Today I want to briefly discuss the New Thought teacher Frederick W. Bailes and offer you some thoughts on his words regarding being in harmony with the Divine Principle.
Bailes was born in New Zealand in 1889, later moving to London where he discovered the writings of Thomas Troward fostering an interest in the power of the mind and New Thought concepts. Bailes would eventually move to Los Angeles and begin working with the Science of Mind founder, Ernest Holmes. Bailes served for a time as the Assistant Dean of the Science of Mind Institute in Los Angeles, and also headed one of the largest Science of Mind churches of its time. He was also well known for his popular radio broadcasts which aired twice per week in the Los Angeles area. For more on Bailes and to access links to some free online resources, CLICK HERE.
In 1941, the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) published a book entitled Mind Remakes the World wherein various New Thought writers and teachers of the time were invited to submit articles offering their thoughts on the philosophy and its practical application. The volume, edited by Holmes along with Maude Allison Lathem (long time editor of Science of Mind magazine), included 38 chapters written by well known teachers such as Holmes, Ralph Waldo Trine, Christian D. Larson, Emmett Fox, Nona Brooks, Raymond Charles Barker and many others. Bailes’ chapter was entitled “The Creative Principle at Work”.
I want to share a few quotes from Bailes’ article here adding my commentary upon them.
“We teach and believe that God and the universe are mutually complementary to one another. That Spirit needs a universe of form as its vehicle of expression, and that these forms need the indwelling Spirit to make manifest the divine perfection. We believe that God and the universe are essentially One; that matter is actually a lowered vibration of God, to use a somewhat overworked term.”
What he is getting at here is the general sense of Oneness that New Thought teaches exists in all, that the spiritual world and the material world are one but differ in vibration. As I have written about before, we might envision a continuum or vibrational gradient with pure Spirit on one end (the “highest”) to the most dense physical forms on the other (the “lowest”). We are spiritual beings having a human experience and we have the ability and free will choice to move in consciousness along this continuum. We can be mired in the drama of the world of form with lower vibrations (forgetting our spiritual truth) or we can shift our thoughts to the higher end of the spectrum with higher vibrations and tap into the ultimate truth of our being. Our thoughts and our use of “Mind” lies in the middle of this continuum between form and Spirit. This experience we are having (at all levels) is for the expression of God or Spirit.
“We feel that it is scientific to believe that Spirit, Mind and Substance all co-existed from the beginning, the three making up the constituents of the Godhead. That all are noble, and the flesh not something to be despised. That Spirit, desiring form through which It could express, spoke the Word that sent Mind into action along this specific line, to bring the universe into being, following a definite, ordered, graded plan, which science now calls the process of evolution.”
Bailes is telling us that this continuum from Spirit to Mind to form has always been a part of the universe experience since creation. All are valuable and important in the process of God or Spirit experiencing Its creation through us. Bailes interestingly uses the word “Godhead” to distinguish the combination of the the three aspects of Spirit. Other New Thought teachers such as Holmes often use the word “Spirit” multiple ways depending upon the context. “Spirit” can stand in for “The All” (or the “Godhead”) in some cases or “Spirit” can mean that conscious aspect of Mind in the triad of Spirit-Soul-Body. This can lead to confusion for the reader (although Holmes does use the phrase “The Thing Itself” to connote the entirety in the way Bailes uses “Godhead”).
“We believe that there is a fundamental harmony in and throughout the entire universe, up to and including the Godhead. Therefore, wherever we see that which is inharmonious we know that it is a false inharmony—that fundamentally it is an error of finite vision, fostered and given apparent reality by race-consciousness, encouraged by the belief of our neighbors as well as our own past belief.”
Finally, I reach the key point that I wanted to share in this article, that being the concept of a divine harmony. Hold in your awareness for the moment the idea that our experience is along this continuum from Spirit to Mind to form and that we shift each moment as to what we choose to see and believe about our experience. When we look out at our physical lives and see something that is less than what we desire (pain, poverty, lack, hate, violence, etc.), we can choose to stay focused upon that lack and fall victim to those circumstances. When we do so, we are creating what Bailes calls “an error of finite vision.” We are labeling our experiences of the world of form based upon the beliefs of the world (“race-consciousness”) or our old ways of thinking. Such an error allows our lives to be out of harmony with what Spirit (or the Godhead) has as our highest possibility.
When we are “in tune with the Infinite” by aligning our thoughts and beliefs with the highest vision for our lives and world, then we come into harmony with the Divine. We are lining up our thoughts and how we see the world with Spirit’s vision for our lives. In so doing, we create a sense of “flow” where things happen “magically” for us, we see what we might label as “miracles” in our lives. That which is Good (God) just naturally comes from the highest end of the spectrum through our thoughts (Mind) and manifests in the world of form.
If you are experiencing disharmony in your life, then you are blocking this natural flow and contributing to the creation of the experiences that you do not want. The solution is to acknowledge what is happening and take appropriate steps to deal with it, but then not to dwell on it. Don’t see the current condition as a limit to what is possible. Instead, turn away from the “finite vision” and tune into the “infinite vision” of Spirit. You do this by cultivating your recognition of the intuitive messages of the Divine that are available to you. You do this by examining the pattern of your life experiences to see how Spirit may have been “nudging you along” this life. You do this by identifying yourself not with the story of your life in the world of form but rather by identifying yourself as a spiritual being, one that is a part of the “All”.
When you can get “in harmony” with your divine truth, it’s like removing any blockages in the flow of a river….a river that flows from Spirit through Mind and into your manifest life. The spigot of life flows unencumbered. It’s all “green lights”. Miracles abound.
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