New Thought Editorials > Another New Beginning

 

Winter 2006

Another New Beginning

One of the nice things about following the seasons, or following the Christian liturgical year, is that somewhere around late fall or early winter, when the days are at their shortest in the northern hemisphere (Australia and Argentina, you’ll just have to figure out something else), we get a fresh start. Our ancestors, lacking an abundance of electric lighting, tended to curtail their activities and go to bed early, letting the fields lie fallow under the snow and letting their minds take a break from routine and busyness. Then, when the world was at its bleakest and darkest, they celebrated the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who to his followers represented the light and love and healing that come from the ultimate reality that he called Father, or perhaps Mother-Father. Shortly thereafter, we celebrate the beginning of another calendar year, with its blend of auld lang syne and turning over a new leaf.

New beginnings tend to breed optimism: things will be better this time around, because we have learned some important lessons or evolved in some way. New babies, new houses, new administrations, new ideas—we expect the best, or at least something better. We are often motivated to set new goals and clean out desks and closets, getting rid of the outworn good to make room for the new good that we anticipate.

One of the most important contributions that Jesus made to the world was his healings, and these he firmly connected with new beginnings. His theme was sin no more, meaning to stop the bad habits of mind or body that got you into your present predicament. Be born again, start over, learn from your mistakes—and you always learn more from your failures than from your successes. His attitude was never one of blame, but rather, of expecting that the person seeking healing would take this opportunity to change for the better, of seeing that person through the eyes of love and assuming the best about him or her. He refused to entertain arguments over whether it was a formerly blind man or his parents who had sinned; instead, it was Where do we go from here? What do we want?

Our contemporary lifestyle no longer compels us to have a fallow season, let alone a good night’s sleep; so in some ways, a balanced life was easier for our ancestors. We, however, have the blessings of science, including the discoveries of quantum physics. Not the least of these discoveries is that our minds can influence even random events. Process thought, building in part on quantum physics, holds that the basic building blocks of the universe are experiences coming in bursts (quanta). Each of us is a society consisting of multiple successions of occasions of experience. Each experience is NOW. Each experience is influenced by the pattern of the past, but has the power to change the pattern at least somewhat. In that NOW, we must choose between the old pattern of the past and God’s new perfect possibilities for the future, tailored just for each of us. Each momentary choice can carry us closer to our goal or away from it; closer to healing or prosperity or the peace of God, or away from them. We are literally new every moment; each moment is a new beginning. Each positive choice enriches the pattern of the past. It reduces the contrast between the past and the perfect possible, making it easier to select the next positive choice, to take the next step toward our goal.

Sin no more, but if you do, you can make a better choice in the next moment, the new NOW. You don’t have to wait for next New Year’s Day.