HOW DID WE GET SO FAR AWAY?
Due to doing some research for the INTA Archives I have been spending time amongst the writing of our early founders and find an anomaly. What is being taught now and what was the real teaching then is quite, quite different. And not for the better!
Some may argue that we have to move with the times. Are the teachings of Jesus irrelevant today, or those of the Buddha or Mohamed? When we try to change or re-interpret is when we get into trouble. We split into factions and end up warring with each other.
It would be a pity if New Thought ended up that way. For already we have one split and the church organizations several each!
So what did they teach then? "In the beginning" there were many disciplines in the early 1800's. Experiments with such as manipulations, psychotherapy, and mesmerism. You can read all about them in Warren Felt Evans Mental Cure and Mental Medicine published in 1869 and 1872. He had been experimenting with these for the previous 25 years and lists all of his sources many times, mentioning Quimby only once in passing, as there were many doing as he was but he had the better reputation for success.
So what came out of all of this? Evans was the most prolific in putting down in books his findings, whether he had success or not. He was primarily influenced all his adult life by Swedenborg. So he had a firm spiritual background for his leanings. After ceasing to be a Methodist minister he moved over to The New Jerusalem Church and remained there. Also he moved his clinic, where he had been doing his research, to Richmond.
In downloading one of his books from the Internet I discovered many more, and one of them made me sit down and read it before the others. Some of you may have it in your library. If you do I suggest you pull it out and MAKE time to sit down and ponder on its message.
The title is "A History of the New
Thought Movement" by Horatio Dresser - sound familiar, but I bet you
have not read it recently because it is old fashioned, PUBLISHED IN
1919, AND NOT RELEVANT TO THE PRESENT AGE!!!!
BUT just look at this excerpt
Chapter 10 - The International New Thought Alliance
"Looking at the world as it is today, it grows ever plainer to us that Christianity has not failed --real Christianity, but that people have failed to be Christians. I use the term 'Christian' as one who is a follower of the Christ. He commanded that we should heal the sick, but we have not healed the sick for nineteen hundred years; and, when a cult arose in our own time, who began practising this, His most oft-repeated commandment, they were placed beyond the pale of the Church. He commanded us not to lay up for ourselves treasures upon earth, yet in this age and in the lands called by His name, we have the most colossal fortunes the world has ever known. He commanded us not to pray in public to be heard of men, but to pray to the Father in secret, and yet the sects continue to pray to be heard of men. He commanded us to avoid lip service. He said unto those who call Lord, Lord, that he would not know them. He fixed this standard as the mark of His followers: those who kept His commandments. Yet we have called Lord, Lord, throughout the ages and have not kept His commandments. A house divided against itself cannot stand. We Christians must become all for Christ or all for anti-Christ. For nineteen hundred years we have temporized between the two until anti-Christ arose and smote us in this present world-tragedy (note: this refers to WWI).
"I do not say these things in the way
of criticism. I say them because they appear the profound truth. We have
learned in this age that we get what we give, that there is no power over
us that rules us to ends other than those we have shaped; that the things
that have come into the world, that have manifested, are the results of
the thoughts of the people in the world. This world war is the result of
years and even centuries of fear, hatred, race antagonism and like
negative things that people have held in their thoughts; and we shall have
to work out of these things by changing our thoughts. There will be a new
heaven and a new earth whenever there is a new thought of heaven and earth in the minds of men, and
not before. That is the reason for the New Thought movement.
"I am asked often: What is the relation of this movement to the Church? What is its relation to the other new movements of the day?. I am going to answer these questions as far as I may with utter frankness.
"This is not a new religion. It is not an institution seeking to build itself up for the mere sake of the institution. We do not ask anybody to leave the Church--far from it. We have members of the Alliance, of the New Thought centres, that are members of churches and of no church. We ask them to become better members of their churches than before. The New Thought is designed to make people better and more efficient in whatever relation of life they may find themselves--if a man is a teacher, a soldier, or an accountant, to make him a better teacher, soldier, or accountant. It teaches him to depend upon his own inner powers. In his domestic relations, it makes him kindlier. If he is an American, it renders him a better American. It teaches him to fulfill the place he is given (whatever that place may be) to the utmost of his powers and without fear, knowing that he has nothing of which to be afraid and that within him are untapped levels of energy upon which he may call. In other words: 'New Thought teaches men and women only the old common-sense doctrine of self-reliance, and belief in the integrity of the universe and of one's own soul. It dignifies and ennobles manhood and womanhood.'
"But the main idea on which Christianity was founded is that of communion with God, that of worshipping God in spirit and in Truth. This is the very cornerstone of these modern movements that recognize men and women as the living temples of the God within. This thought has triumphed over all the centuries and over all the mistakes of the followers of the Nazarene -those who have called themselves by His name -- until the Christian faith is the greatest upon the earth. And I predict that this new interpretation and new understanding will become universal in the new age that is now dawning; for, after all, as I see it, the New Thought is but the Christ Thought -- without forms or ceremonies, without any appeal to religious prejudice or to tradition, but in the common-sense way of everyday living and application. It is the realization in practical affairs of the teachings not only of the Nazarene, but of every other great religious teacher since the world began; for in their essence these teachings are fundamentally alike; and the New Thought and other new spiritual movements are but the efforts to apply, in our relations one with another, these simple and sublime truths.
"Do not neglect the spiritual message that is coming to men everywhere. Woe be it to him that receives and does not heed. I am a busy man, as you have been told, but I have never been so busy that I could not find some time to devote to this work of my soul, work that my soul was called upon to do. Suppose Paul had neglected the heavenly vision--what a difference there would have been in civilization. Suppose Peter had turned back from Rome--think what that would have meant to all the western nations from that day to this! You cannot measure the possible effect of your failure to heed the still small voice. You do not know what seed you may sow, what work of reconstruction you can carry on.:
Given by Mr. James A. Edgerton,
President, at the 4th INTA
Congress in Boston September, 1918
Why have these high ideals sunk to the bitter divisions of today? The objective of power, big churches, big congregation, money for the mortgage, for the salaries, and cars has to be discarded. All these should have been 'added unto' NOT the major objective of boards and bombarded congregations to give, give, give. What have the New thought 'Churches' given to its people - "a tax allowance on their donations?
We need to stand up for the principles and ideals that our founders stood for - they spread the word of New Thought - a new way of thinking about God - around the world. Groups were highly involved in Europe, Britain, Australia, Africa, and New Zealand, as well as all across the United States and Hawaii, in the aftermath of World War I.
We are now in need of that surge of spiritual life to uphold the nations of the world - To return to 'walking with God'. For God has always been there - who is it that has moved away.
New Thought can lead the way - but not if we cling to worn out buzzwords and phrases of the New Age.
Rev. Joanna Rogers
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