Friday, April 22, 2011

Is it a New Thought or just Ancient Wisdom in modern clothing - Part Five

Thomas Troward: The Influencer

Far and away the ablest statement of philosophy I have met, beautiful in its sustained clearness of thought and style, a really classic statement.[1]

The final nineteen years of Thomas Troward[2] – Late Divisional Judge of the North Indian Punjab, Honorary Member of the Medico-Legal Society of New York, First Vice-President International New Thought Alliance, lecturer, painter, author, and father of six – was dedicated to writing and painting. His writings were a major influence on Ernest Holmes,[3] Frederick Bailes,[4] Joseph Murphy,[5] Emmet Fox,[6] and the Alcoholics Anonymous organization. Ernest Holmes said of Troward’s writing: “This is as near to my own thoughts as I shall ever come.” The two most famous of his writings were the “Edinburgh & Dore Lectures on Mental Science,”[7] and The Creative Process in the Individual.[8] Multi-lingual in English, Hindi and Hebrew, Troward was able to read many of the holy texts of the world in their original languages, especially the Bible[9] and Hindu scriptures. He was raised in Church of England and was a daily Bible reader from boyhood. Though his writings have a clear Christian bent at times and tend towards the scientific jargon of his time, the clear judicial weighing of evidence and logical manner he composes his words about the matters of Man’s Divinity and the Law of Cause and Effect, delivered through a Western-filtered intuitive oriental mysticism, accomplishes what he had envisioned he would do: develop a system of philosophy that gave peace of mind and the practical results of physical health and happiness to the individual.

His books quote Plato, Swedenborg and the Bible, illustrating his judicial logic from sources Buddhist, Hindu, of the Koran and Raja Yoga.[10] Like Emerson before him and many others after him, notably Ernest Holmes in The Science of Mind, Troward combined the Ancient Wisdom of the Orient and India with a Christian mysticism. He then placed a judicial robe around it and brought the concepts of The Unity of Spirit, The Subjective and Objective Mind, and The Law of Growth;[11] Principle is not bound by precedent[12]; The Divine Ideal,[13] The Personal Factor (Nature unaided fails), The Denouement of the Creative Process,[14] and The Hidden Power (the Power for Good in the Universe which is in each and every one of us)[15] to all. It is a life-affirming treatise on Love and Law, head and heart, the Divinity of Man and The Law of Cause and Effect – the very essence of New Thought.

[1] Troward, Thomas. The Edinburgh and Dore Lectures on Mental Science. 1904 & 1909, DeVorss & Co. edition, 1989. Back cover. From William James (1842-1910) who was a pioneering American Psychologist and philosopher trained as a medical doctor. He wrote influential books on the science of psychology and pragmatism.

[2] Born in Punjab, India of British parents who, at the age of 18, graduated from college with gold medal honors in literature and then decided to study Law. At age 22, he returned to India and took the difficult Indian Civil Service Examination. One of the subjects was metaphysics, and Troward surprised everyone with his answers because of their originality. He became an assistant commissioner and was quickly promoted to Divisional Judge in the Punjab, where he served for the next 25 years.

[3] He claimed that twenty five percent of The Science of Mind came from his studies of Troward.

[4] Dr. Bailes (1889-1970) served with Ernest Holmes as the Assistant Dean of the Science of Mind Institute, wrote five books, broadcast twice-weekly on the radio, and lead the largest Science of Mind church of his day.

[5] 1898-1981, Divine Science minister in Los Angeles (to 1300-1500 attendees), daily radio broadcaster and author of over two dozen books including the multi-million sellers The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

[6] 1886-1951, popular Divine Science minister in New York, author of ten books, healer, mystic, knew Troward, became an important resource to those in the AA organization.

[7] Edinburgh Lectures given at Queen Street in 1904. Dore Lectures given at London’s Dore Art Gallery in 1909

[8] Originally published in 1915, DeVorss & Co. Edition, 1991

[9] His studies in the original Hebrew provided the foundation for his book, Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning.

[10] Primarily concerned with the mind and its relationship with the body. Swami Vivekananda described the process as follows: “When the mind has been trained to remain fixed on a certain internal or external location, there comes to it the power of flowing in an unbroken current, as it were, towards that point. This state is called dhyana. When one has so intensified the power of dhyana as to be able to reject the external part of perception and remain meditating only on the internal part, the meaning, that state is called Samadhi.”

[11] Troward, Thomas. The Edinburgh and Dore Lectures on Mental Science, 1904 & 1909

[12] Defined as “the working out of an idea to its logical conclusions in spite of the accumulated testimony of all past experience to the contrary ... “, Troward, Thomas. Creative Process in the Individual, “The Starting Point,” pg.1-2

[13] An Individuality which recognizes its open up itself a channel by which that Source can flow in uninterruptedly

[14] The Creative Process in the Individual, 1915

[15] The Hidden Power and Other Papers on Mental Science, 1921

1 comment: