The Importance of Principle (Spiritual Living’s Special Edition, part 2)

As promised, I have more to say on the Centers for Spiritual Living inclusion in the recent Newsweek Spiritual Living Special Edition.

There are some who ask, if we “honor all paths” why we care if someone accesses the Divine through Tarot cards, psychics, astrology or other means; and the truth is that we do not care. We also welcome anyone who feels these or other paths are relevant to them; but please don’t confuse the honoring of other paths as a sign that we want to read Tarot cards on Sunday morning, report upcoming astrological patterns and their impact on peoples’ lives or engage in other New Age (different from New Thought) practices.

CSL as a global organization has a theme this year: a world that works for everyone. As part of that theme, we envision all people, all beings, and all life as expressions of God.

I am speaking for myself, and NOT on behalf of CSL, but I interpret this to mean that we honor your choices, and respect your ability to seek out whatever it is that feeds your spirit, but that when you step into a Center for Spiritual Living organization, there are some basics that you can (should!) expect.

You can expect that we will teach and speak on the unity that is life, and the connection that we have, through the One – no matter what you call that One: God, Spirit, Divine Wisdom, Infinite Intelligence, the Universe,…etc.

You can expect NOT to hear that healing comes through the alignment of certain planets, nor the taking of certain herbs or by travel to sacred places for a unique blessing by a shaman or other individual.

You can expect to learn what Ernest Holmes taught, that “Healing is not accomplished through will power but by knowing the Truth” (SOM, p. 320)

Healing comes through our alignment with Spirit (God, the Universe); our “…recognition of Spirit’s Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence,…” along with the realization of our unity with that Spirit (SOM, p. 149).

No matter what else is taught, talked about, or tolerated in a Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), there should never be a time when someone interfaces with a CSL organization and comes away without this Truth being reinforced.

There is One power, One presence – this presence is God and we are one with this presence, that expresses in, as and through us – regardless of what Tarot cards may suggest, how the planets are aligned or what visions are shared by shamanic priests.

There is a guidebook for how to “do” religious science – and straying too far from it opens the organization and the teaching up to a dilution and misrepresentation of practice.

There is room for all kinds of New Age spirituality in the world and I have no beef with anyone’s interest in, or fondness for any of them, but New Age is not New Thought.

I feel strongly that New Thought spiritual organizations have a responsibility to make it clear who we are, what we teach and believe. To do this effectively, we must be ever-vigilant in the company we keep in print, publication and on Sunday morning.


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