For my dissertation in religious studies, I wrote a workbook, Spiritual Living, Practical Living (if you’re interested, you can check some more of it out on my webs site, Spirit and Money Matters. Here’s a bit on Spirituality and philosophy:
The philosophical aspects of New Thought (specifically Religious Science, or as the teaching is known, Science of Mind) can be traced back to the Greeks. (Science of Mind is not to be confused with Christian Science, or Scientology. They are each very separate teachings.) Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind, said the teaching could be approached as a religion, teaching or philosophy. The first philosophical influence on Science of Mind was Plato (427-347 B.C.E., Greek).
Plato was a student of Socrates (469-399 B.C.E., Greek). Plato wrote down what he learned, as well as some of his own most important ideas. “The Cave” is a famous metaphor where Plato suggests it is as if we’re all shackled in a cave, staring at the walls, seeing only reflections and shadows—and mistaking them for real. Plato said that we experienced only the “shadow” of true reality, and our ides were our true reality. The metaphor of the cave aligns with beliefs in Religious Science that everything originates in mind.
Plotonius (205-270 c., Greek) is an even more important philosopher to Religious Science. Plotonius established Neo-Platonic philosophy, and is considered the father of modern idealism. He took Plato’s ideas of idealism and added a mystical touch by recognizing that all things and events are foreshown and brought into being by causes—but causation is of two kinds: Results originating from the Soul, and results do to the environment.
Bishop Berkeley (1685-1753, Irish) is perhaps the most influential modern idealist philosopher. He’s most noted for the idea “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear, does it make a sound?” The question is about the role of the observer in reality. (link to :What the bleep do we know) Religious Science would say that all exists in God. Reality only comes into existence at the level of our perception. Everything is perception.
If everything is perception, step into another person’s shoes for a moment. See the situation from their perspective – even if you strongly disagree with it. It’s not making your perception wrong. It’s about broadening your view, and possibly being able to understand the other person a bit more.