Appearances and Truth
New Thought is a child of metaphysics, which is a branch of philosophy dealing with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. All thought, both old and new occur in the mind. Thought is abstract, and abstractions populate the human mind.
As a New Thought writer, my mind is populated with concepts and representational images and not necessarily with concrete existences and objective facts. I interpret those representational images and events I see in the world as symbols and not facts. Hence, as the little boy in the movie Matrix, "there really is no spoon."
Concrete thinkers or those rooted in the world of form or matter, may find the metaphysical worldview to be abhorrent, or at least incomprehensible. In their view, there is nowhere for abstract “truths” to land because they cannot be touched, seen, heard, tasted or smelled. They lie beyond the realm of the five senses.
19th Century New Thought writer, Emma Curtis Hopkins summed sense perceptions up best for me when she said, “It may be an accurate description of appearances, but it is not Truth.” The “it” being our physical existences and circumstances. Ouch! I acknowledge accurate descriptions of appearances, but not as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. According to the Christian faith, in the book of Genesis, the Word preceded the visible Universe. New Thought practitioners live from the realm of The Word.
What about righteous judgment or judging rightly? Metaphysics deals with “being” and “cause”. It does not deal with effects and appearances. Approximately, two thousand years ago, the master teacher Jesus reportedly said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Per Romans 8:9, we are spirit and not in the flesh. The Truth is, we are gods (John 10:34; Ps 82:6).
As a god, I judge according to the spirit or the formless, which is righteous judgment. Spirit is in the world but not of the world, and fully engaged in our daily life, but neither conditioned by or circumscribed by it. Likewise, a New Thought thinker is in the world but not of it. He or she neither re-acts to or is conditioned by the realm of appearances. We do not live conditioned based lives. Our thinking is creative, and we create the reality in which we live, move and have our being. The New Thought perspective and way of being in the world transcends the idea of being in and of the world. The mind that is of the world is identified with finite physical forms of expressions. Per Buddhism, one must wake up from this condition and conditioning, and per the Christian Bible, embrace righteous judgement.
My one reference regarding the things of this world (all that focuses on physicality and the human concerns associated with the physical) is this: The underlying cause of conflict, strife, suffering, shortages, hatred and war, is the belief in separation; man from God or the Universe and man from himself and/or the experience of others. Knowing Oneness in all, is the Truth that sets us free.