Monday, April 28, 2014

Fear or Faith?

We are called on every day to decide something of importance. But how are these decisions to be made? Are we to follow fear or faith?

Fear declares that everything may go wrong. This is always the language of fear. But faith declares that everything will go right, and this is always the language of faith. Fear does not know; faith does know. Follow the verdict of fear, and everything will go wrong, because the path of fear leads into wrong. But follow the superior insight of faith, and everything will go right. The path of faith is the ever-ascending path to the greatest good that real life can give. Therefore, no one can follow faith without finding the richer, the larger, the truer and the better.

Fear always expects the worst because it can see only darkness. Faith positively assures us of the best because it can clearly see the light. And it is in the light that the best is always found. But whether we decide to follow fear and live in darkness or to follow faith and live in the light will depend entirely on how much faith we have in faith.

Millions are living lives that are not satisfactory. They long for a change, but they are in such complete bondage to fear that they are afraid to even hope for something better. There is a power, however, that can break the bonds, and that power is faith. Are you in bondage to a ruler of evil, oppression and misery? Faith can lead you out. Depend on faith, and begin this moment to follow wherever faith may go. Is there a Dead Sea of mental materiality between yourself and the promised land of peace, happiness and plenty? Take the rod of faith in your hand and stretch it out over the sea. The waters will instantly divide, and you may walk safely to the other side. Faith can do anything. Have faith in faith.

There is not a single person in the world today who cannot enter the promised land and do so now. Anyone may find peace, health, happiness, freedom and the very best that life can give. These things are for you in your present state of existence. It is the will of God that life should be sweet to every soul. Do not believe that you must suffer. There is freedom for you this very moment. There is a beautiful life that you may enter at once, and faith is the open door. 

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, and the reason behind this is that faith lives in the light. Faith knows that we may receive anything we ever hoped for, because faith discerns the power that makes all things possible. Faith is in the light and sees what has not been seen. It does not simply believe that the unseen is real, but proves the reality of everything by going out into the boundlessness of everything.

From The Pathway of Roses, by Christian Larson
An updated, gender-neutral Newt List publication

Monday, April 21, 2014

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Story of Easter

Easter is the festival of triumph. It follows what is traditionally called Holy Week. The word “holy,” in the context of our metaphysical study, means whole and complete, not sanctimonious. It means physical health. It means freedom of the soul, peace of mind, and the unity of life that is the will of God for all people. Easter signifies nothing less than this. For many people, Easter commemorates a marvelous event that happened twenty centuries ago. But they feel it has little bearing on the present day, and thus the Bible, in one of its great moments, loses its spiritual import. Easter is not a thing of the past, but a grand and glorious awakening for us today and tomorrow and for all the days to come.

Long before Jesus came on earth, long before Abraham went out into the new land, the festival of Easter was observed. In the ancient civilizations, long before written history, people kept the festival of springtime, because that is what Easter is. Civilizations have always celebrated the coming of spring with special rites and ceremonies, because we have intuitively felt that regeneration and resurrection are part of the law of life. The true law of our lives has no part in death. Death is not part of God’s scheme. By the fundamental law of nature, all living things constantly renew, fulfill a cycle, and renew. The seasons have followed one another, never failing through all the millions of years that the solar system has been in existence. Following winter, spring has always come. The trees seem to die away. The leaves fall off, the flowers decay, but spring comes, and they are renewed. Human beings have felt that this process had a special message for them. So always there has been the spring festival following the vernal equinox.

Then, Jesus came to the earth. He taught, worked, suffered, and finally died that we might realize that we can make Easter a real thing for ourselves. Jesus, of course, need not have died had he not wanted to. He could have dematerialized his body and gone away to the presence of God without dying, as others had done. But he wanted to make it possible for us to follow him in the regeneration and resurrection. Sooner or later, as individuals and as a race, we have to overcome death. Death is the last enemy that will be overcome. When we have overcome death, we will have accomplished Easter, and our work will be done. That will be the end of fear, the end of sickness and decay, the end of sin and limitation.

A time is coming when the human race is going to overcome these things. There are those who say that humankind is necessarily sinful and can never be otherwise. Such an idea is spiritual blindness and an insult to God. Sin, sickness and limitation are not part of God’s plan for us. Sooner or later, we are going to overcome them. All the things that make life on earth so difficult—sickness, fear, threats of war, aggression of one nation against another, one set of people in terror of another set of people—these things will all disappear. Do not listen to pessimists, because they are at heart atheists. The truth is that God is good, and as the human race realizes this more and more, these things will disappear.

For hundreds of millions of years, the seasons have told us this story again and again. The winter of doubt and fear and frustration will ultimately disappear for the whole human race. Spring will come with its promise and summer with its fulfillment. That is the story of Easter.

- From The Bible Unveiled, by Emmet Fox
A Newt List publication, updated and gender-neutral

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Have Superior Ideals!

Our destiny is determined by what we are and by what we do, and what we are to be or do is determined by what we are living for, thinking for or working for. We are not being made by some outside force. We are making ourselves with the power of those forces and elements that we employ in our thought and our work, and in all our efforts physical or mental, we invariably follow our ideals. We who live, think and work for the superior become superior; we who work for less, become less. It is therefore evident that any individual may become more, achieve more, secure more and create for themselves a greater and a greater destiny by simply beginning to live, think and work for a superior group of ideals.

To have low ideals is to give the creative forces of the system something ordinary to work for. To have high ideals is to give those forces something extraordinary to work for, and our fate is the result of what our creative forces hourly produce. Every force in the human system is producing something, and that something will become a part of the individual. It is therefore evident that anyone can constantly improve the power, the quality and the worth of their being by directing the forces of their system to produce that which has quality and worth. These forces, however, are not directed or controlled by the will. It is the nature of the creative forces in humankind to produce what the mind desires, wants, needs or aspires to attain, and the desires and the aspirations of any mind are determined by the ideals that are entertained in that mind.

The forces of the system will begin to work for the superior when the mind begins to attain superior ideals, and since it is the product of these forces that determines both the nature and the destiny of humankind, a superior nature and a greater destiny may be secured by anyone who will adopt the highest and the most perfect system of idealism that they can possibly comprehend. To entertain superior ideals is to picture in mind and to hold constantly before mind the highest conception that can be formed of everything of which we may be conscious. To mentally dwell in those higher conceptions at all times is to cause the predominating ideas to become superior ideas, and it is the predominating ideas for which we live, think and work. When the ruling ideas of any mind are superior, the creative force of that mind will produce the superior in every element, faculty, talent or power in that mind. Greatness will thus be developed in that mind, and the great mind invariably creates a great destiny.

To entertain superior ideals is not to dream of the impossible, but to enter into mental contact with those greater possibilities that we are now able to discern, and to have the power to discern an ideal indicates that we have the power to realize that ideal. We do not become conscious of greater possibilities until we have developed sufficient capacity to work out those possibilities into practical, tangible results. Therefore, when we discern the greater, we are ready to attain and achieve the greater, but before we can proceed to do what we are ready to do, we must adopt superior ideals, and superior ideals only. When our ideals are superior, we will constantly think of the superior, because as our ideals are, so is our thinking, and to constantly think of the superior is to steadily grow into the likeness of the superior.

- From The Ideal Made Real by Christian Larson
A Newt List spiritual ebook, updated and gender-neutral

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bible Meaning

The Bible is a book about humankind in our relation to God, and it therefore starts with certain fundamental statements regarding this relation. These are to the effect that death, and consequently disease and decrepitude, are not laws of humankind’s innermost being. How could they be? How could the negative be the law of the positive? How could death be the law of life? Therefore, we are told that in the true order of things, this is not the case.

The first thing we are told about humankind is that we are made in the image and likeness of God, the Spirit of life, therefore capable of manifesting a similar equality of life. But we must note the words “image” and “likeness.” They do not impart identity, but resemblance. An “image” implies an original to which it conforms, and so does a “likeness.” These words remind us of the passage in which St. Paul speaks of our “reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord” and being thus “transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” (II Cor. 3:18) It is this same idea as in the first chapter of Genesis, only expanded so as to show the method by which the image and likeness are produced. It is by reflection. Our mind is, as it were, a mirror reflecting that toward which it is turned. This is the nature of mind.

We become like what we contemplate. We cannot avoid it, because we are made that way, and therefore everything depends on what we are in the habit of contemplating. If we realize that growth, or the manifestation of the spiritual principle, always proceeds from the innermost to the outermost, by a creative process from within as distinguished from a constructive process from without, we will see that the working of the mind on the body and the effect it will produce on it depends entirely on what form the mind itself is taking, and what form it will take depends on what it is reflecting.

This is the key to the great enigma. In proportion as we reflect the pure Spirit of life, we live, and in proportion as we reflect the material, contemplating it as a power in itself instead of as the plastic vehicle of the Spirit, we bring ourselves under a law of limitation that culminates in death. It is the same law of mind in both cases, only in the one case it is employed positively and in the other negatively.

From Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, by Thomas Troward
A Newt List publication, spiritual ebooks updated and gender-neutral

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Friday, April 4, 2014


GOD, the universal life-force and energy running through everything, is an intelligent presence pervading all space, a beginningless and endless eternity of eternities, a self-existent cause, a perfect unit and a complete wholeness. 

The unthinking person would believe that God is a spirit who keeps books and checks up on the wrongdoings of each individual member of the human race, and that God sends some to heaven and some to hell, all for God’s glory. All people, according to their own light, have believed in the kind of God who best fitted their personal ideas, or in the idea of God that has been imposed on them by ignorant or superstitious leaders. 

But always there has been the voice of those crying in the wilderness of superstition, ignorance, doubt and fear, the voice of those who have thought the thing through to conclusions that have been independent of race beliefs, of the subtleties of religious dogma, and of theological superstitions. These have been the way-showers of humanity, and millions have lighted candles from their flames. But the world progresses slowly. Evolution and the growth of knowledge and wisdom is a process of time and experience. In olden times, an intelligent few understood much deeper truths than were known by the multitude, but the common people were thrown a few crumbs from the tables of those who were “in the know.” These crumbs were shrouded in mystery, symbol, word pictures and parables. Perhaps this was the only way in which wisdom could have been taught at all. 

In principle, the great religions of the world do not differ as much as they appear to. Stripped of their accumulations of adornments, observances and incrustations of interpretations, it is found that each acknowledges that there is one central power, force—or God—which is self-existent. It is from this one power that all things emanate. All of life flows from it and is a part of it. Nothing can exist separate from it. The Christian interpretation of the ultimate nature of the creative source of the universe places more emphasis on the life of the individual as being an integral part of the one life. For this reason, an intelligent understanding of the fundamental concepts of Christianity has had a greater appeal to the progressive peoples of the world.

From The Basics of Spiritual Mind Healing, by Ernest Holmes
A Newt List book, updated and gender-inclusive.