A New Thought Philosophy of Life | Spirituality Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today’s podcast by announcing the publication of our new book “Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons.” This beautiful hardcover book includes essays from 50 of our most popular podcasts, delivering timeless wisdom on how we can live our best, most joyful life. It also makes for a truly wonderful Christmas gift, for adults both young and old.

You can purchase this heirloom-quality hardcover book for the special sale price of $19.99 until November 6th. To learn more, please visit the website InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Once again, that’s InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

Now, let’s move on to today’s reading, which has been edited and adapted from the book “Message of New Thought” by Abel Allen, published in 1914.

THE philosophy of New Thought offers a key to the essential life–the life worthwhile. New Thought is a philosophy of life. It leads us out of the labyrinths of weakness, doubt, and darkness into the sunlight of hope, strength, and courage.

The art of living is the art of thinking, for life has no values except as thought molds them — except as thought creates ideals for the individual to shape and pattern their life after. How we shall live is the most important question for humanity’s thought and consideration. It is paramount because during our lives we mold our character, either good or bad, which is the only asset we carry away at its close.

Life is not built to any fixed plan. One ideal will not suffice for all lives. Individuals cannot follow the same guide, because all persons differ and the orbits of their respective lives cannot be the same. Each person is endowed with some distinct and superior quality. The real purpose of your life should be to develop that gift and bring it into activity and expression.

We must, therefore, begin with the proposition that life is an individual function, a problem for each person to work out in the manner best suited to their own individuality. Your life must be shaped by your own ideal. It must follow your own line of cleavage.

We often ask ourselves, “What is the ultimate purpose of life?” Of course, millions of religious people would say that the real object of life is to observe certain formulas and requirements that will secure one a safe place in the next world when death ensues. But this does not answer the question or satisfy the inquiring mind.

Every person has one supreme ideal. Every person is turning their thought toward the future, with the hope of reaching one great result. What is this inward longing, what is all this striving, the labors of life, what is the goal of all our efforts, but happiness?

Ultimate happiness is the motive power of life. However, no two persons will agree on what constitutes ultimate happiness. Therefore no common ideal can be set up and established, by which to reach that desired state.

One person may think wealth to be the direct means of producing happiness, another travel, another work, another duty and service. We all map out and travel different roads to arrive at the one desired result. The essential fact is not what we may think will produce happiness (for the greater part of our thinking along these lines is defective and illusory), but the important thought for consideration is what, in fact, will lead us to the coveted goal.

Our lives and energies are largely wasted in an endeavor to follow our ideals of happiness. We spend the larger portion of life in discovering and laying aside cherished illusions and discarded ideals. Our greatest illusions, the ones that most monopolize our thought and energies, are those we treasure of happiness. They fade away and vanish as we travel along the highways of life.

After all, we gain much wisdom from Nature. If we have eyes to see, or ears to hear, Nature will furnish guides that will pilot us safely toward the essential life, which in its last analysis and ultimate meaning is a life of happiness.

Happiness has been defined as the warm glow of a heart at peace with itself. How to find happiness as here defined, how to possess it, how to make it our own, is one of the great arts and secrets of life. To study the art of living, we should begin with certain fundamental truths which form the basis of all constructive thought about life. Without these fundamentals we can only travel the rugged and difficult path of experience. We should know something of the laws that enter into life, that shape and give it destiny, before we can bring intelligence and understanding to a discussion of the art of living.

Without a study of the nature of humankind, the mysterious power of the mind which controls us, something of our relationship with Nature and the universe, our approach to a knowledge of the essential life will be slow and tedious. We might as well try to sail the trackless seas without a compass and chart, as to sail life’s seas without these pilots.

We should begin with the law of causation, the law of cause and effect, written everywhere in Nature. This law enters into life in every moment of time. Whatsoever a person soweth, that shall you also reap. This law is as absolute in the regulation of mind and thought, as it is in directing the orderly movements of the physical universe. Humanity is under the dominion of law, and every thought is manifested in outward life.

Life is ruled by a spiritual captain. Truth exacts constructive thinking. Thought is the great factor in life. Right thought means right living. Constructive thought means a constructive life. Negative thought means an empty and negative life.

The kind and quality of your thought determines the kind and quality of life. Thought is expressed in the personality and molds the outward circumstances of life. It is manifested in life’s results. We receive that which is our due; nothing more, nothing less. We pay the price; we do not get something for nothing. We take out of life only what we put in.

Only as we take to life a full soul, do we live a full life. If we carry into life an empty soul, our reward is a desolate and barren life. Life yields only what it receives. These truths should sink deep into your understanding, as they light the pathway that leads to the art of living.

It follows as a natural sequence that the violation of these laws brings its own swift and relentless punishment. If we break them, Nature sets up her impediments, we are frustrated in our efforts, we fail to reach the real in life. The converse is also true. If we keep them, Nature smiles her approval and we reach out toward the constructive and essential in life.

Everywhere we are reminded of the unity of life, that universal life and intelligence that pervade the universe, manifesting and expressing itself in all objective Nature (the blade of grass, the flower, the bird), reaching its highest manifestation in human life.

When we come into the realization of this fact and feel the growing importance of its truth, Nature seems a little kinder, the flower has a new meaning, humanity appears greater, our fellow-citizens a little nearer, and Nature puts on a more human aspect. We can feel harmonious vibrations everywhere, and see revelations of splendor, beauty, and meaning in every bud and leaf. It enlarges our conceptions of life to find ourselves linked to the Great Oversoul that is forever seeking unfoldment and expression in our lives.

This thought is creative. It awakens within us an inspiration for development and achievement. It places before us an ideal that leads us along the upper pathway of life. The consciousness of this truth enlarges our spiritual and mental vision. It is a starting-point on the journey toward the real achievements of life. It gives one courage to grapple with the larger problems of life and efficiency to solve them wisely.

Remember that life is individual and each person must follow their own path. Be yourself, live your own life, is the message of the great in every age. We make ourselves miserable by attempting to follow the trail blazed by others. You can only work to one pattern, and that one is his your own. Be yourself. Remember that you are an infinite soul and that no human standard will serve you as an ideal. Think your own thoughts, even though they jostle the entrenched thoughts of the ages.

The essential life is not found by traveling the path of conventionalities. It is only discovered as one revolves around their own axis. The conventional life is only a seeming life, a counterfeit, and never a true life. Following the ideal of someone else accounts largely for the misfits in life, the human derelicts that infest the world. As we are self-reliant, we are strong; as we are dependent, we are weak.

We forget to look within for the true source of all wisdom. From the divinity within we gain the philosophic instinct to appraise correctly life’s values. We are all subject to illusions. Day and night they dog our footsteps. They are ever with us. The mirages of life lure us on and on, over many a dreary league.

We cherish the illusion that the never-resting impulse, or divine urge within, can be stilled and satisfied. Tenaciously we cling to this alluring sophism. The divine unrest is a part of ourselves and cannot be satisfied. It is the divine seeking the divine; it is the infinite within trying to find expression, which the finite cannot satisfy.

In vain we search the world for something to satisfy this eternal longing. We foolishly believe that wealth, travel, society, excitement, intellectual attainments, will still this tumult of the soul. We forget that we are playing the temporary and finite against the eternal and infinite. We offer to the soul the toys and playthings of time, the trifling expedients of the hour. Their effect is momentary only, they vanish before the soul’s returning tides.

We cannot still that infinite and surging force, the soul’s wanderlust, that forever pushes and impels us onward to new experiences, into new currents; but we can modify, mold, and refine it until it will lead us along the ascending scale of life. We may direct the soul’s urge from the prose of life into the realms of poetry and beauty. We may change the desire for the tangible into a hunger for the possession of the intangible. Then, when the divine throbs cease and the soul’s tumult is stilled, we will be in peace and harmony with the Divine.

A large part of the work of life involves discrimination — weighing, judging, and appraising life’s eventualities. Discrimination is judging, elimination is acting; they are the judicial and executive functions of the mind. Our years are spent in discarding the unessentials for the essential, the unreal for the real, the false for the true, the shadow for the substance. How much of life we waste in clinging to negatives! How little we use in reaching out toward the positives!

Life is the little time allotted wherein we may learn how to live. The majority of us have learned little when we are well past life’s meridian. We struggle without purpose or plan. We falter and stumble on the way. The selfish person learns nothing of the art of living, because they are a stranger to the finer things of life. Only the unselfish know these — they do good for the love of doing, they make the world bright with their very presence.

So many of us are slow to learn that peace and satisfaction come only from constructive work. Our place in Nature is that of a builder. Until we build, we feel not the joy of living, the delights of accomplishment. The person that causes two grass blades to grow where only one grew before, has added something to the world. They are a co-partner with Nature; they feel satisfaction.

Every constructive act brings its own reward; every non-constructive, its own disappointment. What salary would tempt you to sit at a desk in idleness for a year? Nature is constructive and progressive — her processes ever tend toward growth and perfection. Something in us responds to the constructive and building forces in Nature. Our only real satisfaction is in accomplishment.

Wealth has no rewards to compete with the joy of giving expression to the inner visions of the soul. The poet, the artist, the thinker, find their joy in creating, in giving expression to their ideals. The creator of ideals alone is immortal. When all else passes away, your creations alone survive. Your work may not bring gold, but it brings something far more precious, because you have given expression to the promptings of your soul. Ideas alone are deathless.

The work of a life that creates, that gives expression, that adds substance, that pushes the world a little farther along, that makes it a little better, that inspires in someone a new hope, that lights up some darkened pathway, is the life worthwhile — the life that brings peace and satisfaction to the soul.


Imagine a new American renaissance. Imagine a strong American spirit, revitalized by the common-sense virtues and success principles of the past. Imagine that you have an important role to play in making it happen. Evergreen (50 Inspirational Life Lessons) is your guidebook. Learn more at: InspirationalLifeLessons.com.

The Inspirational Living podcast is a production of The Living Hour. For free transcripts, please go to LivingHour.org.

Thanks for listening. We look forward to talking with you next time.

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