Traditional New Thought and New Thought 3.1 support positive progressive social transformation, yet as in all spiritual paths there are those who deviate from the path, or who choose to invent bizarre interpretations of spiritual teachings. New Thought experienced an odd phenomena in the latter third of the 20th Century which might be best termed “Late New Thought.”
In early 2018, self-help guru Tony Robbins demonstrated that his beliefs may be those of the “Late New Thought” deviation which reached its pinnacle in the closing decades of the last millennium.
Traditional New Thought values were eclipsed by this deviation which promoted a buffet of abusive beliefs such as the “Prosperity Gospels,” “Crystal Healing,” “blame the victim mentality” and “life is an illusion” in a twist away from traditional New Thought values and core concepts toward a novel form of what traditional New Thought adherents called “Eddyism.”
New Thought is:
“a correlation of laws of science, opinions of
philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to
the needs and aspirations of humankind”
~ Ernest Holmes
“Late New Thought” tends to forget both the “correlation of the laws of science” and “the needs and aspirations of humankind.” Instead its adherents prefer to focus on the “Prosperity Gospel,” the “Law of Attraction,” and when confronted with challenges such as cancer, or environmental destruction to avoid them through “brightsiding.”
How did the twisted framework of Late New Thought manifest?
Some ministers began promoting the idea that life is an illusion over the clarity of consciousness promoted in traditional New Thought.
Ernest Holmes echoed early New Thought teachings such as “changing our thinking, changes our lives,” but the deviants in “Late New Thought” were seeking easier solutions than the traditions, or having to evolve their own thinking. Instead of reaching deeper into traditional New Thought teachings and Universal Spiritual Principles, perhaps they felt that promoting “magical thinking” yielded bigger bucks.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Although in 1948 New Thought denominations were provided with the ideal affirmation of the values promoted by the original New Thought movement when global recognition of human rights was provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at this time the United States was a nation divided by institutionalized racism.
The fact that one of the major American New Thought denominations placed its headquarters in Missouri which was and still is considered one of the most racist states in America certainly seems to have inhibited that group’s ability to maintain a progressive stance in alignment with Abel Allen’s 1914 Message of New Thought:
“NEW THOUGHT is not, as many believe, a name or expression employed to define any fixed system of thought, philosophy, or religion, but is a term used to convey the idea of growing or developing thought. In considering this subject, the word “New” should be duly and freely emphasized, because the expression “New Thought” relates only to what is new and progressive.”
Yet, it must be observed that even New Thought denominations headquartered outside America’s geographic bastions of racism also failed to grasp the significance of this major international legislation.
While “’New Thought’ relates only to what is new and progressive,” books such as Ernest Holmes’ Questions & Answers on the Science of Mind reveal that some New Thought leaders’ had already strayed from traditional New Thought into passive racism which may have suppressed the ability for those New Thought leaders to recognize the opportunity which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides.
If we add to this the fact that the changes within the second edition of Ernest Holmes’ major work Science of Mind, were provided by Maude Lathem while Holmes’ books such as It’s Up To YOU! and Questions & Answers on the Science of Mind relied upon Lathem and other women for the text, we can observe that either Holmes’ abilities were diminished after 1928, or perhaps he was more concerned with the Institute of Religion Science founded in Los Angeles by his brother Fenwicke and himself than with the texts which illuminate his contributions to 20th Century New Thought.Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him. The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands. Ye-ha! The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.
Unleash the Monster Within!
Why would a successful popular guru such as Tony Robbins feel motivated to malign the #MeToo movement?
Only after the video documenting Nanine McCool’s confrontation of Robbins went viral, did he begin to reflect upon his words.
While Robbins’ reaction to social progress would be considered odd and bizarre to traditional New Thought adherents, it fits in with that deviation known as Late New Thought which has amplified the teaching of personal responsibility to an extreme viewpoint.
For the Late New Thought deviant, the victim is responsible for the crime. Some adherents to this deviant twist away from traditional New Thought values go so far as to blame all types of crimes on the victims. Confronted with the scenario of a group of criminals dragging a man behind a pickup truck, a practitioner in Jacksonville Florida asked: “What did he do to bring that into his consciousness?”
Perhaps this is why 49% of New Thought Centers have closed since 1999.
It is one things to teach people how to empower themselves, but it is quite another to blame the victim for the crime.
New Thought Today returns to the traditional values of the New Thought movement which are essentially the values of Partnership / Co-Creation.
Those New Thought leaders who have mindsets rooted in the late 20th Century are not likely to realize the importance of the social component of spirituality and life. If you watch their videos, you will usually see them flogging the values of the Prosperity Gospel which can be basically reduced to “Money is God …” Or “Money is God power …” “plant your seeds with me and you will reap a big harvest” which translates to “give me your money and then God will give you more.”
Personal responsibility is an essential component in traditional New Thought teachings, and the early New Thought teachers lived in a time in which the social component of life was taken for granted. People helped each other. Early New Thought leaders had kitchens which operated on the principle of giving what you can and picking out what you wished to each upon the menu. These operations were always flush with cash and able to provide for all, both the diners and the staff; they only experienced problems when they converted to the restaurant model. Traditional values are trumped when the focus is on profits over people. When the social component is reduced again and again with the motivation of anger founded in dogma, everyone suffers in the short, or long run.
In contrast to traditional New Thought principles which are derived from the core concept of Co-Creation / Partnership, “Late New Thought” turns away from the balance of shared responsibility / social interdependence with personal expression / self reliance, promoting the Late New Thought belief that people are lone actors striving for mastery in a ruthless competition encouraged by a society which rewards those who dominate.
One could summarize “Late New Thought” by recognizing that it relies upon a form of determinism which ignores neuroscience in favor of neuro-fantasy.
In contrast to New Thought which teaches mindfulness and the principle of acting in alignment with Highest Good, Late New Thought promulgates a form of ruthless determinism.
Let us look at “Late New Thought” teachings, and how they are different from actual New Thought.
When you look at today’s #meToo movement and how it helps us to ask why powerful men and women are able to take advantage of power differences, how does this square with traditional New Thought teachings which promote Human Rights, thoughtfulness and mindfulness?