New Thought Editorials > Endings and Beginnings

 

Winter 2015

Endings and Beginnings

We have all somehow managed to survive another circumnavigation of the sun and arrived at the end of another year. Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus just after the shortest day in the year, the day when we most feel the need of more light, not to mention more hope, more love, and more peace. We hang lights, buy or make presents, read stories or see films about Christmas miracles and happy times.

Then it’s time to prepare for another beginning. We take stock of the past year and close the books on it. We look forward to the new year, setting goals and plans for reaching them. We decide how much of the old to carry forward unchanged and how much change to include in order to increase our chances of reaching those goals.

Much of this ending with a celebration and beginning anew with another one is joyous, but this time of year can be the most depressing for many people. It seems as if everyone else is happier than we are, for every possible reason. Too often we take inventory of what we don’t have or didn’t get, instead of noticing the good that we do have. Or maybe we are facing a huge challenge that swallows everything else up as we wrestle with it. So where is our attention?

I haven’t said a word yet about God. The quickest route to any goal, to any problem’s solution, is to center ourselves on God. Our Christmas love and joy needs to include thanks for all the good that we have experienced and are continuing to experience. Our plans for the new year need to include God’s wisdom and guidance. Our attention needs to be on plenty, not scarcity, whether it be wellness, money, or love that appears to be in short supply. Emmet Fox’s Golden Key is to think about God instead of the difficulty. When we are taking inventory of the lack, we are not thinking about God, the All-Sufficient.

Fox notes that the Golden Key is sometimes difficult to turn, and this is because we are still thinking about the problem that is staring us in the face. If we had our heart’s desire, what would things look like, sound like, or feel like? If we once had something and later lost it, we have the memory of having it to refer to. Or maybe it is a totally new creation, really a co-creation with God. Then we have to work at picturing it as best we can, revising as we go.

All this is very real-world, not pie-in-the-sky. We create our world with our habitual thoughts. Our bodies are pictures of our past thinking. So are the rest of our surroundings. If we don’t like them, we need to get busy picturing something better and imagining how it would look, sound, smell, taste, and feel. God (and the universe is said to be God’s body) is always standing ready to help us obtain our heart’s desire, as long as it is not something out of integrity.

My beloved household Philosopher, New Thought minister, and author cobbled New Thought and process philosophy together to create Process New Thought. It incorporates the findings of quantum physics and other up-to-date science. Life is lived in quanta (bursts) of energy, also called experiences; dynamic, like frames of a movie, rather than static, like still photographs. "Now" is gone before you even knew it was here! The Philosopher created a formula to describe this process: Past + Divine Offer + Choice = Co-Creation. In this new developing occasion of experience, we choose how much of the past to include and how much of God’s perfect possibilities for this occasion to include. Perhaps you remember the little flip books in which a cartoon character appears to raise his arm as you flip the pages, yet each page is very similar to the one before. Life is rather like that. Experiences come at the rate of one every tenth of a second, and change is the only constant, but change is also gradual. This means that we have to plan ahead what we want the future to be like and work constantly, habitually, to bring it into existence. Then, seemingly suddenly, the character’s arm is all the way up, and the future we planned for is present. It then becomes the past from which the next experience will arise.

All this is governed by our thought processes. If our thoughts are centered on God and God’s possibilities, on what we want and not what we don’t want, seeming miracles happen. A miracle is now defined as action resulting from a law as yet not understood, not something contradictory to nature. May you experience many of them in your life as you close the books on one year, celebrate its conclusion, and joyfully plan for a fresh start in the new year.