What is New Thought?
Reprinted from International New Thought Alliance Bulletin # 4,
December 15, 1916
Many inquiries are received at the headquarters asking the question, "What is New Thought?" New Thought believes in the good. The motto of the old Crusaders was "God with us." The motto of the New Thought is "God in us." The consciousness of the divinity at the heart of things gives life a new meaning. If man is made in the image of God, he partakes of the divine nature. God is love, God is health, God is abundance, God is Joy, God is peace, God is illuminated intelligence, God is from everlasting to everlasting, in the eternal here and now; and man, who is the child of God, made in His image, partakes of all these things. This is the New Thought - the New Thought of God. God is not alien; He is the one life and we are in that one life. All the good belongs to us. It is our divine inheritance.
"New Thought" is not a name or expression used to designate any fixed system of thought, philosophy, or religion, but the term itself conveys the idea of a growing or developing thought. When New Thought is molded and formed into a system, it ceases to be NEW Thought. Truth is not susceptible of monopoly or being made into a system. It can not be encompassed by institution, but its living Spirit is present in every manifested form and object of nature.
The New Thought practices in the twentieth century what Jesus taught and practiced in the first century. He taught healing - it practices healing. He said "Judge not that ye not be judged" - it discourages condemnation and sees the good in others. He admonishes us to take no anxious thought for the morrow - it practices the divine supply. He taught faith - it makes faith the central principle of its theory and practice. He taught love and brotherhood - it is demonstrating unity and cooperation. The New Thought is the Christ thought made new by being applied and proved in every-day affairs.
The New Thought is positive. It would overcome sickness by health, error by truth, anger by love, evil by good. The things of God are all positive, for any negation is lack of God.
The New Thought is constructive. It is a philosophy of optimism. Jesus said, "I come not to destroy, but to fulfill," - not to tear down, but to build up. New Thought is the recognition, realization, and manifestation of God in man.
Life is organic. The life principle is always manifested thru harmonious cooperation of different cells and organs. A movement that is vital must have the same harmonious cooperation between individuals that compose it. True organization is the very opposite of crystallization, for crystallization means death, while organization of the right kind means life and life more abundant.
Organization in no wise limits individuality, but rather supplements and completes it. There are certain things that many, working together, can do better than the same individuals can do working alone. Team-play is the keynote of this age - the most vital and progressive age in history.
An organization does not believe and therefore should not dictate the belief of its members. Only individuals believe. Each man has his own creed. The very word is from "credo" which is a singular verb in the first person, meaning "I believe. " True organization has no right to interfere with this most sacred prerogative of the human soul. It is the divine right of each individual to believe what he pleases. As a man's home is his castle, so his conviction is sacred and belongs to a realm that society has no business to invade. With belief, organization has nothing to do, although the beliefs of its members have everything to do with organization, for they constitute its soul. In the true sense, individuals should have more liberty in cooperation and correlation than when working at divergent and cross purposes, without being rightly related each to the other. For what is liberty but the freedom to fill ones' own part in the divine scheme, and how can we best fulfill this part except as we work in harmony with others who are filling their parts?
Organizations are created to do things which can better be done by working together than by working singly. It is on these lines that the International New Thought Alliance is proceeding. It is merely a band of individual centers and individual teachers and followers working together in freedom for one common purpose, and this purpose is to carry the Truth message and the healing message to all who are ready to receive.
According to the Constitution of the International New Thought Alliance its purpose is:
"To spread the knowledge of the infinitude of the Supreme One, the divinity of man and his infinite possibilities, through the creative power of constructive thinking and in obedience to the edicts of the Indwelling Presence which is our source of inspirational power, health, and prosperity, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ."