Monthly Archives: June 2015


I was having a chat with another New Thought minister the other day.  She had this to say about the book, "This book answers the unanswered questions."  I had to agree with her, it does.  What are the unanswered questions?

Here's just a few:

  1. How does a New Thought person, who isn't powerless, address the first step?  It isn't about powerlessness, it is about recognizing the need for and desire for change.  Instead of fighting what is destined to be a losing battle, we focus on what we wish to be and embody.  Turn the focus from what you don't want and put it on what you do want.
  2. How does a New Thought person, who believes that God is everywhere present, address the implication in the traditional wording of the steps, that God is something separate from us?  In the Text book of AA, it tells us that we found the Great Reality deep within.  It is referring to God.  In New Thought, we teach that God is everywhere present.  Don't let the wording scare you off.  Over and over again we are told to find some sort of God as we understand it.
  3. How then, would someone turn their will and life over to the care of that something?  Again, this is about focus, and asking ourselves how we would like to be.  And, if you can't find anything else as an ideal, I suggest you use this process.  Move through it, commit to it completely, and when you are done I'd be willing to bet that you will then have an understanding of this concept that works for you.
  4. How is one supposed to approach the 4th step, with it's emphasis on character defects, and mention of the seven deadly sins, when in New Thought we don't believe in sin as it is traditionally defined?  In New Thought, we go to the original language in which the Bible was written, and we take into consideration that the people who were alive during the time the Bible was written taught in metaphor.  The Bible mentions sin quite a bit.  But if you go to the original definition of sin, a totally different perception emerges.  Sin was an archery term.  It meant that one missed the mark.  Picture an archer, poised with bow and arrow, aiming at dinner.  Perhaps the aim was a bit off, or a gust of wind came up just as the archer released the arrow, or perhaps the target moved.  The archer sinned, or missed the target.  So in terms of the 4th step, what we are seeking is not where we have sinned, but where we have made mistakes.  This removes all the shame from the process.

These are just some of the most commonly asked questions, and some brief answers.  In future posts I will go into more detail on each question.  You can subscribe to updates to the right of this post if you are on a computer, and below if you are on a mobile device.




Sometimes as I’m cruising the news and posts, I think about us humans and I wonder.

Early in our days, we worshipped multiple gods. We worshipped the sun goddess and we worshipped the moon goddess and we worshipped the rain goddess, and all kinds of other gods and goddesses. This worship was closely tied to the seasons, to bless and celebrate things like planting of crops and harvesting of crops. There was a lot of fertility worshipping going on around the planting of crops. I remember learning in one of my classes that the goddess of the moon was worshipped more than the goddess of the sun, not because the moon was more powerful, but because it was closer than the sun, and thus more accessible.

So I read posts about the moon waxing and waning and about mercury being in retrograde, and this is why stuff is happening the way it is, and I can’t help but think that we’ve gone back to worshipping the goddess of the moon.

Nothing wrong with that.

But for me, I prefer to worship a bit closer to home. If indeed worship is the right word. It comes down to what I believe in that gives me comfort and peace and power and safety in a world gone mad. Because I happen to think that is what life is about. It’s about feeling comfortable and peaceful and powerful and safe, no matter what.

All of of that stuff, the New Age stuff and the traditional religious stuff, just screams of separation to me. It screams of attempting to find peace in something outside of myself, and that has never made any sense to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my candles and my rocks and my crystals and my altars. I love the rituals and the ceremonies. But that is all stuff to take me back within really. They are just tools.

I don’t care whether it is a traditional God that lives in the sky, or whether it is the moon waning, or mercury in retrograde, to me it is all separate from me, and thus, not where I want to place my attention. That is called duality, and duality has created more problems than just about anything else in this world. A belief in duality says that there is your side, and my side, and then we must take sides. A belief in duality says that I am separate from you, and isn’t that a lonely place to be. A belief in duality says that we can’t get along. A belief in duality says that god is separate from me, wants things from me, does things for me, but only if I am worthy, but really, I’m not worthy at all, because that is the nature of humanity.

None of that has ever made sense to me. What has made sense is oneness.

I have known my entire life that god is a part of me and I am a part of it. I have known this deep inside in the unreachable places, as well as in the more reachable ones. As my life has progressed, I’ve encountered various teachings that implied god was somewhere else besides inside of me, and I’ve sometimes been amused, sometimes not, but always have known, “yes, perhaps, but god is within me.” And this belief and this god has served me well through much.

And when life got to be a bit more painful than I had anticipated, I knew where to go. I knew to go to a place that taught about this god within, and learn more, and connect more, and get a deeper understanding of this god within so that I could feel better about myself and about life.

And before I get too much further into this, I just want to clarify: God is ALL. Everywhere present. Not just within me, but within everything, manifested as everything. It simply is, it is ALL. When I say within, please consider that an encapsulation of this, because this essay is already getting a bit wordy.

I went home, to a place that is currently called the Center for Spiritual Living, but that’s just a new name for a system of teaching and thinking and believing that was first put into words in the 1700s by people like Swedenborg and Mesmer, then by people like Emma Curtis Hopkins and William James and Joel Goldsmith and Christian Larson,, and further refined by Masahauru Taniguchi and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and Ernest Holmes. All of these great minds and more contributed to a system of spiritual psychology that today is called New Thought. There are several New Thought organizations today, but of course I’m very fond of Centers for Spiritual Living, which was founded by Ernest Holmes in the early 1920s.

We aren’t really a religion, except in the places where we are. We teach more than we preach. We don’t give sermons, we give talks. Our ministers are called Reverend (and I still very much enjoy it when someone says to me, “hey Rev!”) and can do all the stuff other ministers do like weddings and celebrations of life and blessings. We are not exclusively Christian, although we do refer to the Bible frequently, as well as the Torah, the Koran and the wisdom of the Buddhists and the Indians and the Eastern philosophies and the Greek philosophers and the great psychologists. Some of us even embrace the moon waning and mercury in retrograde.

I prefer to keep it simple. I believe in a God within, and that is what I teach. After almost ten years of study, I have this wonderful thing called an accredited Masters Degree, and a license that says I am a minister.

Today I look back on that bleak time in my life and I become grateful for this teaching that empowered me and allowed me to know a deeper understanding of what God is, because that is what ended the bleak time, ultimately.

So if you are seeking something, and you aren’t sure what it is, and you’ve been jumping around from the moon waning to the retrograde mercury to the crystals and candles and the latest New Age fad, or you’ve realized you are tired of being called unworthy because you didn’t do God’s will, or perhaps because none of that stuff makes sense anymore and you still feel like there is something missing, come join us and take a journey within.

I promise you we won’t tell you how to think or belief, but we will give you tools so you can figure it out yourself, and when you do, we will continue to love you and accept you.


I love the 12 steps. They have made my life what it is, and continue to do so, serving as a strong foundation for everything I do and everything I am. Specifically, the concepts presented in steps 10 and 11.

Yes, 10 and 11 are my foundation, not 1,2 and 3.


The steps were originally created for people who were in a bad place. The steps are for those who recognize that perhaps it might be time for a change in their lives. We aren’t always going to want such radical change, and those first three steps are pretty radical. Those first three steps are not for the long haul, they are to introduce us to a way of living that works. They are tools to allow me to move beyond the limiting conditions and beliefs that currently affect the conditions in my life.

Step one, in using the terms powerless and unmanageability, is pretty definite about what is happening in our lives. Yet, I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken to who have said, “the steps are not for me, I am not powerless over anything.” In New Thought, we learn that our thoughts are powerful, so the concept of powerlessness goes against everything we believe to be true. But what happens with that is that line of thinking puts up a solid road block to progress.   And people continue to suffer. What is it about that one word, powerlessness, that makes all of our self defense mechanisms stand up and fight for our right to be wrong? Yes, we have power, lots and lots of power, but in terms of the steps, we don’t get that power until step 10, and we certainly don’t have it when a substance has all the power. Our minds are clouded with drugs, alcohol, food, or insane lifestyle choices that limit us, and until we can rid ourselves of that, yes we are powerless. You could say that we are without choice.

Put that first step in New Thought lingo, and it is all about where I want to place my focus. I can focus on fighting against that first drink or drug, saying, “I don’t want to drink” over and over again. We all know where that gets us: drinking! Or, I can say, I want to be sober. And we can envision what sobriety would look like, we can see ourselves as sober people, we can imagine ourselves as non drinkers, we can view with excitement all the gifts a sober life can bring. This is how I did my first step, and when viewed this way, I never needed to revisit it again. I just envision the new way of life, and move on from there.

Steps 2 and 3 are also for beginners, for people new to this way of life. It’s an introduction to a lifestyle. Those steps are saying, find a God, call it whatever you want, and begin to form a relationship with that. And, make a decision.

I don’t know about you, but God has never been separate from me. This is one of the basic fundamental teachings of New Thought: God is not separate from us, but a part of us, and we a part of it. So, turning my will and life over to something within me doesn’t really make a lot of sense. However, making a decision to follow the wisdom of a path, in this case the path carved out by the rest of the steps, makes perfect sense. In doing so, we change our beliefs, our attitudes, and our reactions to life.

I’ll go more into steps 2 and 3 in future posts. For now, I want to go back to the focus of this post, steps 10 and 11 as a foundation for successful living.

Step ten is about self awareness, and Ernest Holmes, in the Science of Mind textbook, talks about inner awareness being a path to divinity, which leads us right to step eleven, where we are urged, every day, to renew and strengthen our relationship with whatever God works for you.

This is where the power and strength lies. This is where the dignity lies. Self-awareness or inner contemplation is recommended by every spiritual path and religion we are aware of. Even if your god is one of science, you will find that simply paying attention to the messages of your body will tell you much about how you are feeling. And knowing how you are feeling is of upmost importance, because when you know how you are feeling, you will be able to track the beliefs that created the feelings, and change them when necessary to ensure maximum good stuff in life.

And step 11 is simply a natural next step after nurturing self-awareness, because it is about nurturing Self-awareness, that God self that is within us.

So, a sort of magical formula would be: go within and nurture your relationship with self, and with Self. That’s with who and what you are, and with the God within. Do this daily. Repeat. And when your awareness tells you that something needs to be changed, change the insides, and the outsides will naturally follow.

More on the magical formula in future posts. You can subscribe to this blog on the right side of the page (below if you are on a mobile device). I look forward to hearing your comments!