What about Newton?

SirIsaacNewtonIn spiritual circles the Law of Cause & Effect is defined as: every action has a consequence — creative, destructive, or neutral.  Once you understand this it is not hard to spot in everyday life and I’ve written about this particular spiritual principle using the example of rush hour traffic. It is also one of those spiritual Laws that has always made me think of the scientific laws that I learned in Science classrooms many years ago. If you think about it, the scientific laws are universal, just as are the spiritual laws (though Scientists would argue that scientific laws have been vetted with mathematical formulas and laboratory experiments that “prove” them).

All I can say to that is there were some scientists (Physicists) who believed that everything that could be discovered had been discovered once the atom was identified,…and now we have Quarks, Higgs-Boson particles, and more. Similarly, once Small Pox and Polio were controllable by man, many scientists (Biological Scientists and Physicians) proclaimed the end to disease, and then came HIV, H1N1, Ebola and more.

Let’s keep an open mind that we don’t “know it all” even yet, and examine some other universal laws and how they might correspond or relate to some of the spiritual laws we know and use. Today we’ll consider Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity (V = d/t) unless it is acted upon by some external force. Simply stated, if you are pedaling your bicycle along a road at 3 mph (let’s assume a perfectly flat horizontal plane for this road), you will continue to move along at that same pace unless you a) apply the brakes to slow down or b) pedal faster, to speed up. In both instances, your action (braking or faster pedaling) is that external force that changes your velocity.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that the rate of change in the velocity of an object is proportional to the force acting upon it. In the example above, the rate of change in your bicycle’s speed is proportional to how hard you brake or how much faster you pedal.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “in a system where no external forces are present, every action force is always opposed by an equal and opposite reaction force“.  I like to use the example of the solid metal spheres that hang from fishing line in a row where you can pull 1, 2 or more to one side, let go and then the same number will be displaced at the other end when these hit the line of spheres.


Now let’s look at how Newton’s Laws of Motion may relate to spiritual truths.

The 1st Law of Motion has to do with where we want to go and how fast. If we are hoping to grow a church or a Center, and we continue to do the same thing all the time, hoping for different results; Einstein is quoted as calling that the definition of insanity, but I think Newton would call it futile, based on this 1st Law. Until we put MORE energy; indeed different energy and action into the mix, we will continue on at the same velocity. Some will say that Spiritual Mind Treatment is enough, but I disagree and the Laws of Motion support the requirements for an increase in physical activity needed to generate additional physical activity (i.e. velocity). In other words, consciousness alone (without consistent forward action) is not enough.

Similarly, the 2nd Law of Motion speaks to change. The rate of change is proportional to the force acting upon it. I’ll use a traditional religious example this time. I have mentioned before that I once worked as an Organist in a number of churches. In 1 church, located in a rough section of town where crime and poverty outpaced hope and renewal, I worked for a thriving church where new members – new TITHING and generous members – showed up and stayed on a consistent basis. I later worked for another church, not too far from this one. It was a suburban church situated between 3 affluent and stable communities. This church struggled to maintain members, support repairs on its building, and pay the minister. This church lost more members in a year than it kept. It was a dying church.

The major difference between the 2? The physical activities invested by the minister and the members. In the thriving church, the congregation was not just located “in” the community, they were “of” the community. The minister (and members) attended community events, reached out to people who experienced loss, whether they were members or not, established neighborhood ministries (Homework Helpers, for example – a safe place for the kids in the neighborhood to come after school to get tutoring and a snack) and more. In other words, the rate of the change in that church’s velocity was directly proportional to the amount of active participation (force) that the minister and congregation put into their ministry. They prayed, yes – but they got out there and moved into action to support their prayer work. They exerted a force for change that was stronger than the inertia of their current state and the energy and enthusiasm and love they infused into their actions made the difference; it changed the trajectory of defeat and descent into one of hope and growth.

And in considering the 3rd Law of Motion we again are reminded of the equality in universal laws. What we put out, returns to us in direct proportion unless an external force is present. We all know that “treatment works” but if all we are willing to do is meditate and do treatment, I believe that this limits our ability to grow and expand, whether as individuals or organizations. Peace of mind, a state of calm, happiness and feelings that all is well are easily achieved with treatment, meditation and other less physical activities. If we want to encourage more people to walk into our Center, we have to move from the treating-from-the-couch position to moving our feet.  In other words, consciousness and mental work (treatment) is critical, but action is necessary to fully express in our lives. We live in a physical world, after all.

In light of my loose application of the serious laws of Physics (and I only know enough to be dangerous!), I have created a formula for using consciousness in our quests to demonstrate that acknowledges the Laws of Motion for this physical Universe that we inhabit:

D = (C) + p (A)


  • D = the demonstration
  • p = persistence
  • C = consciousness
  • A = action

Prayer work, spiritual mind treatment and affirmations are wonderful tools to align our consciousness toward our goals, but – without persistent ACTION, we can spend years treating for things that will continue to elude us until we get up off our backsides and start putting one foot in front of the other in pursuit of our goal.

If we want to lose weight, we have to put down the sugary sodas and start drinking water; turn off the TV and go for a walk, etc. If we want a new job we need to revise our resume, line up our professional references, search the online job boards and maybe even reach out to a recruiter. No one is going to come knock on our door and offer us a job out of the ethers and no one is going to show up at our Centers and hand us a check so large that we never again have to think about our budgets.

Life doesn’t work that way and I feel comfortable saying this because I have watched many very spiritual people treat and treat and treat and vision and vision and vision,…with no results (or worse! – results that went in the other direction). The missing link? They weren’t able (or willing) to move from establishing the goal in their consciousness to taking a forward step in the direction of those desires.

Consciousness and the Law of Cause and Effect (as taught in spiritual circles) are powerful allies, but they don’t have the ability to circumvent other Universal laws. If the Bible can be seen as one of the great metaphorical guides to life, can we really discount similar metaphoric meanings in the great discoveries of science? I’m not sure that Newton’s Laws of Motion apply exclusively to heavenly bodies or physical objects any more than the story of Jonah and the Whale is only about a man swallowed by a great fish.

The wisdom of the Universe is all around us; in holy books, in nature, within the writings of sages and in scientific principles. We cheat ourselves out of experiencing all that life has to offer if we ignore the role that each has to play in informing our earthly journey.

So, the next time you want to manifest something new in your life, get your head straight and make sure you are aligned with the consciousness of your goal; and then start taking planned and intentional steps in the direction of that which you desire. When we do this, the Universe has no choice but to respond.


One thought on “What about Newton?

  1. Pingback: Action plan: harnessing spiritual law for our Good | A Practitioner's Path

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