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New Thought, Divine Spark & Ego


BeachOfEden
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I really like the positive thinking concept in the New Thought church of Unity...but the the thoing about Unity and New Thought that I could never jive with and just sounds wrong to me is this whole "Divine Spark" thing. This idea that we are all divine or God. I mean, this just sounds so ego-centric..like a..well.. God complexe. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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Personally I have no knowledge of "New Thought" - nor "New Age" thinking, which may or may not be similar - so just what a divine spark means in such a context I have no idea. Speaking in Christian terms I would say that unless we distinguish between the Person as known only to God - and perhaps not even totally to ourselves - and the empirical/phenomenal ego, then all talk of "divine sparks" will lead inevitable to confusion, even misplaced pride/God complexes.

 

This is perhaps why the issue of "ego-self" and "person" is a matter of crucial importance for the dialogue between Eastern and Western religion (a point made by Thomas Merton in his essay "Transcendent Experience", from the book "Zen and the Birds of Appetite)

 

Maybe as a Christian I would tend to remain with the idea of being "made in God's image" and take it from there :D , and perhaps dip a little into Eckhart and St John of the Cross.

 

In giving us His love God has given us His Holy Spirit so that we can love Him with the love wherewith He loves Himself. We love God with His own love; awareness of it deifies us. (Eckhart)

 

I had no guide, no light,

save that which burned within my heart.

And yet this light did guide my way

more surely than the noonday sun

unto a place where waited One

who knew me well.

A place where none appeared! (St John of the Cross, from "Dark Night of the Soul")

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BOE,

 

I am also not really very familiar with the New Thought Church of Unity thinking. However, my view does echo tariki's response.

 

"Christ is the true light that lighted every man that comes into the world" (paraphrased)

 

I guess in that sense, we all have a 'divine spark' within us. There is that which to me is temporal and ever changing in me that is created and that which is eternal and never changes. It seems to me that some identify with one more than the other and I am of the opinion that when the one is extinguished even while still walking this earth, it can be said that I and the Father are One. In this case, it may sound egotistic yet in my experience, in that state, it would not be.

 

Joseph

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Regarding the ego, the question I find interesting to ask is, whose ego is it? If you say it's 'my' ego, then that's circular. The whole 'my' complex is the ego. There is ego, but nobody to possess it.

 

I think we can say that we are not autonomous apart from God, and God is the one to whom 'I' really belong - I do not belong to myself, I am not absolute. Therefore the only real self one finds after looking past the ego is God's self.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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I really like the positive thinking concept in the New Thought church of Unity...but the the thoing about Unity and New Thought that I could never jive with and just sounds wrong to me is this whole "Divine Spark" thing. This idea that we are all divine or God. I mean, this just sounds so ego-centric..like a..well.. God complexe. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

 

The notion of a "Divine Spark" is ancient. It is a core construct of Gnosticism. It does not mean that we are God. Instead, it means that our intrinsic nature shares certain attributes with God i.e., the innate capacity for empathy, compassion and love.

 

In Complex Psychology (Jung), the Western view of God as an all-powerful Father God is a projection of our own dependent relationship (attachment/Grace) to a father figure, hence, a "God complex". This dependent relationship to God causes the faithful to "remain children instead of becoming as children, and they do not gain their life because they have not lost it." ("Eastern and Western Thinking", 1939).

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PostBeachOfEden, on 25 March 2010 - 10:09 PM, said:

I really like the positive thinking concept in the New Thought church of Unity...but the the thoing about Unity and New Thought that I could never jive with and just sounds wrong to me is this whole "Divine Spark" thing. This idea that we are all divine or God. I mean, this just sounds so ego-centric..like a..well.. God complexe. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

 

I am not part of Unity or New Thought, but I have read their material and I also like their positive thinking concept. I feel God the Father is so widespread that everything is within Him and He is within everything. I feel God is outside and inside, and as a Christian spark my contact with God's pure consciousness is through the consciousness of Christ and it is everywhere like the sun's energy spreading all over the world and shinning on everyone good and bad. I feel the only thing that separates me from the energy of the Father is the umbrella of ego. When I leave the ego mind and approach the Spirit, my aims of life are fulfilled and life becomes fruitful. To do this I need to make the universal will 'Thy will' or "Let They will be done." This is the way for me to make the ego in my human personality unattached. Inner commitment and reverence are needed to help me to acquire Christ consciousness and to give me the knowledge that I am a divine spark and not the ego mind. I feel together Christians and non-Christians will have to look through and beyond this planet and the ego mind to a mysterious and inexpressible union in God the Father's pure consciousness in life and love.

 

The arrival of Christ in Christ Consciousness I feel is an event that attracts widespread concern because it is linked up with some unbelievable happenings that everyone is able to see. This is of great importance because the revelations are realized; the eyes start to open, the mind understands and sees the things that are true in the egoless dominated mind. This coming is in humility and in reverence to the Christ that enters the hearts of all people who truly understand love because it is a consciousness that illuminates the mind letting people see things in a different perspective.

 

Jesus said, "Let thy will be done." Let pure consciousness flow through me so the cosmic play can unfold naturally. This is one way that Jesus escaped this nervous, dusty, fever infested planet. This same escape is within us, but first, we must realize that we are a divine spark of a greater divine consciousness and not the body. The temporary material body with its treasures gives us birth and wealth, but it also gives us old age, disease and death. That is its nature. Moving towards divine consciousness removes these ills because one is thinking of the eternal, blissful, spiritual world and not the negative, temporary world that our bodies are housed in. Jesus’ advice should be taken seriously, "Put your treasure where no man can take it." To remain in this consciousness one needs to develop love here in this world and spiritual understanding.

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