New Thought Editorials > Keep It Up!


Summer 2013

Keep It Up!

Perseverance, persistence, keeping on keeping on—whatever you call it, sometimes the only missing ingredient between you and your goal is hanging in there. It’s not glamorous, it doesn’t make a good story, but it’s the continued putting one foot in front of the other that eventually gets you there.

That sounds as if it means effort in the outer world, and it does. But perhaps you have heard the expression "As within, so without", or "As in heaven, so on earth", usually stated "on earth as it is in heaven". New Thought author/minister Emmet Fox explains this in his booklet, "The Mental Equivalent":

You demonstrate the state of your mind at any given time. You experience in the outer what you really think in the inner. This is the meaning of the old saying "As within so without." Note carefully that in the Bible the word "within" always means thought, and the word "without" means manifestation or experience. That is why Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven (health, harmony, and freedom) is within. Harmonious thought means harmonious experience. Fear thought or anger thought means suffering or frustration. This brings me to the most important thing I want to say, namely that if you want to change your life, if you want to be healthier, happier, younger, more prosperous, above all, if you want to get nearer to God . . . you must change your thought and keep it changed.

Changing your thought for ten seconds is better than not changing it at all, but unless you keep it up, keep changing it for longer and longer periods, until ten seconds becomes ten minutes or ten hours or ten days, your results will be limited or even chaotic. How do you change your thought? By getting your mind on something else, anything else, but it had better be on something desirable and pleasant, something in harmony with an entirely good God. I have defined New Thought as "God-aligned mental self-discipline", and this is the nub of it, this continual effort to change your train of thought and keep it changed. Nursing and rehearsing old grievances, or even present grievances, isn’t it. Fox’s more advanced version of the same lesson, "The Golden Key", is to change your thoughts by turning them away from your difficulties and toward God. You do this by reminding yourself of everything you know about God, by reciting Bible passages or favorite affirmations. This involves advance preparation by identifying and memorizing such passages and affirmations. You have to put your heart into it, and you have to work on it regularly, daily. If you are going to have a supportive relationship with God, you are going to have to do your part by studying, meditating, and listening for God’s leading. You can do some of this with the help of other like-minded people, but a great deal of it has to be done alone in the silence. Singing songs of praise or finding ways to help others is fine, but they cannot substitute for your one-on-one relationship with God.

One of the oldest ways that people went about this was breaking from work at regular intervals, or even getting up at set times during the night, to turn their thoughts back to God. We think nothing of letting the news break in on us at regular intervals, with most of it bad; how about letting God break in on us at regular intervals, with all of it good? This relationship with God has to become habitual, something that we look forward to on a regular basis, because it actually feels good, once it has become a habit; but we have to keep at it until it does.

New Thought author Henry Wood (1834-1909) puts it this way:

It is important for every one who is trying personally to apply these principles, to understand that all progress is vibratory and uneven. The higher standpoint is only reached through a long series of "ups and downs." To the quickened insight a possible retrograde in consciousness may seem to reach almost back to the starting-point, but in reality the outlook is broader, and the standards and aspirations have already been advanced. All our mistakes, if rightly considered, are thoroughly educational; for only through them can we learn our lessons well. The lower and false selfhood will fight with desperation, and before finally yielding will renew the conflict again and again; but Truth is invincible, and error must at length give way. (Ideal Suggestion, pages 92-93)

Keep on changing the within, and sooner or later it has to appear without as well.