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.
And coming to terms with my divine self was not an easy task because I had my Spiritual Identity tied to my human characteristics.
In the book, "What the Great Religions Believe" by Joseph Gaer he writes: In the thirteenth century A.D., a renowned Hebrew language scholar known as Moses ben Malmon, opens his book, "The guide for the Perplexed", With a chapter to clarify the statement in the Bible that man is made in God’s image.
Moses ban Malmon argues that the word Image, led men to believe that God had the form of a human being, God had a physical body. And further, if they did not believe God as having a body and other aspects similar to their own in appearance and temperament, they would have to deny even the existence of God.
What followed was they made God in mans' image and I mean in the image of a male human being. They also gave God a human personality with likes, dislikes and a list of things one must do to be in good favor with Him. And within these ideas was the threat that if you did not agree with their interpretation you would incur another of Gods' personality traits, His Wrath.
Even in new thought we perpetuate the idea of God having human traits. We have our own list, God is good, God is love, God is peace, or God is health. And of course we have God is not. God is not fear; God is not confusion and so on.
For me the problem of these Godlike human characteristics was that I was afraid, I was angry, I was confused and I was sick. How could I begin to identify with my Divine Nature when I was so far from the perfection of God?
So naturally I got involved with the "enough" concepts. The ideas and studies of the things that might need to be fixed before anyone could claim their wholeness and divine authority. And although I did find valuable information and insights in this search, I also got a longer list of what I needed to do to be holy.
But as I practiced the disciplines and rituals that are explored in our New Thought movement such as affirmation, denial, affirmative prayer, spiritual mind treatment, meditation and others. I began to have an experience that the wholeness and wonder I was seeking about my own existence was not something I could achieve by doing something enough. My spiritual identity was not something I could earn or attain it was something I just needed to accept.
Phineas Quimby who many say was the founder of New Thought in the United States says that people are made up of Truth and Belief. The Truth is you are Spirit, I call that God expressing. Everything else about you is created by your belief, your consciousness.
These are the two foundations of New Thought.
There may be people in your life or old beliefs that lead you to think that you are not the living Christ, the physical incarnation of the Divine or what Jesus was referring to by saying, "You are the Sons and Daughters of the Most High". But you do not have to believe the ideas of separation anymore.
So, how does one begin to accept this Truth that Jesus said would set you free?
In the book "Jonathan Living Seagull", the path is expressed simply as:
"You begin by knowing you have already arrived."
Taking charge of your creative mind involves more than just doing a few affirmations or thinking positive thoughts for a few minutes in the morning and then going about the rest of your day thinking like you have always thought.
Remember your mind has a tendency to think the way it has been trained to think. You act like the kind of person you think you are. Your mental environment in any given situation tends to be like a computer program, it runs automatically based on what you have been programmed to think in that situation.
Choice is all about reprogramming your mind so you begin to have thoughts that support you in the ongoing process of creating your life instead of just creating based on programs from your past.
Yesterday I purchased two pieces of furniture and I moved them into my home by myself. They weren't that heavy, and I was in constant contact with my body, paying attention to how I was lifting.
This morning as I was having my coffee under my orange trees I noticed a "twinge" in my lower back. This twinge, as I am calling it, was similar to some of the things that were going on when I was healing back problems.
The first thoughts I had when I noticed this discomfort were not that positive. And automatically in came the negative monitor mentioned in the "What do you think" video. My voice inside did what I have programmed it to do:"Notice where you are going with these thoughts."
And I chose again.Taking charge of your creative mind is an ongoing process of being at choice and focusing on the reality you want for yourself rather than just reacting to your perceptions about what is going on. You are not your thoughts, you are the thinker.
I wake up in the morning listening to Judy McKenzie's song, "Follow Your Bliss," It starts off:
Wake up wake up wake up, rejoice
Wake up wake up wake up, rejoice
Then it has a verse, "You are the light of the world so don't hide it."
Then another one says, "Speak out your truth for you are God’s glory, and your sweet life story is thrilling."
Some days I awake early with little sleep and have to get to the airport to fly to a gig and - - - well let's just say if I wasn't singing those lines to myself, if I wasn't consciously moving to the kind of day I want, it would be easy to move into the drama of being in airports all day.
One verse says, "Follow your bliss, many times you've heard this; so, just follow you bliss and be free."
Moving to is part of you taking charge of your creative mind and thereby your life. When you wake up, what is your focus, what are you moving to?
If you start your day with the intention of working on your problem then the first thing that must be in your experience is your problem. Without your problem you wouldn't be able to work on it.
The central idea behind "Moving to" is to use the tools of choice and create the solution. You can train your creative mind to have its main focus on creating what you do want, what you want to be creating, rather than just dealing with problems and challenges. Certainly you will probably have some problems and challenges come up in creating what you want. And the focus is on realizing the dream not just dealing with the stuff better.
The body and mind combination is goal-directed and action-oriented. Both have a program that they are committed to realizing. That's a little simplistic and it's like that.The choices we all have are:
~what would we like these various programs to be heading to?
~where would you like to be at the end of this year?
~how would you like to perceive yourself as you go along on this journey? Right now take a moment and reflect, where has your focus been for the last few hours?
“Moving to” is just the label I use to assist me to be aware of where my focus is.
One of the most important concepts in making life more stimulating and joyous is to begin moving your energy and focus to what you do want instead of paying too much attention to what you don’t want.
There is so much in the news and “current events” that accentuates the negative; it is easy to get into the habit of constantly reacting to problems and challenges. Our minds can become filled with thoughts about what isn’t working. And when our focus is constantly on the negative after a while there is no joy, there is no inspiration.
That’s the way it was for me when I was sick. I was surrounded with dis-ease, pain and suffering. I spent most of my time fighting problems and worrying about possible negative outcomes. I wanted to change my focus but I didn’t believe I could just declare that I was perfectly health. So I started with what I call my “Statement of Being”…“As I move into this time of creation, I feel the power of something bigger than me, moving with me, supporting and empowering me. I know all things are possible. And as I explore how I am going to create the healing I desire, I will notice this support and acknowledge it. I know that I do not have to figure this out all at once. All I have to do is begin right where I am and consciously choose to move toward what I want. My life is not one problem after another, it is right now a time of discovery and creation, and out of my own being I feel the joy and freedom that comes with knowing I can create reality.”
(From “The Hell I Can’t!”)
If you are feeling overwhelmed or that your life seems to be just one challenge after another a good place to start changing that might be to write your own statement of being.
I send you Love and Joy!!!
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?
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?"
Early in my study of how to make my life work better, I read an article that asked the question: “Is the glass half empty or half full?” There were quotes from prominent scholars and leaders that spoke to the perilous condition of human life as we know it. The wording of each of the comments were very similar in their reference to war, mistrust, greed, and the urgency of change before it was too late. As I continued, I noticed I did not like reading these negative perspectives of the human condition over and over. Once would have been enough. I had those same kinds of thoughts myself at times and I didn’t like to dwell on them.
The author then dated each of the comments. They started in the tenth century, moved to the fourteenth century, to the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth. Her point was that there has always been evidence that accentuates dis-ease and the hopelessness of the human condition. But, those who have changed the world for the better did not come from believing in that evidence. They were positive and moved in their life to make a difference.
As she went on in her article she asked, “What are we, as individuals, focusing on?” She acknowledged the many challenges we experience in today’s world. And the purpose of the article was to assist the reader to examine their own beliefs about what they focus on.
When I did that, I was shocked to find that I had vast amounts of negative information and judgments that spoke to the pitiful shape the world was in. And these negative tendencies had drifted over into how I perceived my self, my hopes, and my dreams.
As I explored these thoughts and feelings, I tried to get underneath them and find where they came from, to see if there were any habits I had that made it easier for these negatives to be “real.” It was a good lesson in introspection, value clarification and being aware of what information I was letting into my consciousness. I believe the lessons I learned in exploring that early example are still part of the foundation of how I want to play this game I call Me.
There is so much in our society that encourages us to focus our attention on what could have been, what should be, and what isn’t working, that it can be difficult to stay in what I call the “joy of being.”
Think for a moment. After you read the paper, listen to the news, as you drive home from work, are you excited about life as a grand and glorious adventure you are playing? When you go to bed, as you wake up in the morning, are your thoughts naturally focused on love and joy, or are you caught up in problems and challenges?
Many people believe this is the golden era in the history of humankind. Productivity has never been greater; the standard of living is at an unprecedented high. We can communicate with others in seconds who are a world away. Leisure time is more available to each of us than ever before. We really do have the time and the resources to make of our lives whatever we want.
Yet, it appears that many people are not happy. They are not finding their lives as satisfying and fulfilling as they would like. They are not experiencing their life as a joyous adventure.
I am not saying they are in the depths of depression or on the brink of ending it all. What I’m talking about is that many of us are conditioned to be problem oriented and dis-ease focused and in too many cases this focus takes much of the enjoyment and satisfaction out of what we experience now.
The first step in the creative process in most of the metaphysical disciplines I have studied is to identify with what might be called the eternal I Am. There are any number of ways this facet of Self may be described or defined: and to me, it’s the part of me that’s not my stuff, not my story (no matter how good my story is). This being that I Am is not my results, not my past, it’s not even what’s going on in my now. It’s what I sometimes call my observer, and I have lots of names for it. Others have called it the life force, the cosmic identity, the Spirit, the Christ within, the Buddha Nature and many more. You can define what this state of being is for yourself.
If I come to the game of my life from being that essence, that Truth, I feel joy and I have joy in the things I am doing. And this enthusiasm for the game can be there no matter what is going on in my now.
Then, when I combine this sense of Self with what I know regarding my intention, focus, or goal directed action, the creative process I’m involved in becomes magical. The results or demonstrations I achieve are my heart’s desires. My focus is no longer on problems and obstacles; it’s not even on my beliefs or my story. My focus is on coming to the game of my life from a new field of reality where I am the most magnificent idea Spirit holds, and from there I get to create, allow, and make up the reality I want. My life becomes a Joyous Adventure.
So, my day starts with: Remember to Come From Being.