THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW THOUGHT
A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
by Charles Brodie Patterson
[Charles Brodie Patterson was one of the truly great early leaders of New Thought, editor of Mind and of the widely circulated Library of Health. The following is taken from his book What is New Thought? published in 1913.]
THE Religion and Philosophy of New Thought has for its foundation Eternal Law.
Its whole structure rests on the Oneness of Life-- God--Universal Life--Love--Intelligence--in all, through all, and above all.
A realization of the oneness of all life and its forms is the only key that will unlock the mysteries of both visible and invisible worlds.
All forms, whether seen or unseen, are manifest- ations of Love and Wisdom, symbols or expressions of Universal Soul.
One Life moves in all; one Law governs all; God and Man are essentially One.
"We live in God and know it not." This is not a matter of belief, opinion, or speculation, but the Eternal Truth, and he who is able to comprehend it enters into the life and liberty of a son of God.
New Thought, as opposed to Old Thought, takes the ground that the truth regarding life and its laws is not to be found in the study of phenomena, but : rather in Man's inmost consciousness. . . .
The Kingdom of Heaven is now. The Kingdom of God, the source of Power, is potential in every life.
The real quest in man's life is the search after and the discovery of his own Soul--for God lives and moves and breathes in every human being, even though we are all unconscious of it. "The spirit of the Lord hath formed us, the breath of the Almighty hath given us life."
Through Soul Realization, that is, through the use of Love and Wisdom, we come to know more of the Divine Presence.
We can know God or ourselves only as love and wisdom rule and direct us in all our ways, and such knowledge causes us to forego the purely personal will or desire and to enter into and live consciously in the life that is Universal.
"Foregoing self, the Universe grows I."
Only in the spirit of love and wisdom is Divinity realized.
"He called them gods unto whom the word of God came." When the same mind dwells in us that dwelt in Christ, we shall have attained unto the Unity of the Faith; unto the knowledge of a Son of God; unto the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ, having dominion and power over all things.
This to some people may be no more than a dream; to others a far-away vision; but to him who apprehends--who knows--it becomes a glorious reality.
New Thought comes to tell the world of today that God is the Father and Mother of all humanity; that all men and women are brothers and sisters; that only in this Oneness can Eternal Life be realized and death and the grave overcome.
The lowest elemental man and the greatest saint are members one of another; Jesus, the Christ, is our elder brother, brother as much to the so-called sinner as to the saint: all are joint heirs in the love and mercy of God which endureth forever.
Slowly but surely we are coming to understand the wonderful Gospel the Great Master taught two thousand years ago: the Gospel of Peace and Good-will to all; the healing of the sick; the release of the captives; the recovery of sight for the blind; the setting at liberty of the bruised; the preaching of the acceptable year of the Lord--that year is here and now, for today is the acceptable time--today if you will hear His voice, today if you will hear the cry, "Come unto me, all the ends of the earth and be saved"-- saved from every trouble and sorrow of our own making; saved from false desires and pains; saved from the vengeance of an angry man-made God; saved to enter into the very heart of love itself and to dwell in the presence of Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence: to know that God lives in us and that we live in God, and that we have no existence apart from the One.
New Thought stands for the Eternal Newness of Life. Before it every unreality vanishes and every vain imagination passes away and only that which is real and eternal remains.
New Thought teaches that the attitude now held towards sin, disease and death is but partial and incomplete; that evil, as generally understood, has no place in God's plan; that in the unfolding of all the powers and possibilities which have been written into the life of man--as plan--there is always to be found a lawful and orderly sequence.
There are many stages in the development of consciousness through which man passes before disclosing fully the Divine Image and Likeness. At first all seems temporal and fleeting; change follows change in quick succession; form is created in order to be destroyed; death is as real as life; sin abounds as much as righteousness. This however is only the seeming, or at least the partial and incomplete. This is the consciousness wherein man seems to be alone, detached from God and separated from his fellowman, fighting his battle of life, and everything that in any way interferes with his onward march--that march which is to lead him from earth to heaven, from humanity to Divinity--is looked upon as an evil thing: thus forces, men, and things become good or evil according as they aid or interfere with man in his early stages of development.
It is a transitory state but a very necessary one in human development.
New Thought declares that Fear is at the root of all, so-called, Evil: that all sin, sorrow, disease and death have their origin in Fear.
New Thought declares that perfect Love casteth out all Fear: that we have the God-given right, as sons and daughters of the living God, to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
New Thought tells us to love and to live in the Eternal Now, to love and to live like true brothers and sisters, like true sons and daughters of God: to rule all things and to be subject only to the Law of God, the Law of Love, against which there can prevail no other law or laws.
New Thought tells us that to love and to serve is the highest prerogative in the life of man.
New Thought says with the Master: "A new Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another," and teaches that the one who does this has literally entered into the Kingdom of God; has become one consciously with God and man.
To such an one death and the grave have no terrors. He has overcome the world and the things of the world and stands triumphant. He has attained to the fullness of the measure of the Krishna, the Buddha, the Christ.
New Thought is not a church, a cult, or a sect. It recognizes no limitations of any kind, creates no barriers between man and man: it asks no allegiance to creed, form, or personality, and is as much for one race as for another.
It neither judges nor condemns but recognizes God as all in all and declares that throughout the vast Universe His Law of Love rules supreme and that he who lives in the Spirit of Love fulfills the perfect law.
New Thought stands for the Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood of man, teaching that God created man and woman equal in their different spheres of life; that in the eternal Law of Life there is no respect of persons: that there cannot be one law for man and another for woman, but that both are amenable to the same law, that man in his laws should seek to have them conform to the higher Law, so that equal justice and equity should be meted out to all alike.
New Thought teaches that one may acquire knowledge in many ways, through precept, example, experience, but that the ultimate authority of life is that Light which is within each man's own consciousness, that Light which is to enlighten every man who cometh into the world.
New Thought declares that the golden rule, as enunciated by the Founder of Christianity, is a statement of eternal Law: that "whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them;" that we live in a universe of cause and effect, and that "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."
New Thought teaches, as did the Nazarene, that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, but that this power should be carried to its ultimate fulfillment in the healing of the sick.
New Thought teaches that health, happiness and success in life constitute the legitimate birthright of every child of the All-loving Father-Mother God, and that through knowledge of, and conformity to Divine Law, one enters into his real inheritance.
New Thought teaches neither future punishment nor reward other than that the individual rewards or punishes himself as he conforms to or opposes the Laws of Life, either consciously or unconsciously.
New Thought does not come to supersede or to destroy the Christian faith as presented to the world by its Founder. It is not in any way at variance with the spirit of Christianity, but simply seeks to fulfill the vital truths that Jesus taught 2000 years ago. It desires to represent the great fundamental truths that Jesus not only taught but lived, and to show that what is needed today is not so much a theoretical as an applied Christianity: that living the Christ life is not mere conformity to creed or form, but being animated by the same Spirit, and through loving service to one's fellow-men demonstrating outwardly the truth of the inner Spirit.
New Thought recognizes that all people and all their religions are in different stages of growth and evolution, and that every stage in human development being a necessary stage, should be recognized as such; therefore, New Thought does not make war against any religion. It recognizes the absolute right not only of religious bodies but of individuals to work out their Plan of Life according to the knowledge they are in possession of. There can, therefore, be no spirit of judgment, controversy or condemnation of any other body of people, even though they are in apparent opposition to what New Thought teaches.
New Thought recognizes the right of every man to live his own life in accordance with the highest dictates of his own mind and conscience; that where there is truth, there of necessity, must be freedom.
New Thought is man's real Declaration of Independence, his becoming a free man through a knowledge of the truth that always and at all times makes for the true freedom of life.