As a member of the fast-growing spiritual but not religious population, I enjoy researching various belief systems that might fall within this category. New Thought is one such system of spiritual and religious beliefs.
New Thought is a belief system that promotes the ideas listed below. I’ve never found a system of beliefs with which I entirely, honestly agreed – and New Thought, as a belief system, is no exception. I have briefly indicated where I might disagree, in parentheses below. Some of my dissension may stem from a lack of understanding re: the New Thought belief. I’ll have to educate myself on New Thought a bit more.
- Infinite Intelligence (or Mother Nature, or God, or whatever one chooses to call it) is ubiquitous
- Spirit is the sum of reality
- Humanity is divine in nature
- Divine thought is a force for good (I think of the Source as being more nonjudgmental than what most would consider as "good"; perhaps Divine thought here is meant to be something apart from the Source of all things)
- Disease, sickness generally originates in the mind (I cannot agree with this particular tenet, as I believe some disease is clearly physical in origin; carcinogenic substances exist, after all)
- “Right thinking” has a true physical, mental, and spiritual healing effect
New Thought is anything but religious fundamentalism, and that is one of its best selling points. New Thought seems to be far more concerned with basic, universal spiritual principles than any load of religious dogma, unfavorable religious baggage, supernatural stories, traditional myths, and so forth.
The material taught by New Thought’s most prominent, successful representatives — Wayne, Dyer, for example — rings true to many hearts like no religious fundamentalism ever has or will. Furthermore, New Thought is all inclusive and promotes unity without judgment. And there’s no literal hell!
Although I do not commonly profess to belong to any particular religion, I suppose my own honest beliefs come closest to matching these belief systems, listed in no particular order:
- New Thought
- Perennial Philosophy
- True Christianity, as interpreted by Thomas Jefferson and other free thinkers (But naturally, most Christians believe their own versions of Christianity to be the true Christianity!)
- Universalism, Christian Universalism
- Agnosticism – But certainly not the I don’t care variety assumed by most religious people
- even Buddhism – but without most of the rituals (which – in any religion – often become rote, habitual, or even insincere)