Archived General Articles

The Foundation of New Thought Is the Truth That Sets Us Free

The International New Thought Alliance dedicated to Spiritual Enlightenment and Transformation since 1914, recently asked Terry to submit an article for the Winter 2017 New Thought Magazine.
Here’s a copy of Terry’s article.

New Thought and the promise within their teachings was my only hope of taking control of some of the circumstances in my life. I was attempting to heal a supposedly incurable infection in my spine and my focus was on how to use the principles explored throughout our teachings that address consciousness creating reality. In summary I got well, I beat million to one odds and created perfect health.

But my ability to create the health I wanted did not come from just learning how to take charge of my mind and body. My miracle of healing really came from realizing my spiritual nature. Because, it was the truth of my spiritual nature that allowed me to address my human circumstances with divine authority.

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What Is Truth?

Recently I spent several days with my dear friend Larry. One evening we were talking about money and how it should be related in the Spiritual Reality we are both committed to. He had heard, as I have, if one is really committed to a spiritual path, one should not have money or wealth as a primary priority. Larry had been involved with someone he considered to be a Master who spoke directly to that in saying, If you see someone charging money for any spiritual service you should run away as fast as possible.

Because Larry had received a great deal of benefit from some of the other teachings of this Master, he was more inclined to accept this Master's position on money as truth. You know, when one has their act together, they speak the Truth; it's not the same as dogma and doctrine. Because I did not know this Master as Larry did, I was not as willing to accept his position. As we sat there exploring our beliefs about money we both realized that our individual positions were greatly influenced by what we had been taught by those we respected.

I had my own Masters that supported my various positions and Larry had his. So, with a smile, I told him my Masters can beat up your Masters and we laughed. Over the next few days we explored how easy it can be to play the right-wrong game with others when we have different beliefs on what 'truth is.' And yet isn't a belief only an idea that one thinks about repeatedly over a period of time? Then, as Metaphysics teaches, once we believe a certain way the universe supports us - low and behold, we can prove our beliefs. Our beliefs become "Truths."

Ernest Holmes, one of the great metaphysicians of the twentieth century states on page 210 of Living The Science Of Mind: "The Law, having no purpose of It's own, having no intention of It's own about us, is compelled to take the color of our dominant thought and create after that pattern. We, being persons, can change our thoughts and thereby remold our conditions. Indeed this is the great realization of freedom, and to understand this is to understand how we may be released from bondage." This ties into the idea that "all things are possible if only you believe."

Certainly in my life I have had some great teachers that assisted me on my path of remembering who I Am in the game of "know the truth and it shall set you free." And I have many beliefs that came directly from these great teachers. What Larry and I were exploring was: "When do we get to come from the freedom Holmes speaks to and create our belief any way we want? When do we get to accept ourselves as the magnificent out-picturing of the Divine as Human Form? And coming from being a Spiritual Being having a Human Experience, when do we get to accept our Divine Authority?"

Now back home, sitting at my desk thinking about freedom and my ability to create what ever I desire I hear and feel the same thoughts; who do you think you are, don't be too big for your britches. Sounds like ego to me. And I wonder, what is truth?

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Who Do You Think You Are?

The other day I was watching a television program with my wife. The program was about disease and the part we can play in it. At one point, the presenter stated how several people had received wonderful benefits from being sick and that they did not experience the disease itself as a negative which needed to be eliminated. He further stated that the healing people seek may not necessarily include the complete healing of their body.

After the program I turned to her and said, “Yes, I agree that disease can be a teacher, but if one does not know that they can eliminate their disease then it’s just another box. A glorious box, perhaps, with great lessons and insights to be gained. But, it is still a box and something that we 'can’t change'. And in that box there is no freedom in choice, only degrees of helplessness.”

When I was sick with what my doctors said was an incurable infection in my spine, I was sent to a psychiatrist who wanted me to work with him so that I could learn to live within what he called “my human limitations.” He said that there was a good chance I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and he could help me face that reality with dignity. I told him that I didn’t want to learn how to live in a wheelchair with dignity, but that I wanted instead to learn how to get well. He said that I was living in a dream world.

We argued for almost an hour. He read from my medical records and I quoted from scripture and self-help books saying, “All things are possible if only I believe.” It became a very heated discussion. He told me that I was in denial and I told him that I thought he was a jerk. He confronted me with all the evidence that he knew about me being an angry young man who was afraid. And I threatened him with bodily harm.

Finally, I stood up and told him, “I won’t believe you! I am not my medical records, I am not my past, and I won’t use what is going on now as a predictor of my future!” As I walked out of the office I heard him ask, “Who do you think you are?” With that question filling my mind I went back to my hospital room. This hospital stay happened to be for the fourteenth surgery on my spine.

At first I was just angry and resented him for confronting me. Then that anger, mixed with the fear I had within my own beliefs, really plugged me in. But the more I thought about what he had said, the more I had a sense that he was getting to a core issue when he asked, “Who do you think you are?”

Oh, I had read positive books. I had sayings and positive affirmations on my wall. I had started my days with various rituals that were supposed to be meaningful. Yet, when I stood in front of the mirror after shaving to declare my reality I would begin with “I am a survivor.” The entire universe would respond with “Ok, survive this” and I then would own up to all the rest of what I had been taught: I am the adult child of an alcoholic parent…I’m terribly co-dependent. My small self and the saboteur within were always separating me from my good and my ego was always leading me astray.

I was so busy owning up to my human frailties and shortcomings I had no clue about my divine magnificence and authority. And from that limiting perception of self I began to realize that there was no way I would be able to create the health I wanted. That’s when I changed my mind. I was no longer going to validate suffering and disease as the great teacher.

It was nine years and thirteen surgeries later before I was whole and infection free. It then took another five or six years for me to create my body so that it was pain free. I wasn’t always on track or disciplined with what I thought I should be doing. But I did it. There were days, weeks and even months when I was angry and depressed, but I kept using the tools of choice as I knew them and, finally, I created the health that I wanted.

Certainly, I learned some great lessons while I was sick. And the most important lesson was: I am not my stuff, I am not my past, I wasn’t even what was going on in my now. I was and am a magnificent expression of the Divine, and the rest I get to make up.

Looking back, I know the psychiatrist gave me just what I needed when he asked, “Who do you think you are?"

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