"What Is New Thought?"
We created this page to help readers understand the fundamentals of New Thought.
New Thought is known by many names: Practical Christianity, Christian Mysticism, the Metaphysical Movement, the Mind-Cure Movement, and so forth. And though it is called New Thought, the philosophy is not new. New Thought as a movement began in the 19th century, but the principles date back to first-century Christianity, plausibly further back to the time of Plato in 430-350 BCE, and arguably further back to Ancient Egypt around 3000 BCE.
Our lineage is extensive, and there are various schools of thought within the movement (as you see in the graphic below.) So we will briefly explain the teaching as it is espoused by our organization, the Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL).
The UFBL defines New Thought as "a wide range of approaches to God, to the world, and to life and its seeming problems." We combine and explore four approaches:
~ Philosophical (metaphysics and idealism)
~ Psychological (mind and behavior)
~ Theological (God and spirituality)
~ Practical (science and significance)
A foundational principle of our teaching is that God is Spirit (John 4:24) - invisible energy, intelligence, and substance that permeates and stands under all creation; and that we (humankind) are unique expressions of that energy, made in Its image and after Its likeness (Genesis 1:27).
We teach there is only ONE Presence in the Universe: God, the Good, the Omnipotent. We teach that everything comes out of God, thus everything is connected to God and is innately good. We teach that everyone is a spiritual being living in a spiritual universe governed by spiritual laws. The only sin (error) is our misunderstanding of this Divine Truth.
New Thought is rooted heavily in mysticism. Mystics believe that since everyone comes out of God everyone has direct access to God. In other words, everyone has their own unique connection to that which we call God, Father/Mother, or Source. You do not need a mediator or anyone's consent, you can go to God for yourself; and you "go to God" by simply becoming aware of your oneness with It (John 10:30). For this very reason, New Thought actually steers clear of naming and defining God for others, as we believe God is a concept and experience that expands as one evolves in their spiritual journey.
"This all sounds too good to be true! Is this real? And where is Jesus in all of this?"
New Thought is an authentic spiritual-philosophical movement that seeks to prove the Principles taught by Jesus and the Teachers who came before and after (Matthew 5:17; John 4:21-23). In the UFBL, we honor Jesus as our Master Teacher and Wayshower, and we study this figure as a way of understanding and attaining the Christ consciousness that dwells within all of us. This is the goal.
Further, this is not too good to be true - this IS the Truth. This is the secret that was buried away and barred from mainstream circles. This is the ancient wisdom that Jesus realized for himself and taught. This is Practical Christianity. This is New Thought.
Notice that we are not telling you to make idols out of anyone, or confess your "sins," or make a voyage to another land. We are simply encouraging you to accept your identity as a spiritual being and expand your consciousness to all the God/good that is you.
Lastly, New Thought is non-denominational, but the UFBL is Bible-based, i.e. New Thought Christians. We use the Bible, not as a weapon, but as a tool for spiritual enhancement. We interpret the Bible allegorically, which allows us to go beyond the literal and relate the spiritual Truths of those stories to our lives today. This approach has added exciting new layers to this text and has empowered people of all faiths and of all walks to want to learn more about their divinity.
To learn more, enroll in our upcoming Basic Truth Principles I course today. We look forward to seeing you in class!
Image Source: Center for Spiritual Living in Daytona Beach, Florida (website)