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Chapter Thirteen - Looking Forward
mankind need the Truth as today.* In the last analysis, thought is the
controlling factor in the universe and men will manifest that which they
think in their hearts. The present war is the product of the old thought,
as progress is the product of democracy. "The whole mental and religious
worlds are shifting. The old thought has been tried as by fire and as ordinarily
expounded by its professional teachers is found wanting. The world is seeking
and demanding a constructive religion and philosophy that will make impossible
all future catastrophes such as that which is now upon us.
*Compiled from the bulletin
of the Alliance, June, 1918.
"This is the opportunity
of the New Thought. To meet this opportunity, however, we must be prepared.
The Alliance is an instrument of such preparation. To be effective, it
must have your active support, and this support must be not only in your
thought, but in outward manifestation. In other words, we want you to talk
up the Alliance, to get members, to contribute financially and to induce
others also to contribute. We should have in the field now at least one
or two lecturers and after the war we should have many more. These lecturers
should be paid so that they could be relieved of the need of holding private
classes and could give their whole time to the work of supporting the Truth.
"This is your work.
The Alliance is your instrument for giving the message to the world.
We now have a foothold in many lands and are in a position to spread the
gospel of health, efficiency, right-thinking and right-living. We can introduce
all nations to the science of the Divine--the New Thought of God and of
man--that is to make a new heaven and a new earth. We are making a definite
call upon you to do your part. Open your hearts and the Spirit will strive
with you mightily, as it has striven with us, to press forward in this
"The Alliance depends upon
the Divine Supply and we are the avenues through which the Divine Supply
manifests. We are teaching abundance and, therefore, must manifest the
abundance we teach. Ours is the divinely appointed task of spreading the
essential Christ Truths for the healing of the individual and of the nations.
The fields are white to harvest. All of us must do our full part in preparing
to spread the message. We have seen the vision and must give abundantly
of our thought, of our time and of our substance to bring it into full
"There is a divine urge in
the souls of men toward a new and better humanity. All prophecy agrees
that the great hour has struck for the ending of the old order and the
beginning of the new. The new order must be built on the principles of
the Christ. The old order failed because it did not live up to His ideals.
Its service was a lip service. It did not do His commandments. These commandments
were very definitely stated--heal the sick, love one another, minister
to others, condemn not, have faith in the Divine Supply. The nations calling
themselves Christian have flagrantly violated these commandments. 'A house
divided against itself cannot stand.' The time has come when we must choose
the one thing or the other, either Christ or Antichrist. If we choose Christ,
it must be in no half-hearted way. We must do the works.
"The fruits of the Spirit
are health, happiness, peace, good-will, faith, progress, liberty. The
impulse of the Spirit is in our hearts to lead the world to reconstruction,
regeneration and permanent peace. We should be ready to take the healing
message to all who can receive and apply it. To do this most effectively,
however, we must cooperate.
"The first requisite of efficiency
is self-confidence--not over-confidence or vanity, but reliance in one's
own ability to accomplish the task in hand. Of course, knowledge and training
are necessary, but beyond and above these a spiritual quality is required--the
reliance on the absolute and perfect faith that with God's help we can
do the thing we have to do.
"This attitude of mind is
an essential part of New Thought teachings. It is a part of the gospel
of democracy. When men are free to use their individual initiative and
inner resources, they at once become masters of their own destiny and their
success or failure is in their own hands. Freedom alone is not enough unless
it is accompanied by the ability, the spirit and the confidence to use
it. Democracy plus New Thought make an invincible combination. Democracy
frees the soul from man-made shackles and New Thought teaches it to depend
upon the Divine.
"Thought is the most powerful
force in the world.* It constructs all cities, all works of art, all machinery,
all invention, all institutions and all states. These, however, are but
its outward and obvious manifestations. It has subtle and more far-reaching
results. It literally builds the body, molds the features, forms the character,
controls the health, shapes the circumstances, and makes the fortune and
the happiness or unhappiness of the individual.
*Compiled from the bulletin
of the Alliance, April 16, 1918.
"In ways that are not yet
quite understood, but that have been proved by numerous experiments and
are accepted by a considerable school of scientific men, our thoughts influence
the minds of others, for telepathy, or the power of mind over mind without
the use of visible means of communication, is now a generally accepted
"How important is it, then,
that we send out only good thoughts. It has been said that we live not
unto ourselves alone, but it can be said now with equal truth that we think
not unto ourselves alone. If angels have influence over the minds of men,
if the spirits of the dead guide, inspire and uplift the minds of the living,
they must exercise this power through something akin to telepathic influence.
We who are living, however, can exercise an equal influence for good. We,
therefore, can be good angels to others simply by thinking lovingly, constructively,
rightfully and truthfully of them.
"By setting aside a short
time each day to think good thoughts, we serve a two-fold purpose. First,
we improve our own minds and our own bodies; second, we send out invisible
messengers bearing good tidings to the minds of others.
"Give the world a new thought
of Christ. In the old thought all parts of the Bible have been held equally
the word of God. In the New Thought, that part of the Bible containing
the message of Christ is set on a plane above all the rest.* This new age
is to be the Christ age, when the Son of Man is to come in the hearts of
men. In the old thought we have been compromising between Christ and Antichrist.
'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' The present horror in which
the world finds itself is not due to the failure of Christianity, because
the world has not had Christianity of the true sort. It is only the failure
of the half Christianity in which we have masqueraded.
*Mr. Edgerton's statement
in the above is in accord with Swedenborg's view that "the Word" is more
interior and spiritual than the Pauline and other Epistles.
"We have now come to the
dividing of the ways. The Christ healing, the Christ love, the Christ faith
and the Christ peace are to rule in the world henceforth and forever.
"It is the office of the
New Thought to build the new temple on the cornerstone of the Christ. This
is a spiritual universe. We are made in the image of God and are spiritual
beings. We are not of the beast and have not his mark either on our foreheads,
nor in our hands, and we must proclaim unto all peoples in all lands that
a new hour has come, that a new day has dawned and that the light thereof
is the Light of the World.
"The war is ended and the
New Age is here.* The outcome is, perhaps, the most inspiring event of
the history of the human race since the coming of the Son of Man. It is
not only an end of this, the greatest of all wars, but with the right thought
and right attitude on the part of the free nations, it will be the end
of all war. It was not an accident that the New Thought and other kindred
movements were born in this age. Rather it is the working out of the Spirit
and the realization of the prophecy of the coming of the Christ in human
*From the bulletin of
the Alliance, December 1, 1918.
"This is the golden opportunity
for Truth teaching. Never has there been a greater demonstration of the
presence of God in the affairs of man. Never has there been a more signal
evidence that this is a spiritual universe. The forward strides made during
the war have been tremendous. Temperance, liberty, democracy, the rights
of women, cooperation, efficiency, spirituality, faith in the right--all
of these have been advanced, and, above all, a league of nations has been
created that should be a guarantee of the reign of peace, of liberty and
of righteousness throughout the coming ages.
"When the New Thought Congress
met at Boston, the conflict was at its fiercest and no one could certainly
prophesy the end. Yet it is a happy fact that more than fifty field secretaries
were elected, a board of lectureship provided for and other steps taken
that would meet the great need for work after the war. This is another
signal proof of the working of the Spirit, for those present were unconscious
that they were thus preparing for the great work that all felt would be
done after the war. Most of them, if they expressed an opinion at all,
thought that the conflict might last another year, yet today we are at
the dawn of peace and have our campaign planned for the Great Drive for
New Thought and the Alliance. . . .
"The first work in the New
Age is that of reconstruction.* The nations torn by war and revolution
must be rebuilt, the war's staggering debt must be paid, the wounds of
nature and of man must be healed, shattered homes and cities must be replaced,
the shell-torn and burrowed earth must be prepared for tillage, new and
more democratic governments must be elected, the place of labor in the
social scheme must be determined, woman must be enfranchised and her place
in the business and industrial, as well as in the political, world established,
the nations must be associated to insure liberty and peace for the future
and, more than all, the thoughts of men must be turned to the establishment
of a greater and better civilization than that which so nearly ended in
wreck in the world war.
* Alliance bulletin, February
"The old time is as definitely
dead as the old world that preceded 1914. The New Thought is the most vital
thing now on this planet. In its philosophy is included the things most
needed in the work of healing the nations and building the new order. In
a word, this may be described as the essential teachings of the Christ.
It was the neglect of these principles in the so-called Christian nations
that was largely responsible for the failure of the old order. Henceforth
all peoples must be taught to follow His precepts, not so much in form
as in spirit and in Truth.
"Just now it is political
settlement that is needed. Let us all hold that divine Truth is being manifested
in the institutions and governments of men, that the political structure
of the future is to be erected, not on the sands of materialism, but on
the rock of the Spirit, so that if the storms again assail it, it will
stand. Let us hold both the spiritual and the political vision, for the
only freedom and the only peace are those that come of the Divine. We must
heal the nations as we heal the individual by seeing them as manifestations
of God. Let us hold further that there shall come those who will speak
the new political gospel to all peoples, of brotherhood and peace, of justice
and freedom, of righteousness and industry, of health and prosperity.
"The world republic is on
its way. Earth's greatest and happiest age is ahead. Let us hold the perfect
vision of it in our hearts and thus help to bring it into manifestation.
"This is a spiritual universe
and it will require a spiritual age to see it in the fullness of its beauty
and power. Ear has not heard and eye has not seen what is in store for
the human race right here on this planet. The storm is over and the sunlight
is breaking in full splendor on the greatest and happiest era this world
has ever known. The Christ is coming in the hearts of humanity.
"God is the only reality
and man is made in His image. All that is real of us is of Him. When we
think of ourselves as other than His, we are taking on unreality. When
we think of ourselves as material or as subject to sickness, sin and death,
we take on the unreality of the things we picture and this unreality disappears
and so much of us as we have identified there with also disappears. The
only things that are permanent in human history are those touched by the
far-shining light of God's purposes. God's righteousness and Truth triumph
forever. Let us sing to Him a new song in this New Day that is dawning--a
song of healing, of brotherly love, of the building of a new heaven and
a new earth.
"There are high and sweet
and fine thoughts in the heart of the world today, and high and sweet and
fine things will be manifested as the fruit of this thinking. In this New
Age spiritual things are to become as matters of everyday--spiritual healing,
spiritual communion, spiritual realization. After the crucifixion of humanity
comes the resurrection. All the world is on tiptoe with the expectancy
of mighty things, all the pulpits of Christendom are echoing to the prophecies
of the second coming. Whisper this secret into the ear of their thought,
'He is already here.' Their very expectancy and the world's need has called
Him. He is incarnated in humanity and His mighty works of healing, of blessing
and of redeeming are seen all over the earth, for we now know the Truth
that He knew, that the Father in us doeth the works. God is the only reality
and we are only real so far as we show forth His image and identify ourselves
with Him and His works. All else is vanity.*
*That is, according to
Mr. Edgerton, the second coming is just this spiritual awakening of which
the New Thought is a part. This is in line with Mr. Evans's view of the
New Age in the earliest books on mental healing.
"It is contemplated holding
a Silent Hour each day for healing and realization. . . . For the present
it is suggested that each centre ask its members to hold a brief silence,
say at the noon hour each day, for the healing of the individual and of
the nations. Let this hour be dedicated to the realization of God. It is
not necessary that any one individual give a full hour, or any other stated
time, to this silence, but he should devote to it a brief time, even though
but a moment, and this should be within the hour set. Let us on each day
take some definite thought. The first, 'God is Love'; the second, 'God
is Health'; the third, 'God is the Only Reality'; the fourth,'God's image
is in me'; the fifth, 'The Father in me doeth the works'; the sixth, 'God's
kingdom is come on earth'; and the seventh, 'The Christ is here in the
hearts of humanity.' Thus we have one thought for each day of the week.
Let us think these thoughts all together with faith and with power and
we can move the world. . . ."
At a meeting to commemorate
the founding of the Metaphysical Club of Boston, in 1914, Mrs. J. A. Dresser
indicated what seemed to her, as the oldest representative of the therapeutic
movement, "the future for the New Thought." The address was interesting
because it gave expression to another way of interpreting the movement,
in terms of its longer history. Mrs. Dresser said in part:
"We have come together from
varied interests with one end in view. We stand for the ideal that a new
life, a new philosophy is coming into the world. Some of us are interested
in applying it to healing; others care more for the philosophical elements;
others still for its mystic and spiritual factors; and some for the religious
point of view it presents; but we are all united in the desire to interpret
and to understand life as a whole in the light of it.
"As I look back through more
than fifty years of experience I seem to see something of the wonderful
leading of the divine providence, and I look forward with deepening interest
to the future which is unfolding. I see how Mr. Quimby grasped the thought
which we all call new. He saw that mind and soul are paramount, that thought
is substance, and that even love has body, and a power to heal. He saw
the physical as the body of the inner world and the temple of the soul,
and like all founders of a thing so great, he saw more keenly, more clearly
and with more rational view, than those who followed him, the value of
"You all know how it was
with this great truth that Mr. Quimby brought to light--how Christian Science
came, how many followed blindly into wide extremes and wild denials of
the obvious facts of life, unbalanced in irrationality. You all know how
the saner ones came back, and now you see the inevitable crumbling of that
structure before the return of reason. And some of you remember the efforts,
thirty years ago, on the part of those who had become interested in these
truths---like my husband and myself, who had been students under Mr. Quimby's
care--to begin the movement that has led on to this day, and that has ultimately
produced this Club and spread its influence over the land. That evening
when this Club was formed, a few earnest men and women met to gain strength
by unity.* We were seeking for just what Mr. Quimby had sought for years
before--to understand the relation between the soul, the mind and the body,
believing that in this lay the key to our relation to God and to all life--the
very secret of philosophy.
*In February, 1895.
"During the years of Mr.
Quimby's practice of healing, he had sought for this scientific understanding.
He had seen that mind is substance; he also saw that there is an intermediary
substance between mind and body, and he called this 'spiritual matter.'
He said this is the substance which receives all impressions both good
and bad. This is the same intermediary substance which the modern scientist
speaks of as the 'subconscious' mind--that Mr. Frederick W. H. Meyers called
the 'subliminal self'--that Swedenborg means by the 'limbus'--that Dr.
Morton Prince explains in his new book, The Unconscious.
"Mr. Quimby's researches
were directly in line with the best of modern scientific thought, and with
the best philosophical teaching of the past. He hoped to reduce to a science
his theory that man is here and now a spiritual being, and that this intermediary
substance of his nature is the basis of all his happiness or misery. The
divine flows in with all love, wisdom and power into every human soul,
seeking embodiment there. In the supraconscious degrees of the mind it
is received in its integrity. This is the kingdom of heaven within. In
the conscious mind it is received only in part. When the divine finds forms
corresponding to itself, there it lodges; but when the forms are out of
correspondence it is perverted or lost. The life current is an active force;
it is active, creative, formative. In the mind of man it must either build
up or break down the divine image--God's image in man, the very tabernacle
of the divine life.*
*The speaker is here setting
forth the therapeutic principle as derived from the writings of Swedenborg.
See Mr. Evans's The Mental Cure, p. 76 et seq.
"In the latter part of Mr.
Quimby's life he was seeing more and more clearly that man is an instrument
and a constant receiver of life, not a self-possessor of it. And he believed
that sickness and unhappiness are the result of man's having closed the
doors to the influx of divine life, and that health and happiness are regained
by the process of re-opening them. By the understanding and acknowledgment
of this relation with the Source of life, man finds his health, happiness
and heaven. . . . [These statements] show clearly how this thought should
go on. They show that to think well, to be rational, we must be open, we
must seek the truth and face squarely our issues; we must deal in facts,
in verities, and avoid mere beliefs and opinions, and affirm only what
is true. . . . We hear it said that fears must be put away. A fear for
the New Thought people to put away out of their doctrine and out of themselves,
is the fear the frankest self-examination and acknowledgment of what is
true in personal defects in ourselves or in others can do the slightest
harm so long as the mind is fixed upon, and dominated by, God and the true
ideal from Him. . . .
"The New Thought is an idealistic
philosophy, its devotees are idealists. As individuals you are conspicuous
for the ideals you hold, for the tenacity with which you hold them, and
for the power which you ascribe to them. The New Thought movement more
than any other in our day, stands for the affirmative attitude, and to
it the world is indebted on that account. But its weakness has been that
in its zeal for the affirmative it has forgotten the adage of the ancients -- 'Man,
know thyself.' It has seen how paralyzing was the self-analysis and the
condemnation of evil in the church of the past; and, in the endeavor to
break away from every vestige of the negative, it has gone to the other
extreme. My effort would be to help [the movement] to come back again,
not to a negative point of view, but to the rational standard, and to face
squarely toward the truth.
"I do not ask you to go to
some one source to gain the insight which shall bring the rational basis
for New Thought. . . . Let us all, as individuals, remember that it is
in our lives that we must manifest our faith in the truth we have. We have
only to set aside self-love, self-glory, and work earnestly in any cause,
by every word and deed of love that opportunity offers, to find ourselves
growing gradually in wisdom and understanding, and out of our Ills and
every form of unhappiness. God is everywhere and always the same. He is
present with His love, wisdom and power; and, as I have said, where there
are forms in correspondence with Him there He flows in and is. Hence we
may have that fullness of power present with us and in us. Therefore as
He is in me with His transforming and renewing power, He can convert my
conscious mind into harmony with the supra-conscious,--power to convert
my subconscious mind and my body into harmony with the kingdom of heaven
within, power when 'my eye is single to fill my whole body with light.'
"I am the last of those who
studied with the founder of this great movement; let me leave with you
this final word: Remember all life, all goodness and all power come from
God. The humblest shall be greatest, the last first, and he who seeks not
for himself, but also longs to serve, shall reach the glory and the light.
Affirm your capacity to receive love, wisdom and power from the Lord--affirm
that truth--hold to that truth. So shall your life be full, and so shall
you live your life in service, and find it gloriously in Him. The truth
shall make you free."
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