Saturday, March 29, 2014

Living the True Life


With each of us, there is the strong desire to lead the life that holds the greatest sum of happiness. What is that life? Is it the life of social dissipation, or that of study or sensual indulgence? Or is it the spiritual life?

Those who have endured many trials and sorrows, and have viewed life from any points, have decided that social dissipation is hollow, that study of material science un-elevated by spiritual science is fruitless, that a life of sensual indulgence is followed only by misery and degradation.

The conclusion reached is that the only life worth living and worthwhile is the spiritual life. If that is true, it is important above all things for one to learn the meaning of the spiritual life and how to live it.

At the beginning, we must know that we must live to our highest and do our best in the circumstances in which we are placed. Associated with this effort must be our realization of the omnipresence of God. If God is omnipresent, there can be no separation between the material and spiritual. With this as an accepted view, we cannot think one thing more wonderful than another, because God, the infinite perfection, is in and of everything.

People often complain of the monotony of life. The attitude toward life depends wholly on the individual. The interest is as one makes it. There need be nothing monotonous in living life as we find it.

There are things of wonderful interest all around us. The renewal of the earth each spring, the change of the seasons, the glory of light and shade, the wonder of color that changes with the light—all these are of marvelous interest to the observant mind. Above all is the joy of helping one’s friends and neighbors, or strangers.

The possibilities of the new day are infinite. If one chooses, there need be nothing tiresome or monotonous in one’s daily existence. A cultivated interest in the lives and things surrounding us gives the spirit of youth and holds back age

From The Divine Art of Living, by Kathleen Besly
Updated and gender-neutral, Newt List

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post by Edward Viljoen: Maybe I'm Not That Interesting?


The truth is that word-of-mouth is quite powerful because we seem to be very interested in each other's opinion.  We seem to have more confidence in the opinion of others than we do in the vast amount of information that comes to us through advertising.  That is why word-of-mouth is an important indicator of a movie's success. 

A friend who used to work in the advertising industry told me that world-of-mouth, in a way of thinking, is more valuable than just about any other kind of advertising.  The way he explained it is that we are likely to change our mind about seeing a movie, even after deciding not to see it, if a friend gives it a favorable report. So what you think, and what you say about a product really does matter.

I Want To Know What You Think

I know that I definitely pay more attention to what friends are interested in and I'm more likely to read a book that a friend recommends than if I read an advertisement for one.  If you've read a book recently that fascinated you, I'd love to know what it is and why you enjoyed it so much. 

Sometimes Randall Friesen, the editor of Newt List gender neutral, updated New Thought classics will call me very excited about a new text he is working on.  At first I may not be interested in the book but quickly his enthusiasm for some new kernel of metaphysical wisdom he discovered infects my thinking and I find myself wanting to read the e-book too.

I Thought I Had To Buy It

Recently I received the best review of my new book, The Power of Meditation, from a friend who called me up to say that he thought he "had to" buy my book being that he is a good friend.  It seemed the appropriate and supportive thing to do but he had no intention to read it.  Then while waiting for a trip to begin he cracked the book open and began to read it.  He called me up enthusiastically to say that he was thrilled with what he was learning from the book. I thought the story was rather humorous and told it to another friend, who, based on the excitement, bought the book too. 

Now this second friend had heard of the book, been around it and around me for ages, yet it wasn't until she heard of friend number one's reaction did she become motivated to pick it up.

You really are THAT interesting.

Edward Viljoen, author of The Power of Meditation, graduated as a Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplain in April 1999, received a Doctorate of Divinity from Centers for Spiritual Living and was awarded the much-respected Ernest Holmes Award for exemplary demonstration of the teachings of Dr. Ernest Holmes.

Among his passions as a minister is helping other ministers and has served the Ongoing Ministers Education Conference for 10 years. Other passions include music, cats, essential oils, science fiction and leading people on tours to places in the world to experience new cultures and new ways of understanding the Divine.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


 Spiritual Health and Healing

Success is adaptation to life as it comes to us from within. What makes life “worthwhile,” as we say, is found through appreciation of the work given us to do, through response to our better nature. Success is never a mere game in which we get the better of our neighbor, whatever the world may assume on this point. Success is for higher self-realization. We have no rivals in the work we can do best. We feel dissatisfied simply because we have not yet accomplished our individual purpose—not because the world has failed us.

Sometimes there is inward success in an undertaking accounted a failure by observers. One may succeed in doing work for which one is not fitted, by sheer persistence in sticking to it. Some people wait many years before beginning their true work. Yet the real value of these secondary victories is seen in the use we make of the power acquired by meeting obstacles and then transferring our activities to some work that is to our liking. We may not judge merely by the vocations others are now pursuing—by their professions, salaries, profits, or even by their reputations in the community. Success involves the varied relationships of the inner life, and these are not apparent to the public eye. Those who know themselves understand what their work is doing for them and how their life may be turned to higher account. We no longer praise people for mere resignation in accepting life’s hardships and illnesses. We now look for the affirmative attitude.

Those of us who do fairly well in everything we undertake are deemed “lucky.” But luck implies that there is a fortunate combination of circumstances more powerful than the individuals themselves, who merely receive what comes while others must work hard. Behind the scenes, those who have really succeeded have been working as hard as anyone. The world often sees the finished result only, unaware of the years of incessant effort by which inner victories have been won and outward obstacles have been overcome. What we need to know is the inner history behind the alleged luck. There was an intelligible reason in every case, and no mere chance at all. There was alertness in meeting occasions, readiness in responding to opportunities that others did not take but might have taken. Those people of character who “always land on their feet” have acquired a certain art of rising to occasions. Then, too, we need to remind ourselves that there is divine guidance prompting people from within, hence a spiritual law in events seemingly coming by chance.

To start with the idea of God as all-encompassing Spirit, with the universe regarded as existing for spiritual ends, is to accord spiritual things the first rank from beginning to end, hence to see that spiritual success is the one real success. As spirits, we have a two-fold relationship: one in the spiritual world to the more direct activities of the divine life; and one in the natural world where, as dwellers in the flesh, we take on the conditions that come to us by birth. It is on the divine side that we draw from the great resources which bring success over external obstacles. What seems impossible outwardly becomes possible from within.

We have the power of the Spirit within us to rise above circumstances through insight into their meaning for the soul. The whole life-situation is changed for us when we grasp the inner point of view. We then see the spiritual transforming and expressing itself through the natural. What once seemed a hardship now proves to be an opportunity. Our external conditions prove adverse only as long as we regard them negatively. True success always grows out of the affirmative attitude. True success is for the individual and for society at the same time. There is no conflict, ultimately speaking, between self-realization and service. True success is based on the higher truth of our being. It implies the inspiring idea that there is only one power in the universe, and that this power is manifested in a world order which makes for spiritual success.

Updated and gender-neutral, published by Newt List, and edited by Randall Friesen

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What If You Don't Have Zest For Life? Passion and Success

The main thing I've learned is...

Through working on New Thought classics in public domain, I've seen a thread that runs through the messages of several New Thought authors.  There are definite, consistent ideas that many of them address.  I'm guessing these are the important ideas to focus on.  For example, there is a thread about the importance of your passion for life and how it relates to being successful. That's an interesting and frequent idea.

But what if you don't have passion for life.  What if you don't have zest for living?  Then you have to figure out how to get it.  In one way or the other New Thought authors say in one way or another that you have to be engaged and interested in life if we want to be successful.  And, if you don't have that passion, it can be acquired.  That's another repeated thought: you and I can regain our zest for living through spiritual practice.

Repetition is my friend

Practice means the thing you and I do regularly to express our spirituality.  Practice means repeat, repeat, repeat. With repetition comes improvement.  Through repeating new habits, you can change existing habits, for example through the use of spiritual tools such as affirmations to recondition your thinking.  Basically, to me the message I encounter over and over again in public domain New Thought texts goes something like this: talk your self into being passionate and do it over and over again.  Repetition helps in this regard.  It means presenting something to your mind repeatedly, so as to become familiar with it, as if you are trying it on until it feels normal.  I think that is what is meant by changing your mind, practicing something until it becomes normal. Personally, when I've done this, after a while of repeating a new idea I notice sometimes my habits have changed.  Almost always I feel better and more passionate about life.

Where to start

Of the book NewtList has published in gender neutral updated language the ones I think will be most helpful to someone wanting to establish different habits are:

Dynamic Thought
Pathway of Roses

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Why is this book so important?

Never Been Seen Before

This book, The Basics of Spiritual Mind Healing, has never been published before.  That's important.  It's a comprehensive book about healing, using prayer, or spiritual mind treatment.  It is written for professional prayer practitioners, but is wonderfully accessible to anyone who is interested in the history and application of spiritual healing.

How You Can Use It

It talks about the idea of metaphysics, the spiritual world and how it all works. Then he funnels it down to affirmative prayer, connecting it all with lessons in the second half of the book where he pin points topics and applications in a beautiful way.

Get inspired, learn and use it

It's like a self-contained mini seminar all in one book.  It clear, fresh and was never published.  It is inspiring about the ideas of spirituality, and an education too.  That's satisfying

Who is this book for?

This is a great book for people who are studying spiritual mind healing, but it is also for regular people like you and me.  I'm not a practitioner of spiritual mind healing, but I was engaged by the book and enjoyed it very much.  Personally, I learned from reading this book for the first time the WHY affirmative prayer is such an effective method.

Newt List

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