Monday, May 27, 2013

Life Is What You Make It: A Fresh Look at Ancient Ideas

Guest Post by Edward Viljoen

This e-book, the publisher says, was revised and updated form a series of 24 lessons prepared by Ernest Holmes and Frederick Bailes, titled "An Introductory Course in the Science of Mind," and is in the public domain. At Newt List the focus is on updating the language for modern readers by preferring gender-neutral language, and up-to-date punctuation. With this approach Newt List books provides a fresh look at ideas from great inspirational authors.

Bursting With Powerful Statements
Life is What You Make It is bursting with powerful and bold statements such as, "The world is deluded, blind and shackled. And by what? By its own acceptance of negative thoughts. It lies bound in chains of its own forging." The lessons in Life is What You Make It are designed to un-chain the reader by introducing them to their real nature by means of practical ideas such as "Instead of allowing fear pictures to crowd in on your desires, you are going to bring forth faith pictures," and instructs the reader to sit quietly and think over all the reasons why they should have greater happiness and security for themselves and their family. There is an easy and encouraging tone throughout the book that left me feeling enthusiastic about rolling up my sleeves and imagining a greater future for myself and for the world.

Use Your Imagination
The authors point to the use of nothing more than our natural imagination, a skill that they believe has been downgraded into something that works against us by images of fear that crowd in on us relentlessly. They assert that we can go about the task of seriously, and gradually, flooding our imagination with different kinds of images, of pictures that work for us, and lead our efforts in right directions.

Self-Study Guide Provided
One of the features I loved in the book is the Meditation, Question and Answers provided in each chapter. The meditations are poetic personal devotional style prayers that relate to the content of the chapter. Following each meditation is a series of question that the reader can use to assess how much of the lesson was retained and answers are provided to confirm your understanding.
It is both an inspiring book of powerful ideas and a work book for self-study. The authors are relentless in pulling the reader back to the powerful possibilities that exists in a mind that is determined to be free of the conditioning of society.
Here is a link to the book.
Edward Viljoen is author of the Bhagavad-Gita for Beginners: The Song of God in Simplified Prose and The Science of Mind and Spirit for Beginners: Four Chapters in Simplified Prose. He co-authored (with Chris Michaels) The Prosperous Life Journal, and Practice the Presence, interactive journals available from Stepping Stones Bookstore. He is co-author (with Joyce Duffala) of Seeing Good At Work also available at

Article Source:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reading Emerson was like drinking water to me... Ernest Holmes

Introduction to the new e-book from NewtList:

“Reading Emerson was like drinking water to me,” Ernest Holmes once said. “I have studied him all my life.”

Such endorsement from the originator of the Science of Mind philosophy carries great weight. Not that the work of Emerson has ever required such kudos! Since Emerson began disseminating his ideas through essays and lectures, he has influenced writers, poets and great thinkers around the world.

A Radical Spiritual Thinker

In the nineteenth century when he wrote, Emerson was considered quite radical in his spiritual ideas, believing as he did that all things are divine because everything is connected to God. This caused his detractors to feel that Emerson was removing God from theology as its central figure. Yet nothing, as it turned out, could have been further from the truth.

Emerson believed that every human being is an individualization of God, the sole originating force. He believed that each person is operated on by self-executing spiritual laws. It was his belief that God does not necessarily reveal truth, but that truth could be understood by observing nature and the world around us. Though these were radical ideas for nineteenth century minds, it was just this type of independent thinking that attracted a young Ernest Holmes.

At Age Twenty It  Began

When he was merely twenty years old, Holmes inadvertently pick up his brother Fenwicke’s copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays. Later, his brother was quoted as saying, “It was at that moment that life really began for Ernest Holmes.

“Reading Emerson for the first time,” Holmes said, “the first half-dozen lectures or essays gave me a realization that in a certain sense every person has to interpret the universe in terms of their own thinking and personal relationships, and that in order to do it, we have to have faith and confidence in our own interpretation.” It is two of these essays, “History” and “Spiritual Laws,” that seem to have particularly influenced Ernest Holmes.

At some point in his career, Holmes wrote “responses” to Emerson’s essays on History and Spiritual Laws. It is unclear when he wrote this, but it appears to have been in the 1920s, after penning his landmark book The Science of Mind. His notes were transcribed (where legible) and numbered to correspond with the paragraphs of each Emerson essay, though whether due to faulty transcription of the original handwritten text or due to mistakes in the manuscript itself, these numbers did not always accurately correspond to the actual Emerson essay. Additionally, the original version of Holmes’ notes did not contain the original sections of the essay to which Holmes referred, hindering readers from easily correlating Emerson’s text to Holmes’ responses.

Side By Side Texts

This first edition of The Philosophy of Emerson incorporates the Emerson passages, followed directly by the corresponding comments of Ernest Holmes, offering itself as a conversation between these two great thinkers, and more strongly illuminating both the influence of Emerson on Holmes, and manner in which Holmes took Emerson’s ideas to an original place of personal power.

As Holmes once said, “You are an individualization of God. There is a depth and meaning to your own being. If you can discover it, it will answer your own questions.” 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is Your Language Sexist?

By the mid-eighties the movement toward nonsexist usage had gained so much momentum that researchers who studied its impact by analyzing three recently published American dictionaries of new words were prepared to state, in the cautious phraseology of scholarship, that their results showed "a trend toward nonsexism" in written language.  The data, they said, "provided a judgement of the efficacy of feminists' efforts toward nonsexist vocabulary," and they ventured the opinion that the "importance and justice of the subject have been recognized."
The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing, 2nd Edition,
Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Harper, New York, 1988

Have you noticed a trend toward nonsexist language? 

Perhaps in the increase use of 'their' instead of 'his' as a grammatically flawed, but happily gender inclusive solution? Or perhaps in the appearance of such works as The Inclusive New Testament by Priests for Equality (March 19, 2004), or The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version  by Victor Roland Gold, Jr. Thomas L. Hoyt, Sharon H. Ringe and Susan Brooks Thistlewaite (September 7, 1995).  Or perhaps in the change from "...boldly goes where no man has gone before..." to "where no one has gone before..."

"Manning the event" is giving way to "staffing the event."  Spokesman, man-overboard, mankind, it's all changing.  And in the awkward moments between then and now language struggles to find elegant solutions.

It's an exciting time for our language and Newt List is about the business of producing updated, gender neutral versions of timeless classics.  Producing these versions takes time and mindfulness to maintain the style and voice of the writer while finding elegant solutions to old, and now outdated, language conventions.

You might also enjoy "Why Gender Neutral?"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Giving Thanks in Rough Times

Yeah, I know, I know--there are no bad things! There are only circumstances we label ‘bad.’ Like my cat dying, or my car registration going up, or a really awful hair-cut. Those all seem bad to me. 

Yet I have seen great things come into my life from bad experiences.

So I change the word ‘bad’ to ‘challenging.’ Immediately my mental state shifts to one in which I am not defeated, but inspired. After all, what is the option? ‘Bad’ things happen on a daily basis. I can choose to let them upset and control me, or I can choose to use them productively and benevolently. Since I desire a life of happiness and productivity, I choose the latter.

So I give thanks for the scary things, the monsters in dark corners. If nothing else, they provide contrast. The light is more dazzling after being in the dark.

Thanks for the tragic headlines in the news. They inspire me to know more about others and to take positive action to do what I can to make the world a better place.

Thanks for the people in my life who don't like me or what I do. I learn valuable lessons from them about myself and how to understand better why I do what I do.

Thanks for the sadness and anxiety I sometimes feel. It leads me to adjust my mental life to one more positive. It opens my eyes to the extremes of human suffering, allowing me to empathize more sincerely with my fellow human beings.

Thanks to rough times with my partner. Through them, I understand how to love more purely and selflessly.

Thanks for the frightening health situations. They instruct me how my body functions and how I operate in the world as a physical being.

Thanks for all the tiny day-to-day aggravations. They teach me skills for coping and being a good person, even when I don't feel like it.

Thanks for the bad things. They show me so clearly how much for which I have to be thankful!

Randall Friesen, Newt List

Friday, May 10, 2013

Living A Life: The Message of New Thought, by Abel Leighton Allen

I read a lot of New Thought writers, but I had not yet come upon Abel Leighton Allen.  I'm glad I did. This little gem sets off right away outlining its goal of setting the record straight.

What is the difference between New Thought and orthodox religions, including Christian Science?

I guess that question is not merely a product of recent times, but has been asked since the beginning of New Thought's young history.

I love these lines from the book "New Thought is the result or creation of perpetually advancing mind.  The growing mind is not content with the past or its achievements."  Wow, what a great reminder to keep expanding and to avoid getting stuck in the rules and dogma of even our own beautiful system.

This is a great little e-book and it's on the 99c special list currently at, a good, easy read that I found helped me get back on track with an attitude of exploration, awe and wonder.

Edward Viljoen

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thomas Troward: The Missing Link in a Spiritual Life

The more one dives into the work of Thomas Troward, the more one realizes that there is a missing link on the spiritual path, a lapse in logic that Troward addressed unswervingly in each of his books.

Initially, we come to spirituality through inspiration. We aspire for something greater, something beyond ourselves. We want a new life and a new way of living, because we have found something lacking in ourselves. Books of spiritual inspiration abound, and their value lies in revealing to us the possibilities open to us on a spiritual path.

How Do I Acquire A Successful Lifestyle?

From there, the average student moves into the achievement of these goals. They want information on how to acquire this new lifestyle of success, prosperity and deeper relationship with the source of life. Here, we learn the techniques to achieve this, which may include such topics as meditation, prayer, service and worship.

The challenges soon follow when the student, using the techniques offered, finds that life is not changing as expected. One meditates, yet one is not achieving peace; one prays, yet one does not receive.

The Missing Link is Belief

The missing link, and the one that Troward touts in his writings, is belief. One must believe. But how do we believe when we don't REALLY believe? Human beings tend to believe what they see, so when the spiritual student doesn't SEE a result, the student's belief is impeded, thus creating a vicious circle that impairs the achievement of success, leading to failure.

Thomas Troward explains how to believe in spiritual laws by explaining them in highly scientific terms. He dissects the physics of the human life through the use of scientific theories, with the result that the reader understands exactly why belief in spiritual principles is based on ideas of fact and physical reality.

The result is that the reader of Troward discovers the missing link to bridge inspiration with results, hope with facts, which serves to foster the belief necessary to achieve a successful spiritual life.

If you are interested in exploring the works of Troward, Newt List offers the following updated and gender-neutral books:  

Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning,   
The Creative Process in the Individual
The Dore Lectures on Mental Science
The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Why Spiritual Books Make Great E-books

With the rising popularity of e-books comes the discussion of electronic versus paper reading materials. You'll find advocates on both sides—the feel of holding a book and seeing it on your bookshelf, versus the convenience (and cost!) of always having a book available on whatever device you have with you.

I like to read fiction on paper, but I find that I LOVE having my books on spirituality in an e-book format. I appreciate the convenience of having inspiration perpetually at my fingertips, wherever I go, whenever I need it the most.

Instant Peace

Reading spiritual books on my phone or e-book device allows me the opportunity to receive instant peace or inspiration when I unexpectedly find myself needing it. I can open up any number of spiritual texts to suit whatever situation I find myself in and get the extra punch I need to deal with whatever issue is facing me.

Often I find myself out in the world and faced with a stressful situation. At these times, I can open a particular title and transport myself into a way of right thinking. It is as if I have a constant spiritual teacher with me always. I can find comfort or ideas or techniques for improving my situation in an instant.

Take Note!

Another bonus is the ease of taking notes. Whether or not I have (or can find!) a pencil with me, I can highlight passages from the digital text I'm reading and then send myself the these excerpts for later reference. I can also share these passages digitally with friends, as well as read passages that others have found valuable.

The sharing of notes, and the quick access to the Internet while reading, enriches my experience, both inspirationally and educationally. It is easy to launch out of the e-book I'm reading and move effortlessly into the Web to supplement my interest. It's as if the book propels me into the universe and expands my knowledge


Reading spiritual texts in e-book format makes me feel I have the support of a community behind me. I can connect to other people reading the same thing as me. We can share ideas, often learning more about the topics that mean so much to me.

For convenience and a broader experience of community and networking, I find that I am more and more buying spiritual books in e-book format. Give it a try with some of Newt List's ninety-nine cent specials here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review: The Bible Unveiled, by Emmet Fox

Newt List is making a name for itself as a publisher interested in bringing classics of metaphysics to the modern reader by updating, language, punctuation and gender conventions.  The result is a catalog of some 50 titles that are much more accessible than their original public domain versions.  No more stumbling over run on sentences, male specific pronouns and punctuation from a hundred years ago.  The language flows and the ideas leap up from the pages as if intended for today’s reading audience.

Literally or as an Allegory?

The Bible Unveiled address one reason why so many people have abandoned the Bible: taking it literally.  It presents the idea that you and I can find ourselves in the stories of the Bible if we read it as an allegory.   

When we do that, everything in the Bible become significant all characters of the Bible represent certain aspects of our life struggles and our personality.

Reading the stories of the Bible  as representations of the soul’s journey, the Bible become a lamp lighting the way through areas of being stuck and lifting us up to new levels of accomplishment.

Consider this from the beginning of the book:  Every name in the Bible has a meaning.  All of the geography is significant.  Numbers are infused with meaning and definite ideas.  In light of this, Emmet Fox’s book is a thrilling detective story of a hidden treasure obscured from sight by misunderstanding.

You may also enjoy: