Maitreya Kadampa Buddhist Center Message Board › New Thought Movement: Spiritual & Personal Development
|A former member||
The New Thought Movement is growing in global popularity and for over 150 years has become the dominant paradigm in personal development for people around the globe. Many times people overlook this fact and the New Thought Movement for sake of its spiritual overtones.
To truly grasp what's going on within the New Thought Movement, it's best to view the entire movement with an open mind. Take a bird's eye view of the worlds of personal development and spirituality. To do this effectively, we should draw a line between the two so that we could say, "This one's a spirituality and this one's personal development."
Seems easy enough to do in theory, but when you actually set out to draw the boundaries between the two within the frame of the New Thought Movement, the whole thing gets a little foggy. Let me give you an example, "The Ten Commandments" is a clearly a spiritual writing while "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" is a personal development piece of work. Even though they both contain very similar principles, only one of them has any reference to a "Divine Infinite Intelligent Source".
The New Thought Movement is so big and pervasive that it encompasses both extremes of this spectrum by including works that are predominantly spiritual in nature as well as works with no spiritual overtones whatsoever.
Their are 3 key elements within the New Thought Movement that make the spectrum complete. Let's define the three elements and I think it will become easy to understand how the New Thought Movement can be each of these things without needing to be classified as any one or the other:
* Religion: Religion refers to specific practices and commonly held beliefs regarding the nature of divinity within a given group.
* Spirituality: Spirituality refers to the general practice of communing with divinity, but unlike religion, spirituality needs no specific practices or agreed upon beliefs held by a given group. In this way; doing Yoga or playing golf could both be spiritual experiences.
* Personal Development: Personal Development is the practice of becoming one's ideal self and experiencing one's ideal situation, with or without the need for the inclusion of divinity.
In many ways all three of these have the same end goal, "Experiencing your ideal self in your ideal situation." Religion, spirituality, and personal development are simply three different techniques all set out to achieve the same thing which is improved life experiences and "Knowledge of Self".
How to Bring it all Together with New Thought
Each of the above categories is inherently exclusive, for example: Religions are exclusive because each religion is defined by its unique beliefs and practices. The New Thought Movement on the other hand is special because it's inclusive instead of exclusive.
As a whole, New Thought Movement adherents accept that everyone everywhere is basically after the same simple goal in life: "To experience their ideal self in their ideal situation." Some people regard this as being in harmony with the Infinite Intelligent Source, while others regard it as simply being the best person possible. Some people enjoy exact instructions and practices for achieving this goal, others want to forge their own path.
With over 8 million practitioners worldwide, the New Thought Movement is large enough to embrace all three of these distinct viewpoints all at once. There are New Thought Churches, New Thought spiritual centers, and New Thought personal development groups all separate and distinct from one another united under the common belief that we really truly can experience life as our ideal self, in our ideal situations.
Three paths to the same destination, that's part of what makes it so fun; it's religion, or spirituality, or personal development, or whatever combination of the three that's right for the individual! New Thought practitioners have created a path which accepts each person's unique way as the way that's right for them.
Brian Maxwell is a life coach, motivational speaker, and author of How to Overcome Fear and Create Fortune. After working with some of the worlds brightest minds he shifted his focus to speaking to groups hoping to inspire others to live the life they want and manifest abundance, wealth and happiness. For more information visit: The New Thought Generation Blog