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Abel Leighton Allen was one of the early pioneers of the exploration of New Thought.
He answered the call to examine New Thought and explore its principles and premises.
The first principle being to simply understand the phrase
"New Thought." In the Foreword to his book, Abel points out that "people are constantly asking three questions: What is New Thought? Wherein does it differ from the orthodox religions? What is the line of divergence between New Thought and Christian Science?"
Links to Abel Allen's Works:
Message of New Thought
- page by page format for writers and researchers etc.. with page scans and citation links.
Abel Allen wrote Message of New Thought over 100 years ago, yet the above questions are being echoed due to the confusion generated by Alpertism and its adherents seeking to reduce New Thought to a new form of Christian Science that does not include Mary Baker Eddy. There are many forms of New Thought which are not rooted in Abrahamic thought. These New Thought forms, like all of New Thought, are inclusive in the sense they acknowledge the insights found in the various world religions and respect all compassionate spiritual paths. In fact, the largest New Thought "transdenomination" today is Seicho No Ie which evolved out of Japan with roots in Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual teachings. Seicho No Ie is the most successful New Thought form today. Siecho No Ie did not evolve out of Middle Eastern thought and is not rooted in one of the four Abrahamic forms.
In addition to Seicho No Ie, there are New Millennial forms of New Thought such as DivineUnity which, while inclusive, do not lay claim to an Abrahamic foundation.
This is not to say that every old New Thought form which claims an Abrahamic foundation is wrong. It is simply odd that they would lay claim to any foundation other than truth. But perhaps they are simply afraid. There is a lot of superstition within the various forms of Abrahamism. Some Abrahmics are deeply afraid of "the end of the world." Other Abrahamics are afraid of "God's wrath". Still others believe in a God of Dominance who demands "submssion". And history reveals that Abrahamics have been murdering adherents to other Abrahamic forms for over 1000 years.
There are alternatives within the overall spectrum of New Thought.
Abel goes on to point out that "the word 'New' should be duly and freely emphasized, because the expression 'New Thought' relates only to what is new and progressive." This is a powerful understanding that causes those folks who are opposed to positive progress to quake and shake in their boots. Abel Allen's second paragraph aptly sums up an important aspect of New Thought: "It would be a misuse of terms to apply the expression 'New Thought' to a system of thought, because when thought is molded and formed into a system, it ceases to be new. When a system of thought has reached maturity and ceases to grow, expand, and develop, it can no longer be defined by the word 'New.' It follows, therefore, as a necessary conclusion, that no system of new thought, or no system of thought defined by that expression, now exists or ever can exist. 'New Thought' is the result or creation of perpetually advancing mind."
The history of New Thought is different from the folklore that some New Thought adherents would like to substitute for the actual evolution of this New Spiritual Path. The reality of New Thought today is vastly different and greater than the tiny world that the Alpertists or Christian Scientists can ever encompass. This is because one cannot perambulate thought. Of course, the world is quite familiar with the challenge of today presented by those who seek to restrict freedom of thought and expression. The 21st Century bears witness to absurd attacks on cartoonists, newspapers and media outlets by those who seek to impose limits on the Divine.
New Thought cannot be defined as a simple Abrahamic heresy. New Thought cannot be confined to an interfaith vehicle or a "mono-religion." Just as biological monocultures within nature only occur through artificial imposition and when created, invariably result in weakness and vulnerability, monocultures in thought, culture or spirituality will create weakness and vulnerability. What unites New Thought adherents today are principles. The first New Thought principle is "as our thinking changes, our actions change and thus our lives change." This is a simple principle, that has generated both hope and fear for thousands of years. There are those who would prefer that things do not change and there are those who prefer that they do. At the onset of the New Millennium, there were 6.18 billion humans on the planet called Earth or Terra.
An early 21st Century institution, The World Bank, had a slogan, "Our dream is a world free of poverty," Things certainly appear to be better for more people today than a century ago. We can clearly observe that progress toward peace, prosperity and a better life for all is predicated on the power of Human Rights. In the second decade of the 21st Century, computers opened the door for humanity to analyze data that previously could not be aggregated and thereby yield insights. An essential insight of this time came through the work of Thomas Picketty who was able to prove Thomas Jefferson's statement that a well educated populace is essential to a functioning democracy and to extend this to understanding that this also applies to the creation and maintenance of a healthy economy. This understanding accompanied by the insights brought by the 2008 Bush depression gave a clear mandate as to the importance of regulation with regards to financial instruments and services. Although this was understood by Roosevelt when dealing with the 1930 Coolidge / Hoover depression, the lesson had clearly not been learned by American politicians of the late 20th Century who were led by Phil Gramm in a festival of deregulation which led to the 2008 Bush depression.
Repetive problems created by a lack of simple understanding of these principles continued for a number of years until there were major changes in the world economic structure first pushed forth by India and later supported by the other commonwealth nations. The challenges of the European Union accompanied by economic pressures generated by resurgent international rivalries push forth new economic alliances which challenged those which had been created by the United States and its allies. These alternative economic structures did not at first include a Human Rights component but eventually lead to such a development due to pressure exerted by the evolving understanding based upon the foundation laid by Picketty.
New Thought is a unique spiritual path because while Universal Spiritual Principles remain constant, insights and actions based on those insights evolve with deeper understanding. This work by Abel Allen will help New Thought reades move beyond mythology to live the spiritual principles essential to helping those who adhere to New Thought principles as part of this path.