Christian Larson and cultivating a Christian habit of thought

Christian Larson writes in The Pathway of Roses (prologue, 1912)

To live always in the Secret Places of the Most High, To think only those thoughts that are inspired from above. To do all things in the conviction that God is with us, To give the best to all the world with no thought of reward, To leave all recompense to Him who doeth all things well, To love everybody as God loves us, and be Kind as He is Kind, To ask God for everything and in faith expect everything, To live in perpetual gratitude to Him who gives everything, To love God so much that we can inwardly feel that My Father and I are one, This is the prayer without ceasing, the true worship of the soul.

New Thought Christianity – of which Larson was a prominent writer – focuses on theosis – the transformation of one’s habitual nature. The above quotation gives a relatively good summary of prominent aspects of Jesus of Nazareth’s thought related to theosis, as far as we can tell from the Gospel accounts.

One thing that is important here is that all aspects of the ‘prayer without ceasing’ can be applied – tried out here and now. For example, if one cultivates a sense of gratitude, does it make one’s life on the whole better or worse? It’s relatively easy to try and see. Similarly with doing things with no expectation of reward. Does this work? One can try and find out.

For a secularist, there is probably some translation that has to be done, as the terms might not be intuitively understandable. For example, an approximate synonym for ‘God’ would be ‘the Good’. ‘Inspired from above’ doesn’t mean up in the clouds, but coming from a higher psychological or moral sense (from ‘Heaven’, i.e., from God). ‘In faith’ means trusting, as one might trust someone one knows well, say. And so on.

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