New Thought



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New Thought Basics

The New Thought movement is an umbrella term for diverse beliefs that emphasize practically oriented spirituality promoting wholeness in living through constructive thinking, meditation, prayer and the realization of the presence of God. New Thought, which is more than a century old, includes Unity, Religious Science (Science of Mind), Divine Science, and other groups.

Because it maintains that the mind is continually growing, New Thought is not a static system of beliefs. While it acknowledges the importance of traditional religious thought as a part of the mind’s development, it finds the permanence of dogma to be contradictory to the mind’s natural striving for advancement. This perpetual development of the mind is often called progressive or unfolding thought.

New Thought practitioners believe there exists one God—an omnipresent Universal Mind or creative intelligence. It is a principle (not a being), an impersonal force that manifests itself personally, perfectly, and equally within all. The universe and all within it are expressions of God--the creative intelligence--with no beginning and no end.

There are no particular incarnations, as God is within all equally. Some believe Jesus exemplified a person who fully realized his divine nature, and therefore is the "wayshower."

New Thought practitioners reject the ideas of original sin, Satan, and evil. "Mistakes" and suffering result from ignorance of one's true nature as Perfect Mind and Love, which is God. Salvation lies in the realization of oneness with the impersonal life force, thus unlocking one's healing potential.

New Thought worship is syncretic. In the spirit of the American transcendentalists, who influenced early New Thinkers, most "churches" borrow freely from Eastern religions.

Most believe that spiritual awareness of God's omnipresence--that God is all and all are God--leads to personal and humanity's salvation. One can be healed through New Thought practices, often with the assistance of New Thought practitioners. Licensed practitioners offer counsel on spiritual healing for problems of the mind and body.

Some New Thought practitioners believe the individual soul merges with the universal spirit after death. Others believe in continual rebirth as a gift from God so that all may become immortal, as was Jesus Christ, with each lifetime a preparation for the next life, until perfection is reached.