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An Introduction to the New Thought

In liberated moments we know that a new picture of life and duty is already possible. The elements already exist in many minds around you of a, doctrine of life which shall transcend any written record we have. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the following Essays I have tried, so far as I have knowledge, to present a study of life in its various phases from a spiritual basis, contending that the ideal man existed before the external expression, and that life’s great object is the unfolding of the perfect ideal. When one has attained a realization of this truth, he will seek to work from the center of things outward, thus reversing what is supposed to be the regular order of life—the acquirement of knowledge and understanding from without, by working from the circumference toward the center. I do not deny the need or utility of any or all material things, but contend that there is an invisible force that 'finds its outer expression in them; that we should understand their true relation as cause and effect; and that the external manifestation has no power and no existence—save as it derives these qualities from the inner.

We are entering a new cycle of religious thought, in which spirituality will make manifest its true value; and with its influx will come a brightness and a glow of life hitherto unknown. There has been too much gloom—even despair—bound up in the materialistic religion of the past. The time is now ripe for the establishing of an ever-new religion. You ask, Is it to supersede Christianity? No; it is to represent Christianity. It will supersede the Calvinistic nightmare, which, hanging over Christendom like a great, black cloud, shuts out the light and blights the life of the true Christ-religion. The theology of Calvin has been like a vine, winding and winding itself about a tree of which it is no part and sapping out its life. But the vine has grown old and is losing its power to harm—while the tree still lives. When the Christ-religion stands revealed in all its purity and glory, the old order of things must pass away.

John Calvin was no more a Christian than was Mohammed; they were both inspired by the law, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Both went to the same source for their religions—the Old Testament, not the New. The Christ law of non-resistance had no place in their creeds. In the coming religion, however, life and immortality will be brought to light, and the gospel of glad tidings will be proclaimed anew. The negative and fatalistic philosophies that were the natural outcome of a perverted Christian belief will vanish before the coming sunshine.

In his natural state, man is an optimistic being. His mind, however, may become engrossed in a fatalistic religion Or a negative philosophy; and when such is the case, his thoughts must necessarily be colored by the nature of his belief. But no man can be thoroughly happy or well who contemplates the negative side of existence. He that takes the bright and hopeful side is the one who does the most good—and gets the most good out of life.

I have pictured life as a journey with many roads, all of which lead to one goal. I have tried to show that man, if he would, might understand the laws of life aright, and through conforming thereto attain to both health and happiness in the immediate present—or, choosing to disregard knowledge and disobey the law, through many and varied hard experiences be brought at last to see that there is neither rest nor peace save through obedience to the Will of God, and that the fire of bitter experience tends only to purify and perfect the life; furthermore, that we are responsible for the disease and distress that come upon us—for these are only the natural outcome of perverted mental states, there being an exact correspondence between inner and outer conditions: hence, the mind that images things pure and good, things true and eternal, will express wholeness and strength of body; that, in a word, health is a question of knowledge.

I have shown how it is easier to be well and strong. than sick and diseased; how we make our own environment by relating ourselves either in the true or false way to persons and conditions about us; how we can make life what we will to make it; that we are endowed with certain powers and possibilities that, when used aright, attract to us all things needful; that through the development of latent power comes the greatest satisfaction of life; and that we are not to be forgetful of the inner bread of life any more than Of the bread necessary to sustain and nourish the body.

A I have explained how true desire and meditation have a definite effect upon the breath, causing us to breathe strong and deep—this function, in turn, having a beneficial effect upon the body; why we should never worship any outer form or symbol, but try to understand aright what it stands for; that symbolism has had and will continue to have its use as a stepping-stone from the form to the spirit of things; that none of the faculties with which we are endowed should be put to any perverted use, such as influencing another mind against its own will, but rather to advise or suggest the true course to follow in life -—never seeking to compel, it evidently being a part of the plan of creation that each soul should work out its own salvation; and thus that Spiritual Science has for its object the illumination of the way of life, not the forcing of any one into the ways-the metaphysical healer being expected to let his own light so shine that others, seeing and acquiring knowledge thereof, may thereby be induced 'to enter into the way of life.

I have tried to impress upon the minds of my readers that we should seek to prove the truth of all things, holding fast only that which is good; that we should seek the Truth for its own sake, rather than through any love of the marvelous or any spirit of curiosity in regard to the occult or mysterious, knowing that there is an orderly course in life and in knowledge that brings each true development in its natural way, and that we can understand its needs and uses only as we have knowledge concerning the law that regulates it; that the mind is to be neither superstitious nor skeptical concerning unfamiliar things, but should be receptive, so that truth may find an abiding-place in its recesses; and that all physical things are representative of mental states and conditions.

The power to communicate our thoughts to persons at a distance through mechanical aid is, after all, only the representative of a higher condition of thought-transmission without the aid of any kind of visible mechanism. Conditions are just as necessary to fulfill the law by which thought travels along an electric wire as they are to the law whereby thought travels ‘without mechanical accessories. We have found that if the living thought in the life of man is that which heals him and makes him strong, then this vibratory force can be transmitted directly from mind to mind, giving health and strength to many—for we are all members of one great body.

So far as I have been able to comprehend the teachings of the great Master, Jesus of Nazareth, I believe that the statements presented in these Essays are in perfect accord with all he taught. None can dispute that he sought to inculcate the love and everlasting mercy of God; that God is Spirit, dwelling in the hearts and lives of his children, to whom he gave health and life and all other good things; that his kingdom is in the souls of men; that his desire is that man should express outwardly his inner power; that knowledge and understanding of all things would come through seeking after God; and that Divinity is to be sought and found within rather than without.

The true Christian is the one who lives the Christ life—thinking the Christ thoughts and doing the Christ deeds—his faith fixed in the eternal power Of God rather than in any external thing.

In conclusion, I wish to impress on my readers that God’s law is eternal and unchanging, and that only through knowledge of and conformity to the law can each and every problem of life be solved and the entanglements that seem to beset us be cleared away. A realization of God in the life is our greatest need, for it will bring to us our greatest happiness.

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917
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