my tradition we are universe/Divine centered rather than human centered.

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

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:13 pm

gillyflower wrote:It has never made much sense to me. I don't see a reason for everything but then, in my tradition we are universe/Divine centered rather than human centered.

I don't think I understand your distinction between u/D centered and human centered, Gilly. Could you elaborate, please?

The reason I'm asking is that I believe increasingly that reincarnation is a natural process. Whether we believe in it or not, we reincarnate.
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Re: What do New Thought followers do by way of practice?

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:20 pm

Whether we believe in it or not, we reincarnate.

I think you're right but that might not mean every religion has to focus on it. Come to that, I believe the Valkyries exist whether we believe in them or not as well, but I don't have to focus my spiritual life in that area.

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:27 pm

LOL Well, we'll see when we die, eh? I figure what I think/believe/have decided isn't going to make much difference to what happens when I die.

I am a pantheist in that I think that everything is a part of the Divine. "All is God" so to speak and I believe that we humans are a tiny part of the whole, a very tiny part. I believe that what is important is the way the Divine evolves and my job is to do my best to be a good human, procreate, raise the next generation and basically do what I can to improve life for others and the earth, the things I can affect. In a couple of generations who I am will be forgotten.

I don't think that everything that happens to me is "meant" or is for my benefit or that I am supposed to evolve to a higher level than human or a higher spiritual level. I think that everything is for the Divine's benefit. We live, procreate and die to further the Divine. If it benefits the Divine, then we will be brought back in different bodies to continue to further the Divine's evolution. If we are, it must benefit the Divine that few have any memory of those lives. I don't rule it out, I just wonder how the Divine is benefitted.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:39 pm

I don't think that everything that happens to me is "meant" or is for my benefit or that I am supposed to evolve to a higher level than human or a higher spiritual level.

Yes I thought that was what you meant. I think it's an interesting pov, especially for a member of a religion that has so much to do with magic...

Two of my teachers have told me they already know where they are going after they die; one actually also wrote about helping his mother settle in to her next home. That is a commonplace of shamanism, the psychopompic role.

In Franz Bardon there are even instructions on how to bring your magical tools with you to your new home, after you die!

I don't know if Dot will remember or not, but in Robert Monroe (especially in Far Journeys, his best I think) there are some very affecting examples of afterlife and reincarnation issues from his experience of OBE journeying, including watching as a pair of new spirits get roped in to the earthbound reincarnation process. There was also a very funny story about a guy who believed there was nothing after death, having died, sitting in the dark because he believed there was nothing, and quite annoyed that he was going to be around forever experiencing this nothingness. Apparently that happens, but eventually they figure out they can leave it.

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

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:48 pm

I don't understand what you mean by the remark about magic. Magic to me is "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will" to quote Crowley. I believe that will is just energy manipulation.

I like the stories about people who believe in afterlives. They are all so different and it says so much about the people themselves. People who believe in afterlives often sneer at those who disbelieve their own pet ones, but there is no evidence to support an afterlife so far, except UPGs.

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

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:38 pm

Magic is just making stuff happen.

As for the afterlife, I'm going to get burnt and go in a nice pot. Sit on my mom's mantelpiece. One day I'll fall off on purpose, scare her to death. Then she can get burnt, go in a nice pot and set on the mantlepiece. Nice. Symmetrical. Two pots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARXUbHPKpKI&feature=PlayList&p=D8BBBAD5C3E091C5&index=14&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL

In all seriousness, we can choose how we are arranged when we go out. Anything else is UPG. Unprovable, and for most of us, unknowable. The way it should be.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:58 am

@gilly:

I like the stories about people who believe in afterlives. They are all so different and it says so much about the people themselves.

Yes indeed. (Although I have found there are underlying similarities as well.)

People who believe in afterlives often sneer at those who disbelieve their own pet ones, but there is no evidence to support an afterlife so far, except UPGs.

Personally I think there are couple of points wrapped up in that. Number one, there's no excuse for the sneering, but for some religions it's natural and has to be re-educated because they are taught 'our heaven is the only heaven' etc. Number two, the evidence for an afterlife of some kind is IMO strong now, although far from conclusive or proven. Don't want to get into a fight about it -- but do you keep up with the evidence that is coming out all the time? Some of it is very interesting indeed!

Number three and more importantly, IMO anyone can prove to themselves that there is 'an afterlife' in the bare sense of a survival beyond the body, by having a conscious OBE, which I believe is within the reach of just about anyone with today's methods.

On this:

I don't understand what you mean by the remark about magic. Magic to me is "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will" to quote Crowley.

... well ok but again I am not trying to say your opinion is incorrect, just explaining mine.

It's quite a well-known fact that some people are better at magic than others, and that certain types of training and self-realization increase 'the ability of the will to shape energy', in your terms. In fact that process you mentioned on an earlier thread, of 'aligning mind body and spirit', is a classic example of a way to progress that will increase magical 'power' or 'skill', however you want to look at it. Of course there are many other ways, but already there to me you have something that is indeed about 'evolving to a higher spiritual level' in some sense -- moving to a place of greater attunedness with the non-physical, would be one way to say it -- so it's interesting you don't see it that way.

@sacrificialgoddess:

Unprovable, and for most of us, unknowable. The way it should be.

I'm interested in why you think that's 'the way it should be'? Personally I think that we now live in a world where the ability to have some knowledge of after-death conditions is within anyone's reach (although not compulsory for anyone of course.) Do you think that is a bad thing?

On the question of 'proof' (which seems a sticking point for a lot of people here) -- more is being done every day. No, it won't convince a complete skeptic, but that is another story. Check out for example:

http://www.skeptiko.com/eeg-expert-on-near-death-experience/

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

Post by gillyflower on Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:27 am

What you find as evidence, is actually UPG. More is being done every day, but as long as that evidence is "Drop a Name" says that he had an out of body experience and don't you think that means that there has to be an afterlife? That "evidence" is not proof.

"Drop a Name" can believe whatever he wants to believe, based upon his experiences and I don't say that he is wrong - for him. He might truly believe he had the experience he says he had. That of course doesn't mean he did. Other people can prefer to believe "Drop a Name" has experienced something and it confirms for them what they believe. That still doesn't make it more than a hypothesis without scientific evidence.

I don't doubt that you sincerely believe all the things you say. I just don't see any proof for it. The "well known fact" that some people are better at magic than others? No one has actually proven that magic works.

Ed. to add: I respect that you and Dot have had experiences and you base your beliefs upon them. So do I. I also believe magic works - not anyone else's variety of magic, just my own - based upon my experiences. I also believe that the gods will help me out, but again, that is just based upon my own experiences. I have no proof of my UPGs and I don't ask anyone to change their beliefs because of my UPGs.

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

Post by P_Synthesis on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:03 am

What you find as evidence, is actually UPG.

Before we go on with that: how much of the evidence that I'm talking about (I mean the lab evidence and databases) are you actually personally familiar with?

If someone is going to comment about the evidential record on something, it's quite important they are familiar with that record. As far as after-death survival, there is starting to be some evidence (not anecdotal) -- not conclusive yet, by any means, but certainly not nothing.

Did you follow the link I put at the end of my last post for example? It is not anecdotal 'UPG'. It's on a scientific, skeptical website called skeptiko. Are you familiar with that research?

You also did not answer my point that anyone who likes can have an OBE these days. It is up to them what they make of what happens -- naturally. But I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that OBE is merely a belief, after they have had one. (The same goes for use of certain systems of 'energy', as I posted in the energy work section.) Since pretty much anyone can have one, that's no longer straightforwardly 'unverifiable'.

The "well known fact" that some people are better at magic than others? No one has actually proven that magic works.

I wouldn't disagree! But this doesn't affect my argument; I'm not using my own belief system to argue here, I'm using yours.

You yourself say that magic is energy and will, that magic exists, and you yourself say that a goal in your personal life's practice is to harmonize mind, body and spirit. That's not me talking -- that's you talking! But no-one has 'proven' these things to be true either.

What I'm saying is that, only in my opinion, certain things follow from those beliefs of yours, namely that (for example) someone who improves the strength of their will or the harmony of their mind/body/spirit system will become more effective at magic, and that this constitutes a way of self-improvement.

And what I'm also saying is, I find it interesting that you don't agree with this. Are you saying that you think someone who strengthened their will or harmonized their mind/body/spirit would not improve at magic in your opinion or experience? Because in my experience they certainly would, no matter what system of magic they employed. I don't say that I'm 'right', I simply say that it's interesting if we disagree there. Since you already believe there is a mind/body/spirit system, proof is irrelevant to you personally -- of course others might not believe this, but I'm just speaking about your own personal belief in it.

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

Post by gillyflower on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:26 am

Yes, I read it. It isn't proof. It is enough personal proof to convince the person but it isn't evidence that what he concludes went on, does happen. There are plenty of unexplained things that happen, and sometimes people make conclusions about them that are later proven wrong.

I started a new thread on OBE. I had one. I didn't reach the same conclusions you did from mine.

My goodness, PS! You are taking my personal beliefs and extrapolating to something I do not mean at all! I do lots of things that I believe help my well-being but then when I stop doing them I keep right on with my well-being so does that mean those things are helpful or not?

I don't know if someone who improves their strength of will improve their life with magic, or an improved strength of will just helps a person get the things into their life that improves it, no magic involved. There is no proof, again, that magic (and how do you define that?) worked to change things, yes or no, or that someone is better at magic than another person, from something like that.


Also: I would like for you to define what you mean by harmonizing "mind/body/spirit" because I have a feeling that we are not talking about the same thing. That is the newest New Age section header did you know that? Yes, Wiccans (at least in my tradition) want all the parts working because this is our lives, here on this world, and we are very focused on living this life to the fullest, enjoying it as much as possible and laughing every day and celebrating life until we move on to something else, whatever it might be.

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