Other Related Spiritual Connections
There are a number of other spiritual topics that are related to New Thought even if they may not be considered directly “a part of” New Thought. In the viewpoint of the spirituality that is discussed here on Conscious Bridge, these topics and resources are considered interrelated. They are categorized as follows: Perennial Philosophy, Spiral Dynamics, Integral Theory, Spiritual Evolution, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, and Psychology/Spiritual Psychology.
Integral theory is philosopher Ken Wilber’s attempt to place a wide diversity of theories and thinkers into one single framework. It is portrayed as a “theory of everything” (“the living Totality of matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit”), trying “to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching. Included here are other philosophers who have either contributed significantly to the work of Wilber or who have added on to his work in Integral.
Ken Wilber/Integral Theory
The perennial philosophy also referred to as perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in philosophy and spirituality that views all of the world’s religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.
The term was popularized in the mid-twentieth century by author Aldous Huxley and his book entitled The Perennial Philosophy.
Huxley outlined the following as key commonalities of the world’s faith: That there is a Godhead or Ground, which is the unmanifested principle of all manifestation. That the Ground is transcendent and immanent. That it is possible for human beings to love, know and become the Ground. That to achieve this unitive knowledge, to realize this supreme identity, is the final end and purpose of human existence. That there is a Law or Dharma, which must be obeyed, a Tao or Way, which must be followed, if humans are to achieve their final end.
The Perennial Philosophy and Neo-Perennialism: An Introduction –useful article from the “You are That” website.
Summary of Huxley’s book –nice article from the Aeon website.
Origins of the Perennial Philosophy School of Thought YouTube Video –nice video from World Wisdom Inc (about 50 minutes).
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is a very broad field and the material included here are those things that related to our website viewpoint on spirituality and New Thought. Included within that would also include the area of spiritual psychology which is also called transpersonal psychology. This is a sub-field or school of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience with the framework of modern psychology. The transpersonal is defined as “experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos”.
Spiral Dynamics (SD) is a model of the evolutionary development of individuals, organizations, and societies. It was initially developed by Don Edward Beck and Christopher Cowan based on the emergent cyclical theory of Clare W. Graves. Spiral Dynamics describes how value systems and worldviews emerge from the interaction of “life conditions” and the mind’s capacities. The emphasis on life conditions as essential to the progression through value systems is unusual among similar theories, and leads to the view that no level is inherently positive or negative, but rather is a response to the local environment. Through these value systems, groups and cultures structure their societies and individuals integrate within them. Each distinct set of values is developed as a response to solving the problems of the previous system. Changes between states may occur incrementally (first order change) or in a sudden breakthrough (second order change). The value systems develop in a specific order, and the most important question when considering the value system being expressed in a particular behavior is why the behavior occurs. Of importance here, is the emergence of that aspect of the worldview that relates to what we would consider our spiritual beliefs.
What is “spiritual evolution”? Essentially the idea is that Spirit or God created the Universe and embedded itself in its creation (that is, everything!). It then left its creation to experience life separate and apart from its Source, to make its own choices and to grow and evolve. The downward embedding of Spirit in its creation is often called “involution” while the process to grow back to its source in Spirit is called evolution.
12 Theories of Evolution —on this page we expand our normal approach to traditional “evolution” by naming 12 different theories on evolution works. Our quick intro is based on an article from the defunct What is Enlightenment magazine but we give you links to their full archives and the entire article which fully describes the 12 different theories. The key here is to consider that evolution can be seen much differently than simple “survival of the fittest”.
Video on Involution and Evolution –this is from our YouTube channel and gives you a quick overview of the topics from a spiritual standpoint.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardein
Barbara Marx Hubbard
The Evolution of God/Robert Wright
Theosophy is a religion established in the United States during the late 19th century. It was founded primarily by the Russian immigrant Helena Blavatsky and draws its teachings predominantly from Blavatsky’s writings. Categorized by scholars of religion as both a new religious movement and as part of the occultist stream of Western esotericism, it draws upon both older European philosophies such as Neoplatonism and Asian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in New England. A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature, and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. Transcendentalists saw divine experience inherent in the everyday, rather than believing in a distant heaven. Transcendentalists saw physical and spiritual phenomena as part of dynamic processes rather than discrete entities.
“Emerson Central” website –a key online resource with information and the full text and some commentary on the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson.