New Thought Editorials > At Last! A New Millennium

 

Winter 2001

At Last! A New Millennium

As we reach a new year, a new century, and a new millennium all at once, it is appropriate for us to ponder a bit about where we’ve been and where we’re going, about time and moral principles.

We measure the passage of time in a relative way, a way that relates to something else that we find meaningful or helpful, such as the birth of Jesus. An event comes before, after, or at the same time as another event; or we arbitrarily choose a starting point and then measure elapsed time to an equally arbitrary ending point. Time is relative. Moral principles, on the other hand, are absolute. They appear in every culture at every point in human history. They work well because they come from God. They appear in every culture at every point in human history. They work well because they come from God. They can be expressed negatively as things to avoid, such as murder, stealing, or lying; or positively, as in the exhortation to love God with all your heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself. If we love God above all else, we will give God priority in our lives, scheduling quiet time for communicating with God and working to develop our trust in the great process or co-creation with God and in God’s will for us as utterly good. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will be honorable in all our dealings, keeping our word and seeking win-win solutions to problems that inevitably arise in a world in which everyone has freedom to choose. People who are principle centered are people of good character.

A century ago, New Thought had just come into its own as a movement known by the name the New Thought, a blend of spirituality with psychology. Emphasizing first healing, then prosperity that included "peace of mind, health of body, harmonious relationships, and abundant successful living," it opened the doors of mental prisons for thousands of people trapped in negative belief systems and toxic religions. Anyone believing in a good God and an abundant universe could make use of New Thought principles to co-create a better life, either remaining in an older religion or joining one of the New Thought churches.

Gradually, the movement, along with the success-oriented literature it inspired, underwent a subtle change. The importance of good character, at first taken for granted, began to be lost in emphasis on a pleasing personality or other methods for getting ahead in the world by using mind power. But without the foundation of good character, as authors Richard Huber and Stephen Covey have documented, one slides down the slippery slope to moral relativism. As that has happened, New Thought’s momentum has slowed, and it has become confused with New Age, a much more recent movement that seeks the cutting edge of newness in all disciplines but is vague about its spiritual center.

New Thought’s great opportunity is to become the heart, soul, and conscience of the new millennium. We need to recover the lost emphasis on character. We can become people whose word is law to themselves because they keep their promises, people disciplined enough to set God-aligned goals and achieve them in a way that helps others in the process. We can love ourselves enough to hold high standards for ourselves, and love others enough to endeavor to understand them instead of blaming or criticizing them. In this new year, century, and millennium, we can become bigger and better than ever by becoming examples for others of what is possible through co-creation with God. Jesus, the greatest psychologist who ever lived, told us to follow his example of relating to God as to a loving father; if we did, we would be able to do even greater works than he did. Two millennia after his birth, let’s celebrate a change of heart, a return to moral principles, and get on with it.