New Thoughts

What is New Thought?

January 25, 2019 David Alexander Season 1 Episode 1
New Thoughts
What is New Thought?
Chapters
New Thoughts
What is New Thought?
Jan 25, 2019 Season 1 Episode 1
David Alexander

Everything has to have a beginning and every beginning has to start somewhere.  Here in our first episode, we start with a conversation about what is New Thought.  You don't need to know anything about the movement of New Thought or its organizations to gain value from or follow this podcast - our hope is to create a common ground of exploration on the intersection of New Thought principles and their application to everyday topics and social dynamics.

Support the show (https://secure.squarespace.com/checkout/donate?donatePageId=5c4eb3e5b8a04550fea577bf)

Show Notes Transcript

Everything has to have a beginning and every beginning has to start somewhere.  Here in our first episode, we start with a conversation about what is New Thought.  You don't need to know anything about the movement of New Thought or its organizations to gain value from or follow this podcast - our hope is to create a common ground of exploration on the intersection of New Thought principles and their application to everyday topics and social dynamics.

Support the show (https://secure.squarespace.com/checkout/donate?donatePageId=5c4eb3e5b8a04550fea577bf)

Speaker 1:

Hello my friends, welcome to new thoughts, a podcast with David Alexander. I am David Alexander, your host for this new project that I am launching a podcast called new thoughts where we hope to have a wonderful, enriched conversations on a variety of topics. And when I say a variety, I mean a variety. I've been asking my friends and colleagues, what would you, what would you like to hear me talk about and be in dialogue with others, not gonna be just me talking, but in conversation with people about, uh, and man, we've got the bucket list from politics to world affairs and events to relationships and the dynamics of relationships to a social justice issues and of course spirituality, new thought principles. So it's all included and it's all going to be happening right here on this podcast. I'm so excited that you're joining me. This is episode one and we're not just going to be having those conversations, uh, but doing so through the Lens of new thoughts, theology, new thought, philosophy, new thought consciousness. And so I want to spend time today talking about what we mean when we say new thought because it actually can mean a lot of different things and I want to create a framework that will help the rest of our conversations going forward to understand what it is that we're trying to, uh, to do here in terms of looking at the intersection between a philosophical way of viewing the world and then the topics themselves. Uh, but first, let me just say that, do you can find out more about this podcast and myself at Reverend David Alexander Dot Com. And, uh, you can always find my Sunday messages, either live on facebook at new thought center for spiritual living or through our website, new thought, CSL dot o r, g. So let's get started here and begin to explore what it is we are saying. When we say new thought, I'm going to guess because you're listening to this, that however you found me, first of all, I'm delighted that you have and please share this with your friends. And however you found me, you know, something about new thought as a, as a movement, as a spiritual movement, maybe it's through a branch of, of its associated churches called centers for spiritual living, or maybe it's sister a organization, the Unity Movement, unity, churches, unity, uh, centers, or maybe it's some other, um, a wider version of new thought or you might not be associated with any of those things. And everything that I just said might be brand new terms you. And here's what I want you to know. All of that is okay. You don't need to know the lingo. You don't need to be a religious scientist to, you don't need to be a new thought or a unity person or an a gap, a person, a. You simply need to be a curious person really about consciousness, about how our mind works and how that mind and that consciousness becomes the filter through which we experience the entire rest of the world. And so that's really what I mean when I'm talking about new thought. Yes, there's a movement and I it to be considered consider myself somewhat of a scholar on its history, so I imagine through your questions and, uh, through your feedback, we may spend some time talking about that history a little bit. I'm happy to do that. It's one of my favorite, favorite subjects. Uh, so please don't shy from asking questions, which by the way, you can do through the podcast site a or through the facebook new thoughts podcast on facebook or email me personally, rev, [email protected] Email me any question you have or topic that you want to explore or feedback about this or any future episodes, but when I say new thought, I want to broaden it out to the, to the most generic basic idea so that we can capture a wide range of people in our audience. There may be people out there listening who again are either not religiously affiliated with anything, uh, but they're curious about philosophy and science and consciousness, or you might be affiliated with a more traditional movement. I have a lot of interfaith friends and uh, the UCC, United Church of Christ, uh, or other liberal branches of Christianity or pentecostals or who knows it might be widely, and I hope over time that the listenership of this gets really, really broad. So when I say new thought, what I'm really talking about is a framework of thinking or a framework of, of consciousness. Everything that we see and everything that we try to have conversation about comes through a lens called our consciousness. It comes through a filter. You can't think about anything without the way you think about that being filtered through the consciousness that you have. Does that make sense? Let me say that again. You can't think about anything without it coming through the consciousness that you have. It acts like a screen or a filter and so what new thought is both as a movement, as a religious, spiritual and philosophical movement, but also as just a way of kind of approaching the world. It is an to examine that filter. It is an attempt to say, well, what is that consciousness framework? What is that lens through which all things come and does that consciousness have rules or behaviors or ways or laws, quote unquote, or principles by which it operates. And if it does, then can we study those things and through the study of those things, get to know more about ourselves and how we can, um, manipulate or influence the world around us for a greater good. Okay? So consciousness. Here's, here's how I want us to, to frame this concept of new thought. Consciousness is everything. That's the only thing you have to remember. My friend and mentor, Dr Harry Morgan, Moses would say, c, I e baby c I e consciousness is everything. Just remember that. See I eat, I want you to tattoo that in the, in the front of your brain, right? Don't, don't actually attend to it. Uh, I mean, unless you are looking for a new tattoo, then go ahead. Consciousness is everything, right? That is to say that, that, uh, we, you and I have consciousness. We are conscious beings. And that consciousness is both the filter through which we experience the world and also the filter through which whatever we, uh, uh, internally have going on for us. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, how those things then get pushed out into expression. Okay? So it's consciousness is everything. So if we can study consciousness, if we can know how consciousness works, if we can know what the laws and the principles are, then we can better understand ourselves better, understand the world that we are living in and, and interacting with. The other thing about this, this notion, consciousness is everything is the second part of it, right? Is Everything. Consciousness is all that there is. There's nothing else. Everything else is made up or articulated out of that consciousness, out of, out of the attempt of that consciousness, which is all that there is in the world, that consciousness then attempts to know itself to and to articulate and express itself, uh, in, in a myriad of nuances and, and fascinating ways. And so our consciousness both affects and infects everything. Not just some things, not just the things we like, right? We tend, most of us know some basic elements of new thought with, again, whether we ascribe to new thought a principles as a movement or as a spiritual philosophy as a way of thinking a or whether we don't, right? Um, so you, you, you've heard, you know, your attitude determines your altitude. You've heard about positive thinking, uh, that, that as you think about positive things, you feel better. It creates endorphins in your mind that as you have a positive or faith based attitude, you get better results in your relationships, in your prayer life and your finances. What have you, basic, uh, ideas of both positive psychology and philosophy, right? So those ideas are, are today somewhat ubiquitous, uh, in our, particularly in our western culture. And they stem out of this movement that we call a new thought. And right now what's important to focus on about that is this notion that, that, that consciousness again runs through everything. Not just some things, but everything. It'd be quite different if we said consciousness is something. Consciousness is almost everything, right? Consciousness influences the things we like when it works the way we want it to work. No, let's see. That's not it. It's actually a consciousness is everything that means it's still working. When we don't like the results, it's still working. When the world is showing up in a way that we don't like or we are, we don't care for or we think is discriminatory or a prejudicial or or oppressive or a negative or tragic or any other myriad of of thoughts and feelings and emotions. Consciousness is working there too, and so this creates a level playing field to say, let's examine how our thinking influences the world around us influences our own individual lives and how we can begin to grapple with some tools and some some ways of applying our consciousness that can have a positive impact. Right? Everybody still with me, that's the basic premise. When I say looking at everything through a new thought Lens, I'm saying, look at everything through a consciousness lens. Ernest Holmes, one of the the founders of one of the larger new thought movement. It's called a religious science or centers for spiritual living. Wrote a wonderful book, really cool cat, if you don't know who he is, Google him looking up. Ernest Holmes, h o l m e s a. he's the spiritual leader of the movement I belonged to. And uh, I'm a pastor of and spiritual leader of in a lake. Oswego, Oregon, new thought center for spiritual living. We invite you to come celebrate in community with us. You don't have a faith community and you're in the greater Portland area. Check us out online. New Thought, CSL.org. You can watch our sermons and our podcasts. They're on facebook anytime you like, no matter where you are. So I belong to this organization called centers for spiritual living. It's founded by this really cool hip cat who had an amazing mind and ability to absorb a philosophies and religions and major chunks of thinking from almost every sector and, and synthesize them into something tangible and readable to, to his audience, which was a very intellectual high society audience in Los Angeles in the 19 twenties and has grown into a larger spiritual movement from that point. So this guy, Ernest Holmes would say that what I'm talking about here is the study of first cause the study of first cost consciousness is the study of first cost new thought or religious science or the science of mind philosophy. All somewhat interchangeable terms here, um, is this study of first cost. It's the study of that original consciousness that birthed all things as Paul Tillich would describe it, that which is the ground of all being. That's what Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich called God. And I love that idea. The ground of all being not coming from above and coming down and it's expression, uh, but rather being the ground, the basis, the foundation from which everything else comes. So if you're not a particularly spiritual person, replaced God with whatever you want to replace it with the infinite intelligence of the universe, the energy that, that is invisible that vibrates in is that frequency between old things. There's a divine intelligence in the universe that is the ground of all being. It's the source from which everything has come and it is the source back to which everything is returning. Energy doesn't die. You and I have temporal experiences as human bodies, uh, just as a flower has a temporal experience as a blossom, as a bud and blossom when the flower dies, the energy is released from that flower. It goes back into the universe, uh, and, and, and, and the energy is used again. So I'm getting a little bit into some basic principles of the new thought movement. Uh, but, but I want to start and pause here for just a moment and, and, and recapture what we're saying here. When we're saying new thought, we're talking about first cause consciousness, that consciousness is everything. Another that I like to say it is that Ernest Holmes would describe it as the thing itself, right? This thing I'm talking about, this consciousness, this divine intelligence is the thing itself and his classic work, the science of mind. And one of the first chapter is the thing itself. I spoke on this and the first Sunday in January 20, 19, I invite you to go back and find that a sermon online. If you, if you're so inclined, I'll put a link to it. Um, and so this thing is, the thing itself is that ground of being that thing from which all things come, God is our relationship with the thing itself. Now that I said Ernest Holmes and say that, that's me, that's David Alexander, a David Alexander quote, which you can find a on my instagram page. God is your relationship with the thing itself. Now, what I mean by that is whatever you conceive God to be, God can't be anything other than what you conceive it to be. Why? Because your consciousness is the filter through which you experience the world. Your consciousness is the, is the entry point through which the understanding that you have about the world around you comes. And so now I would say God, like, Oh, like our Jewish brothers and sisters would say, we can't even say the word of God, right? As y'all way we have to that, that, that, uh, it's not even pronounceable because it is bigger than our own definition. It's bigger than any word or label we can put to it. And I really agree with that sentiment. God is bigger than any definition that I can give it, but the definition that I do give, it has to come through the filter of my consciousness and so it turns out that however I articulate and describe what God is, God can't be anything other than what I can conceive it to be. Now, in ultimate reality has gotten bigger than that. Of course God is bigger than my conception of it, but not to me. To me, it's only what I can conceive it to be and to you, it's only what you can conceive it to be and to a particular group of people who are a Christian identified or Buddhist identified or a pentecostal or new thought or Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or whatever, to each group of people, it is good. The thing itself is indirect proportion or relationship to their conception of it.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

Let that sink in for just a moment. Isn't that cool? It kind of changes everything. We tend to think that God is out there and that God is this static thing because the Bible says so, or because our parents or our religion of our upbringing has said so, but really it can't be anything other than your mental concept. Uh, and so you have the opportunity to reframe what God is for you. All right? So that's the basic premise, uh, that, that, that we're gonna look at everything through. Now I want to get a little bit more specific about what is new thought in terms of principles and ideas. Uh, these would be. I'm going to try to articulate these in a way that are pretty universal and a clickable, whether you are identified with the movement of Unity Charles and Myrtle fillmore and the 18 nineties at, uh, uh, Kansas City or the religious science movement, Ernest Holmes, um, which is, uh, an outgrowth of, uh, and, and well, there's some distinctions there. The divine science movement that came before it, a Christian science which came before both it and unity and many, many other new thought groups. The a gap, a movement in Los Angeles with my friend Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith, and lots of different other expressions of a new thought. So regardless of which form you might identify with, or you might just think of yourself as a conscious awakening, spiritual being without any particular religious identification that counts as new thought to absolutely those who identify as spiritual but not religious, that counts as new thought to. Alright, so we're casting a really wide net and when I give that wide net a little bit of parameters in terms of the movements of new thought, new thought, fundamentally, uh, uh, for things that are fundamental to the theological, philosophical and spiritual idea of what holds together this movement called new thought. Number one, it's a teaching of spiritual evolution that is a teachers. That spirit, uh, is that intelligence, that ground of all being and that it's always evolving. It's always expanding. We never know the fullness of what spirit is because we're always growing. Our definitions are always growing and expanding. And so it is a teaching fundamentally of spiritual evolution that believes in the, in the, uh, evolution in continuity. And expanding nature of spirit. Alright, number two, new thought theology or philosophy is a teaching of spiritual liberation. So one spiritual evolution to spiritual liberation. That is that a fundamental to the concepts of new thought is this idea of wholeness, that you are a. because consciousness is all there is because, uh, if you will, God is all that there is than all that you are, is that God consciousness. What else could you be? There's nothing else from what you do to, to be created from right. As I said on this past Sunday, uh, was speaking about this. And I said, look, you know, when God created God didn't go, there's, there's no creation story in any religious tradition that says, and then God created and he went or, or it went. She went the intelligence of the universe. God went to the bucket of otherness and created you, right? You're not separate. God is all. There is the. So the only thing that you can be is that which God is that in and of itself as a liberating thought, right? It's a thought of fundamentally a freedom and a so new thought. Teaching fundamentally is a teaching of freedom. It teaches people how to break free from their own doubts, their own fears, their own limitations, to examine how their consciousness through their belief structures that are structures of knowing might be blocking their path of good and how to remove those blocks and get free. All right, so it's a spiritual liberation teaching a three. It's a teaching of radical oneness, and you may have heard that already implied in some of the things that I've been a saying. It's a teaching of radical oneness. God is all there is, there is not God and not God, and the devil is not God's and some other power it's working against is not God fighting a darkness of any kind. If you were to stand in a dark room right now, turn out all the lights. It have darkness surrounding you. Assuming it's dusk, early morning, uh, or, or in the middle of the night, right? But the moment that you lit a candle, right, the moment you turn on a flashlight, the darkness dissipates in direct proportion to the light that you bring. In other words, the darkness doesn't have a choice. And that tells us at the darkness does, doesn't battle your candle. The darkness doesn't fight against the flashlight. The darkness doesn't fight against the light switch and the, and the electricity moving through the lamps, uh, in, in your room. The darkness doesn't say, well, we were here first. We were here longer. We're bigger. We have a different intention than your light. And so here's this battle. No. Once you light a candle, once you flip a switch, you turn on a flashlight. Light is reality. Light is the truth. Darkness is the absence of that light. And so it's a real experience. You and I can experience darkness, but darkness cannot prevail over the presence of light. It's the absence of light. So it's a teaching of radical oneness. It's a teaching that says God is all there is in that, that God is light. All of our experiences or theologies and philosophies and ways of thinking about the world that involve polarity, right? Light and dark, a good and bad, uh, you know, good and evil, etc. Those are human constructs. Remember, go back To the first principle. Consciousness is all that. There is. We filter everything through our consciousness and in this three dimensional world that you and I live in as human beings, we experience light and dark. We experience quote unquote good or things that we like and quote unquote evil or things that we don't like, the experiences that we'd rather not repeat experiences we don't want to inflict on other people or don't want inflicted upon us. Things that hurt, things that cause harm. We experienced this polarity. Those expeRiences are real, but they're not the truth. Oh, if I, if I had my bell on my pulpit, if I could say amen. Come on, shout somebody. Amen. Our experiences are real, but they're just not the truth. The truth is a universe. Uni you. Nah, you unified one singular one verse one verse, one song, one fundamental harmony. Ernest holmes would say that the first law of the universe is the law of harmony, right? There's one thing happening here and it's a harmony that is running through everything you and I have experiences that don't always match up with that, but that's why we want to be here. Having this conversation, steadying what consciousness is. All right? So a teaching of spiritual evolution, a teaching of spiritual liberation, a teaching of radical oneness, and a, it is a teaching of personal application and responsibility, which is to say you are the place that where you are the confluence or the, the, the place of a divine merging where this universal idea of consciousness comes into an individuated expression called you and it works through you. So you're responsible for your own consciousness and therefore your own experience. All right. Those are the four fundamental things that I want us to understand about new thought as a, as we go forward. And I think I'm going to stop there. There's a lot more that I can say about the movement of new thought and I'm going to save that for episode two. We're going to talk about, uh, the mind care movement, the transcendentalist movement, the progressive christian movement, the perennial philosophies of the ages, how these things all came together in a really amazing way in the 18 hundreds in America to give birth to this thing called a new thought. But for now, my friends. Let's let all of that digest in us. I hope you grabbed something new out of that. I hope you will share this podCast with a friend on your social media platforms. Help spread the word. Again, you don't have to be identified as a new thought person, not to get something out of this. Please respond. Comment on the facebook page, on the podcast page, wherever you can. let me know what you, what you like, what you want to hear more of, what you want to hear less of. I'm very soon I'll make iT a start planning sessions and interviewing my friends and having dialogue so it won't just be my voice for 30 minutes or however long we've been together, but it's going to be a host of different voices as we do this. And, uh, so look forWard to that and my friends, you know, who you are, would to be calling you soon. Uh, all right, that's it for now. Check me [email protected] Uh, and look for the new thoughts podcast with David Alexander. Bye for now. My friends.